Cordier submitted a plaster cast of the bust of an African visitor to Paris to the Salon of 1848, and two years later he again entered it as a bronze (Walters 54.2664). A young African woman served as the model for this companion piece in 1851. Regarded as powerful expressions of nobility and dignity, these sculptures proved to be highly popular: casts were acquired by the Museum of National History in Paris and also by Queen Victoria. The Walters' pair were cast by the Paris foundry Eck and Durand in 1852. These bronzes were esteemed by 19th-century viewers as expressions of human pride and dignity in the face of grave injustice.


  • Title: African Venus
  • Creator Lifespan: 1827/1905
  • Creator Nationality: French
  • Date Created: 1851
  • Physical Dimensions: w20.3 x h39.5 cm
  • Type: sculpture
  • Rights: Museum purchase, 1991, http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/
  • External Link: The Walters Art Museum
  • Medium: bronze and gold
  • Provenance: Shepherd Gallery, New York; Walters Art Museum, 1991, by purchase.
  • Place of Origin: Paris, France
  • ExhibitionHistory: The Allure of Bronze. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1995; Highlights from the Collection. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1998-2001; A Magnificent Age: Masterpieces from the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City; Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte. 2002-2004
  • Artist: Charles-Henri-Joseph Cordier

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