In 1873, Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux served on the jury for a competition sponsored by the French newspaper Le Figaro, reviewing proposals for sculpture that would decorate its new building. Inspired by the project, Carpeaux created his own figure of Figaro, the witty and ingenious character of eighteenth-century comedy and opera. The graceful attitude of this figure is characteristic of Carpeaux's work as well as an homage to Antoine Watteau (1684-1721), the seminal painter of such elegant figures who, like Carpeaux, was born in the northern French town of Valenciennes. This figure is from the small edition of terracottas produced by Carpeaux's studio, which he had established in 1866 to reproduce his works for sale.


  • Title: Le Figaro
  • Creator: Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux
  • Date Created: 1873
  • Physical Dimensions: w500 x h810 x d400 mm
  • Culture: French
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Rights: Collection Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University. Museum Purchase in honor of Phillip Dennis Cate, by Barbara and Ralph Voorhees Fund, Photo by Peter Jacobs
  • Medium: Terracotta

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