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Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (1827 - 1875), La tendresse maternelle No 1 (maternal tenderness)

signed: JB Carpeaux and inscribed F.BARBEDIENNE.Fondeur.Paris with the Collas pastille; inscribed in ink on the underside 53039 glon.ol x 1800. bronze, mid-brown patina. 78cm., 30 5/8 in. Est. 25,000—35,000 GBP

NOTE: La Tendresse Maternelle is amongst Carpeaux's earliest sculptures, modelled when he was 27 years old and before he left for the Villa Medici in Rome. In 1870 Ferdinand Barbedienne saw the model in Carpeaux's studio in Auteuil and convinced the sculptor to sell all rights to the model to him for the sum of 3,000 francs. The founder thought the original figure too small however and asked Carpeaux to rework it in the larger size seen in the present model. It was the only model in his oeuvre for which Carpeaux sold all rights. It is very rare – less than ten versions were cast by Barbedienne. The original terracotta is in the Musée des arts decoratifs in Paris.

RELATED LITERATURE: Poletti & Richarme (2003), pp. 98-99, no. SE 20

Sotheby's. 19th and 20th Century European Sculpture. 02 Jun 09. London www.sothebys.com