Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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La Capresse des Colonies

Artist:
Charles-Henri-Joseph Cordier (French, 1827–1905)
Maker:
Pedestal attributed to designs by Charles-François Rossigneux (French, 1818–afer 1909)
Date:
1861
Culture:
French, Paris
Medium:
Red and white marble pedestal with gilt-bronze mounts and ornaments
Dimensions:
Pedestal: H. 41 3/8 x W. 18 1/4 x 11 3/4 in. (105.1 x 46.4 x 29.8 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
European Sculpture and Decorative Arts Fund, 2006
Accession Number:
2006.112d
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 555
The French title refers to ethnic groups of Africa and Madagascar, the Cafres. Cordier was Europe's premier ethnographic sculptor. He treated his subjects, studied intensely during travels in France's North African colonies, as exotic beings but not as stereotypes. Quite the contrary, he captures the individual essence of the extroverted young tribeswoman. Emperor Napoleon III acquired the first example of this composition. The Algerian onyx-marble was quarried expressly for Cordier's use. The pedestals of this and its companion bust nearby, the Juive d'Ager, are original, attributable to Charles-François Rossigneux. Busts and pedestals together were bought directly from Cordier by the Cercle des Phocéens, a gentlemen's club in Marseille.
Cercle des Phocéens, Marseilles, France (1862/63–1975) ; Private Collection, Marseilles, France (1975–2005)
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