The Prince Imperial with his Dog Nero

Factory: Sèvres Manufactory (French, 1740–present)

Modeler: Henri Robert

Designer: Based on a composition of 1856 by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (French, Valenciennes 1827–1875 Courbevoie)

Date: 1912

Culture: French, Sèvres

Medium: Hard-paste biscuit porcelain

Dimensions: Height (with pedestal): 16 1/4 in. (41.3 cm)

Classification: Ceramics-Porcelain

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1972

Accession Number: 1972.79


After an unsuccessful effort in 1864 to win a commission for a portrait of Empress Eugénie, Carpeaux proposed to the imperial couple a portrait of their son, Eugène-Louis-Jean-Joseph Napoléon, the Prince Impérial (1856–1879). By August 1865, a lifesize portrait of the nine-year-old prince was complete and the plaster was soon shown publicly at the Salon of 1866. The standing portrait was also executed in marble and cast in silver-patinated bronze, exhibited at the Salons of 1867 and 1868 respectively. Carpeaux chose to portray the prince as a bourgeois lad, shown with the emperor's dog Néro, a gift from the Russian ambassador. In 1869, the Sèvres Manufactory began to produce biscuit porcelain reductions that faithfully reflect the surfaces of marble.