The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of May 26, 2024

Bust of a Lady (possibly Fanny Coleman)

Bust of a Lady (possibly Fanny Coleman)

(French, 1827–1875)
Overall: 83.2 x 58.5 x 39.4 cm (32 3/4 x 23 1/16 x 15 1/2 in.)


Abandoning the strict frontality and symmetry of the neoclassical style, Carpeaux was instead inspired by French portrait busts of the 1600s and 1700s. This bust probably depicts Fanny Coleman, an English actress with whom Carpeaux may have had a romantic relationship. The turn of the head and the undulating drapery infuse the figure with a sense of drama. Patronized by Napoleon III, Carpeaux created the celebrated figural group La Danse for the facade of the Opera Garnier in Paris, a work renowned for its sensual nudes, but denounced by contemporaries as an affront to public decency.
  • Fanny Coleman (?), London; [Leon Helft, Paris]; David Weill, Paris; [Heim Gallery, Paris]
  • Lee, Sherman E. “The Year in Review for 1975.” The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art 63, no. 2 (February 1976): 31–71. Reproduced: p. 45; Mentioned: p. 65, no. 10
    Hawley, Henry H. “Carpeaux’s Mysterious Sculpture.” The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art 63, no. 4 (April 1976): 99–107. Mentioned and reproduced: p. 99-107, figs. 1, 4, 5
    The Cleveland Museum of Art. Handbook of the Cleveland Museum of Art/1978. Cleveland, OH: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1978. Reproduced: p. 210
  • Year in Review: 1975. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (February 3-March 7, 1976).
    CMA 1976: "Year in Review 1975," Bulletin LXIII (February 1976), p. 65, #10, repr. p. 45.
    Paris, Musée des Arts Decoratifs, April-July 1933: "Le Decor de la Vie sous la IIIe Republique," p. 110, no. 853.
  • {{cite web|title=Bust of a Lady (possibly Fanny Coleman)|url=false|author=Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux|year=1872|access-date=26 May 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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