Bust Why born a slave? [Rock]
Trudon Bust: The Slave
Why be born a slave is the name given by the sculptor and painter Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (1827-1875) in a series of busts he executed around 1870.
At the heights of his career, enjoying the protection of Napoleon III, Carpeaux was commissioned by the city of Paris to design the Fontaine de l’Observatoire and slightly modified the theme imposed on him – the four cardinal points – by replacing them with allegoric characters personifying Europe, Africa, Asia and America. While he was working on the representation of Africa, he came up with the idea of the bust of the Négresse Captive.
Obsessed with faithful representations of human movement, he sculpted the slave at an angle, with the bust hobbled in an oblique twist to express revolt. The story goes that the woman who posed for the bust might have also been the model of the “Capresse des colonies” by Charles Cordier in 1861.
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