L'Enlèvement (Abduction of Hippodamia)
Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse, French, 1824 - 1887
possibly with Auguste Rodin, French, 1840 - 1917
1871/1879; cast after 1877
Overall: 25 3/8 × 21 5/8 × 6 11/16 in. (64.5 × 55 × 17 cm)
Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Purchased through a gift from Jane and W. David Dance, Class of 1940
Place Made: France, Europe
Not on view
Signed, on ground, front left: CARRIER BELLEUSE; inscribed, on front center of base: L'ENLEVEMENT
The French sculptor Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse’s Abduction highlights the moment of rupture and disorder from a Greek myth, when the drunken centaur Eurytion seizes the bride at the wedding feast of Hippodamia and the Lapith king. Hippodamia is rescued, but this insult to the king and his bride sets off a war between the centaurs and Lapiths, which is famously pictured on the Parthenon frieze in Athens. The subject allows for a dramatic display of the swooning female nude in counter-juxtaposition to the muscled and twisting torso of the centaur. Its 19th-century audience would have understood it to be a demonstration of bestiality versus the allegorical feminine, the latter representing refinement and civilization. In the 20th century, Picasso picks up this theme with his minotaurs and satyrs, who are vulnerable but also sadistic and brutal.
Hippodamia means “tamer of horses” in ancient Greek, and therefore Carrier-Belleuse’s choice of this subject was entirely appropriate to the sculpture’s first incarnation. The original version was commissioned as a prize, cast in solid silver, to be awarded by the Jockey Club at the celebrated horse races in the Bois de Boulogne in 1874.
From the 2019 exhibition Emulating Antiquity: Nineteenth-Century European Sculpture, curated by Katherine W. Hart, Senior Curator of Collections and Barbara C. & Harvey P. Hood 1918 Curator of Academic Programming
Emulating Antiquity: Nineteenth-century European Sculpture, Engles Family Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, January 26, 2019-February 16, 2020.
Ivan Albright Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, April 18, 2008.
Ivan Albright Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, June 8, 1999-March 10, 2000.
Ivan Albright Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, October 8, 2001-September 20, 2003.
T. Barton Thurber, European Art at Dartmouth: Highlights from the Hood Museum of Art, Hanover: Trustees of Dartmouth College, 2008, pp. 90-91, ill. pp. 90/91 no. 42.
Steve Newman, Stamford, Connecticut; sold to present collection, 1999.
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