The newest exhibit coming to the Metropolitan Museum of Art within the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Exhibition Hall is The Passions of Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux.
It explores the life and work of an artist who helped define the period of France’s luminour Second Empire from 1852 to 1870. The exhibition begins on March 1 and will be on display until May 26.
This will be the first full scale exhibition in 38 years of the celebrated artist’s work and will feature 160 pieces that include paintings, sculptures and drawings. The works are being loaned to the museum from other respected museums such as the Musee d’ Orsay, Musee des Beaux-Arts, the Louvre, Valenciennes (birthplace of Carpeaux) and other prestigious institutions. For some of these loans it will be their first time returning to the United States in decades and for some their very first.
Carpeaux is best known today for his masterpiece, “Ugolino and His Sons” which is part of the collection at the Metropolitan Museum. But he was a multifaceted and prolific artist. A sculptor of emotion, both grand and intimate, he was drawn to extremes from Michelangelo to Watteau while retaining respectful admiration for his peers in French sculpture.
The Passions of Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux will certainly evoke a spectrum of emotions from the public. Dramatic, highly independent paintings, barely known during his lifetime, will also be on display. The exhibition will probe overlooked works that reveal the darkness and despair of Carpeaux’s life. (The artist was plagued by serious physical maladies and violent mood swings and was only 48 when he died.)
Despite all this, he was extraordinarily productive, producing a vast body of work of the highest quality.
For information you can visit the MET website http://www.metmuseum.org/en/exhibitions/listings/2014/carpeaux