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Le Trait d’Union

Maker:
Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (French, Valenciennes 1827–1875 Courbevoie)
Date:
June 1872
Culture:
French, Paris
Medium:
Terracotta
Dimensions:
Overall (confirmed): 7 15/16 x 3 11/16 x 3 9/16 in. (20.2 x 9.4 x 9 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Purchase, Assunta Sommella Peluso, Ignazio Peluso, Ada Peluso and Romano I. Peluso Gift, 2012
Accession Number:
2012.214
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 552
The term trait d’union is French for hyphen, the sign linking the parts of a compound word. Here it poetically signifies the familial ties that were renewed when Carpeaux and his wife reconciled after their little son Charles recovered from terrifying convulsions. Amélie is on Carpeaux’s lap. Charles binds their heads in an embrace. The reconciliation was brief and Carpeaux himself was soon jealous all over again and already desperately sick.
Marking: Red wax stamp: Propriété Carpeaux and eagle
Atelier Carpeaux ; [their sale, Galerie Manzi, Joyant & Cie. , December 8–9, 1913, no. 108, sold for 440 francs ] ; Alfred Strölin (from 1913–1921) ; Séquestre Strolin (until 1921; sale, Paris, July 7, 1921, #121) ; [ Fabius Frères (until 2011; sale, Paris, October 26–27, 2011, # 39) ] ; [ Talabardon et Gautier ; sold to MMA ]
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