Ugolino and His Sons, Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (French, Valenciennes 1827–1875 Courbevoie), Saint-Béat marble, French, Paris

Ugolino and His Sons

Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (French, Valenciennes 1827–1875 Courbevoie)
French, Paris
Saint-Béat marble
Overall (confirmed): 77 3/4 × 59 × 43 1/2 in., 4955 lb. (197.5 × 149.9 × 110.5 cm, 2247.6 kg);
Pedestal (wt. confirmed): 3759 lb. (1705.1 kg)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Josephine Bay Paul and C. Michael Paul Foundation Inc. Gift, Charles Ulrick and Josephine Bay Foundation Inc. Gift, and Fletcher Fund, 1967
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 548
The subject of this intensely Romantic work is derived from canto XXXIII of Dante's Inferno, which describes how the Pisan traitor Count Ugolino della Gherardesca, his sons, and his grandsons were imprisoned in 1288 and died of starvation. Carpeaux's visionary statue, executed in 1865–67, reflects the artist's passionate reverence for Michelangelo, specifically for The Last Judgment (1536–41) in the Sistine Chapel of the Vatican, Rome, as well as his own painstaking concern with anatomical realism.
#90. Body Language: Curator, Theater Director, and Educator: Ugolino and His Sons
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Signature: JBte Carpeaux./Rome 1860 (Incised in script at right front facet of base)
JBTE CARPEAUX ROMA 1860 (Incised at right end facet of base)
Dervillé et Compagnie, Paris ; Stephane Dervillé ; descended in the family of Stephane Dervillé (until 1950) ; [ Wildenstein and Co., Inc. , New York (until 1967; sold to MMA) ]