La Négresse

Artist: Workshop of Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (French, Valenciennes 1827–1875 Courbevoie)

Date: 1872

Culture: French, Auteuil

Medium: Cast terracotta

Dimensions: Height: 24 in. (61 cm)

Classification: Sculpture

Credit Line: Gift of James S. Deely, 1997, in memory of Patricia Johnson Deely, 1997

Accession Number: 1997.491


The bust follows Carpeaux's model of a young African woman, one of the figures representing the four parts of the world that support the globe of the Fountain of the Observatory in Paris, commissioned in 1867 and inaugurated in 1874. For the commerical edition of the bust, Carpeaux added the poignant legend: Pourquoi! naître esclave! (Why born a slave?).