Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux -

La dance by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (plaster)

La Dance by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux and Paul Belmondo

The two sculptures on the left and right are La Dance by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux.

Many sculptures were needed for the new Opera being built by Charles Garnier. Carpeaux's plaster one gained him the commission to produce the original stone one, right. However pollution and weather have taken their toll on the original, so it was moved to the Musée d'Orsay to prevent further deterioration.

So the sculpture you can see outside the Opera today (on the left) is a copy made by Paul Belmondo, father of the actor Jean-Paul.

La dance by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (original)
Le Prince imperial et son chien Nero by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux

Le Prince imperial et son chien Nero by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux

This is a charming sculpture. The look of devotion in the dog's eyes and posture, and the obvious ease and comfort the two feel together is clear for all to see.

The boy is the only surviving son of the last Emperor of France. He fled to England with his mother after his father's capture and ignominious defeat at Sedan. He trained as an army officer and joined the British army. Then was posted to Africa where he died a death both tragic and glorious.

He and his small party were confronted by a large number of Zulu warriors. Greatly outnumbered the only thing for it was a rapid retreat, but unfortunately he either fell from his horse or his horse was injured. So there he stood alone, and unarmed. When his body was recovered he had 17 assegais (the Zulu spear) in his body - all in the front, none in the back.

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