Jules Dalou
Aimé-Jules Dalou was a French
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

Sculpture is three-dimensional artwork created by shaping or combining hard materials—typically stone such as marble—or metal, glass, or wood. Softer materials can also be used, such as clay, textiles, plastics, polymers and softer metals...

, recognized as one of the most brilliant virtuosos of nineteenth-century France, admired for his perceptiveness, execution, and unpretentious realism.


Dalou was born in Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, into from a working-class family of Huguenot background, who raised him in an atmosphere of secularity and Republican socialism. He was the pupil of Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux
Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux
Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux was a French sculptor and painter.Born in Valenciennes, Nord, son of a mason, his early studies were under François Rude. Carpeaux entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1844 and won the Prix de Rome in 1854, and moving to Rome to find inspiration, he there studied the works of...

, who sponsored him for the Petite École (future École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs
École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs
The École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs is a public university of art and design and is one of the most prestigious French grande école...

), where he sympathysed with Auguste Rodin
Auguste Rodin
François-Auguste-René Rodin , known as Auguste Rodin , was a French sculptor. Although Rodin is generally considered the progenitor of modern sculpture, he did not set out to rebel against the past...

. In 1854 he attended the École des Beaux-Arts de Paris in the François-Joseph Duret
François-Joseph Duret
Françoise-Joseph Duret was a French sculptor. He was the father and teacher of Francisque Joseph Duret.*...

 classroom. He combined the vivacity and richness of Carpeaux, for "he was, technically, one of the most distinguished modellers of his time", with the academic insistence on harmonious outlines and scholarly familiarity with the work of Giambologna
Giambologna, born as Jean Boulogne, incorrectly known as Giovanni da Bologna and Giovanni Bologna , was a sculptor, known for his marble and bronze statuary in a late Renaissance or Mannerist style.- Biography :...

 and others of Duret.

Dalou first exhibited at the Paris Salon
Paris Salon
The Salon , or rarely Paris Salon , beginning in 1725 was the official art exhibition of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France. Between 1748–1890 it was the greatest annual or biannual art event in the Western world...

 in 1867, but he made no secret of his working-class sympathies. His politics obstructed his career under the Second Empire: he was repeatedly refused the Prix de Rome
Prix de Rome
The Prix de Rome was a scholarship for arts students, principally of painting, sculpture, and architecture. It was created, initially for painters and sculptors, in 1663 in France during the reign of Louis XIV. It was an annual bursary for promising artists having proved their talents by...

 that opened sculptors' careers to future official commissions. He made a quiet living providing decorative sculpture for the structures that lined Paris's new boulevards and providing wax models for jewelry. He married Irma Vuillier, a partnership that sustained him throughout his life; they had one daughter, Georgette, who was mentally handicapped and required constant care. Dalou's Daphnis and Chloe shown at the Paris salon
Paris Salon
The Salon , or rarely Paris Salon , beginning in 1725 was the official art exhibition of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France. Between 1748–1890 it was the greatest annual or biannual art event in the Western world...

, was purchased by the State.

Having identified himself too publicly with the Paris Commune
Paris Commune
The Paris Commune was a government that briefly ruled Paris from March 18 to May 28, 1871. It existed before the split between anarchists and Marxists had taken place, and it is hailed by both groups as the first assumption of power by the working class during the Industrial Revolution...

 of 1871, as curator at the Musée du Louvre under Gustave Courbet
Gustave Courbet
Jean Désiré Gustave Courbet was a French painter who led the Realist movement in 19th-century French painting. The Realist movement bridged the Romantic movement , with the Barbizon School and the Impressionists...

, he took refuge in England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 in July 1871, staying at first with his friend Alphonse Legros
Alphonse Legros
Alphonse Legros , painter, etcher and sculptor was born in Dijon. His father was an accountant, and came from the neighbouring village of Véronnes....

. He rapidly made a name through his appointment teaching at the South Kensington
South Kensington
South Kensington is a district in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London. It is a built-up area located 2.4 miles west south-west of Charing Cross....

 School of Art. He was convicted in absentia by the French government of participation in the Commune, and given a life sentence.
In his eight-year English exile, Dalou's association with the National Art Training School
Royal College of Art
The Royal College of Art is an art school located in London, United Kingdom. It is the world’s only wholly postgraduate university of art and design, offering the degrees of Master of Arts , Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy...

 and the artists of the New Sculpture
New Sculpture
The New Sculpture refers to a movement in late 19th-century British sculpture.The term "New Sculpture" was coined by the first historian of the movement, the critic Edmund Gosse, who wrote a four-part series for the Art Journal in 1894...

 movement laid the foundation for new developments in the post-classical British school of sculpture. He also recommended his friend and colleague Edouard Lanteri
Edouard Lanteri
Edouard Lanteri was a sculptor and medallist whose romantic French style of sculpting was seen as influential among exponents of New Sculpture.-Life history:...

 to move from France to England. At the same time Dalou executed a remarkable series of terra-cotta statuettes and groups, such as A French Peasant Woman, The Reader, or a serial of Boulogne
-Road:* Metropolitan bus services are operated by the TCRB* Coach services to Calais and Dunkerque* A16 motorway-Rail:* The main railway station is Gare de Boulogne-Ville and located in the south of the city....

 women like A Woman of Boulogne telling her Beads and a series of informal terracotta portrait busts of friends and acquaintances, rarely signed. He was commissioned to produce the large public fountain called Charity, erected at the back of the Royal Exchange (1878), and for Queen Victoria a monument to two young granddaughters in her private chapel at Windsor
Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle is a medieval castle and royal residence in Windsor in the English county of Berkshire, notable for its long association with the British royal family and its architecture. The original castle was built after the Norman invasion by William the Conqueror. Since the time of Henry I it...

He returned to France in 1879, after the declaration of amnesty, and produced a number of masterpieces. His great relief of Mirabeau replying to Dreux-Brézé (illustrating an encounter of 23 June 1789, which was exhibited in 1883 and later at the Palais Bourbon
Palais Bourbon
The Palais Bourbon, , a palace located on the left bank of the Seine, across from the Place de la Concorde, Paris , is the seat of the French National Assembly, the lower legislative chamber of the French government.-History:...

, and the highly decorative panel Fraternity were followed in 1885 by The Triumph of Silenus. For the city of Paris he executed his most elaborate and splendid achievement, the vast monument, The Triumph of the Republic (detail, left), erected, after twenty years work, in the Place de la Nation
Place de la Nation
The place de la Nation is a square in Paris, on the border of the 11th and 12th arrondissements...

, showing a symbolical figure of the Republic, aloft on her car, drawn by lions led by Liberty, attended by Labour and Justice, and followed by Abundance. It is somewhat in the taste of the Louis XIV period, ornate, but with a forward thrust to the ensemble and exquisite in every detail.

Within a few days there was also inaugurated his great Monument to Alphand (1899), which almost equalled in the success achieved the monument to Delacroix
Eugène Delacroix
Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix was a French Romantic artist regarded from the outset of his career as the leader of the French Romantic school...

 in the Luxembourg Gardens.

His last significant work was a statue of Lazare Hoche
Lazare Hoche
Louis Lazare Hoche was a French soldier who rose to be general of the Revolutionary army.Born of poor parents near Versailles, he enlisted at sixteen as a private soldier in the Gardes Françaises...

 in Quiberon
Quiberon is a commune in the Morbihan department in Brittany in north-western France.It is situated on the southern part of the Quiberon peninsula, the northern part being the commune of Saint-Pierre-Quiberon...

Dalou, who was awarded the Grand Prix of the Exposition Universelle (1889)
Exposition Universelle (1889)
The Exposition Universelle of 1889 was a World's Fair held in Paris, France from 6 May to 31 October 1889.It was held during the year of the 100th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, an event traditionally considered as the symbol for the beginning of the French Revolution...

, was made a commander of the Legion of Honor. He was one of the founders of the New Salon (Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts), and was the first president of the sculpture section.

Dalou is interred in the Cimetière du Montparnasse in Paris.

Other works

  • Femme nue lisant dans un fauteuil, bronze, 1878
  • Funerary monument to Auguste Blanqui, Père-Lachaise, 1885
  • Monument to Victor Noir
    Victor Noir
    Victor Noir, , was a French journalist who is famous for the manner of his death and its political consequences...

    , Père-Lachaise, 1891
  • Monument to Léon Gambetta
    Léon Gambetta
    Léon Gambetta was a French statesman prominent after the Franco-Prussian War.-Youth and education:He is said to have inherited his vigour and eloquence from his father, a Genovese grocer who had married a Frenchwoman named Massabie. At the age of fifteen, Gambetta lost the sight of his right eye...

    , Bordeaux
    Bordeaux is a port city on the Garonne River in the Gironde department in southwestern France.The Bordeaux-Arcachon-Libourne metropolitan area, has a population of 1,010,000 and constitutes the sixth-largest urban area in France. It is the capital of the Aquitaine region, as well as the prefecture...

    , completed after his death by Camille Lefèvre
    Camille Lefèvre
    Camille Lefèvre was a French sculptor.- Biography :Born in Issy-les-Moulineaux, in 1870 Lefèvre became a pupil of Jules Cavelier at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. In 1878, he won the second Prix de Rome in sculpture. In 1893 he exhibited at the Chicago World Fair...

     and installed in 1905
  • Bust of Alfred Roll, ca 1895, terracotta model for the monument to Jean-Charles Alphand
    Jean-Charles Alphand
    Jean-Charles Adolphe Alphand, born in 1817 and died in 1891, interred at Père Lachaise Cemetery , was a French Engineer of the Corps of Bridges and Roads...

    , Paris, Musée du Petit Palais
  • Fame, 1886, bronze, Bayonne, Musée Bonnat
  • Musée d'Orsay
    Musée d'Orsay
    The Musée d'Orsay is a museum in Paris, France, on the left bank of the Seine. It is housed in the former Gare d'Orsay, an impressive Beaux-Arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900. The museum holds mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1915, including paintings, sculptures, furniture,...

    , Paris
  • Grand Paysan, bronze, 197 x 70 x 68 cm
  • Liseuse, vers 1875, bronze
  • Couseuse
  • Travailleur debout tenant une bêche, bronze
  • Tonnelier avec des cordes, bronze, for a projected Monument to Labour
  • Rebatteur de faux, bronze, for the Monument to Labour

External links


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