Veiled Woman, after 1868
Purchase, Louise Woodruff Johnston, class of 1922, Fund
Dimensions: Base: 5 3/4 x 6 1/4 x 6 1/8 in. (14.61 x 15.88 x 15.56 cm)
W/O Base: 21 x 16 3/4 x 12 in. (53.34 x 42.55 x 30.48 cm)
Signatures, Inscriptions and Markings v
Signed (on back): A. CARRIER-BELLEUSE
Carrier-Belleuse entered the École des Beaux-Arts in 1840, sponsored by the sculptor P.-J. David d’Angers. He became renown for his portraiture and was a prolific sculptor in many materials including marble, bronze, and alabaster, but his terracotta work is particularly distinctive. He also produced a series of fantasy busts often based on a single studio model. This bust, with its rendering in terracotta of a face swathed with diaphanous fabric sheer enough to allow the facial features to be recognized, is a tour de force of the artist’s ability to overcome the limitations of a certain material (in this case clay) to suggest the illusion of something quite different. The air of mystery inherent in an anonymous, shrouded head and its traditional reference to funereal motifs holds the attention and stimulates the imagination of viewers. Carrier-Belleuse changed his signature from A. Carrier to A. Carrier-Belleuse in 1868. Since the Vassar bust carries the latter signature it must date from after this year, though its style suggests a date not much later than the early 1870s.