Jules Dalou - Encyclopedia

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DALOU, JULES (1838-1902), French sculptor, was the pupil of Carpeaux and Duret, and combined the vivacity and richness of the one with the academic purity and scholarship of the other. He is one of the most brilliant virtuosos of the French school, admirable alike in taste, execution and arrangement. He first exhibited at the Salon in 1867, but when in 1871 the troubles of the Commune broke out in Paris, he took refuge in England, where he rapidly made a name through his appointment at South Kensington. Here he laid the foundation of that great improvement which resulted in the development of the modern British school of sculpture. He executed a remarkable series of terra-cotta statuettes and groups, such as "A French Peasant Woman", the group of two Boulogne women called "The Reader" and "A Woman of Boulogne telling her Beads". He was commissioned in 1877 to erect a public fountain titled "Charity" behind the Royal Exchange, and for a monument dedicated to queen Victoria's grandchildren in the private church of Windsor Castle. He returned to France in 1879 and produced a number of masterpieces. His great relief of "Mirabeau replying to M. de Dreux-Breze," exhibited in 1883 and now at the Palais Bourbon, and the highly decorative panel, "Triumph of the Republic," were followed in 1885 by "The Procession of Silenus." For the city of Paris he executed his most elaborate and splendid achievement, the vast monument, "The Triumph of the Republic," erected, after twenty years' work, in the Place de la Nation, 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 Peace. It is somewhat in the taste of the Louis XIV. period, ornate, but 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 in the Luxembourg Gardens. Dalou, who gained the Grand Prix of the International exhibition of 1889, and was an officer of the Legion of Honour, was one of the founders of the New Salon (Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts), and was the first president of the sculpture section. In portraiture, whether statues or busts, his work is not less remarkable.

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