French sculptor Albert Ernest Carrier-Belleuse was born on this day, June 12, in 1824. Beginning his training as a goldsmith's apprentice, Carrier-Belleuse accomplished much during his long career: designing ceramic and metalwork models for English companies; exhibiting large-scale, fine-art sculptures at the Salon; spearheading public projects and monuments during the massive rebuilding of Paris from 1851 to 1870; revitalizing the Sèvres porcelain factory as its artistic director; and mentoring his studio assistant Auguste Rodin, who worked with him from 1864 to 1870. Between 1857 and 1861, Carrier-Belleuse was a whirlwind of activity, producing busts and sculptures with mythological or historical subjects. This terracotta sculpture of Sappho (the Greek poet from the island of Lesbos), currently on view, is an example of work from this period. .
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Albert Ernest Carrier-Belleuse (France, 1824–1887), Sappho, 1860s. Terracotta. Gift of the B. Gerald Cantor Collection, 1992.174