Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse (French, 1824–1887)
Tormented Innocence, ca. 1871
Painted terra-cotta, 25 x 8 1/2 x 7 in.
Signed on base, right center: A. Carrier Belleuse
A prolific artist, Carrier-Belleuse enjoyed a career in both the fine and decorative arts, creating works ranging from large public monuments and architectural ornaments to intimate statuettes, busts, clocks, and furniture. As the sculptor Jules Salmson noted, Carrier-Belleuse also developed a taste for “sculpture for itself alone” and began to exhibit sculptures at the Salon, one of which, a sensuous Bacchante, was purchased by Emperor Napoleon III in 1863. Carrier-Belleuse’s taste for the elegance and animation of Rococo sculpture is evident in this lighthearted allegorical statuette of cupids cavorting around a skimpily clad young maiden. Like other sculptors of the time, Carrier-Belleuse frequently produced many versions of the same work in different media. Tormented Innocence exists today in a number of versions in different materials and sizes, including a life-size terra-cotta example at the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (1871).