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Jean-Joseph Marie Carriès

Loyse Labé, called The Beautiful Ropemaker


Jean-Joseph Marie Carriès
Lyons 1855 – Paris 1894


Loyse Labé, called The Beautiful Ropemaker


Between 1887 and 1894


Patinated bronze


67 x 70 x 35 cm


Cast Pierre Bingen, Paris


Purchase, the Museum Campaign 1988-1993 Fund, inv. 2015.188


Western Art

Fascinated by historical characters, Jean-Joseph Marie Carriès sculpted this bust of the great poetess Loyse Labé (1524-1566), an iconic figure in his native city. In it, he pays tribute not only to the woman known as “the beautiful ropemaker” – because she was the daughter of a rich Lyons ropemaker, and later the wife of another – but also to the perfection of Renaissance bronzes, which was made possible by the lost-wax casting process. The sculpture is striking for its bold composition – an imposing triangle formed by the figure’s dress. Without making use of the traditional pedestal, Carriès emphasizes the work’s breadth and almost airy lightness, from the flared sleeves to the “aerodynamic” headdress.

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