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Rupert Carabin Set of Six Castanet Dancers

Carabin's captivating group of six bronze dancers showcases nude models passionately wielding castanets. Five of the dancers are depicted in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th positions, while the sixth dancer adopts a traditional flamenco stance known as the braceo, characterized by one arm raised and the other resting at the hips in an elegant S shape. The inspiration behind these castanet dancers likely stems from the renowned Spanish performer Carmencita, who gained international fame following her performance at the 1889 Exposition Universelle. Carabin's artistic vision drew from a series of 600 albumen prints capturing nude prostitutes, who frequented local brothels on streets like Rue des Moulins, de Richelieu, d’Amboise, or Joubert. Carabin's early years were marked by his family's exile from Alsace, leading him to settle in Montmartre's red-light district at nine. As an adult, he immersed himself in the vibrant atmosphere of Montmartre's renowned clubs, including the Chat Noir and the Café de la Nouvelle Athènes. In 1895, Carabin crafted 600 nude albumen prints, all of which found a home in the permanent collection of the Musée d'Orsay. Renowned artists such as Degas, Monet, Rodin, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Renoir were avid collectors of Carabin's work, making the prime example of an artists artist.

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  • Product Details
  • Curator's Notes

Item #: S-21514
Artist: Rupert Carabin
Country: France
Circa: 1905-1906
Dimensions: 9.5" height, 4" width, 3" depth.
Materials: Bronze
Literature: This set of dancers is pictured in: Fin de Siècle Masterpieces from the Silverman Collection, by Alastair Duncan, New York: Abbeville Press, 1989, p. 179, cat. no. 89. Similar sculptures are pictured in: L’ouevre de Rupert Carabin, 1982-1932, catalogue of the exhibition at le Musée du Luxembourg, Paris, 1974, pp. 192-196.

François-Rupert Carabin was a renaissance man of French Art Nouveau artworks, working in various mediums throughout his career. His bronze artwork features dancers across multiple styles, from the contemporary dance stylings of Loïe Fuller to the flamenco dance seen in this suite.