Concept

Jules Dalou

Summary
Aimé-Jules Dalou (ɛme ʒyl dalu; 31 December 1838 - 15 April 1902) was a 19th-century French sculptor, admired for his perceptiveness, execution, and unpretentious realism. Born in Paris to a working-class family of Huguenot background, he was raised in an atmosphere of secularity and Republican socialism. He was the pupil of Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, who sponsored him for the Petite École (future École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs), where he sympathized with Alphonse Legros and Fantin-Latour. In 1854, he attended the École des Beaux-Arts de Paris in the François-Joseph Duret classroom. He combined the vivacity and richness of Carpeaux, for "he was, technically, one of the most distinguished modellers of his time", with the academic insistence on harmonious outlines and scholarly familiarity with the work of Giambologna, Pierre Puget, Peter Paul Rubens and others. Dalou first exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1861, but he made no secret of his working-class sympathies. His politics obstructed his career under the Second Empire: he was repeatedly refused the Prix de Rome that opened sculptors' careers to future official commissions. He started to work for decorators, and through this work met Auguste Rodin and began their friendship. He made a quiet living providing decorative sculpture for the structures that lined Paris's new boulevards and providing wax models for jewelry. He married Irma Vuillier, a partnership that sustained him throughout his life; they had one daughter, Georgette, who was mentally handicapped and required constant care. Dalou's Daphnis and Chloe shown at the Paris salon of 1869, was purchased by the State. Having identified himself too publicly with the Paris Commune of 1871, as curator at the Musée du Louvre under Gustave Courbet, he took refuge in England in July 1871, staying at first with his friend the painter and engraver Alphonse Legros. He rapidly made a name through his appointment teaching at the South London Technical Art School and the South Kensington School of Art, also in London.
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