The art of Jean Carriès, 1855–1894


The Frog with Rabbit Ears (1891).

La matière de l’étrange, an exhibition of ceramic grotesques by Jean Carriès is currently running at the Petit Palais, Paris, through to January 27th, 2008. Carriès doesn’t feature in any of my books about eccentric or fantastic artists which I find surprising, his work is very peculiar by 19th century standards, looking like the creation of a Rodin obsessed by Lautréamont. Carriès’ series of “horror masks” are so similar to the earlier series of heads by sculptor Franz Messerschmidt I suspect there may be an influence there. And like Rodin, Carriès also had unsuccessful plans for a monumental gateway ornamented with his figures and scowling faces. Unlike Rodin, his plaster draft of the work was destroyed by a criminally unsympathetic curator but the Petit Palais exhibition attempts a reconstruction based on a model by Eugène Grasset.

Thanks to Nathalie for the tip!

English article at The Art Tribune
French page with video of the exhibition


Head of a Faun (1890–92?).


Grotesque mask, element for the Monumental Door (1891–94).

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The fantastic art archive

Previously on { feuilleton }
The Masks of Medusa
Bernini’s Anima Dannata
The art of Franz Xaver Messerschmidt, 1736–1783
The art of Stanislav Szukalski, 1893–1987

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