jean baptiste carpeaux @ the met

Ugolino and His Sons  , modeled ca. 1860–61, executed in marble 1865–67

Ugolino and His Sons, modeled ca. 1860–61, executed in marble 1865–67

Like many nineteenth-century French sculptors, Carpeaux was from the working class. Son and grandson of stonemasons in Valenciennes, he was apprenticed as a boy to Debaisieux, a plasterer. Since drawing was a necessary tool of his trade, Carpeaux was enrolled in the Académie de Peinture, Sculpture et Architecture in Valenciennes, and, after his family's relocation to Paris in 1838, at the École Gratuite de Dessin (or Petite École) until 1843. That these two schools were open to instruct youths like Carpeaux in drawing was part of a government policy to encourage the application of the fine arts to industry.