Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, Dance, 1865-69, marble, 420 x 298 cm.
(Musée d'Orsay, Paris).
Commissioned by Charles Garnier for the facade of L'Opéra. In 1964 it was
replaced by a copy executed by Paul Belmondo.
Smarthistory on Garnier's Opera House.
"...take Carpeaux' celebrated group The Dance on the facade of the Paris Opera House.
Here the idea of the excitement and abandon of the dance is splendidly conveyed
in figures which represent no special period or country, but are the abstract and
poetic expression of human feeling and action. Can any one possibly maintain
that this subject would have been of interest if treated, with whatever ability,
as a representation of the waltz danced by figures in swallow tail coats and
costumes by Worth? None but children and simpletons could think so."
(from "A Colonial Discussion on Art," The Builder, September 19, 1885. p. 382)