Jean-Joseph Carriès

Born in 1855 - France


Jean-Joseph Carriès is a French artist born in Lyon on February 15, 1855 and died in Paris July 1, 1984. He studied at the School of Fine Arts in Lyon.

Son of a shoemaker, he was picked up by the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul and trained as a stamper modeler with a sculptor of religious objects, Pierre Vermare.

He did a lot of portraits from 1875 to 1888, and he received several commands for this type of works. He was first noticed in a show in 1881 where besides the theatrical decapitated head of Charles I, he exhibited the busts of the underpriviledged in plaster, enriched with patinas, representing the marginalized and the poor and combining naturalism and symbolism.

He used as example, Japanese pieces made of enamelled stoneware during the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1878 and from then on got more interested on this material. Fleeing the official show he exhibited his work at the Parisian hotel of his customers Paul and Aline Ménard-Dorian in 1888.

He opened a studio in Saint-Amand-en-Puisaye, a city known for its potters and its clay. His artistic research led him to create glazes in subtle varitions of brown, beige, and cream that he applies to his versions of old ceramic portraits and he opened his field of subjects of self-protraits, portraits of animals and fantasy masks inspired by Gothic sculptures and Japanese art.

As his career progressed, his extremely realistic style transformed into distortions and caricatures. Inspired by symbolism, he resorts more and more to the subject of the decapitated head, representing heads of reduced bases.

As his career progressed, his extremely realistic style was transformed into distortion and caricature. Inspired by symbolism, he resorts more and more to the motif of the cut head, representing heads on reduced bases.

In 1892, he exhibited one hundred and thirty pieces at the Salon of the National Society of Fine Arts and was very sucessful. He was named Knight of the Legion of Honor on July 19, 1892. He died prematurely of pleurisy on July 1, 1894, at the pinnacle of his career and was buried in the 12th Division of the Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris.

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