Henri Chapu

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Henri Chapu, photograph by Pierre Petit

Henri Michel Antoine Chapu (born September 29, 1833 in Le Mée-sur-Seine , Département Seine-et-Marne , † April 21, 1891 in Paris ) was a French sculptor and medalist .


Henri Chapu was a student at the École des beaux-arts in Paris; his teachers included the sculptors James Pradier and Francisque Joseph Duret and the painter Léon Cogniet . At the age of 22, Chapu made his debut at the major exhibition at the Paris Salon in 1855, and one of his works was awarded the “ Prix ​​de Rome ” there. Associated with the award was a scholarship for a study trip to Italy.

He was later entrusted with decorating the stairwell of the Chamber of Commerce in his hometown. Chapu created the statue of mechanics for this . The statue of the cantata with which he adorned the main entrance of the Opéra de Paris is in the same style . The statue of the lawyer Pierre-Antoine Berryer in front of the Palace of Justice was also created by Chapu.

In 1880 he became a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts and an officer in the Legion of Honor .

Henri Michel Chapu was professor of sculpture at the Académie Julian from 1889 to 1891 . He died in Paris in 1891 at the age of 57.


Much of his artistic work thematizes in a thoroughly allegorical way ancient mythology and thus lovingly relates it to the present.

Works (selection)


  • Henri Delaborde : Notice sur la vie et les ouvrages de M. Henri Chapus. Paris 1895.
  • Octave Fidière: Chapu, sa vie et son œuvre . Plon, Paris 1894 ( digitized ).
  • Peter Fusco et al. (Ed.): The romantics to Rodin. French 19th century sculptures from North American collections. County Museum of Art, Los Angeles 1980, ISBN 0-87587-091-0 , pp.?.
  • James Mackay: The dictionary of sculptors in bronze. Woodbridge, Suffolk 1977. Reprinted: Antique collectors' club, Wappinger Falls 1995, ISBN 1-85149-110-4 , pp.

Web links

Commons : Henri Chapu  - Collection of Images

Individual evidence

  1. Chapu on the Académie Julian website