Bust of Alphonse Legros

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This painted plaster head is of the French-born painter, etcher and sculptor Alphonse Legros (1837-1911) and is by the French sculptor Aimé-Jules Dalou. The two trained together as sculptors in Paris but Legros then came to London. Dalou later fled to London as a political exile and remained 1871-9, and on Legros' recommendation was given a teaching post at the National Art Training School (later the Royal College of Art). This head is all that remains of a full-length figure that Dalou himself destroyed. It is recorded (by Dreyfous in his biography of Dalou) that the original sculpture showed Legros with a palette in one hand and brush in the other, his head inclined slightly back considering the work in front of him. When this was destroyed, the head was retrieved by Edouard Lantéri.

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