Back to results

Cakewalk Egide Rombaux


Egide Rombaux Schaerbeek, 1865 – Uccle, 1942

Culture Belgian
Date 1910
Object type sculpture
Medium, technique bronze

41 × 20 × 25.5 cm

Inventory number 53.616.U
Collection Department of Art after 1800
On view Hungarian National Gallery Building D, First Floor, From Delacroix to Vasarely – Highlights from the Collection of International Art after 1800, Cabinet

The talents of sculptor Égide Rombaux were nurtured at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, which he attended as a student and where, from the 1890s, he also taught. His stay in Florence between 1889 and 1892 had a huge influence on his style, as did the work of Rodin and contemporary French
sculpture. The more mystical symbolist trend, which can essentially be associated with Belgium, is apparent primarily in his choice of themes.
The dynamic, ethereal bronze statue shown here was inspired by the “cakewalk”, a dancing contest in which the winner was awarded a cake. The dance genre, which emerged in the United States and which was originally popular among the Black community, took Europe by storm at the very end of the nineteenth century.
After the French can-can, this grotesque American dance form, based on fluid and energetic movements of the arms and legs, became for a time the most popular show in the cabarets. In this sensual, timeless work Rombaux rejects any contemporary reference whatsoever: instead, he depicts a curvaceous, naked
female figure caught in the trance of an ecstatic, ancient bacchanalian dance. The scupture was purchased by the Budapest Museum of Fine Arts from a Hungarian private owner in 1953.

Luca Keserü – Zsófia Kovács

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

Recommended exhibitions