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Imperious Chimera Charles van der Stappen


Charles van der Stappen Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, 1843 – Brussels, 1910

Culture Belgian
Date model: before 1895; marble carving: before 1895
Object type sculpture
Medium, technique marble

78.5 × 58 × 43 cm, 171 kg

Inventory number 1546.U
Collection Department of Art after 1800
On view This artwork is not on display

As a pioneering artist, Charles van der Stappen sought to free himself from the academic shackles of Belgian sculpture and guide it on the path to development. His art is based on a love of nature, and he drew inspiration from clear and simple forms.
Through the power of suggestion, his subjects are captured in harmonious movement or a state of repose and are characterised by a kind of austere charm.
Heroic in spirit, the sculpture Imperious Chimera is a perfect example of the artist’s painterly approach. He has sought to illustrate the subject’s emotional state by means of the strange postures adopted by the symbolic figures depicted at the base of the sculpture. The work was purchased by the Hungarian State for the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest at the exhibition of the Association of Fine Arts in 1897. It was subsequently mentioned under other variants of the title, including Hubris and Pride. The ambiguity of the original French title – Impérieuse chimère – corresponds to the esoteric quality of symbolist art.

Bianka Boda


Tóth, Ferenc, Donátorok és képtárépítők. A Szépművészeti Múzeum Modern Külföldi Gyűjteményének kialakulása, Szépművészeti Múzeum, Budapest, 2012, p. 102., 164.

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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