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Charles Cordier

Born: Cambrai, 1 November 1827
Died: Algiers, 30 April 1905
Nationality: French

Ecole Spéciale de Dessin et de Mathématiques (Paris); with François Rude


1848 – Salon debut with plaster bust, Saïd Abdallah of the Darfour Tribe

1851 –hired as ethnographic sculptor at Museum of Natural History (Paris); over the next 15 years Cordier is sent on government-sponsored missions abroad

1853 – exhibits polychrome sculptures Chinese Man and Chinese Woman (both, private collection) at Paris Salon

1857 – receives Salon’s second prize medal; first Salon exhibition of mixed media sculptures

1860 – Cordier’s Ethnographical and Anthropological Gallery exhibited at Palace of Industry (Paris); Napoleon III awards Cordier title Chevalier of the Legion of Honour; receives state commissions throughout 1860s for sculptural embellishments for the Louvre, Tour St Jacques and the Opéra (all Paris)

1861 - Ethnographical and Anthropological Gallery exhibited in London

1862 – becomes member of Paris Anthropological Society

1867 – granted individual booth at Exposition universelle (Paris)

1877 – closes Paris studio, moves to Nice

1890 – moves to Algiers


Algeria (1856); Greece (1858-59); Egypt (1865-66, 1868)

Commissions from: 

French government; Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie; Queen Victoria (England)

Important Artworks: 

Saïd Abdallah of the Darfour Tribe, 1848 (Art Institute of Chicago)

Black Moorish Woman, 1856 (Detroit Insitute of Art)