The bread carrier was an occupation mainly given to girls at the end of the 19th Century. The occupation would be to take multiple times a day to bread house. The girls winin a big blue apron or would take the bread in a handcart. This is a sculpture depicting a typical 'porteuse de pain' (bread carrier), sculpted by French artist Jules Félix Coutan (Paris, 1848-1939). This piece in the 'Courbet and Naturalism' section of the Petit Palais is an a replacement was used by a plaster cast of 1882 from an initial bronze statue in the square of Saint Jacques in Paris, ruined in 1942.
Jules-Félix Coutain was teacher and a French sulptor, who studied at The École des Beaux-Arts and was awarded the Prix de Rome in 1872. After his return to Paris he performed the fountain group France Bearing the Torch of Civilization for the Exposition Universelle (1889), among the two outstanding sculptural commissions for the Exposition grounds. A realist sculptor, he afterwards expressed his contempt for the researches of Rodin and the impressionist sculptors who followed him whilst teaching at The Écolde des Beaux-Arts from 1900.
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