Napoléon III decided to construct a new opera in 1860. Charles Garnier was just 35 and still unknown but won the commission in 1861, against 170 other candidates.
Charles Garnier designed the opera and also all the ornamentation. On the face are four sculptures: dance, instramental music, lyrical drama and harmony. Also the busts which honour the great musicians: Beethoven, Mozart, Halévy, Rossini and Mayerbeer.
The inauguration was held in 1875.
For diverse sculptures, Charles Garnier relied on Louis Felix Chabaud. This sculptor created no less than ninety sculptures for the Garnier Palace.
Amongst the numerous works for the Opera of Paris are the five busts on the front of the building. From left to right: Auber, Beethoven, Mozart, Spontini and Mayerbeer.
The bust of Beethoven, like the others is cast in bronze and gold-plated. It measures 120cm by 60cm…