Pierre Alexandre Schoenewerk is a French sculptor of German descent. He started his career in the studios of Henri-Joseph-François, Baron de Triqueti and David d’Angers. His German parentage disqualified him from competing at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, but he exhibited plaster religious and biblical pieces at the Salon between 1841 and 1847. After 1848 he turned to mildly erotic mythological subjects. Frequently employed in modelling figurative ornament for a domestic setting, Schoenewerk, like his contemporary Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse, was inclined in his monumental sculpture to the decorative and precious, as seen in the marble Bacchus (1859; Paris, Louvre) commissioned by the State in 1858. In the marble Young Tarentine (1871; Paris, Mus. d’Orsay), inspired by the poem of the same name by André Chénier, Schoenewerk’s work became more overtly erotic: the drowned maiden’s limp and broken body anticipates the uninhibited postures of Rodin’s nudes in the Gates of Hell (commissioned 1880; Paris, Mus. Rodin).