Falconet, Étienne-Maurice

Falconet, Étienne-Maurice
born Dec. 1, 1716, Paris, Fr.
died Jan. 24, 1791, Paris

French sculptor.

After being apprenticed to a carpenter, he studied sculpture in Paris. He developed an intimate style with a taste for erotic figures. Through Madame de Pompadour's influence, he became director of the Sèvres porcelain factory (1757–66), and many of his figures were reproduced in Sèvres biscuit ware. From 1766 to 1778 he worked in Russia; his masterpiece, the colossal equestrian statue of Peter I the Great in St. Petersburg (made famous as The Bronze Horseman by Aleksandr Pushkin), was unveiled in 1782. After suffering a stroke (1783), he gave up sculpture and devoted his time to writing. He is best known for adapting the classical style of the French Baroque period to the Rococo style ideal.

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▪ French sculptor

born Dec. 1, 1716, Paris
died Jan. 24, 1791, Paris
 sculptor who adapted the classical style of the French Baroque to an intimate and decorative Rococo ideal. He was patronized by Mme de Pompadour (Pompadour, Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, marquise de) and is best known for his small sculptures on mythological and genre themes and for the designs he made for the Sèvres porcelain factory.

      Falconet was a pupil of the sculptor Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne (Lemoyne, Jean-Baptiste). He was received in the French Royal Academy in 1754 and soon after began to enjoy royal and official patronage. In 1757 Mme de Pompadour appointed Falconet director of the sculpture studios at the Sèvres porcelain factory. While director, he executed many models for the factory and produced small sculptures of mythological figures, such as Venus and Cupid, and a series of nude female bathers. He also executed a few monumental and religious works. In 1766 he was summoned to Russia by Catherine II at the suggestion of his friend Denis Diderot (Diderot, Denis) to produce a bronze equestrian statue of Peter the Great (Peter I) for St. Petersburg. The resulting work, dedicated in 1782, is one of the most powerful and original equestrian portraits of the age. Falconet left Russia in 1778, and, soon after, he suffered a debilitating stroke that left him unable to sculpt.

      He is also remembered for his writings, including Réflexions sur la sculpture (1760; “Reflections on Sculpture”), produced at Diderot's request for the Encyclopédie.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Falconet, Étienne-Maurice — (1716 1791)    sculptor    Born in Paris, Etienne Falconet studied under noted sculptors and was accepted into the Academy of Fine Arts in 1754 with a baroque work, Milon de Cro tone devoré par un lion (Milo of Crotona devoured by a lion). He was …   France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present

  • Falconet, Etienne Maurice — (12/1/1716 Paris 1/24/1791 Paris) (France)    Sculptor, designer, and writer. Considered one of the most important French sculptors of the mid 18th century, he worked in the studio of J B Lemoyne and became a professor at the Academie Royale in… …   Dictionary of erotic artists: painters, sculptors, printmakers, graphic designers and illustrators

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