The Portrait Society | Edme Bouchardon

17/10/1997 | 4th quarter 20th centuryCharcoal and acrylic on canvasH x L : 50 x 40 cm

Born into a family of artists, Edme Bouchardon began his training as a sculptor in the workshop of his father Jean-Baptiste. In 1722, Edme moved to Paris and continued his training under Guillaume Coustou. One year later, he won the Prix de Rome. Between 1723 and 1732, Bouchardon lived and worked in Rome, where he specialised in portrait busts and worked for the popes Benedict XIII and Clement XII, among others. In 1726, he began a copy of the Barberini Faun, a sculpture now on display in the Louvre. Bouchardon is considered one of the first sculptors in France to turn away from the Rococo and work in the neoclassical style. After his return to Paris, he worked with his two brothers in the royal art workshops at the Palace of Versailles. He produced several large sculptures for the gardens of Versailles, small-format putti and mythological figures for the palace, and a relief for the palace chapel. In 1739, he was commissioned for the Fontaine des Quatre Saisons, a monumental fountain that can still be seen today in the 7th arrondissment in Paris. His last major work was an equestrian statue of King Louis XV for the Place de la Concorde. Bouchardon died before the work was completed. The sculpture was completed by Jean-Baptiste Pigalle and destroyed during the French Revolution.

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