Dictionary of Art and Artists



 

 


History of

Architecture and Sculpture

 
 

 

 
 

 
 

CONTENTS:

 
 

PART ONE
THE ANCIENT WORLD
PREHISTORIC ART
EGYPTIAN ART

ANCIENT NEAR EASTERN ART
AEGEAN ART
GREEK ART
ETRUSCAN ART
ROMAN ART
EARLY CHRISTIAN AND BYZANTINE ART

PART TWO
THE MIDDLE AGES
EARLY MEDIEVAL ART
ROMANESQUE ART
GOTHIC ART

PART THREE
THE RENAISSANCE THROUGH THE ROCOCO
LATE GOTHIC
THE EARLY RENAISSANCE IN ITALY
THE HIGH RENAISSANCE IN ITALY
MANNERISM AND OTHER TRENDS
THE RENAISSANCE IN THE NORTH
THE BAROQUE IN ITALY AND SPAIN
THE BAROQUE IN FLANDERS AND HOLLAND
THE BAROQUE
THE ROCOCO

PART FOUR
THE MODERN WORLD
NEOCLASSICISM AND ROMANTICISM
REALISM AND IMPRESSIONISM
POST-IMPRESSIONISM, SYMBOLISM, AND ART NOUVEAU

PART FIVE
TWENTIETH-CENTURY
TWENTIETH-CENTURY SCULPTURE
TWENTIETH-CENTURY ARCHITECTURE


INDEX
FIGURES
 

 
 

 
 

CHAPTER NINE
 

THE ROCOCO
 

ARCHITECTURE AND SCULPTURE - Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14
PAINTING

 
 


ARCHITECTURE AND SCULPTURE




PIGALLE.

Monumental commissions for French Rococo sculptors were few. Lifesize statues were confined largely to decorative figures of nymphs, goddesses, and the like who are the counterparts to the mythological creatures in the paintings of Boucher and his followers (see below). The Tomb of the Marechal de Saxe (fig. 831) by
Jean-Baptiste Pigalle
(1714— 1785), Clodion's teacher and the most gifted sculptor of the era, shows that they could recapture something of Baroque grandeur when given the opportunity. The Marechal steps unafraid from a pyramid denoting immortality toward a casket held open for him by the beckoning figure of Death, as France tries vainly to intervene. He is mourned by the grief-stricken Hercules to the left, representing the French army, and, to the right, the weeping infant personifying the Genius of War, who extinguishes his torch before the fallen military standards. The strange menagerie to the left stands for the nations defeated by the Marechal in combat: Holland, England, and the Holy Roman Empire. If the allegory strikes us as heavy-handed, there can be no denying the effectiveness of the presentation, which is among the most astonishing in all of sculpture. The poses show the classicism requisite for official French art, but the spirit of the whole is unmistakably Baroque. Pigalle has mounted a tableau worthy of Bernini, whose works he studied during several years in Rome as a young man, although the relative restraint also suggests the example of Algardi. The pyramid is not a three-dimensional structure but a low relief built against the wall of the church, while the steps leading up to it and the figures occupying them are "real," like actors performing before a backdrop. We must therefore view the monument as a kind of theatrical performance in marble. The artist has even set it apart from its surroundings by creating an elevated "stage space" that projects outward.
 


831. JEAN-BAPTISTE PIGALLE. Tomb of the Marechal de Saxe. 1753-76. Marble. St. Thomas, Strasbourg




831. JEAN-BAPTISTE PIGALLE. Tomb of the Marechal de Saxe. (details)
 

 


Jean-Baptiste Pigalle

Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, (born Jan. 26, 1714, Paris, France—died Aug. 21, 1785, Paris), French sculptor noted for his stylistically varied and original works.

Born into a family of master carpenters, Pigalle began training as a sculptor at age 18 with Robert Le Lorrain and then studied with Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne. After failing to win the Prix de Rome in 1735, he studied independently in Rome at his own expense from 1736 to 1739. His most famous work is the statue Mercury Attaching His Wings (1744), a classicizing work conveying qualities of both graceful ease and youthful vitality.

Pigalle was made a member of the Royal Academy in 1744; his reception piece was a marble version of the Mercury. The statue became so popular that Louis XV commissioned a life-size marble version of it to present to Frederick II of Prussia in 1749. Pigalle was appointed a professor at the Royal Academy in 1752.

Pigalle enjoyed the patronage of Madame de Pompadour from 1750 to 1758. He created several allegorical figure groups for her, such as Love and Friendship (1758), with some statues bearing her features in stylized form. He achieved considerable popularity with several smaller decorative, sentimental studies of children done in a Rococo style, such as the Child with a Bird Cage (1750). He was also an original and intelligent portrait sculptor, as is evident in his forcefully observed bust of Diderot (1777) and in the Nude Voltaire (1776), an anatomically realistic rendering of the aged philosopher that caused a furor when first shown. Pigalle’s two most important late commissions were the tomb of the duke d’Harcourt (1769–76) and the grandiose and theatrically effective tomb of the count de Saxe in Strasbourg (1753–76). Stylistically, Pigalle had difficulty combining his naturalistic tendencies with the conventional classicizing formulas of the time, but his sculptures almost always show qualities of daring, inventiveness, and charm.

Encyclopædia Britannica
 

 

 


Jean-Baptiste Pigalle. Self-Portrait
c. 1777
Terracotta, height 44 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris




Jean-Baptiste Pigalle. Child with Birdcage
after 1750
Sèvres biscuit, height 47 cm
Private collection


Jean-Baptiste Pigalle. Thomas-Aignan Desfriches
Terracotta
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Orléans




Jean-Baptiste Pigalle. Love embracing Friendship
1758




Jean-Baptiste Pigalle.
Statue of Virgin Mary in abside of Saint-Eustache church of Paris.
1748, marble




Jean-Baptiste Pigalle. Child with birdcage




Jean-Baptiste Pigalle. Georges­Martin Guérin


Jean-Baptiste Pigalle. Mercury
1744
Marble, height 58 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris




Jean-Baptiste Pigalle. Diderot


Jean-Baptiste Pigalle. Monument to Louis XV (detail)
Bronze
Place Royale, Reims


Jean-Baptiste Pigalle. Bust of Madame de Pompadour
1748-51
Marble
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York




Jean-Baptiste Pigalle. Mme de Pompadour as the Goddess of Friendship
1753
Terracotta
Private collection


Jean-Baptiste Pigalle. Voltaire Nude
1776
Marble, height 150 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris




Jean-Baptiste Pigalle. Portrait of Pierre­Louis­Marie Maloît




Attributed to Jean-Baptiste Pigalle. Venus

 
 

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