Baron François Joseph Bosio (19 March 1769 – 29 July 1845) was a
French sculptor who achieved distinction in the first quarter of the
nineteenth century with his work for Napoleon and for the restored
Born in Monaco, Bosio was given
a scholarship by prince Honoré I to study in Paris with the eminent
sculptor Augustin Pajou. After brief service in the Revolutionary
army he lived in Florence, Rome and Naples, providing sculpture for
churches under the French hegemony in Italy in the 1790s. He was
recruited by Dominique Vivant in 1808 to make bas-reliefs for the
monumental column in the Place Vendôme in Paris and also to serve as
portrait sculptor to Emperor Napoleon I and his family. It was in
this capacity that he produced some of his finest work, notably
marble portrait busts of the Empress Josephine, which was also
modelled in bisque Sèvres porcelain, and of Queen Hortense (about
1810), which was also cast in bronze by Ravrio.
Louis XVIII made Bosio a Knight of the Order of Saint Michael in
1821 and appointed him premier sculpteur du Roi. In 1828, Bosio saw
his grandiose equestrian sculpture of Louis XIV erected in the Place
des Victoires in Paris and was made an Officier of the Légion
d'honneur. He was made a baron by Charles X of France in 1825.
Though under Louis-Philippe he was stripped of his titles, he
continued to receive official commissions, as the ablest portrait
sculptor in Paris, and created the statue of Napoleon for the Column
of the Grande Armée in 1840 under Napoleon III. He died in Paris.
Apart from the imperial busts and
the statue of Louis XVI, other important works included the quadriga
of the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel and the statue of Hercules
fighting Acheloos transformed into a snake (illustration) in the
Louvre. Many of his most important sculptures and statues can today
be found in the Louvre museum in Paris.