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known as Clodion (December 20, 1738 – March 29, 1814), was a French
sculptor in the Rococo style. He was born in Nancy. Here and
probably in Lille he spent the earlier years of his life. In 1755 he
came to Paris and entered the workshop of Lambert Sigisbert Adam,
his maternal uncle, a clever sculptor. He remained four years in
this workshop, and on the death of his uncle became a pupil of J. B.
Pigalle. In 1759 he obtained the grand prize for sculpture at the
Academic Royale; in 1761 he obtained the first silver medal for
studies from models; and in 1762 he went to Rome. Here his activity
was considerable between 1767 and 1771.
Catherine II was
eager to secure his presence in St Petersburg, but he returned to
Paris. Among his patrons, which were very numerous, were the chapter
of Rouen, the states of Languedoc, and the Direction generale. His
works were frequently exhibited at the Salon. In 1782 he married
Catherine Flore, a daughter of the sculptor Augustin Pajou, who
subsequently obtained a divorce from him. The agitation caused by
the Revolution drove Clodion in 1792 to Nancy, where he remained
until 1798, his energies being spent in the decoration of houses.
works are a statue of Montesquieu, a Dying Cleopatra, and a
chimneypiece at present in the South Kensington Museum. One of his
last groups represented Homer as a beggar being driven away by
fishermen (1810). Clodion died in Paris, on the eve of the invasion
of Paris by the allies.
Among the public
collections holding works by Claude Michel are the Art Institute of
Chicago, the Bowes Museum (County Durham, UK), the Carnegie Museum
of Art (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), the Cleveland Museum of Art, the
Courtauld Institute of Art (London), the Currier Museum of Art (New
Hampshire), the Detroit Institute of Arts the Fine Arts Museums of
San Francisco, the Frick Collection (New York City), the Getty
Museum (Los Angeles), the Honolulu Academy of Arts, the Kimbell Art
Museum (Fort Worth, Texas), Kunst Indeks Danmark, the Louvre, the
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Musée Cognacq-Jay (Paris), the Museum of
Fine Arts, Boston, Musée des Beaux-Arts (Bordeaux), National Museum
of Art (Cluj-Napoca), the National Gallery of Armenia, the National
Gallery of Art (Washington D.C.), the Norton Simon Museum (Pasadena,
California) and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.