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Edme Bouchardon

Updated on December 1, 2016

Edme Bouchardon (1698-1762) was a French sculptor, noted for his public monuments in Paris. His works, based on long study of antique art, are decidedly academic, even neoclassical. He helped to break the dominance of the ornate rococo style and to introduce the more austere neoclassical style in France.

Bouchardon was born at Chaumont, Haute-Marne, on May 29, 1698. He studied sculpture first with his father and then in Paris with Guil-laume Coustou. He won the Prix de Rome in 1722 and remained in Rome for nine years, making drawings of antique, Renaissance, and 17th century art. He also executed a number of busts, notably one of Pope Clement XII.

In 1732, Bouchardon settled in Paris, where he later taught at the Royal Academy. He received many important commissions, including that for the fountain in the Rue de Crenelle (1739-1745), which is generally considered his masterpiece. His impressive equestrian statue of Louis XV, on which he spent nine years, was destroyed during the French Revolution. He also worked for the churches of St. Sulpice and St. Eustache. He died in Paris on July 27, 1762.

Jacques Philippe Bouchardon (1711-1753), brother of Edme, was also a sculptor. He worked for many years in Stockholm for the Swedish royal family.

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