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Summary Article: Bouchardon Edmé (1698 - 1762)
From A Biographical Dictionary of Artists, Andromeda

Born at Chaumont, the son of a provincial sculptor, Edmé Bouchardon was a pupil first of his father and later, in Paris, of Guillaume I Coustou. In 1722 he won the first prize for sculpture at the Académie in Paris, and the following year left for Rome. He was to remain there for nine years, gaining considerable fame. His bust of Philipp Stosch (1727; Staatliche Museen, Berlin) in strict classical Roman form is representative of this period. Bouchardon was the champion of the return to classical values in French sculpture; his style is a complete antithesis of that of Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, who represents the Rococo current. He was an artist of reason and intellect, rather than of passion and expression; his work appealed to the intelligentsia of the time rather than to the King, who preferred Lemoyne.

In his day Bouchardon was thought to be the greatest sculptor alive—a reputation not wholly deserved. His art has proved a little too frigid and cerebral for the taste of later generations. Bouchardon was one of the finest draftsmen of his time, and his monumental sculpture, such as the fountain of the Rue de Grenelle, Paris (commissioned in 1739), is superbly designed. In his last years he was occupied with the colossal equestrian statue of Louis XV for the Place de la Concorde. The work was designed as a reevocation of a Roman Imperial monument; it was completed after Bouchardon's death by Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, and was destroyed during the Revolution.

A Biographical Dictionary of Artists, © Andromeda 1995

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