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Summary Article: Falconet, Étienne Maurice
from Chambers Biographical Dictionary


French sculptor

He was born in Paris, became a pupil of François Le Moyne, and was director of sculpture at the Sèvres porcelain factory from 1757 to 1766. His figures of Venus, bathers and similar subjects (in the Louvre) epitomize the Rococo style of the period of Louis XV and were very popular with patrons such as Madame de Pompadour. It was through the influence of Denis Diderot that Catherine II, the Great, invited him to Russia in 1766 to execute what is his most impressive work, a bronze equestrian monument to Peter I, the Great, in St Petersburg (1767-78). After suffering a stroke in 1783, he turned to writing art theory, nine volumes of which had been published by 1787.

© Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd 2011

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