Falconet, Étienne-Maurice

Falconet, Étienne-Maurice

biographical name

(born Dec. 1, 1716, Paris, Fr.—died Jan. 24, 1791, Paris) French sculptor. After being apprenticed to a carpenter, he studied sculpture in Paris. He developed an intimate style with a taste for erotic figures. Through Madame de Pompadour's influence, he became director of the Sèvres porcelain factory (1757–66), and many of his figures were reproduced in Sèvres biscuit ware. From 1766 to 1778 he worked in Russia; his masterpiece, the colossal equestrian statue of Peter I the Great in St. Petersburg (made famous as The Bronze Horseman by Aleksandr Pushkin), was unveiled in 1782. After suffering a stroke (1783), he gave up sculpture and devoted his time to writing. He is best known for adapting the classical style of the French Baroque period to the Rococo style ideal.

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