Girardon, François

Girardon, François

biographical name

(born March 10, 1628, Troyes, Fr.—died Sept. 1, 1715, Paris) French sculptor. He studied in Troyes and in Rome, and in 1657 he became a member of the French Royal Academy. In 1666 he received his most famous commission, the Apollo Tended by the Nymphs, for the Grotto of Thetis at Versailles. Of his other works at Versailles, the most notable are The Bath of the Nymphs (1668–70) and The Rape of Persephone (1677–79). Although superficially a Baroque artist, Girardon's deep-seated Classical tendencies also emerge in the serene solemnity of his two principal works outside Versailles: an equestrian statue of Louis XIV (1683–92), destroyed in the French Revolution, and the tomb of Cardinal Richelieu in the church of the Sorbonne (1675–94). Though influenced by the work of Gian Lorenzo Bernini, his own style was more restrained.

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