The greatest sculptors of the XIX century
The development of sculpture at the beginning of the XIX century is associated with a significant influence of neoclassicism on sculpture and art. Moreover, over the course of a century, this influence gradually waned, and the greatest masters of Europe increasingly perpetuated in their works the monarchs and rulers of the countries in which they lived. This era gave mankind a great many famous sculptures that went down in the history of world art. The 19th century can rightfully be considered the century of conservatism, which was manifested primarily in the sculpture and stucco work of the masters of this era. Let us recall the greatest sculptors of the 19th century and analyze their influence on the global creative environment.
Francois Auguste Rene Rodin (November 12, 1840 – November 17, 1917), known as Auguste Rodin, is the most famous French sculptor of the XIX century. Although Rodin is generally considered the ancestor of modern sculpture, he spent his whole life looking for academic recognition and advocating classical approaches to creating sculpture. As a sculptor, Rodin had the unique ability to model a complex, dynamic and deep composition of gypsum and clay.
Many of his notable sculptures were sharply criticized during the lifetime of the great master. This is due to the fact that traditionally at that time the sculpture was thematic and figurative. Rodin’s most original work departed from the traditional themes of mythology and allegory, realistically modeling the human body, emphasizing the individual character and greatness of the person. Rodin was sensitive to disputes around his work, but refused to change his style and did not lose the individuality of his work.
The unexpected realism of his first major figure contributed to the growth of Rodin’s popularity, thanks to which he became an outstanding French sculptor of his time. By 1900, he was already a world famous artist. The most famous works of Rodin were the monumental and realistic sculptures “The Thinker”, “The Gates of Hell” and “Kiss”, which, during the lifetime of the master, were reproduced in the form of numerous copies.
Jean-Baptiste Pigalle (January 26, 1714 – August 20, 1785) was a French sculptor who, during his lifetime, gained the respect of his colleagues and popularity among his contemporaries. Pigalle was born in Paris, the seventh child of a simple carpenter. Despite the fact that the master for a long time could not win awards and prizes, after repeated attempts, he nevertheless became a member of the Royal Academy and one of the most popular sculptors of his time.
Pigalle’s early works, A Child with a Cage and Mercury Tying Sandals, for a long time did not find recognition and received positive reviews and ratings only after the death of the sculptor. At the same time, works of a mature period, such as the naked Voltaire dating from 1776 (originally located at the Institute of France, later bought by the Louvre in 1962), were immediately appreciated immediately after the presentation.
Pigalle taught the sculptor Louis Philippe Musie, who married his niece and precisely copied the style of the teacher in his works. His name today is widely known not only thanks to the work of the master, but also thanks to the famous Pigalle red light district in Paris, located around the square with the same name.
Etienne Maurice Falcone
Etienne Maurice Falcone (December 1, 1716 – January 24, 1791) takes a leading place among the famous sculptors of France of the Rococo era. The sculptor created his main works by order of the famous patroness Madame de Pompadour, who was the favorite of Louis XV.
Falcone was born into a poor family in Paris. The young aspiring sculptor sought to learn from great contemporaries, and once he was noticed by Jean-Baptiste Lemone, who made him a student of his courses. The filigree work with marble of the future master was taught by his own uncle, who was a marble worker by profession. In 1744, Falcone became a student at the Paris Academy of Arts and created one of his most popular works, Milon of Croton. For the embodiment of this sculpture in marble, the master received the honorary title of academician.
In his later works of sculptor precisely reflect the spirit of the Rococo, which is inherent in some drama and theatricality. The series of sculptures “Music”, “Cupid” and “Bather”, which reflect femininity, grace and grace of a female figure, also brought popularity and recognition to the master. A true masterpiece of the master was the statue “Winter”, which received rave reviews not only by ordinary connoisseurs of art, but also by the author’s brilliant contemporaries.
Jean-Antoine Houdon (March 25, 1741 – July 15, 1828) was a French neoclassical sculptor, famous for his busts and statues of philosophers, inventors and political figures of the Enlightenment. In his works, Hudon immortalized such great figures: Denis Didro (1771), Benjamin Franklin (1778-09), Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1778), Voltaire (1778), Moliere (1781), George Washington (1785-88), Thomas Jefferson (1789), Louis XVI (1790), Robert Fulton (1803-04) and Napoleon Bonaparte (1806).