David d'Angers (1853);
photograph by Édouard Baldus
12 March 1788
|Died||4 January 1856 67)(aged|
|Occupation||sculptor and medallist|
Pierre-Jean David (12 March 1788 –4 January 1856) was a French sculptor, medalist and active freemason. He adopted the name David d'Angers, following his entry into the studio of the painter Jacques-Louis David in 1809 as a way of both expressing his patrimony and distinguishing himself from the master painter.
Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts that operates in three dimensions. It is one of the plastic arts. Durable sculptural processes originally used carving and modelling, in stone, metal, ceramics, wood and other materials but, since Modernism, there has been an almost complete freedom of materials and process. A wide variety of materials may be worked by removal such as carving, assembled by welding or modelling, or molded or cast.
A medalist is an artist who designs medals, plaquettes, badges, coins and similar small works in relief in metal. Somewhat confusingly, "medalist/medallist" is also used in sport and other areas for the winner of a medal as an award.
Freemasonry or Masonry consists of fraternal organisations that trace their origins to the local fraternities of stonemasons that from the end of the fourteenth century regulated the qualifications of stonemasons and their interaction with authorities and clients. The degrees of Freemasonry retain the three grades of medieval craft guilds, those of Apprentice, Journeyman or fellow, and Master Mason. The candidate of these three degrees is progressively taught the meanings of the symbols of Freemasonry, and entrusted with grips, signs and words to signify to other members that he has been so initiated. The degrees are part allegorical morality play and part lecture. Three degrees are offered by Craft Freemasonry, and members of any of these degrees are known as Freemasons or Masons. There are additional degrees, which vary with locality and jurisdiction, and are usually administered by their own bodies.
He was born in Angers in 1788. His father was a wood carver and ornamental sculptor, who had joined the volunteer Republican army as a musketeer, fighting against the Chouans of La Vendée. He studied in the studio of Jean-Jacques Delusse and in 1808 traveled to Paris to study in the studio of Philippe-Laurent Roland.
Angers is a city in western France, about 300 km (190 mi) southwest of Paris. It is chef-lieu of the Maine-et-Loire department and was the capital of the province of Anjou until the French Revolution. The inhabitants of both the city and the province are called Angevins. Not including the metropolitan area, Angers is the third most populous commune in northwestern France after Nantes and Rennes and the 17th in France.
A musket is a muzzle-loaded long gun that appeared as a smoothbore weapon in the early 16th century, at first as a heavier variant of the arquebus, capable of penetrating heavy armor. By the mid-16th century, this type of musket went out of use as heavy armor declined, but as the matchlock became standard, the term musket continued as the name given for any long gun with a flintlock, and then its successors, all the way through the mid-1800s. This style of musket was retired in the 19th century when rifled muskets became common as a result of cartridged breech-loading firearms introduced by Casimir Lefaucheux in 1835, the invention of the Minié ball by Claude-Étienne Minié in 1849, and the first reliable repeating rifle produced by Volcanic Repeating Arms in 1854. By the time that repeating rifles became common, they were known as simply "rifles", ending the era of the musket.
The Chouannerie was a royalist uprising or counter-revolution in 12 of the western départements of France, particularly in the provinces of Brittany and Maine, against the First Republic during the French Revolution. It played out in three phases and lasted from the spring of 1794 until 1800.
While in Paris he did work both on the Arc de Triomphe and the exterior of the Louvre. In 1810 he succeeded in taking the second place prize at the École des Beaux-Arts for his Othryades. In 1811 David's La Douleur won the École's competition for tête d'expression followed by his taking of the Prix de Rome for his Epaminondas in the same year. He spent five years in Rome, during which time he frequented the studio of Antonio Canova and made small trips around Italy to Venice, Naples and Florence.
The École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts is a fine arts grand school of PSL Research University in Paris, France.
Othryades was the last surviving Spartan of the 300 Spartans selected to fight against 300 Argives in the Battle of the 300 Champions. Ashamed by surviving his comrades, he committed suicide on the field following the battle.
The Prix de Rome or Grand Prix de Rome was a French scholarship for arts students, initially for painters and sculptors, that was established in 1663 during the reign of Louis XIV of France. Winners were awarded a bursary that allowed them to stay in Rome for three to five years at the expense of the state. The prize was extended to architecture in 1720, music in 1803, and engraving in 1804. The prestigious award was abolished in 1968 by André Malraux, the Minister of Culture.
Returning from Rome around the time of the restoration of the Bourbons and their accompanying foreign conquerors and returned royalists, David d'Angers would not remain in the neighborhood of the Tuileries, opting instead to travel to London. Here John Flaxman and others took him to task for the political sins of David the painter, to whom he was erroneously supposed to be related.
The Bourbon Restoration was the period of French history following the first fall of Napoleon in 1814, and his final defeat in the Hundred Days in 1815, until the July Revolution of 1830. The brothers of the executed Louis XVI came to power and reigned in highly conservative fashion. Exiled supporters of the monarchy returned to France. They were nonetheless unable to reverse most of the changes made by the French Revolution and Napoleon. At the Congress of Vienna they were treated respectfully, but had to give up nearly all the territorial gains made since 1789.
John Flaxman was a British sculptor and draughtsman, and a leading figure in British and European Neoclassicism. Early in his career he worked as a modeller for Josiah Wedgwood's pottery. He spent several years in Rome, where he produced his first book illustrations. He was a prolific maker of funerary monuments.
With great difficulty he made his way to Paris again, where a comparatively prosperous career opened before him. His medallions and busts were in much request, as well as orders for monumental works. One of the most famous of these was that of Gutenberg at Strassburg; but those he himself valued most were the statue of Barra (Joseph Bara), a drummer boy who purportedly continued to beat his drum until the moment of death in the war in La Vendée, and the monument to the Greek liberator Markos Botsaris.
François Joseph Bara, also written Barra, was a young French republican drummer boy at the time of the Revolution.
The Vendée is a department in the Pays-de-la-Loire region in west-central France, on the Atlantic Ocean. The name Vendée is taken from the Vendée river which runs through the southeastern part of the department.
Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, also known as Hellas, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of 2018; Athens is the nation's capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki.
David's busts and medallions were very numerous, and among his sitters may be found not only the illustrious men and women of France, but many others both of England and Germany countries which he visited professionally in 1827 and 1829. His medallions number over 500.
David's fame rests firmly on his pediment of the Pantheon, his marble Wounded Philopoemen in the Louvre and his equestrian monument to General Jacques-Nicolas Gobert in Père Lachaise Cemetery. In addition to that of Gobert, he did sculptures for seven other tombs at Père Lachaise, including the bronze busts of the writer, Honoré de Balzac and physician Samuel Hahnemann.
The Louvre, or the Louvre Museum, is the world's largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris, France. A central landmark of the city, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the city's 1st arrondissement. Approximately 38,000 objects from prehistory to the 21st century are exhibited over an area of 72,735 square metres. In 2018, the Louvre was the world's most visited art museum, receiving 10.2 million visitors.
Jacques-Nicolas Gobert was a French general who was killed in action in Spain during the Peninsular War.
Père Lachaise Cemetery is the largest cemetery in Paris, France. With more than 3.5 million visitors annually, it is the most visited necropolis in the world.
In the Musée David in Angers is an almost complete collection of his works either in the form of copies or in the original moulds. As an example of his benevolence of character may be mentioned his rushing off to the sickbed of Rouget de Lisle, the author of the Marseillaise Hymn, modelling and carving him in marble without delay, making a lottery of the work, and sending to the poet in the extremity of need the proceeds.
Of Reviving Greece, his monument to the Greek liberator Markos Botsaris, showing a Greek child reading his name, Victor Hugo said, "It is difficult to see anything more beautiful in the world; this statue joins the grandeur of Pheidias to the expressive manner of Puget."
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