Étienne Maurice Falconet

Étienne- Maurice Falconet ( born December 1, 1716 in Paris, † January 4, 1791 in Paris) was a French sculptor.


Hailing from a poor family Etienne- Maurice Falconet was trained in Paris under Jean- Baptiste Lemoyne and in 1739 first known by a statue of Milo of Croton ( Fig. 1).

L' amour menaçant, the " threat of Cupid" (Fig. 3, 5), Falco Nets first big salon success. He presented it in 1755 as a plaster model, later in 1757 next to La Bather than marble statue of the public - both figures throughout Europe should be famous. Already the plaster model of Cupid had not only the enthusiasm of critics, but also that of Madame de Pompadour awakened, 1755, commissioned it on the first day of the exhibition, for their Paris apartment. Copies were also inter alia sold to Catherine II of Russia.

On 5 July 1757 a few weeks after he had his first resounding success at the Salon de mai can celebrate Falconet came to the post of Artistic Director of the sculpture studios of the porcelain factory of Sèvres. Only since 1754 member of the Academy, though he had previously been attracting attention, its status as an artistic greatness, however, can not yet be established. The activity in Sèvres should not only help to financial security, but also to international fame to the father of three, however. He remained nine years for active Sèvres, created at this time but still too large sculptures for public spaces, churches and palaces. Some of these sculptures have been realized on a smaller scale in China, such as La Bather, Pygmalion et Galatée or L' amour menaçant.

In 1766 he accepted an appointment at the court of Catherine II of Russia to Saint Petersburg. There, he led forth his main work, the colossal, bold and energetic composed equestrian statue of Peter the Great in ore, with Marie- Anne Collot.

After he returned to Paris in 1778, he became director of the painter and sculptor Academy. In the last years of his life he dealt mostly with literary works. Falconet died on January 4, 1791 at the age of 74 years in Paris.

Literary works

  • Réflexions sur la sculpture, Paris 1768
  • Observations sur la statue de Marc Aurèle, Paris 1771
  • Llttéraires oeuvre, Paris 1781-1782 and 1787