Houdon, Jean-Antoine (1741-1828)

"Houdon, Jean-Antoine (1741-1828)" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Wednesday 27th April 2011

Jean-Antoine Houdon, French sculptor, was born and died in Paris in 1741-1828. He studied in Rome in the French Academy in 1764-1768, and executed in this period numerous anatomic studies (Scorticato, which became very famous) and the statues of San Brunone and San Giovanni Battista for the church S.Maria degli Angeli. After return to Paris Houdon created a statue Diana cacciatrice, and later receved numerous orders for the burial monuments. But the main success was achieved by the artist most of all due to a gallery of semi-busts portraits and full stand statues. The series contains: Diderot, Gluck (1775), Moliere (1776), Turgot (1778), Buffon (1881); Voltaire sitting (Paris, Comedie Francaise) (1871), etc. Only in the period of 1777-1778 Houdon executed circa 40 busts with an excellent knowledge of anatomy and strong psychological expression.

The period of Revolution in France slowed down the activity of artist, who continued with the busts of Bailly, of La Fayette, and of Mirabeau. Later was executed a series of busts dedicated to Napoleon.

In 1785, among other due to the success of the portrait of B.Franklin, the sculptor went to the Northern America to execute the statue of G.Washington, later erected on the Capitoline Hill in Richmond.
houdon girl
Pictured: Louise Brongniart (Paris, Louvre, 1777).

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