(b. 1698, Chaumont, d. 1762, Paris)


French sculptor, whose work marks the beginning of the Neoclassical reaction against the Rococo style. From 1723 to 1732 he worked in Rome, where he made a marble bust of the antiquarian Philippe Stosch (Staatliche Museen, Berlin, 1727) that is very consciously in the antique manner. Although his style later softened somewhat, notably in the famous Cupid Making a Bow from Hercules' Club (Louvre, Paris, 1750), it remained too severe for court taste.

Bouchardon had many supporters, however, and his contemporary reputation stood high - indeed he was generally regarded as the greatest French sculptor of his time (subsequent taste has inclined more towards artists with greater warmth, such as Falconet and Pigalle). His most important work was an equestrian statue of Louis XV, commissioned by the City of Paris in 1748. It was cast in 1758 but not erected until 1763, a year after Bouchardon's death. It stood in the Place Louis XV (later the Place de la Concorede) and was destroyed during the Revolution. Several small copies exist, as well as emgravings, showing that it was based on the famous antique statue of Marcus Aurelius in Rome.

Bouchardon's father, Jean-Baptiste (1667-1742), and his brother, Jacques-Philippe (1711-1753), were also sculptors.