(b. ca. 1600, Armentières, d. 1661, London)


François (Frans) Dieussart, Flemish sculptor. A fully-trained carver from an unknown artistic background in southern Flanders, he, a French-speaker, went to Rome in 1618, presumably to further his knowledge in the vibrant atmosphere for sculpture created by papal patronage. He was likely an active sculptor by the time he arrived in Rome. Bernini's novel types of bust seem particularly to have impressed Dieussart, who was commonly called 'Il Vallone' - 'The Walloon'.

He worked in Rome between 1622-30. Little is known of his movements between 1630 and 1636, when he became a court sculptor to King Charles I of England. It is assumed that he travelled North during this time. In 1641 he left England for the Hague, with a letter of recommendation from the court painter of King Charles I, Gerrit van Honthorst, addressed to Constantijn Huygens. In the Hague he executed various busts of the ruling family, including one of Frederik Hendrik, Prince of Orange.

Dieussart almost certainly worked from portraits by Van Dyck on two occasions, first for his bust of Charles I and later for his bust of Queen Henrietta Maria. During his career he introduced Roman Baroque Classicism in the numerous court portraits that he produced for the courts of northern Europe, including the court at The Hague.