FAUVEAU, Félicie de
(b. 1801, Livorno, d. 1886, Firenze)


French sculptor. She moved to France at the peak of the Restoration, after having spent her childhood in Florence. In Paris, she studied painting and sculpture and cultivated an interest in archeology and ancient symbolism, establishing a studio in Paris from 1826 to 1830 which was frequented by artists such as Paul Delaroche and Ary Scheffer.

After her participation at the Paris Salon in 1827, De Fauveau received ample acclaim. One of the statues she presented at the event, Queen Christine of Sweden Refusing to Spare the Life of Her Equerry Monaldeschi, was awarded the gold medal, which the artist received from King Charles X, who looked to De Fauveau to promote the ideals of the Restoration. In Paris, she subsequently received multiple commissions including bronze doors destined for the Louvre, a project that failed to reach fulfilment.

A dedicated Legitimist, who supported the return of the Bourbon king to France after the fall of Napoleon, De Fauveau was supported by Marie Caroline, Duchess of Berry. Both women organized failed resistance efforts in the Vandée region. De Fauveau hoped the crown would be captured by Marie Caroline's under-aged son, the Count of Chambord. After two squelched uprisings in the early 1830s and six months in prison, De Fauveau joined her mother in Florence in 1834, where she vowed to remain in voluntary exile until the Count of Chambord was crowned king of France, a hope that never materialized.

During her time in Florence, De Fauveau cultivated many friendships with artistic and literary personalities. She was welcomed to the Grand Duchy by neoclassic Florentine sculptor Lorenzo Bartolini, who is thought to have trained her. She established an atelier which became a point of interest for international travelers on the Grand Tour. De Fauveau's works were coveted by the city's Russian ex-pats including Anatole Demidoff; the artist received multiple commissions from the industrialist. The Tsar Nicolas I purchased various works from the artist.

De Fauveau was inspired by literary, political and religious themes. She was particularly interested in Monarchism and emulated medieval styles to support this political system in her art work. She was also known for including Christian symbolism in her work. A representative of the troubadour style, De Fauveau's Florentine works include an ornate Neo-Gothic holy water font at the Pitti Palace and the monumental tombs of Sir Charles Lyon Herbert and Lady Harriet Frances Pellew, at the English Cemetery in Piazzale Donatello.