GIRARDON, François
(b. 1628, Troyes, d. 1715, Paris)


French sculptor, famous exponent of classicism who worked for Louis XIV at Versailles. His most famous sculptures there are Apollo Tended by Nymphs (begun 1666; original grouping altered) in the grotto of Thetis, and Rape of Persephone (begun 1677) in the gardens. His other work includes the monument to Richelieu (1675-77).

He was the most eminent sculptor in France during the last three decades of the 17th century, playing a vital part in the creation of the French classical style and, through his role as dominant sculptor on the royal works of Louis XIV, helping to disseminate this style in France, as well as turning it into a model for emulation throughout Europe.