OTTIN, Auguste
(b. 1811, Paris, d. 1890, Paris)

Biography

French academic sculptor, a pupil of David d'Angers.

Ottin was a friend of Théodore Chassériau, a pupil in the atélier of Ingres. In 1834 Ottin was responsible for the assembly of the vast 'surtout de table' of hunting vignettes, commissioned for the Tuileries by Louis-Philippe's heir, Ferdinand-Philippe, duc d'Orléans, and entrusted to the supervision of Claude-Aimé Chenavard, who gave much of the sculptural work to Antoine-Louis Barye, the celebrated animal sculptor. In 1836 he shared with Jean-Marie Bonnassieux the Grand Prix de Rome for a sculpture of Socrates drinking the draft. One vestige of his Roman sojourn of 1836-40 is a View of Rome, 1837, in graphite and watercolour, at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Ottin's portrait bust of the painter and Director of the Academy, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, executed shortly after his return to Paris in 1840, in plaster, tinted terracotta, is conserved by the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris. Ottin's Laure de Noves (1850), Petrarch's Laura, is one of a series of Queens of France and historical ladies that had been commissioned for the Jardin du Luxembourg under Louis-Philippe.

About the same time he was commissioned to provide the sculptural elements for a room in an old palazzo in Florence, via de' Renai, that was designed as an homage to the social utopian Charles Fourier by an admirer of his philosophy, François Sabatier, who had recently wed the palazzo's owner, the Austrian singer, Carolina Ungher.

During the Second Empire, he executed a full-length official sculpture of Napoleon III, which is still at Compiègne. In 1866 he was commissioned to provide a sculptural centrepiece for the Fontaine Médicis in the Jardin du Luxembourg: Polyphemus Surprising Acis and Galatea, his best-known work.

In the new Square Emile-Chautemps at Le Sentier, Paris IIIème, among the sculptural figures enhancing two oval pools under the general artistic direction of Gabriel Davioud, Ottin was entrusted with seated bronze figures of Mercury and Music. In the extensive sculptural programme of the Palais Garnier for the Opéra, Ottin was entrusted with La Musique and La Danse seated figures leaning on a central medallion in the arched pediment on the west-facing façade. He also provided standing females representing northern French cities for the less-demanding programme of the Gare du Nord. Among similar commissions is his statue of Euthymenes for the Bourse, Marseille.