ANGUIER, François
(b. 1604, Eu, d. 1669, Paris)


Sculptor, part of a French family of sculptors. Honoré Anguier (c. 1570-1648) was a carpenter, wood-carver and small-scale entrepreneur in Eu, Normandy. Local church archives document his work on doors, frames, balustrades and retables. His eldest son, François Anguier, became noted for his funerary sculpture but also contributed to decorative schemes for ecclesiastic and secular buildings. His younger son, Michel Anguier, worked in Rome before returning to Paris where he enjoyed royal and aristocratic patronage and became a distinguished teacher and lecturer at the Académie Royale. Both François and Michel introduced a new Roman influence, helping to form the classical style in France. A third brother, Guillaume Anguier (1628-1708), was a successful decorative painter, working at various royal residences; one of his daughters married the sculptor Domenico Cucci. Catherine Anguier, sister of François, Michel and Guillaume, was the mother of the sculptor David Bouderelle, who inherited the family house and studio.

By 1621 François Anguier was apprenticed to a wood-carver, Martin Caron in Abbeville, and later he joined the Paris workshop of Simon Guillain. According to d'Argenville he went to England, where he was able to save enough to finance a stay of two years in Italy, where he was joined by his brother Michel. Neither trip is documented, but his later work suggests an association with Alessandro Algardi, or at least the influence of the temperate style that Algardi and François Duquesnoy were practising as an alternative to the High Baroque of Bernini.

François returned to France in 1643, and in 1649-52 he was engaged on the Montmorency tomb at Moulins. This tomb reveals the new Roman influence which the Anguiers introduced into France. By the late 1640s he was documented as a 'sculpteur ordinaire du roi' and was living in the Tuileries. In his later period he continued along the lines indicated in the Montmorency tomb.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.