DUMONT, François
(b. ca. 1687, Paris, d. 1726, Lille)


Sculptor, part of a French family of sculptors. The first in a long line of sculptors was Pierre Dumont (d. 1737), who was a member of the Accademia di S Luca, Rome, and sculptor to Leopold, Duke of Lorraine (reg 1697-1729), for whom he provided decorative work in, among other places, Nancy (1719; destroyed). The career of his son François Dumont, was cut short by a tragic accident. François's son Edme Dumont, grandson Jacques-Edme Dumont and great-grandson Augustin-Alexandre Dumont were all winners of the Prix de Rome for sculpture.

François Dumont's earliest independent work was at the chapel of the château of Versailles (1709-11), where he produced ornamental and figurative sculpture in stone and stucco. Although in 1709 he won the Prix de Rome for sculpture, he never went to Italy. In 1710 he modelled the group Prometheus Bound (bronze, exh. Salon 1725; British Royal Collection) and in 1712 he was received (reçu) as a member of the Académie Royale on presentation of a statuette of a Titan Struck by Lightning (marble; Paris, Louvre), a work intensely and emotionally Baroque. The following year he executed decorative relief sculptures (destroyed), as well as grandiloquent statues of St Peter and St Paul (now St Jacques, Compiègne), for the priory of St Pierre-en-Chastres near Compiègne.

Among his other works were the marble monument to the Infant Daughters of Joseph Bonnier de La Mosson (1719; fragment Montpellier, Musée Fabre); decorative sculpture at the château of Lunéville, Meurthe-et-Moselle (1721; fragments in situ), for Leopold, Duke of Lorraine (reg 1697-1729); and dramatic monumental statues of St Peter, St Paul, St John the Baptist and St Joseph for the portals of the transept of St Sulpice, Paris (stone, 1725; in situ). Dumont was accidentally crushed to death during the installation of his elaborate and theatrical monument to Louis, Duc de Melun in the Dominican church at Lille (marble, bronze and lead, 1725-26; destroyed).

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