DURET, Francisque-Joseph
(b. 1804, Paris, d. 1865, Paris)

Biography

French sculptor. Son of a sculptor of the same name (1729-1816) and a pupil of François-Joseph Bosio, he entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1818 and won the Prix de Rome in 1823. Among his works executed at the Académie de France in Rome is Orestes Mad (marble, c. 1825; Avignon, Musée Calvet), a colossal head modelled after the Antique that is at the same time a self-portrait, and Mercury Inventing the Lyre (marble; destroyed), an elegant statue much praised at the 1831 Salon.

Journeys from Rome to Naples resulted in Neapolitan Fisherboy Dancing the Tarantella (bronze, exhibited Salon 1833; Paris, Louvre), which was executed on his return to Paris and was one of the earliest Neapolitan genre subjects in French 19th-century art. In this work Duret reconciled classical form with modern subject-matter and the freedom of modelling allowed by working in bronze. Its popularity led to reduced-scale bronze editions by the founder P.-M. Delafontaine, who also reproduced in this fashion Duret's Grape-picker Extemporizing (bronze, 1839; Paris, Louvre).



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