LEMOYNE, Jean-Baptiste I
(b. 1679, Paris, d. 1731, Paris)

Biography

Sculptor, part of a family of French sculptors. Jean-Louis Lemoyne (1665-1755) was a pupil of Coysevox and is remembered mainly for portrait busts in his master's manner. His brother Jean-Baptiste I (1679-1731) was a figure and portrait sculptor of no great distinction. Jean-Louis's son, Jean-Baptiste II (1704-1778) was the outstanding member of the family, becoming official sculptor to Louis XV. He did much large-scale work at Versailles and elsewhere, but is renowned particularly for the vivacity of his portraits.

Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne I was approved (agréé) by the Académie Royale in 1710 on presentation of a plaster model of Andromeda Chained to the Rock (untraced) and was received (reçu) as a full member in 1715 with the statuette of the Fall of Hippolytus (marble; Paris, Louvre), an unusual subject probably inspired by Racine's play Phèdre). It is a bravura piece that demonstrates mastery of technique but no distinguishing personality. He later roughed out the marble statue of St John the Baptist, which was part of the group of the Baptism of Christ (Paris, St Roch) intended for the high altar of St Jean-en-Grève, Paris, and finished by his nephew Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne.



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