ADAM, Nicolas-Sébastien
(b. 1705, Nancy, d. 1778, Paris)

The Martyrdom of Sainte Victoire

Chapel of Château, Versailles

It is doubtful if Nicolas-Sébastien Adam was at all inferior to his elder brother Lambert-Sigisbert. They can be fairly judged by the bronze bas-reliefs each contributed to the chapel at Versailles, where the elder's St Adelaide taking leave of St Odilo is accomplished but fussy when compared to the clearly organized, highly pictorial Martyrdom of Sainte Victoire by Niclas-Sébastien. He indeed practiced sometimes as a painter, and his orientation towards painting was apparent from his sculptural work. His bas-relief is almost a homage to Pietro da Cortona in composition, but executed in a fluent pastiche manner that is closer to Sebastiano RIcci. The dying heroine, the pagan altar, the dramatic action of the aged priest, and the whole classical atmosphere, are ready to be transmuted into another of the younger Adam's reliefs, that of Sacrifice of Iphigenia.