COUSTOU, Guillaume II
(b. 1716, Paris, d. 1777, Paris)

Monument to the Dauphin

completed 1777
Marble
Cathedral, Sens

The monument of the Daphin (the son of Louis XV) was commissioned from Coustou by Louis XVI, the Dauphin's son. The sculptor never lived to see the monument set up at Sens. When the Salon opened in 1777 he was dead; the completed monument, finished except for gilding of its bronzes, was available for public inspection in his studio.

The monument's novelty is in the absence of any image of the deceased. It is conceived as a catafalque and, in the end, consists entirely of mourning allegorical figures grouped about the two urns. It is the first large-scale neo-classical tomb to be built in France.