PIGALLE, Jean-Baptiste
(b. 1714, Paris, d. 1785, Paris)

Mausoleum of the Maréchal de Saxe

St Thomas, Strasbourg

Pigalle was born and died in Paris. A pupil of Jean-Baptiste II Lemoyne, he spent the years 1736 to 1739 in Rome. The mausoleum of the Maréchal de Saxe, begun between 1752 and 1753 and resumed in 1770, was inaugurated in 1776 in the Lutheran church of St Thomas in Strasbourg. Standing before the pyramid of Immortality, the Maréchal moves towards the sarcophagus opened by Death, while France tries to intercede; the stricken Hercules symbolizes the French army; the leopard, lion, and eagle represent conquered nations. The strongly literary flavour of the allegories, whose meaning is given in the sculptor's memoirs, does not obscure the masterly technique with which the work is executed.