PUGET, Pierre
(b. 1620, Marseille, d. 1694, Marseille)

St Sebastian

Church of Santa Maria Assunta di Carignano, Genoa

Puget's most important works in Genoa were two statues of St Sebastian and the Blessed Alessandro Sauli, made for the Sauli family to decorate the niches in the crossing piers of S. Maria di Carignano, Genoa. In these works Puget comes nearer than at any other time to the feeling of Roman Baroque sculptors and even to Bernini, particularly to his Daniel in the Chigi Chapel in S. Maria del Popolo which he could have seen when he made his second visit to Rome. However, the differences which exist between the two statues are significant. Bernini's Daniel is more plastic in its conception than Puget's Sebastian. Daniel surges forward in the movement of prayer, right out of the niche; St Sebastian falls in a pose contained by the plane closing the front of the niche. This refusal of the full Baroque three-dimensional movement is typical of Puget and distinguishes his work from that of Bernini.