Etienne-Maurice Falconet

E
Etienne-Maurice Falconet (1716-1791)
A French sculptor born to a poor family, he initially studied carpentry, but his talent was soon discovered by the sculptor Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, who took the boy under his wing. Falconet’s work was noticed by the Marquise de Pompadour, who commissioned several works from him.
From 1757 to 1766, he was the director of the sculpture workshops at the Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory. There he was instrumental in the success of Sèvres bisque porcelain, which is deliberately left in bisque form, that is, without any glaze or decoration.

In 1754 Falconet became a member of the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture. In 1766 he travelled to Saint-Petersburg where Catherine the Great had him work on the equestrian statue of Peter the Great.

Back in France, he was named rector of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. He created many masterpieces: Moses and David, for the Saint-Roch church in Paris, Pygmalion, Alexander, Winter, Melancholy, and Menacing Love, one of his most famous works, which was produced in bisque by the Sèvres Manufactory.