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Joseph Chinard

(1756—1813)


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(1756–1813). French sculptor. He spent much of his career in his native Lyons, and was probably the best sculptor working outside Paris in late 18th-century France. From 1784 to 1787 Chinard was in Rome. He was there again in 1791, when he was imprisoned in the Castel S. Angelo, his terracotta models for candelabra representing Reason Trampling Superstition and Liberty Striking down Aristocracy (Paris, Mus. Carnavalet) being thought subversive by the papal authorities shocked by the French Revolution. Ironically he was again imprisoned on his return to Lyons—because of a lack of revolutionary fervour. Chinard's small-scale figures and groups combine neoclassical themes with a grace of style reminiscent of Clodion. Although he designed large sculptures for revolutionary and Napoleonic celebrations his best works are his portrait busts, most remarkable among them that in marble of the sphinx without a riddle—the mysterious and seductive Mme Récamier (1801; Lyons, Mus. des Beaux-Arts).

From The Oxford Companion to Western Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Art.


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