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Guillaume I Coustou

(1677—1746)


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(b Lyons, 25 Apr. 1677; d Paris, 22 Feb. 1746).

The best-known member of a dynasty of French sculptors. He was trained by Coysevox (his mother's brother), and like him worked a good deal for the court. His vigorous style was formed partly on the example of Bernini, whose work he saw in Rome, where he worked c.1697–1700. His masterpieces are the celebrated pair of Horse Tamers (The Marly Horses) (1739–45), made for the royal chateau at Marly but in 1794 moved to the Place de la Concorde, Paris (where they have been replaced by copies; the originals were moved to the Louvre in 1984). Nicolas (1658–1733), Guillaume's brother, was also employed in court circles, and his work can be seen at Versailles and in the Tuileries Gardens in Paris. He was probably the teacher of Roubiliac. GuillaumeII (1716–77), the son of Guillaume I, inherited his father's technical skill but little of his originality. Nevertheless, he enjoyed a successful career, his most important work being the monument to Louis de Bourbon (son of Louis XV) and his wife in Sens Cathedral (1766–77). François (d1690), the father of Guillaume I and Nicolas and the founder of the dynasty, was a minor woodcarver working in Lyons.

Subjects: Art.


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