Antoine Coysevox


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(b Lyons, 29 Sept. 1640; d Paris, 10 Oct. 1720).

French sculptor, with Girardon the most successful of Louis XIV's reign. His style was more Baroque than Girardon's and he overtook his rival in popularity towards the end of the 17th century, as the king's taste turned away from the classical. By 1679 Coysevox was working at Versailles, where he made numerous statues for the gardens and did much interior decoration, including a large stucco relief of the Triumph of Louis XIV (c.1682) in the Salon de la Guerre. His originality, however, is seen mostly in his portrait busts, which show a naturalism of conception and an animation of expression that look forward to the Rococo. This is particularly so with his portraits of friends, but even his formal commissions can be remarkably lively. The Wallace Collection, London, has an outstanding example of both his formal and informal portraits: the bronze Louis XIV (c.1686) and the terracotta Charles Le Brun (1676).

Subjects: Art.

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