La Roche, Pierre de

(fl. 1556)

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(fl 1556; d 1599). ?French stone-carver and sculptor of Flemish descent, active in Sweden. He was brought to Sweden during the reign of Gustav I (reg 1523–60) and is first mentioned in connection with Uppsala Cathedral, where he executed sculptural decoration on the tombs of Catherine of Saxe-Lauenberg and Margaret Leijonhufuud, the first two wives of Gustav I. From 1556 until his death he worked at Vadstena Castle in Östergötland, where he carved architectural ornament in the French style, including tiers of horizontal mouldings on the façade of the courtyard and on the two main portals of the outer and inner fronts of the central tower. The outer portal (1563), with its frame of Doric columns supporting an entablature and with decorative busts in the spandrels between the arches, has been especially regarded as an early and very elegant example of Renaissance design in Sweden. The fine stonecutting on the portal and the stern, though rather slender, appearance given to it by the arrangement of columns show the influence of French architectural design.

From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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