Hubert Le Sueur

(c. 1580—1658) sculptor

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(b Paris, c.1580; d ?Paris, 1658/68).

French sculptor, active for much of his career in England, where he is first recorded in 1626. He worked a good deal for Charles I, and his most famous work is the equestrian statue of the king (1633) at Charing Cross in London (commissioned by Baron Weston, the lord high chancellor). This shows the skill as a bronze caster for which he was renowned, but also his smooth, lifeless surfaces, which give his works, in the words of Margaret Whinney (Sculpture in Britain 1530–1830, 1964), ‘a curious, inflated appearance, as if they were not modelled, but blown up from within’. He was remarkably conceited, on occasions signing himself ‘Praxiteles Le Sueur’, but Charles recognized him as a second-rate artist and sometimes reduced the prices he asked for his work. By 1643 Le Sueur was back in Paris. His main influence in England was in popularizing the portrait bust.

Subjects: Art.

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