Jean-Joseph de Saint-Germain


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(b Paris, 1719; d Paris, 30 Jan 1791). French bronze-caster and clockmaker. He was active from 1742, though he did not become a master craftsman until 15 July 1748. From 1747 he created notable works in the Louis XV rocaille style, for example the cartel-clock on the theme of Diana the Huntress (Paris, Louvre), the Chinese clock (Lyon, Mus. A. Déc.), the Elephant clock and the Rhinoceros clock (both Paris, Louvre). He also played an important role in the Neo-classical movement and cast the Genius of Denmark clock (1765; Copenhagen, Amalienborg), designed by Augustin Pajou (1730-1809) for Frederick V of Denmark (reg 1746-66). Between 1760 and 1776, the year in which he retired, Saint-Germain made a number of different clocks on the theme of Learning (examples in Paris, Louvre; Lisbon, Fund. Gulbenkian; New York, Met.), with a figure designed by Louis-Félix de La Rue. Saint-Germain was a remarkable chaser and bronzeworker and created many other types of gilt-bronze furnishing objects, some with porcelain or marble mounts, that are lost.

From The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Decorative Arts, Furniture, and Industrial Design.

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