Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne

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Jean Baptiste Lemoyne
Portrait of Lemoyne by Jean Valade,
Palace of Versailles
Jean Baptiste Lemoyne

15 February 1704
Paris, France
Died27 July 1762(1762-07-27) (aged 64)
Paris, France
Known forSculpture
Notable workFontaine des Quatre-Saisons

Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne (15 February 1704 – 1778) was a French sculptor of the 18th century who worked in both the rococo and neoclassical style. He made monumental statuary for the Gardens of Versailles but was best known for his expressive portrait busts.[1]


Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne was born in Paris in 1705. His father Jean-Louis Lemoyne, was also a sculptor, and was first teacher. He later became a student of another prominent sculptor, Robert Le Lorrain.[2] He is sometimes referred to as Jean-Baptiste II Lemoyne or "the younger" to distinguish him from his uncle of the same name, another sculptor, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne the Elder.[3]

He received the prix de Rome awarded by the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture, but remained in Paris to aid his blind father. He became a member of the Academy in 1838, and, later became its director. Like the other royal sculptors, made statuary for the Gardens of Versailles. He was a particular favorite of Madame de Pompadour, the mistress of the King and an important patron of the arts. He made a graceful rococo sculpture of Vertumnus and Pomone, two characters from the Metamorphoses of Ovid, which was a favorite theme of Madame Pompadour. The sculpture is now in the Louvre. He also made a state of Madame Pompadour in the costume of a nymph. He made several busts of Louis XV, and an equestrian statue of the King for the courtyard of the new Ecole Militaire, but this was destroyed during the French Revolution.[4]

He was especially known for the quality of his portrait busts, which captured the passing nuances of expression and gave a sense of movement. His important portrait busts included those of the naturalist René Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur (1751); the painter Noël-Nicolas Coypel (1760);[5] the scientist Fontenelle (at Versailles); Madame de Pompadour; and Marie-Antoinette in 1771. He is considered the most skilled of the French rococo sculptors.[6]

Lemoyne's students included Étienne Maurice Falconet Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, and Augustin Pajou.[7]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Le Petit Robert des Noms Propres, (2010)
  2. ^ Louis Réau, Une dynastie de sculpteurs au XVIIIe siècle : les Lemoyne, 1927.
  3. ^ Le Petit Robert des Noms Propres, (2010)
  4. ^ Le Petit Robert des Noms Propres, (2010)
  5. ^ Le Petit Robert des Noms Propres, (2010)
  6. ^ Geese, L'Art Baroque – Architecture, sculpture, peinture (2015), pg. 314
  7. ^ Grasselli, Margaret Morgan (2009). Renaissance to revolution: French drawings from the National Gallery of Art, 1500–1800. Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art. p. 224. ISBN 9781848220430.


  • Brocvielle, Vincent (2017). La Petit Larousse de l'Histoire de l'Art (in French). Larousse. ISBN 978-2-03-5936-39-4.
  • Jeancolas, Claude (1992). Sculpture Française. Paris: CELIV. ISBN 2-86535-162-9.
  • Geese, Uwe, Section on Baroque sculpture in L'Art Baroque – Architecture – Sculpture – Peinture (French translation from German), H.F. Ulmann, Cologne, 2015. (ISBN 978-3-8480-0856-8)
  • Duby, Georges and Daval, Jean-Luc, La Sculpture de l'Antiquité au XXe Siècle, (French translation from German), Taschen, (2013), (ISBN 978-3-8365-4483-2)

External links[edit]