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Edme Bouchardon

1698 Chaumont – 1762 Paris

Edme Bouchardon is now regarded as one of the most creative and versatile 18th century French artists and above all as an outstanding forerunner of Neoclassicism. Trained by the sculptor, Guillaume Coustou the Younger, Bouchardon was awarded the coveted Prix de Rome in 1722 and spent the next ten years in the Eternal City, where he devoted most of his time to producing portrait busts and marble replicas of ancient statues. Having returned to Paris, he was made a member of the Académie  royale and was also appointed court sculptor to Louis XV. In addition to his activities as a sculptor Bouchardon was a brilliant draughtsman who supplied designs for various kinds of artworks, including medals, gravestones and prints. He had an extraordinary capacity to devise ever new and original pictorial ideas. His artistic powers, which were nourished by his great erudition, and the inexhaustible tenacity with which he systematically prepared his artistic projects right down to the very last detail make him a luminary of his time.