BOUCHARDON, EDME (1698-1762), French sculptor, was esteemed in his day the greatest sculptor of his time. Born at Chaumont, he became the pupil of Guillaume Coustou and gained the prix de Rome in 1722. Resisting the tendency of the day he was classic in his taste, pure and chaste, always correct, charming and distinguished, a great stickler for all the finish that sand-paper could give. During the ten years he remained at Rome, Bouchardon made a striking bust of Pope Benedict XIII. (1730). In 1746 he produced his first acclaimed masterpiece, "Cupid fashioning a Bow out of the Club of Hercules," perfect in its grace, but cold in the purity of its classic design. His two other leading chefs-d'œuvre are the fountain in the rue de Grenelle, Paris, the first portions of which had been finished and exhibited in 1740, and the equestrian statue of Louis XV., a commission from the city of Paris. This superb work, which, when the model was produced, was declared the finest work of its kind ever produced in France, Bouchardon did not live to finish, but left its completion to Pigalle. It was destroyed during the Revolution.
Among the chief books on the sculptor and his art are Vie d'Edme Bouchardon, by le comte de Caylus (Paris, 1762); Notice sur Edme Bouchardon, sculpteur, by E. Jolibois (Versailles, 1837); Notice historique sur Edme Bouchardon, by J. Carnandet (Paris, 1855); and French Architects and Sculptors of the 18th Century, by Lady Dilke (London, 1900).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)