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Coysevox, Charles Antoine

COYSEVOX, CHARLES ANTOINE (1640-1720), French sculptor, was born at Lyons on the 29th of September 1640, and belonged to a family which had emigrated from Spain. The name should be pronounced Coëzevo. He was only seventeen when he produced a statue of the Madonna of considerable merit; and having studied under Lerambert and trained himself by taking copies in marble from the Greek masterpieces (among others from the Venus de Medici and the Castor and Pollux), he was engaged by the bishop of Strassburg, Cardinal Fürstenberg, to adorn with statuary his château at Saverne (Zabern). In 1666 he married Marguerite Quillerier, Lerambert's niece, who died a year after the marriage. In 1671, after four years spent on Saverne, which was subsequently destroyed by fire in 1780, he returned to Paris. In 1676 his bust of the painter Le Brun obtained admission for him to the Académie Royale. A year later he married Claude Bourdict.

In consequence of the influence exercised by Le Brun between the years 1677 and 1685, he was employed by Louis XIV. in producing much of the decoration and a large number of statues for Versailles; and he afterwards worked, between 1701 and 1709, with no less facility and success, for the palace at Marly, subsequently destroyed in the Revolution.

Among his works are the "Mercury and Fame," first at Marly and afterwards in the gardens of the Tuileries; "Neptune and Amphitrite," in the gardens at Marly; "Justice and Force," at Versailles; and statues, in which the likenesses are said to have been remarkably successful, of most of the celebrated men of his age, including Louis XIV. and Louis XV. at Versailles, Colbert (at Saint-Eustache), Mazarin (in the church des Quatre-Nations), Condé the Great (in the Louvre), Maria Theresa of Austria, Turenne, Vauban, Cardinals de Bouillon and de Polignac, Fénelon, Racine, Bossuet (in the Louvre), the comte d'Harcourt, Cardinal Fürstenberg and Charles Le Brun (in the Louvre). Coysevox died in Paris on the 10th of October 1720.

Besides the works given above he carved about a dozen memorials, including those to Colbert (at Saint-Eustache), to Cardinal Mazarin (in the Louvre), and to the painter Le Brun (in the church of Saint Nicholas-du-Chardon).

Among the pupils of Coysevox were Nicolas and Guillaume Coustou.

See Henry Jouin, A. Coysevox, sa vie, son œuvre (1883); Jean du Seigneur, Revue universelle des arts, vol. i. (1855), pp. 32 et seq.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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