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Falguiere, Jean Alexandre Joseph

FALGUIERE, JEAN ALEXANDRE JOSEPH (1831-1900), French sculptor and painter, was born at Toulouse. A pupil of the Ecole des Beaux Arts he won the Prix de Rome in 1859; he was awarded the medal of honour at the Salon in 1868 and was appointed officer of the Legion of Honour in 1878. His first bronze statue of importance was the "Victor of the Cock-Fight" (1864), and "Tarcisus the Christian Boy-Martyr" followed in 1867; both are now in the Luxembourg Museum. His more important monuments are those to Admiral Courbet (1890) at Abbeville and the famous "Joan of Arc." Among more ideal work are "Eve" (1880), "Diana" (1882 and 1891), "Woman and Peacock," and "The Poet," astride his Pegasus spreading wings for flight. His "Triumph of the Republic" (1881-1886), a vast quadriga for the Arc de Triomphe, Paris, is perhaps more amazingly full of life than others of his works, all of which reveal this quality of vitality in superlative degree. To these works should be added his monuments to "Cardinal Lavigerie" and "General de La Fayette" (the latter in Washington), and his statues of "Lamartine" (1876) and "St Vincent de Paul" (1879), as well as the "Balzac," which he executed for the Société des gens de lettres on the rejection of that by Rodin; and the busts of "Carolus-Duran" and "Coquelin cadet" (1896).

Falguière was a painter as well as a sculptor, but somewhat inferior in merit. He displays a fine sense of colour and tone, added to the qualities of life and vigour that he instils into his plastic work. His "Wrestlers" (1875) and "Fan and Dagger" (1882; a defiant Spanish woman) are in the Luxembourg, and other pictures of importance are "The Beheading of St John the Baptist" (1877), "The Sphinx" (1883), "Acis and Galatea" (1885), "Old Woman and Child" (1886) and "In the Bull Slaughter-House." He became a member of the Institute (Académie des Beaux-Arts) in 1882. He died in 1900.

See Léonce Bénédite, Alexandre Falguière, Librairie de l'art (Paris).

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

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