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Lemoyne, Jean Baptists

LEMOYNE, JEAN BAPTISTS (1704-1778), French sculptor, was the pupil of his father, Jean Louis Lemoyne, and of Robert le Lorrain. He was a great figure in his day, around whose modest and kindly personality there waged opposing storms of denunciation and applause. Although his disregard of the classic tradition, and of the essentials of dignified sculpture, as well as his lack of firmness and of intellectual grasp of the larger principles of his art, lay him open to stringent criticism, de Clarac's charge that he had delivered a mortal blow at sculpture is altogether exaggerated. Lemoyne's more important works have for the most part been destroyed or have disappeared. The equestrian statue of " Louis XV." for the military school, and the composition of " Mignard's daughter, Mme Feuquieres, kneeling before her father's bust " (which bust was from the hand of Coysevox) were subjected to the violence by which Bouchardon's equestrian monument of Louis XIV. (q.v.) was destroyed. The panels only have been preserved. In his busts evidence of his riotous and florid imagination to a great extent disappears, and we have a remarkable series of important portraits, of which those of women are perhaps the best. Among Lemoyne's leading achievements in this class are " Fontenelle " (at Versailles), "Voltaire," " Latour " (all of 1748), "Due de la Valiere" (Versailles), " Comte de St Florentin," and "Crebillon" (Dijon Museum); " Mile Chiron" and "Mile Dangeville," both produced in 1761 and both at the Theatre Francais in Paris, and " Mme de Pompadour," the work of the same year. Of the Pompadour he also executed a statue in the costume of a nymph, very delicate and playful in its air of grace. Lemoyne was perhaps most successful in his training of pupils, one of the leaders of whom was Falconnet.

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

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