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MERCIE, MARIUS JEAN ANTONIN (1845- ), French sculptor and painter, was born in Toulouse on the 30th of October 1845. He entered the Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris, and studied under Falguiere and Jouffroy, and in 1868 gained the Grand Prix de Rome. His first great popular successes were the " David " and " Gloria Victis," which was shown and received the medal of honour of the Salon. The bronze was subsequently placed in the Square Montholon. " The Genius of the Arts " (1877), a relief, is in the Tuileries, in substitution for Barye's " Napoleon III."; a similar work for the tomb of Michelet (1879) is in the cemetery of Pere la Chaise; and in the same year Mercié produced the statue of Arago with accompanying reliefs, now erected at Perpignan. In 1882 he repeated his great patriotic success of 1874 with a group " Quand Meme!" replicas of which have been set up at Belfort and in the garden of the Tuileries. " Le Souvenir " (1885), a marble statue for the tomb of Mme Charles Ferry, is one of his most beautiful works. " Regret," for the tomb of Cabanel, was produced in 1892, along with " William Tell," now at Lausanne. Mercié also designed the monuments to " Meissonier " (1895), erected in the Jardin de ITnfante in the Louvre, and " Faidherbe " (1896) at Lille, a statue of " Thiers " set up at St Germain-en-Laye, the monument to " Baudry " at Pere-la-Chaise, and that of " Louis-Philippe and Queen Amelie " for their tomb at Dreux. His stone group of " Justice " is at the Hotel de Ville, Paris. Numerous other statues, portrait busts, and medallions came from the sculptor's hand, which gained him a medal of honour at the Paris Exhibition of 1878 and the grand prix at that of 1889. Among the paintings exhibited by the artist are a " Venus," to which was awarded a medal in 1883, " Leda " (1884), and " Michaelangelo studying Anatomy " (1885) his most dramatic work in this medium. Mercié was appointed professor of drawing and sculpture at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, and was elected a member of the Academic Francaise in 1891, after being awarded the biennial prize of the institute of 800 in 1887.

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

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