The French sculptor Antoine Coysevox was born at Lyons. In 1657 he went to Paris, where he studied under Louis Lerambert and at the Académie. In 1666 he gained the title of Sculpteur du Roi. Between 1667 and 1671 he worked at Saverne in Alsace for Cardinal Egon, Bishop of Strasbourg. After a brief return to Lyons, where he seems to have thought of establishing himself, he settled in Paris from 1667, and embarked on a busy career as a Royal Sculptor, producing works for Versailles, the Trianon, Marly, Saint-Cloud, and the Invalides. A brilliant portraitist, he made busts of most of the leading public figures of the time, and was the first French sculptor to portray fellow artists and friends, establishing a tradition that was to remain a special feature of French sculpture. Working in both bronze and marble, he produced several major sepulchral monuments, sometimes in collaboration with other Royal Sculptors.
Coysevox epitomizes the restrained Baroque style favored by Louis XIV, and was the dominant figure in French sculpture in the latter part of the reign. He exercised a powerful influence on the development of French sculpture in the first half of the 18th century. The foremost sculptors of the succeeding generation, Nicolas and Guillaume I Coustou, were his nephews and pupils. Coysevox's output was very large, but many of his important works have not survived; several of those that have have been moved from their original locations. His best-known statues, Mercury and Fame, originally carved in 1702 for Marly, have since 1719 stood at the entrance to the Jardins des Tuileries in Paris. There is an extensive and varied collection of his work in the Louvre, Paris.
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