Coustou, Nicholas

, sculptor in ordinary to the French king, was born at Lyons in 1658, and died at Paris the 1st of May, 1733, aged 75, member of the royal academy of painting and sculpture. He went to Italy as pensionary of the king. It was there he produced his fine statue of the emperor Commodus, represented under the character of Hercules, forming one of the ornaments of the gardens of Versailles. On his return to France, he decorated Paris, Versailles, and Marly, with several pieces of exquisite workmanship. The groupe at the back of the high-altar of Notre Dame de Paris is by him, as well as the two groupes ut Marly, representing two horses tamed by grooms. A fop, who gave himself airs as a great connoisseur, thought fit to say to the artist, while he was employed on this his last grand work: “But this bridle, methinks, should be tighter.” “What pity, sir,” replied Coustou, “you did not come in a moment sooner! you would have seen the bridle just as you would have it; but these horses are so tender-mouthed, that it could not continue so for the twinkling of an eye.” In all his productions he displays an eleyated genius; with a judicious and delicate taste, a fine selection, a chaste design, natural, pathetic and noble attitudes; and his draperies are rich, elegant, and mellow. His brother William was director of the royal academy of painting and sculpture, and died at Paris the 22d of February, 1746, at the age of 69. Although he had not much less merit in the number and | perfection of his works, he was not always esteemed so highly as he deserved. 1


Moreri.—Dict. Hist. Argenville.