Julien, Peter

, an eminent French sculptor, professor of the schools of sculpture and painting, a member of the French Institute and of the legion of honour, was born at Paulien, in the department of the Haute-Loire, in 1731. He was the pupil first of Samuel, a sculptor in Puy en Velay, with whom he remained two years, after which he was placed at Lyons under Riache, another artist, where he made great progress in sculpture, and after gaining a prize at the academy of Lyons, came to Paris. Here he entered the school of William Coustou, statuary to the king, in 1765, and gained the prize of sculpture for a beautiful bas-relief, representing Sabinus offering his chariot to the vestals, when the Gauls were about to invade Rome. There was a simplicity in the style, taste, and character of this piece which struck the connoisseurs as something different from what they had been accustomed to see in the modern school. The artist, according to the custom of the times, enjoyed the usual pension for three years at Paris, and did not go to Rome until 1768, where, his fame having preceded him, he was employed by the | president Belenger to execute a mausoleum in marble for his wife and daughter. Besides the other labours enjoined to the pensionary artists, Julien made copies, in marble, for the president Ocardi, of the Apollo Belvidere, the Flora in the Farnese palace, and the Gladiator in the Borghese palace, all which are now in the collection at Versailles. He was afterwards recalled to Paris to assist Coustou in the mausoleum for the dauphin and dauphiness. Of this he executed the figure of immortality, and had the charge of removing the whole to the cathedral of Sens, where it now is.

His fame being fully established, he was, although otherwise a man of great modesty, ambitious of a seat in the academy of painting and sculpture, and with that view presented them with a Ganymede, but notwithstanding its acknowledged merit, he did not at this time succeed. In 1779, however, he made a second effort, and his “Dying Gladiator” procured him immediate admission into the academy. He was then employed by the king to make the statue of La Fontaine, which is reckoned his masterpiece in that style. He also executed various bas-relievos for the castle of Rambouillet, and a woman bathing, which is now in the hall of the Senate at Paris, and allowed to be one of the finest specimens of modern art. His last work was the statue of Nicolas Poussin, for the hall of the Institute. This excellent artist died, after a long illness, at Paris in January 1804. 1