Pigalle, John Baptist

, one of the most celebrated sculptors that France has produced, was born at Paris in 1714, the son of a joiner, and by his talents became not only sculptor to the king, but chancellor of the academy of painting, and knight of the order of St. Michael. He did not manifest any early disposition for designing; he loved to model, but set about it awkwardly, and finished nothing but by means of indefatigable labour. A visit to Italy gave him that facility which he could not acquire at home. He there studied the works of the great artists, and returned thoroughly inspired with their genius. He died at Paris, Aug. 20, 1785. His most known works are, 1. “A Mercury and a Venus,” which he made by order of Louis XV. and which were presented to the king of Prussia. The king, who was delighted with them, was desirous to see the sculptor; and Pigalle, some time after, went to Berlin, but, being announced as the author of the Mercure de France, could not obtain an audience. When Frederic understood the mistake, he was very anxious to repair it; but Pigalle was already gone in some digust. Pigalle maintained that none of the heads of Frederic did justice to his physiognomy, which, in point of spirit, was the finest he had ever seen; and much regretted that he had not been allowed to model it. 2. The monument of marechal Saxe, in which the beauty of the whole obliterates all objections to the parts. 3. The pedestrian statue of Louis *XV. executed in bronze for the city of Rheims. 4. The statue of Voltaire. 5. A little boy holding a cage. '6. A girl taking a thorn from her foot. 7. Several busts of men of letters who were his friends. If Pigaile cannot be ranked among the men of the first genius in his art, the good sense of his designs, and the soundness of his taste, afford him a place in the very next class. 2