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Pierre Julien: Sculptor to Queen Marie-Antoinette is a scholarly study of the artist (1731?1804) who rose from humble beginnings, the son of an illiterate carpenter, to become professor at the Paris Acadmie and director of the sculptural decoration at Marie-Antoinette's dairy at Rambouillet (1785?87), a surprise gift from Louis XVI. A moderate during the Revolution, Julien became one of the original members of the Institut National (1795). He executed life-size marble statues, part of the Great Men series, small works in terra cotta, and mythological figures such as Ganymede, Narcissus, and Cupid. His masterpieces are Amalthea, or Girl with Goat, the centerpiece at Rambouillet, and two statues in the Louvre: the Dying Gladiator, his reception-piece to the Acadmie, and Jean de La Fontaine, a statue of the author of Fables.
The first major study of Pierre Julien in a hundred years, Pierre Julien: Sculptor to Queen Marie-Antoinette celebrates the 200th anniversary of the sculptor's death and coincides with the exhibition in Le Puy, France (Spring 2004). This volume is indispensable to art historians and anyone interested in the colorful period in French history between the age of Louis XV and the rise of Napoleon.