David d'Angers

Pierre-Jean David (12 March 1788 – 4 January 1856) was a French sculptor, medallist and active freemason.[1] He adopted the name David d'Angers, following his entry into the studio of the painter Jacques-Louis David in 1809 as a way of both expressing his patrimony and distinguishing himself from the master painter.

David d'Angers
David d'Angers, Pierre-Jean, Edouard Baldus, BNF Gallica
David d'Angers (1853);
photograph by Édouard Baldus
Pierre-Jean David

March 12, 1788
DiedJanuary 4, 1856 (aged 67)
Occupationsculptor and medallist


Philopoemen David Angers Louvre LP1556
David's Wounded Philopoemen in the Louvre

He was born in Angers in 1788. His father was a wood carver and ornamental sculptor, who had joined the volunteer Republican army as a musketeer, fighting against the Chouans of La Vendée. He studied in the studio of Jean-Jacques Delusse and in 1808 traveled to Paris to study in the studio of Philippe-Laurent Roland.

While in Paris he did work both on the Arc de Triomphe and the exterior of the Louvre. In 1810 he succeeded in taking the second place prize at the École des Beaux-Arts for his Othryades. In 1811 David's La Douleur won the École's competition for tête d'expression followed by his taking of the Prix de Rome for his Epaminondas in the same year. He spent five years in Rome, during which time he frequented the studio of Antonio Canova and made small trips around Italy to Venice, Naples and Florence.

Returning from Rome around the time of the restoration of the Bourbons and their accompanying foreign conquerors and returned royalists, David d'Angers would not remain in the neighborhood of the Tuileries, opting instead to travel to London. Here John Flaxman and others took him to task for the political sins of David the painter, to whom he was erroneously supposed to be related.

With great difficulty he made his way to Paris again, where a comparatively prosperous career opened before him. His medallions and busts were in much request, as well as orders for monumental works. One of the most famous of these was that of Gutenberg at Strassburg; but those he himself valued most were the statue of Barra (Joseph Bara), a drummer boy who purportedly continued to beat his drum until the moment of death in the war in La Vendée, and the monument to the Greek liberator Markos Botsaris.

PereLachaise Jacques Gobert
Monument to General Gobert (Père Lachaise)

David's busts and medallions were very numerous, and among his sitters may be found not only the illustrious men and women of France, but many others both of England and Germany countries which he visited professionally in 1827 and 1829. His medallions number over 500.

David's fame rests firmly on his pediment of the Pantheon, his marble Wounded Philopoemen in the Louvre and his equestrian monument to General Jacques-Nicolas Gobert in Père Lachaise Cemetery. In addition to that of Gobert, he did sculptures for seven other tombs at Père Lachaise, including the bronze busts of the writer, Honoré de Balzac and physician Samuel Hahnemann.

In the Musée David in Angers is an almost complete collection of his works either in the form of copies or in the original moulds. As an example of his benevolence of character may be mentioned his rushing off to the sickbed of Rouget de Lisle, the author of the Marseillaise Hymn, modelling and carving him in marble without delay, making a lottery of the work, and sending to the poet in the extremity of need the proceeds.

Of Reviving Greece, his monument to the Greek liberator Markos Botsaris, showing a Greek child reading his name, Victor Hugo said, "It is difficult to see anything more beautiful in the world; this statue joins the grandeur of Pheidias to the expressive manner of Puget."


Selected works

The Greek child of David d'Angers reads the name of Botzaris

Reviving Greece, his monument to the Greek liberator Markos Botsaris


Bust of Armand de Bricqueville, Cherbourg-Octeville


Statue of Jean Bart in Dunkerque

Balzac by P J David d Angers 1843

Portrait of Honoré de Balzac

David de Pury Neuchatel

Statue of David de Pury

Xavier Bichat par David D'Anger

Statue de Xavier Bichat, Paris Descartes University

Gutenberg (Paris - 15 eme)

Statue of Gutenberg, Imprimerie nationale, Paris

PL David d'Angers

Tomb of David d'Angers - Père Lachaise Cemetery

Angers - Abbaye Toussaint (1)

The Musée David d'Angers, in the former Toussaint Abbey, Angers


  1. ^ Initiated in ""Le Père de famille"" Lodge in Angers


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "David, Pierre Jean" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 7 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 862.

External links

  • David d'Angers in American public collections, on the French Sculpture Census website Edit this at Wikidata
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Millet was the son of miniaturist Frederick Millet (1796–1859) and uncle to Chicago architectural decorator Julian Louis Millet (1856–1923). He studied and made first in 1836 at the École des Beaux Arts with David d'Angers and Viollet-le-Duc, who was later to design the base of Millet's statue of Vercingetorix in Alesia.

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The son of a locksmith, Armand Toussaint entered the École des Beaux-Arts in 1827 and studied under David d'Angers. In 1832, he won the second Grand Prix de Rome for his Capanée foudroyé sous les murs de Thèbes. He exhibited at the Salon between 1836 and 1850, winning a third-class medal in 1839 for his Jésus Christ environné de petits enfants and a second class in 1847 for his Une esclave indienne portant une torche.

As well as working on his own projects, Toussaint was professor of sculpture at the École des Beaux Arts and carried out several official and church commissions. Around 1850 he was included among those working in Notre Dame de Paris to restore sculptures destroyed during the French Revolution. In 1852, he was made a Knight of the Legion of Honor.

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David (surname)

The surname David or Dávid may refer to:

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Albert David (1902–1945), American naval officer

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Elizabeth David (1913–1992), British cookery writer

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Ferdinand David (musician) (1810–1873), German violinist and composer

F. R. David (born 1947), Tunisian-born French singer

Gary David (born 1978), Filipino professional basketball player

Gerard David (c. 1455–1523), Dutch renaissance painter

Gyula Dávid (1913–1977), Hungarian composer

Hal David (1921–2012), American lyricist and songwriter

Hérmine David (1886–1970), French painter

Jacques David (bishop) (1930–2018), French Roman Catholic prelate

Jacques-Louis David (1748–1825), French neoclassical painter

Janina David (born 1930), British writer, Holocaust survivor

Jason David (born 1982), NFL football player for the New Orleans Saints

Johann Nepomuk David (1895–1977), Austrian composer

Keith David (born 1956), American actor

Kornél Dávid (born 1971), Hungarian basketball player

Larry David (born 1947), American comedian, writer, and actor

Leonardo David (1960–1985), Italian alpine skier

Leopold David (1878 or 1881–1924), first mayor of Anchorage, Alaska

Maria Jeyarani David (born 1951), ordained Christian missionary from Malaysia

Peter David (born 1956), American writer

Pierre Jean David (1788–1856), called "David d'Angers", French sculptor

Shani David (born 1991), Israeli soccer player

Stuart David (born 1969), Scottish musician and novelist

Craig David (born 1981), English musician

Colt David (born 1985), American football player

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Dreams of Youth. 1857.

First Steps in Love. 1861.

Confidence. 1863.

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