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François Rude

Born: Dijon, 4 January 1784
Died: Paris, 3 November 1855
Nationality: French

son of a stove maker and locksmith


Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Dijon (1800-04); with Edme Gaulle (1807-08); with Pierre Cartellier (1809)


1807 – moves to Paris

1809 – begins competing at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts

1812 – wins Prix de Rome with Aristeus Mourning the Loss of his Bees (Musée des Beaux-Arts, Dijon); unable to study in Rome due to closure of the French Academy

1815-27 – exile in Brussels due to Bonapartist sympathies; introduced to royal architect Charles van der Straeten by Jacques-Louis David; works in van der Straeten’s workshop

1828 – returns to Paris; begins exhibiting at the Salon

1833 – Louis-Philippe purchases Rude’s Salon entry, a marble version of Young Neopolitan Fisherboy Playing with a Tortoise (plaster exhibited at 1831 Salon)

1838 – ceases exhibiting at the Salon in solidarity with rejected Romantic sculptors


Brussels (1815-27)

Commissions from: 

Louis-Philippe (King of France), Captain Claude Noisot

Important Artworks: 

Young Neapolitan Fisherboy Playing with a Tortoise, 1831 (Louvre, Paris)

Mercury Fastening his Sandal, 1834 Salon, Bronze (Louvre, Paris)

Joan of Arc Listening to Her Voices, 1842. Marble (Louvre, Paris)

Godefroy de Cavaignac, 1845-47. Bronze (Montmartre Cemetery, Paris)

Napoleon Awakening to Immortality, 1845-47. Bronze (Parc Noisot, Fixin)

Marshal Ney, 1852-53. Bronze (Place de l’Observatoire, Paris)