Girardon, François(fräNswä` zhērärdôN`), 1628–1715, French sculptor. Chancellor Séguier sent him to study in Paris with François Anguier and later to Rome. On his return he was commissioned with much of the decorative sculpture in the gardens of Versailles under the direction of Le Brun. He is best known for his Tomb of Richelieu at the Sorbonne. His famous equestrian statue of Louis XIV was destroyed in the Revolution.
Born Mar. 17, 1628, in Troyes, in Champagne; died Sept. 1, 1715, in Paris. French sculptor; representative of French 17th-century classicism.
Girardon studied in Troyes and then in Rome with L. Bernini (until 1650) and was influenced by baroque art. He was elected to the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in Paris in 1657 (a professor from 1659). Girardon was a master of monumental and decorative sculpture. He created sculptural groups (The Rape of Persephone, marble, 1699), decorative vases for the palace and park in Versailles, the monument for Cardinal Richelieu in the church of the Sorbonne (marble, 1675–94), an equestrian statue of Louis XIV for the Place Vendome in Paris (bronze, 1683–99; destroyed, 1792), and a number of portrait busts.