Pierre Puget

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Puget, Pierre


Baptized Oct. 16, 1620, in Marseille; died there Dec. 2,1694. French baroque sculptor, painter, and architect.

Puget studied sculpture with J. Roman—an artist who carved wooden figures for galleys. From 1640 to 1643 he lived in Italy, where he studied mostly painting under the guidance of Pietro da Cortona. Puget worked in Toulon (as architect and sculptor of the Arsenal), Marseille, Paris, and Genoa (1661–67).

Puget’s sculptures differed markedly from the refined decorative pieces that were typical of 17th-century court sculpture. They are noted for their dynamic figures and for an effective rendering of physical tension and suffering (for example, the Atlases supporting the balcony of the Toulon Town Hall, 1656–57; Milo of Crotona, 1670–83, Louvre, Paris; both of marble). As a sculptor, Puget usually combined expressiveness with clarity of composition. His painting is reminiscent of the academic direction in Italian baroque art (for example, the work of Guercino), but it has a more energetic palette (as seen in Christ the Savior, 1655, Museum of Fine Arts, Marseille).

Puget’s most important architectural work—a plan for the reconstruction of Marseille (1660’s)—was never realized.


Brion, M. Pierre Puget. Paris [1930].
Herding, K. Pierre Puget: Das bildnersche Werk. Berlin [1970].
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* Pierre Puget, the sculptor-architect, was born at Marseilles in 1622.