Puget, Pierre

Puget, Pierre

(pyĕr püzhā`), 1622–94, French painter and sculptor. At 17 he went on foot to Italy, where he worked for Pietro da CortonaCortona, Pietro Berrettini da
, 1596–1669, Italian baroque painter and architect, b. Cortona. The Barberini family commissioned him to paint frescoes for the vast ceiling of their palace in Rome, which resulted in the exuberant
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 on the ceilings of the Barberini and Pitti palaces. Much of his work is in S France and in Italy, where he worked. His famous statue of St. Sebastian is in Genoa. He made paintings for the churches of Aix-en-Provence and Toulon, but gradually devoted himself wholly to sculpture. From 1655 to 1658, Puget carved the caryatids for the town hall of Toulon. He also executed commissions for Fouquet. Puget used skillful variations on the Italian baroque idiom, ranging from the expressive contortions of his caryatids to the controlled form of his Milo of Crotona (Louvre).
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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].
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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