Bust of Guillaume Froelich, work of Pierre Bontemps

Bust of Guillaume Froelich, work of Pierre Bontemps
Bust of Guillaume Froelich, work of Pierre Bontemps

This work made in marble by the sculptor Pierre Bontemps around the year 1562 is an excellent example of the characteristics of French Renaissance sculpture.

This is a bust that is part of the funerary monument that was erected in the Convent des Cordeliers in Paris, in honor of the military man Guillaume Froelich, who although of Swiss origin, worked for years for the French army, until his death in 1562.


Bust of Guillaume Froelich, work of Bontemps

Pierre Bontemps was one of the artists who worked on the decoration of the Palace of Fontainebleau, one of the places where the ideas of the Renaissance and Italian Mannerism entered, since none other than the great sculptor and goldsmith Benvenuto Cellini worked there with works like his Nymph.

Presumably, contemplating the art of the immense Florentine artist, a young Pierre Bontemps (c. 1504 – 1568) would learn a lot. As well as the Italian artistPrimaticcio, whose assistant he was during his work onFontainebleau, both in the decoration of the Chamber of the King, as in that of the Queen.

Although it is true that this author represents a veryclassicist current, something that is not surprising if it is known that his first works as a sculptor were the restoration of copies of works byAntiquity.

And the truth is that in general, the Renaissance and Mannerism in France, and even the art of the Baroque always had a authentic classic tone.

Going back to this work that is on display today at the Louvre Museum in Paris, we can say that Bontemps was a true specialist in this type of funerary work, since prior to this he had made others such as the Sepulcher of Francisco I or the Monument to the Heart of this same king that he made for the Abbey des Hautes Bruyères, although it is currently kept in the Basilica of Saint Denis. And you can also name the funerary monument he made in honor of the military man Charles Maigny, a work that can now also be seen in theLouvre

The truth is that only these three works are documented as actually made by Bontemps. Others are known, but there is no documentation to prove it. Although, for example, no expert in French sculpture doubts that the bust of Guillaume Froelich is his work, since his characteristic style can be seen highly decorative, precious and with an elegant tone.

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