Clodion (French, 1738-1814)

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Claude Michel (1738-1814), known as Clodion, was one of the most creative and technically gifted French sculptors of the second half of the 18th Century. Working in the Rococo style, Clodion became particularly well-known for his works in marble and terracotta.

Clodin spent the early years of his life in Nancy and Lille, before moving to Paris in 1755. Here he trained in the workshop of his maternal uncle, the sculptor Lambert Sigisbert Adam. In 1759, Clodion was awarded the grand prize for sculpture at the Académie Royale.

The sculptor’s reputation quickly grew and Clodion became highly sought after by members of the elite European nobility. Indeed, Catherine II of Russia was eager to secure Clodion’s presence in St. Petersburg, but the artist chose to remain in Paris. In 1792, the agitation caused by the French Revolution meant that Clodion left Paris for his hometown of Nancy where he remained until 1798, channelling his energies into the decoration of grand houses. On his return to Paris, Clodion continued to work and remained in the city until his death in 1814.

Today, the works of Clodion are highly sought after and many pieces are held by prestigious collections across the world, including the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Frick Collection in New York and the Louvre in Paris.