Prou, Jacques (French, 1655–1706)

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Jacques Prou (1655–1706) was an 17th Century French sculptor, who is famous for his Academic Baroque style.

Prou trained at the Academy School in Paris, after which he spent four years refining his artistic style at the French Academy in Rome.  After returning to Paris in 1681, Prou became a member of the Bâtiments du Roi, a group responsible for building works at the King’s residences in and around Paris. It was in this capacity that Prou provided sculpture for the Palace of Versailles in the atelier of Jean-Baptiste Tuby, whose daughter he married. At Versailles also he became closely associated in projects for fountains and emblematic decorative sculpture with Antoine Coysevox, notably in the Escalier des princes, the salon opening onto it, and the Salon de la Guerre.

In 1682, Prou was received as a full member of the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture, presenting as his reception piece a bas-relief of Sculpture consulting Painting over the portrait of Louis XIV. This exceptional work, now housed at the Musée du Louvre, reveals Prou’s concern for surface textures adapted from painting.

His marble memorial portrait bust of Philippe de France, duc d'Orléans and the only brother of Louis XIV, was exhibited at the Paris salon of 1704 and met with critical acclaim.