The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary French Sculptors of all time. This list of famous French Sculptors is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of French Sculptors.
With an HPI of 84.89, Auguste Rodin is the most famous French Sculptor. His biography has been translated into 90 different languages on wikipedia.
François Auguste René Rodin (12 November 1840 – 17 November 1917) was a French sculptor generally considered the founder of modern sculpture. He was schooled traditionally and took a craftsman-like approach to his work. Rodin possessed a unique ability to model a complex, turbulent, and deeply pocketed surface in clay. He is known for such sculptures as The Thinker, Monument to Balzac, The Kiss, The Burghers of Calais, and The Gates of Hell. Many of Rodin's most notable sculptures were criticized as they clashed with predominant figurative sculpture traditions in which works were decorative, formulaic, or highly thematic. Rodin's most original work departed from traditional themes of mythology and allegory. He modeled the human body with naturalism, and his sculptures celebrate individual character and physicality. Although Rodin was sensitive to the controversy surrounding his work, he refused to change his style, and his continued output brought increasing favor from the government and the artistic community. From the unexpected naturalism of Rodin's first major figure – inspired by his 1875 trip to Italy – to the unconventional memorials whose commissions he later sought, his reputation grew, and Rodin became the preeminent French sculptor of his time. By 1900, he was a world-renowned artist. Wealthy private clients sought Rodin's work after his World's Fair exhibit, and he kept company with a variety of high-profile intellectuals and artists. His student, Camille Claudel, became his associate, lover, and creative rival. Rodin's other students included Antoine Bourdelle, Constantin Brâncuși, and Charles Despiau. He married his lifelong companion, Rose Beuret, in the last year of both their lives. His sculptures suffered a decline in popularity after his death in 1917, but within a few decades his legacy solidified. Rodin remains one of the few sculptors widely known outside the visual arts community.
With an HPI of 78.48, Camille Claudel is the 2nd most famous French Sculptor. Her biography has been translated into 43 different languages.
Camille Rosalie Claudel (French pronunciation: [kamij klodɛl] (listen); 8 December 1864 – 19 October 1943) was a French sculptor known for her figurative works in bronze and marble. She died in relative obscurity, but later gained recognition for the originality and quality of her work. The subject of several biographies and films, Claudel is well known for her sculptures including The Waltz and The Mature Age.The national Camille Claudel Museum in Nogent-sur-Seine opened in 2017. Claudel was a longtime associate of sculptor Auguste Rodin, and the Musée Rodin in Paris has a room dedicated to her works. Sculptures created by Claudel are also held in the collections of several major museums including the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.
With an HPI of 75.97, Giambologna is the 3rd most famous French Sculptor. His biography has been translated into 41 different languages.
Giambologna (1529 – 13 August 1608) — (known also as Jean de Boulogne and Giovanni da Bologna) — was a Flemish sculptor based in Italy, celebrated for his marble and bronze statuary in a late Renaissance or Mannerist style.
With an HPI of 75.24, Marie Tussaud is the 4th most famous French Sculptor. Her biography has been translated into 46 different languages.
Anna Maria "Marie" Tussaud (French: [tyso]; née Grosholtz; 1 December 1761 – 16 April 1850) was a French artist known for her wax sculptures and Madame Tussauds, the wax museum she founded in London.
With an HPI of 75.01, Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi is the 5th most famous French Sculptor. His biography has been translated into 48 different languages.
Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi ( bar-T(H)OL-dee, French: [fʁedeʁik oɡyst baʁtɔldi]; 2 August 1834 – 4 October 1904) was a French sculptor and painter who is best known for designing Liberty Enlightening the World, commonly known as the Statue of Liberty.
With an HPI of 72.34, Louise Bourgeois is the 6th most famous French Sculptor. Her biography has been translated into 40 different languages.
Louise Joséphine Bourgeois (French: [lwiz buʁʒwa] (listen); 25 December 1911 – 31 May 2010) was a French-American artist. Although she is best known for her large-scale sculpture and installation art, Bourgeois was also a prolific painter and printmaker. She explored a variety of themes over the course of her long career including domesticity and the family, sexuality and the body, as well as death and the unconscious. These themes connect to events from her childhood which she considered to be a therapeutic process. Although Bourgeois exhibited with the Abstract Expressionists and her work has much in common with Surrealism and Feminist art, she was not formally affiliated with a particular artistic movement.
With an HPI of 71.49, Antoine Bourdelle is the 7th most famous French Sculptor. His biography has been translated into 35 different languages.
Antoine Bourdelle (30 October 1861 – 1 October 1929), born Émile Antoine Bordelles, was an influential and prolific French sculptor and teacher. He was a student of Auguste Rodin, a teacher of Giacometti and Henri Matisse, and an important figure in the Art Deco movement and the transition from the Beaux-Arts style to modern sculpture. His studio became the Musée Bourdelle, an art museum dedicated to his work, located at 18, rue Antoine Bourdelle, in the 15th arrondissement of Paris, France.
With an HPI of 71.47, Paul Landowski is the 8th most famous French Sculptor. His biography has been translated into 20 different languages.
Paul Maximilien Landowski (1 June 1875 – 31 March 1961) was a French monument sculptor of Polish descent. His best-known work is Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
With an HPI of 71.40, Jean-Antoine Houdon is the 9th most famous French Sculptor. His biography has been translated into 29 different languages.
Jean-Antoine Houdon (French: [ʒɑ̃ ɑ̃twan udɔ̃]; 25 March 1741 – 15 July 1828) was a French neoclassical sculptor. Houdon is famous for his portrait busts and statues of philosophers, inventors and political figures of the Enlightenment. Houdon's subjects included Denis Diderot (1771), Benjamin Franklin (1778-1809), Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1778), Voltaire (1781), Molière (1781), George Washington (1785–1788), Thomas Jefferson (1789), Louis XVI (1790), Robert Fulton, (1803–04), and Napoléon Bonaparte (1806).
With an HPI of 69.85, François Rude is the 10th most famous French Sculptor. His biography has been translated into 22 different languages.
François Rude (4 January 1784 – 3 November 1855) was a French sculptor, best known for the Departure of the Volunteers, also known as La Marseillaise on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. (1835–36). His work often expressed patriotic themes, as well as the transition from neo-classicism to romanticism.
Pantheon has 29 people classified as sculptors born between 1500 and 1938. Of these 29, 1 (3.45%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living sculptors include Daniel Buren. The most famous deceased sculptors include Auguste Rodin, Camille Claudel, and Giambologna. As of October 2020, 3 new sculptors have been added to Pantheon including Henri Laurens, Ligier Richier, and Emmanuel Frémiet.
1840 - 1917
1864 - 1943
1529 - 1608
1761 - 1850
1834 - 1904
1911 - 2010
1861 - 1929
1875 - 1961
1741 - 1828
1784 - 1855
1822 - 1899
1716 - 1791
Which Sculptors were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 22 most globally memorable Sculptors since 1700.