Famous French Sculptors

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Find out more about the greatest French Sculptors, including Marcel Duchamp, Edgar Degas, Auguste Rodin, Gustave Courbet and Georges Braque.
Vote for Your Favourite French Sculptors
 1 
Edgar Degas
(French Impressionist Artist Best Known for His Pastel Drawings and Oil Paintings)
Edgar Degas
7
Birthdate: July 19, 1834
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: September 27, 1917

French Impressionist artist Edgar Degas is best remembered for his oil paintings and pastel drawings and for his signature use of dancers and bathing women as themes in his works such as Fin d'Arabesque and Woman in a Tub. He had also experimented with bronze sculptures and called himself a realist.

 2 
Marcel Duchamp
(Artist Known for His Revolutionary Developments in the 'Plastic Arts' In the Early 20th Century)
Marcel Duchamp
7
Birthdate: July 28, 1887
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Blainville-Crevon, France
Died: October 2, 1968
French-American painter and sculptor Marcel Duchamp is remembered for his association with movements such as Cubism and Dadaism. A significant figure in conceptual art, he was against art that was meant to just cater to the eyes. He was also a skilled chess player and carved his own chess set.
 3 
Auguste Rodin
(French Sculptor Best Regarded as the Founder of 'Modern Sculpture')
Auguste Rodin
5
Birthdate: November 13, 1840
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: November 17, 1917
Initially aspiring to be a monk, Auguste Rodin found his true calling when he visited Italy and was awestruck by Michelangelo’s creations. His iconic sculptures such as The Thinker and The Age of Bronze are astoundingly life-like. He breathed magic into nudes and ballerinas made of stone and bronze.
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 4 
Louise Bourgeois
(Artist Best Known for Her Large-Scale Sculpture and Installation Art)
Louise Bourgeois
5
Birthdate: December 25, 1911
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: May 31, 2010

Louise Bourgeois was a French-American artist best remembered for her large-scale installation art and sculpture. Also a prolific printmaker and painter, Bourgeois explored a variety of themes, such as sexuality and death. In 1997, she was awarded the National Medal of Arts. In 2009, she was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.

 5 
Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi
(French Sculptor and Painter Best Known for Designing the 'Statue of Liberty')
Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi
5
Birthdate: August 2, 1834
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Colmar, France
Died: October 4, 1904

Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi was a French painter and sculptor remembered for designing the Statue of Liberty. He is also credited with designing other iconic statues like The Lion of Belfort and Marquis de Lafayette. In addition to being a sculptor, Bartholdi also played an important role in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, serving as a liaison officer to Giuseppe Garibaldi.

 6 
Gustave Courbet
(French Painter and Leader of the 19th Century Realist Movement)
Gustave Courbet
5
Birthdate: June 10, 1819
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ornans, France
Died: December 31, 1877
Born to a farmer in eastern France, Gustave Courbet was initially gearing up to study law but later deviated to art. He started by copying Spanish painters and later rebelled against Romanticism, focusing on real-life subjects around him instead and thus developing 19th-century Realism.
 7 
Gustave Doré
(Artist Best Known for His Prolific Output of Wood-Engravings and Illustrated Texts)
Gustave Doré
5
Birthdate: January 6, 1832
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Strasbourg, France
Died: January 23, 1883

Best known for his wood-engraving, Gustave Doré was a child prodigy who began his artwork at the tender age of 5. A master lithographer and caricaturist, he began his career with Journal pour Rire. He also worked on commissions from authors such as Cervantes, Milton, and Dante.

 8 
Camille Claudel
(French Sculptor Known for Her Work: ‘The Waltz’ and ‘The Mature Age’)
Camille Claudel
5
Birthdate: December 8, 1864
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Fère-en-Tardenois, France
Died: October 19, 1943

French sculptor Camille Claudel is also popularly known as legendary sculptor Auguste Rodin’s student, mistress, and muse. Claudel also contributed to many of Rodin’s masterpieces but never got any credit for it. After her relationship with Rodin soured, she became alienated and eventually died in an asylum.

 9 
Georges Braque
(Painter Best Known for Inventing Cubism with Pablo Picasso)
Georges Braque
4
Birthdate: May 13, 1882
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Argenteuil, France
Died: August 31, 1963

French painter Georges Braque is considered one of the pioneers of Cubism. His 1908 masterpiece Large Nude is one of his most celebrated pieces. Critics often argue whether Braque or Picasso had first begun developing Cubism, and many of their works are very similar in nature.

 10 
Jean Arp
(German-French-Sculptor Best Known for His Biomorphic Sculptures)
Jean Arp
3
Birthdate: September 16, 1886
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Strasbourg, France
Died: June 7, 1966

Jean Arp was born in Strasbourg, to a German father and a French mother. After studying art in Paris and Switzerland, he co-created The Modern Alliance and participated in the Dada and Abstraction-Création movements. An avant-garde painter and sculptor, he also experimented with media such as embroidery.

 11 
Rosa Bonheur
(French Artist and Sculptor Known Best as a Painter of Animals)
Rosa Bonheur
3
Birthdate: March 16, 1822
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bordeaux, France
Died: May 25, 1899

Rosa Bonheur was a French artist and sculptor whose paintings have been preserved in popular museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Musée d'Orsay. An influential personality, Bonheur was widely regarded as the 19th century's most popular female painter. An open lesbian, Rosa Bonheur stood out as a groundbreaking individual both in her personal life and her career.

 12 
Andre Derain
(French Artist, Painter, Sculptor and Co-founder of 'Fauvism')
Andre Derain
3
Birthdate: June 10, 1880
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Garches, France
Died: September 8, 1954

Andre Derain is considered a co-founder of Fauvism, along with fellow artist Henri Matisse, who was one of his classmates at the Académie Carriere. He also created theatrical décor for Ballets Russes and woodcut book illustrations for authors such as Antonin Artaud and André Breton.

 13 
Niki de Saint Phalle
4
Birthdate: October 29, 1930
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
Died: May 21, 2002

Niki de Saint Phalle was a French-American painter, sculptor, and filmmaker. She gained prominence as a monumental sculptor as not many women were renowned for their skills as monumental sculptors. Also remembered for her social work, Niki was one of the earliest artists to spread awareness about AIDS through art. She also wrote extensively in English and French.

 14 
Victor Vasarely
(French Artist and Leader of the Op Art Movement Best Known for His Grid-Like Paintings and Sculptures)
Victor Vasarely
4
Birthdate: April 9, 1906
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Pécs, Hungary
Died: March 15, 1997

Hungarian-French artist Victor Vasarely pioneered the Op Art movement, using geometric angles and depth in works such as Vega-Nor. He initially worked as a graphic artist in advertising agencies and then created masterpieces influenced by Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism. His work Zebra remains one of his best-known pieces.

 15 
Gustave Moreau
(French Symbolist Painter Known for His Erotic Paintings of Mythological and Religious Subjects)
Gustave Moreau
3
Birthdate: April 6, 1826
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: April 18, 1898

French Symbolist painter Gustave Moreau is best remembered for his erotic paintings of mythological and religious figures. His works were deeply influenced by Théodore Chassériau, his teacher, and later by the Italian Renaissance. The Apparition and Jupiter and Sémélé remain two of his best-known works.

 16 
Jean Dubuffet
(Painter, Sculptor)
Jean Dubuffet
3
Birthdate: July 31, 1901
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Le Havre, France
Died: May 12, 1985

French painter and sculptor Jean Dubuffet pioneered what is known as art brut, or raw art. He halted his painting classes to be a wine merchant for a while and returned to painting after almost two decades. He had also experimented with music, study of languages, and poetry.

 17 
Brassaï
(Photographer, Artist and Writer Known for His Dramatic Photographs of Paris at Night)
Brassaï
3
Birthdate: September 9, 1899
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Brașov, Romania
Died: July 8, 1984

Gyula Halász, or Brassaï, derived his pseudonym from the city of his birth, Brassó, then in Hungary. Later, he moved to Paris, where he began his career as a photographer. He published his works in volumes such as Paris de nuit. He was also a sculptor and a poet.

 18 
Aristide Maillol
4
Birthdate: December 8, 1861
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Banyuls-sur-Mer, France
Died: September 27, 1944

Best known for his female nude statues, Aristide Maillol had started his career as a tapestry painter. He was 40 when failing eyesight forced him to quit painting and take to sculpting. He was influenced by the French group of artists named the Nabis. Many of his artworks were later looted by the Nazis.

 19 
Honoré Daumier
(French Painter and Sculptor Known for His Cartoons and Drawings Satirizing 19th-Century French Politics and Society)
Honoré Daumier
3
Birthdate: February 26, 1808
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Marseille, France
Died: February 10, 1879

Honoré Daumier is best remembered for his satirical cartoons on the French society and politics. Born to a glazier father in Marseille, he later began studying art under Alexandre Lenoir and developed a love for sculptures, too. He later made a fortune, working on commissions of lithographs.

 20 
Christian Boltanski
(French Sculptor, Photographer, Painter Known for His Contemporary French Conceptual Style)
Christian Boltanski
3
Birthdate: September 6, 1944
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: July 14, 2021

Christian Boltanski was a French sculptor, painter, photographer, and filmmaker. Best remembered for his contemporary French conceptual style and photography installations, Boltanski took part in more than 150 art exhibitions around the world. He also won several prestigious prizes like the Praemium Imperiale Award.

 21 
Marie Laurencin
(French Painter and Printmaker Known for Her Delicate Portraits of Elegant, Vaguely Melancholic Women)
Marie Laurencin
3
Birthdate: October 31, 1883
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: June 8, 1956

Marie Laurencin was a French printmaker and painter. An important member of the Cubists within the Groupe de Puteaux, Laurencin was an influential figure in the Parisian avant-garde. Today, her works can be seen at popular museums like the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in the USA, the Tate Gallery in the UK, and the State Hermitage Museum in Russia.

 22 
Pierre Soulages
(French Abstract Painter Renowned as the 'World's Greatest Living Artist')
Pierre Soulages
3
Birthdate: December 24, 1919
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Rodez, France

Pierre Soulages is a French painter, sculptor, and engraver. His works have influenced several prominent personalities like François Hollande, who called him the greatest living artist in the world, in 2014. Over the course of his illustrious career, Pierre Soulages has won several prestigious awards like Carnegie Prize, Rembrandt Award, and the Austrian Decoration for Science and Art.

 23 
Antoine-Louis Barye
3
Birthdate: September 24, 1795
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: June 25, 1875

Antoine-Louis Barye was a French sculptor best remembered for his work as a sculptor of animals. He also served as a professor at the Museum of Natural History and was inducted into the Académie des beaux-arts in 1868. Antoine-Louis Barye is credited with mentoring his son Alfred Barye, who went on to become a respected sculptor in his own right.

 24 
Paul Landowski
(Sculptor)
Paul Landowski
3
Birthdate: June 1, 1875
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: March 31, 1961

Paul Landowski was a French sculptor remembered for designing the Christ the Redeemer statue, which has become a symbol of Christianity around the world.  Landowski is also remembered for winning the gold medal at the 1928 Summer Olympics where he won the art competition for sculpture.

 25 
Jacques Lipchitz
(Former sculptor who was part of the Cubist movement)
Jacques Lipchitz
3
Birthdate: August 22, 1891
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Druskininkai, Lithuania
Died: May 26, 1973
 26 
Daniel Buren
(French Conceptual Artist, Painter, and Sculptor Known for His Distinctive Site-Specific Installations of Alternating Stripe Patterns)
Daniel Buren
3
Birthdate: March 25, 1938
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Boulogne-Billancourt, France

Daniel Buren is a French conceptual artist, visual artist, sculptor, and painter. He is credited with creating many world-famous installations, such as Les Deux Plateaux. One of the most active and renowned artists on the international scene, Daniel Buren is the recipient of several prestigious awards like the Golden Lion and the Premium Imperiale.

 27 
Jean-Antoine Houdon
(Neoclassical sculptor)
Jean-Antoine Houdon
3
Birthdate: March 25, 1741
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Versailles, France
Died: July 15, 1828

Jean-Antoine Houdon was a French sculptor best remembered for his statues and portrait busts of philosophers, political figures, and inventors. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, his sculptures were used as a reference for imprinting portraits of prominent personalities on various U.S. postage stamps.

 28 
François Rude
(Sculptor)
François Rude
2
Birthdate: January 4, 1784
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Dijon, France
Died: November 3, 1855

François Rude was a French sculptor best remembered for sculpting the Departure of the Volunteers on the Arc de Triomphe, which is counted among the most prominent monuments in Paris. His work often expressed the transition from neo-classicism to romanticism. François Rude is also credited with mentoring Charles-Auguste Lebourg and Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux, who became prominent sculptors in their own right.

 29 
Nicole Farhi
(Fashion Designer)
Nicole Farhi
3
Birthdate: July 25, 1946
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Nice, France

Known for her elegant, unstructured designs, fashion designer Nicole Farhi began her career as a freelancer in Paris before moving to London. Eventually she joined French Connection as the head of its design studio in Bow, very soon launching her own label under the company’s umbrella. She gradualy expandied it to include shoes, accessories, home décor, opening shops and even restaurants.

 30 
Bruno Catalano
(Sculptor)
Bruno Catalano
2
Birthdate: July 15, 1960
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Khouribga

Bruno Catalano is a French sculptor best known for creating such sculptures that showcase artistic expression through missing elements. Ten of his life-size sculptures were exhibited in Marseille as part of the Marseille-Provence 2013, a series of cultural events to celebrate Marseille's status as the European Capital of Culture.

 31 
Antoine Bourdelle
(French Sculptor, Teacher and an Key Figure in the 'Art Deco Movement')
Antoine Bourdelle
2
Birthdate: October 30, 1861
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Montauban, Tarn-et-Garonne, France
Died: October 1, 1929

Antoine Bourdelle was a French sculptor and teacher. A prominent personality in the Art Deco movement, Bourdelle played a major role during the transition to modern sculpture from the Beaux-Arts style. A prolific and influential teacher, Antoine Bourdelle is credited with mentoring several future sculptors like Alberto Giacometti, Athanase Apartis, and Josefina de Vasconcellos.

 32 
Ossip Zadkine
2
Birthdate: January 28, 1888
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Viciebsk, Belarus
Died: November 25, 1967
 33 
Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux
(French Sculptor and Painter During the Second Empire Under Napoleon III)
Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux
2
Birthdate: May 11, 1827
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Valenciennes, France
Died: October 12, 1875

Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux was a French painter and sculptor who worked during Napoleon III's reign. Impressed by his early works, which included a bust of Princess Mathilde, Napoleon III commissioned several works to Carpeaux which established his reputation as an important sculptor. Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux is credited with mentoring future sculptors like Olin Levi Warner and Jules Dalou.

 34 
César Baldaccini
2
Birthdate: January 1, 1921
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Marseille, France
Died: December 6, 1998

César Baldaccini was a French sculptor who had occupied the most important position among other sculptors of the Nouveau Réalisme movement. Baldaccini, who had become one of France's most prominent sculptors by 1960, was renowned for his experimental works. He is credited with creating the César du cinéma trophy, which is regarded as the most prestigious award in French cinema.

 35 
Jacqueline Piatigorsky
2
Birthdate: November 6, 1911
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: July 15, 2012

Jacqueline Piatigorsky was a French-American sculptor, chess player, philanthropist, author, and arts patron. As a chess player, Piatigorsky represented the USA in the first Women's Chess Olympiad, in 1957, where she won a bronze medal. An important patron of the arts, Jacqueline Piatigorsky helped raise money for the New England Conservatory of Music to create an award for deserving artists. 

 36 
Marine Delterme
2
Birthdate: March 12, 1970
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Toulouse, France

Marine Delterme is a French painter, sculptor, actress, and former model. She is best known for her friendship with Carla Bruni; Delterme was one of the guests at Bruni's wedding to Nicolas Sarkozy at the Élysée Palace in Paris. As a sculptor, Marine Delterme has displayed her works in places like New York and Paris.

 37 
Ludmilla Tchérina
(French Prima Ballerina, Sculptor and Actress)
Ludmilla Tchérina
2
Birthdate: October 10, 1924
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: March 21, 2004

Ludmilla Tchérina was a French prima ballerina, actress, sculptor, painter, author, and choreographer. In 1942, she became the youngest prima ballerina when she made her debut, creating the role of Juliet in Serge Lifar's Romeo and Juliet. Although she had a lifelong passion for sculpting and painting, Ludmilla Tchérina is primarily remembered for her skills as an actress.

 38 
Jean-Paul Laurens
2
Birthdate: March 28, 1838
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Fourquevaux, France
Died: March 23, 1921

Jean-Paul Laurens was a French sculptor and painter. He was one of the last and most important exponents of the French Academic style or academism. One of the most respected painters of his generation, Jean-Paul Laurens was commissioned to paint many public works, including paintings on the life of Saint Genevieve, by the French Third Republic. 

 39 
Gislebertus
(Sculptor)
Gislebertus
2
Birthplace: France

Gislebertus was a French sculptor whose decoration of the Cathedral of Saint Lazare represents the indigenous work from that period. The techniques implemented by Gislebertus helped pave the way for the development of the Gothic style. His influence can be seen in many church sculptures across France.

 40 
Henri Gaudier-Brzeska
2
Birthdate: October 4, 1891
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Saint Jean-de-Braye, France
Died: June 5, 1915

Henri Gaudier-Brzeska was a French sculptor and artist who developed a primitive style of carving that leaves the tool marks on the final work. His unconventional style was viewed as the exact opposite of the highly polished style of ancient Greece. His life and career inspired the book, Savage Messiah, which was adapted into a movie of the same name.

 41 
François-Thomas Germain
2
Birthdate: April 17, 1726
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: January 23, 1791

François-Thomas Germain was a French silversmith who worked for the European royalty, earning the title royal silversmith. His association with financiers in 1765 was considered a breach of guild regulations, resulting in his resignation and bankruptcy. Today, many of his works are showcased in museums across Europe. François-Thomas Germain was portrayed as the main antagonist in Assassin's Creed Unity (2014).

 42 
Ernest Meissonier
(French Classicist Painter and Sculptor Famous for His Depictions of Napoleon, His Armies and Military Themes)
Ernest Meissonier
2
Birthdate: February 21, 1815
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Lyon, France
Died: January 31, 1891

French painter and illustrator Ernest Meissonier, part of the Academic art movement, is best remembered for his paintings of Napoleonic battles and other historical events. Though expected to join his family dye business, he left home to become an artist. His works showcase a prominent influence of 17th-century Dutch painters.

 43 
Eugène Carrière
(French Artist Known for His Scenes of Domestic Intimacy and for His Portraits of Distinguished Literary)
Eugène Carrière
2
Birthdate: January 16, 1849
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Gournay, France
Died: March 27, 1906

French symbolist artist Eugène Carrière was a significant figure of the Fin de siècle period. It is believed his works influenced much of his friend Pablo Picasso’s artworks. His signature style included gray shades and soft tones. He also taught art at Académie de La Palette.

 44 
Raymond Duchamp-Villon
2
Birthdate: November 5, 1876
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: October 9, 1918

French sculptor Raymond Duchamp-Villon, brother of artist Marcel Duchamp, is remembered for his pioneering work on Cubism in sculpture. While his works such as Baudelaire show him employing geometrical shapes, works such as Seated Woman showed him deviating to abstract shapes. He died while serving the army in World War I.

Étienne Maurice Falconet
2
Birthdate: December 1, 1716
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: January 24, 1791

Étienne Maurice Falconet is perhaps best remembered for his creation the Bronze Horseman, which depicted Czar Peter I of Russia on a horse. He developed the French Baroque style into Rococo art. Many of his works were made for the Sèvres Porcelain Factory. He also penned Reflections on Sculpture.

 46 
Jules Dalou
(Sculptor)
Jules Dalou
2
Birthdate: December 31, 1838
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: April 15, 1902

Nineteenth-century French sculptor Jules Dalou, who excelled in bronze art, was initially trained by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux. He spent a few years in exile in England after the French government convicted him for participating in the Paris Commune. The Triumph of the Republic remains one of his best-known works.

 47 
Émile Friant
(Former Artist known for painting, sculpture)
Émile Friant
2
Birthdate: April 16, 1863
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Dieuze, France
Died: June 9, 1932
 48 
Jean-Marc Bustamante
2
Birthdate: June 4, 1952
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Toulouse, France

Best known for his photographs and installations, Jean-Marc Bustamante had begun his career as an assistant to photographer William Klein. One of his most famous series was Something is Missing. He also produced countless projects with French sculptor Bernard Bazile, as the duo Bazile Bustamante.

 49 
Albert Carrier-Belleuse
2
Birthdate: June 12, 1824
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Anizy-le-Chateau, France
Died: June 4, 1887
 50 
Jean Goujon
(Sculptor)
Jean Goujon
2
Birthdate: 1510 AD
Birthplace: Normandy, France
Died: 1565 AD

Jean Goujon was a French architect and sculptor who served under Henry II of France in the 1540s. Goujon's style influenced several artists of the School of Fontainebleau and also had an impact on the decorative arts. Some of his most popular works include Fountain of the Innocents and allegories on the facade of the Louvre.