(b Paris, Dec 6, 1824; d Paris, Sept 10, 1910).
French sculptor and stage designer. He was born into a poor though well-connected family and from the age of 12 contributed to the domestic funds by doing a variety of unskilled jobs. In 1838 he started evening classes at the Petite Ecole (Ecole Gratuite de Dessin), Paris, and between 1842 and 1844 worked in the studio of the sculptor François Rude, who was his uncle. The impact of Rude’s training method, combining the inspirational with an emphasis on the study of natural proportions and structure, was reinforced for Fremiet by the lessons he learnt in his first artistic enterprises: working with the painter and naturalist Jean-Charles Werner (fl 1830–60) at the Musée National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, on a compendium of comparative anatomy; helping Dr Mateo Orfila (1787–1853) assemble the specimens for his anatomical museum; and adding artistic touches to embalmed corpses at the Paris Morgue.
Fremiet made his Salon début in ...