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Guilhem Scherf

(b Douai, Jan 26, 1758; d Paris, Dec 10, 1808).

French sculptor. He trained in Douai and then in Paris with Pierre-François Berruer. In 1781 he exhibited a group of animal sculptures at the Salon de la Correspondance, Paris, but by the following year he was settled in Lille, exhibiting regularly from 1782 to 1790 at the Salon organized by the Lille Académie. Little of his work from this period has been identified, but a terracotta group, signed and dated 1776, of Time Clipping Cupid’s Wings (Paris, Louvre) and two male portrait busts (Lille, Mus. B.-A.) give an idea of his style. The group is clumsy but powerful, treated with Flemish verve in the manner of a genre subject, while the busts of the architect Thomas-François-Joseph Gombert (1725–1801; terracotta, 1782) and of an unknown man (terracotta, 1786), though somewhat dry, are undeniably imbued with life and spirit. Other, untraced works by Corbet in this period include a sketch for a bas-relief in honour of Louis XVI (...

Article

Guilhem Scherf

(b Paris, 1749; d Paris, July 29, 1821).

French sculptor. He was a pupil of Augustin Pajou. He was never a member of the Académie Royale and until 1791 had no access to the official Salon, exhibiting instead at the Salon de la Correspondance, Paris, from 1781 to 1787; he was also denied access to the marble provided by the Bâtiments du Roi for royal commissions, for which only Academicians were eligible, and was forced to be principally a modeller producing works in terracotta or bronze. His chief patron was Prince Louis-Joseph de Condé, and among works commissioned by the Condé family were a bust of Louis II, the Grand Condé (bronze, c. 1780; untraced), and a statuette of the Grand Condé at Fribourg (exh. Salon de la Correspondance 1782), the terracotta (1780; Chantilly, Mus. Condé) and bronze (1785; Chantilly, Mus. Condé) versions of which were made were made by the great bronze-founder Pierre Philippe Thomire. Three further commemorative statuettes in bronze are at Chantilly. They represent ...

Article

Philip Ward-Jackson

[Jean-Jacques]

(b Geneva, May 23, 1790; d Bougival, June 4, 1852).

Swiss sculptor, painter and composer. Prompted by his early displays of artistic talent, Pradier’s parents placed him in the workshop of a jeweller, where he learnt engraving on metal. He attended drawing classes in Geneva, before leaving for Paris in 1807. By 1811 he was registered at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and subsequently entered its sculpture competitions as a pupil of François-Frédéric, Baron Lemot. A more significant contribution to his artistic formation around this time was the guidance of the painter François Gérard. Pradier won the Prix de Rome in 1813 and was resident at the French Academy in Rome, from 1814 until 1819. On his return to France, he showed at the Salon of 1819 a group Centaur and Bacchante (untraced) and a reclining Bacchante (marble; Rouen, Mus. B.-A.). The latter, borrowing an erotically significant torsion from the Antique Callipygean Venus, opens the series of sensuous Classical female subjects that were to become Pradier’s forte. In ...