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Jacques Thirion

(b c. 1510; d ?Bologna, c. 1565).

French sculptor, illustrator and architect. He was one of the great masters of relief sculpture. Through his collaboration with the architect Pierre Lescot he was involved in many major building projects, and in his refined relief sculptures, such as the carved panels for the Fountain of the Innocents, Paris, he achieved a highly personal synthesis between the mannered style of the Fontainebleau school and a classicism derived from his study of antique sculpture. He illustrated with skilful and lively wood-engravings Jean Baptiste Martin I’s first complete French translation (Paris, 1547) of Vitruvius, De architectura: Architecture ou art de bien bastir, an edition that was to have considerable influence on the revival of the classical style in France.

Goujon was possibly of Norman origin, and the knowledge of the sculpture and architecture of anti-quity and the Italian Renaissance displayed in his works suggests that he spent time in Italy. He is first recorded at Rouen in ...

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Rayne Roper

(b Savona; fl Rome, 1551; d Rome, c. 1589).

Italian sculptor and restorer. While earlier sources incorrectly state that he was from Sarzana, more recent documentation accurately cites his birthplace as Savona. The biographical information pertaining to Sormani remains incomplete, but it is suggested that he worked as an apprentice in his father’s workshop in Carrara after spending his early childhood in Savona. Sormani worked in Rome from 1551 until his death, remaining there except for a brief return visit to Carrara in 1561–2, possibly concerning the death of his father. In addition to minor restoration and sculptural work in Rome during the earlier years of his career, Sormani is credited with an extensive amount of sculpture in the basilica of S Maria Maggiore, Rome. In 1574 Cardinal Felice Peretti (later Pope Sixtus V) commissioned a tomb for Pope Nicholas IV in S Maria Maggiore from his architect Domenico Fontana. Fontana designed the structure of the tomb itself, and Sormani completed the marble sculptures that stand within its three rectangular niches. Sormani executed for the central, more prominent niche a seated statue of ...