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Pierre Puget

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A painter, sculptor, architect, and naval constructor, born at Marseilles, 31 Oct., 1622; died there 2 Dec., 1694. At fourteen he was apprenticed to a shipbuilder and showed much talent. In 1637 he set out on foot for Italy, and found work with the duke's cabinet-maker in Florence. Later at Rome he studied painting under Pietro da Cortona. In 1643 he returned to France, and was summoned to Toulon to build a man-of-war. In 1646 he was again in Italy as assistant to a religious of the Feuillants, whom Anne of Austria had commissioned to make drawings of all the principal monuments of antiquity. Puget's attention was thus directed to architecture. In 1653 he was back in France, painting altar-pieces for different churches, the "Annunciation and Visitation" (Aix); the "Salvator Mundi", the "Baptism of Constantine and of Clovis" (Marseilles). Some pictures believed to be his are probably the work of his son François. In 1660 Fouquet sent him to Carrara to buy marble for his palace. After the fall of Fouquet, Puget lingered in Genoa long enough to execute many works: "St. Sebastian"; "B. Alexander Sauli"; a "Madonna" for the Balbi; another for the Carrega; " St. Philip Neri "; the "Rape of Helen", Palazzo Spinola; a relief of the "Assumption" for the Duke of Mantua. His sculptures in the Louvre are "Hercules", "Janus and the Earth", "Perseus delivering Andromeda", "Milo of Crotona", "Alexander and Diogenes". At the Consigne, Marseilles, is his "Plague of Milan ". Architectural works are the door and balcony of the Hotel de Ville, Toulon; the fish market, Marseilles ; he also commenced the Church and Hospice of Charity in that city, but left it unfinished at his death.


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