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Artists Biography

Mathurin Moreau

French 1822 - 1912
Mathurin Moreau was a French sculptor born in Dijon in 1822. Mathurin came from a distinguished family of artists, studying initially under his father.

His father, Jean-Baptiste Moreau (1797-1855), a sculptor in Dijon, was best known for his restoration of the medieval tombs of the Dukes of Burgundy, which had been damaged during the French Revolution.

In 1841 Mathurin entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, where he trained under Etienne-Jules Ramey and Augustin-Alexandre Dumont. He made his Salon debut in 1848 with Elegy (plaster, Dijon, Mus. B.-A.).
In 1852 his Flower Fairy, exhibited at the Salon in plaster, was commissioned by the State in bronze (Dijon, Mus. B.-A.). At the 1861 Salon, his marble Spinner was also bought by the State, for the Musee du Luxembourg, Paris (version, Dijon. Mus. B.-A.).

Poetic and uncontentious works of this kind continued to earn Moreau medals and prizes at subsequent Salons and international exhibitions. Among his public works, he contributed decorative sculpture to the new Opera and to the rebuilt Hotel de Ville in Paris, and also produced some commemorative statues, such as that in Dijon to Sadi Carnot, President of the French Republic (marble and bronze, 1899; Dijon, Place de la Republique), which he executed in collaboration with Paul Gasq (b 1860; fl 1881-1909).
However, it was probably the extent of his entrepreneurial activities that won for Moreau an influential position in public life. Having provided many sculpture models for commercial exploitation by the Val d'Osne foundry, he became one of the administrators of the Society du Val d'Osne. Together with his pupil and namesake, Auguste Moreau (1834-1917), he continued, well into the 20th century, to supply models for the manufacture of decorative bronze statuettes that were wholly untouched by more avant-garde endeavours.

From 1878 Moreau was mayor of the 19th arrondissement in Paris. The Civil Marriage, a painting by Henri Gervex that hangs in the Salle des Mariages of the Mairie of that arrondissement, shows Moreau officiating at his son's civil marriage ceremony, before a distinguished audience.

In 1912 he had a street named in his honour.

Works by this artist…

  • La Source
    La Source
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