(1716 - 1791)
Étienne-Maurice Falconet first studied sculpture under J.B Lemoyne. He then adopted a style that was purely Rococo. One of his famous works, The Bather, was typical of Falconet; erotic nudes were his preferred subjects. He was director of the Sevres factory from 1757 to 1766 and the business was also responsible for reproducing many of his sculptures in porcelain. Falconet moved to Russia in 1766 and was recommended to Catherine II by Diderot. He remained there for twelve years, completing his greatest sculpture under her patronage. It was an equestrian statue of Peter the Great, unveiled in St. Petersburg in 1782. Falconet, however, had returned to France in 1778. He had a stroke in 1783 that kept him from sculpting. He then began revising his writings that were previously published in 1781. His best-known writing is Reflexions sur la sculpture.