Pilon, Germain

born 1535, Paris, France
died Feb. 3, 1590, Paris

French sculptor.

His decoration of the tomb of Francis I (1558), a relatively early work, shows an Italian influence, but he later developed a distinctively French expression by fusing elements of Classical and Gothic art with the Fontainebleau adaptation of Mannerism. His best-known works are funerary sculptures for Henry II and Catherine de Médicis at St.-Denis (1561–70). His work represents a transitional link between the Gothic tradition and Baroque sculpture.

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▪ French sculptor
born 1535, Paris
died Feb. 3, 1590, Paris

      French sculptor whose work, principally monumental tombs, is a transitional link between the Gothic tradition and the sculpture of the Baroque period.

      A sculptor's son, Pilon was employed at the age of 20 on the decoration of the tomb of King Francis I at Saint-Denis. His earlier work clearly shows an Italian influence, but eventually he developed a more distinctively French expression by fusing elements from classical art, Gothic sculpture, and Michelangelo with the Fontainebleau adaptation of Mannerism, a style characterized by subjective conceptions, studied elegance, and virtuoso artifice.

 Pilon's best-known works are funerary sculptures for Henry II. It was a custom of the period for men of high estate to assign their remains to more than one burial site—often one for the body, one for the heart, and one for the entrails. Pilon's monument for the heart of Henry II (c. 1561; Louvre) consists of three marble Graces of great elegance supporting an urn. It was perhaps based on a design by Primaticcio (Primaticcio, Francesco). For the principal tomb of Henry II and Catherine de Médicis at Saint-Denis (1563–70), also designed by Primaticcio, Pilon created four bronze corner figures and, above, the kneeling figures of the king and queen in bronze. Most important, however, are the seminude, marble gisants, or figures of the royal pair recumbent in death. Considered by some to be his most sublime achievement, the gisants are a Renaissance idealization of a Gothic convention and possess a depth of emotion that Pilon perhaps never again attained.

      Sculptor royal from 1568, Pilon had a successful career as a portraitist, his finest work in the genre being the kneeling figure of René de Birague (1583–85; Louvre). Appointed controller of the mint in 1572, he contributed to French medal casting a distinguished series of bronze medallions in 1575.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pilon, Germain — (1525/1530 1590)    French Mannerist artist who became the leading sculptor of France after Jean Goujon s death. Most of the works executed by Pilon are funerary in nature. His Tomb of Henry II and Catherine de Medici (1563 1570; St. Denis,… …   Dictionary of Renaissance art

  • Pilon, Germain — (1535, París, Francia–3 feb. 1590, París). Escultor francés. Su decoración para el sepulcro de Francisco I (1558), una obra relativamente temprana, muestra influencia italiana; sin embargo, posteriormente desarrolló una expresividad… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • pilon — [ pilɔ̃ ] n. m. • XIIe; de 1. piler 1 ♦ Instrument de bois, cylindrique, à base convexe, servant à piler. « le bruit régulier et lent d un pilon dans un mortier » (Zola). Pilon à légumes, pour faire les purées. ♢ Instrument utilisé pour écraser… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Germain Pilon — Monumento conteniendo el corazón de Enrique II de Francia …   Wikipedia Español

  • Germain — (as used in expressions) Degas Hilaire Germain Edgar Germain Thomas Pilon Germain Saint Germain Treaty of * * * …   Universalium

  • Germain — (as used in expressions) Degas, (Hilaire Germain) Edgar Germain, Thomas Pilon, Germain Saint Germain en Laye, tratado de …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Germain Pilon — Naissance Vers 1528 Paris Décès 3 février 1590 Paris Nationalité …   Wikipédia en Français

  • PILON (G.) — Germain Pilon, fut avec Jean Goujon, le plus grand sculpteur de la Renaissance française. Dans son œuvre, qui plonge ses racines dans la sculpture médiévale française, mais dont le style a subi l’influence décisive de l’art des Italiens de… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Germain Pilon — (c. 1537 [In 1583 he said he was forty six or thereabouts (Babelon 1927:33).] Paris 1590 Paris) was one of the most important sculptors of the French Renaissance. Trained by his father and (perhaps) Pierre Bontemps, Pilon was an expert with… …   Wikipedia

  • Pilon — is a surname, and may refer to:* Alain Pilon (born 1960), Quebec politician and businessman * Daniel Pilon (born 1940), Canadian born actor * Germain Pilon (circa 1537 1590), one of the most important sculptors of the French Renaissance *… …   Wikipedia

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