FRANCOIS RUDE (1784-1855), French sculptor, was born at Dijon on the 4th of June 1784. Till the age of sixteen he worked at his father's trade as a stovemaker, but in 1809 he went up to Paris from the Dijon school of art, and became a pupil of Castellier, obtaining the Grand Prix in 1812. After the second restoration of the Bourbons he retired to Brussels, where he got some work under the architect Van der Straeten, who employed him to execute nine bas-reliefs in the palace of Tervueren. At Brussels Rude married Sophie Fremiet, the daughter of a Bonapartist compatriot to whom he had many obligations, but gladly availed himself of an opportunity to return to Paris, where in 1827 a statue of the Virgin for St Gervais and a "Mercury fastening his Sandals" (now in the Louvre) obtained much attention. His great success dates, however, from 1833, when he received the cross of the Legion of Honour for his statue of a "Neapolitan Fisher Boy playing with a Tortoise," which also procured for him the important commission for all the ornament and one group in the Arc de l'Etoile. This group, the "Depart des volontaires de 1792," a work full of energy and fire, immortalizes the name of Rude. Amongst other productions we may mention the statue of the mathematician Gaspard Monge (1848), Jeanne d'Arc, in the gardens of the Luxembourg (1852), a Calvary in bronze for the high altar of St Vincent de Paul (1855), as well as "Hebe and the Eagle of Jupiter," "Love Triumphant" and "Christ on the Cross," all of which appeared at the Salon of 1857 after his death. He died suddenly on the 3rd of November 1855.
See also P. G. Hamerton, Modern Frenchmen, five biographies (1878); Carl Adolf Rosenberg, Francois Rude (1884); Louis Gonse, Les Chefs d'ceuvre des musees de France (Paris, 1900); L. de Fourcaud, Francois Rude, sculpteur (Paris, 1904).
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