Pierre Granier

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Ino and Mélicerte, Versailles's garden

Pierre Granier (1655 — 1715) was a proficient but minor French sculptor, trained in the excellent atelier of François Girardon who produced a generation of highly competent sculptors for the Bâtiments du Roi.[1] Granier served as a modest member of the extensive team that provided sculpture for the Château de Versailles[2] and its gardens. Strict control over the subjects, scale, materials and to a great extent the design of sculpture for Versailles was exercised by the premier peintre du Roi, Charles Le Brun. According to Antoine-Nicolas Dézallier d'Argenville, Le Brun provided a wax model for Granier's marble group Ino and Melicertes, and a Shepherdess was sculpted after a sketch given by Le Brun.[3]

Born at Les Matelles near Montpellier, he was an official of the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture, where he was received in 1686[4] and to whom he had presented his bust of Louis XIV.[5]

When the marble sculpture of a god discovered at Smyrna was offered to Louis XIV, Granier was commissioned in 1686 to provide a missing right arm, raised and brandishing a thunderbolt: the result was the so-called Jupiter de Smyrne, now conserved at the Louvre Museum.[6]

Further reading[edit]

  • F. Souchal, French Sculptors of the 17th and 18th Centuries, The reign of Louis XIV, vol. II, Oxford, 1981.


  1. ^ Dézallier d'Argenville mentions Robert Le Lorrain, Granier, René Frémin (1672-1744, working at La Granja until 1738) Nourisson, Charpentier and Jean Joly de Troyes
  2. ^ Providing architectural sculpture: "à Granier sculpteur, pour une figure de pierre représentant la Poésie et trois testes de femme à la grande aisle… 490 L[ivres]" (Jules Guiffrey, Comptes des Bâtiments du Roi sous le règne de Louis XIV, [1901] vol. II, p. 209: 5 August 1682; the Poésie pastorale, part of the Grande Commande, and other sculptures by Granier (Dates and attributions are not reliable.).
  3. ^ Antoine-Nicolas Dézallier d'Argenville. Vies Des Fameux Architectes Depuis la Renaissance Des Arts..., vol. II (1787) s.v. "Granier, Pierre".
  4. ^ Ludovic Lalanne, Dictionnaire historique de la France, s.v. "Académie de peinture et sculpture" [sic], following Ph. le Bas, Dictionnaire encyclopédique de l'histoire de France.
  5. ^ Dézallier d'Argenville, ibid..
  6. ^ Louvre Museum on-line catalogue.