Richier primarily worked in the churches of his native Saint-Mihiel and from 1530 he enjoyed the protection of Duke Antoine of Lorraine, for whom he did important work. Whilst Richier did sometimes work in wood, he preferred the pale, soft limestone with its fine grain, and few veins, extracted at Saint Mihiel and Sorcy and when working in this medium he experimented with refined polishing techniques, with which he was able to give the stone a marble-like appearance. One of his finest works is the "Groupe de la Passion", consisting of 13 life-size figures made in the local stone of the Meuse region. It can be found in the Church of St. Étienne. It is also known as the "Pâmoison de la Vierge" (Swoon of the Virgin, the Virgin fainting, supported by St John). Other works attributed to him are in the Church of St. Pierre, Bar-le-Duc, and in the Louvre.
Possibly his best known work is "Le Transi de René de Chalon" in the church of Saint-Étienne i, Bar-le-Duc. Made in Sorcy stone and standing at 1m74cm, it depicts the corpse of Rene de Chalon, Prince of Orange (who died on the 15th of July 1544) in the form of a flayed corpse clutching its own heart.
Whilst little is known of Ligier Richier's personal life, it is recorded that in 1560, with the others living in Saint-Mihiel, he petitioned the Duke of Lorraine in order to practice in the reformed Protestant religion. He was apparently unsuccessful, for in 1564 he joined his daughter Bernadine in Geneva, Switzerland. She had married Pierre Godart, another Protestant who left Lorraine because of his religious beliefs. Richier remained in Geneva until his death in 1567.
- Brief Biography of Ligier Richier
- List of Sights in Saint-Mihiel
- [Ligier Richier: un Sculpteur Lorrain de la Renaissance, editions Place Stanislas 2008]
- Ligier Richier (c.1500-1567)
Media related to Ligier Richier at Wikimedia Commons