b. 1620, d. 1694
sculptor; painter; draftsman; architect
Though he is best known today as a sculptor, Pierre Puget was also a prolific draftsman, painter, and architect. In Puget's drawings, marine themes abound, and his precise technique is reminiscent of engraving. Puget's sculptural style resembled the Italian Baroque, something that earned him favor with many later French artists, but which drew criticism from some of his peers. Puget was born in Marseilles in 1620. At age 14, he began his artistic career as an apprentice to the wood sculptor Jean Roman, and created the first of his many ship decorations. Later, he worked as a stucco decorator and painter for Pietro da Cortona in Rome. Upon his return to Marseilles and Toulon in 1643, he received many commissions, including sculptures for the Marseilles cathedral. While in Genoa from 1660 until 1668, royal commissions gave him the opportunity to create large marble sculptures for the chateau of France's finance minister. Afterward, Puget returned to France to become director of the Toulon Arsenal workshop, where he had once worked designing and carving ship decorations. He died in 1694.
Ship in a Port