Monaco celebrates the 250th anniversary of the birth of François-Joseph Bosio
Francois Joseph Bosio La Nymphe Salmacis, 1819 – 1837 Marbre blanc NMNM Collection, N ° 1958.260 © NMNM / Mauro Magliani
Internationally renowned Monegasque sculptor Giuseppe-Francesco Bosio, better known as François-Joseph Bosio, was born in Monaco 250 years ago, on March 19, 1768.
Fascinated by sculpture from an early age, he drew the attention of Prince Honoré III, who recommended him to the Parisian sculptor Augustin Pajou, with whom he spent two years, from 1785 to 1787. He then moved to Italy, where he was a pupil by Antonio Canova.
In 1808 he was recruited by Vivant Denon, director of the Napoleon Museum, who was in charge of imperial commissions. He was offered to Empress Josephine and from 1810 had the honor to make a bust of the new Empress and of Napoleon himself. Bosio was elected a member of the Institut de France in 1816 and appointed professor at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1817. In 1822 Louis XVIII named him “Chief Sculptor to the King” and Charles X made him baron in 1828 Bosio died in July 1845 in Paris. He is buried in the Père Lachaise cemetery.
Besides numerous busts of the French elite of his time (Napoleon, Josephine, Hortense, Napoleon II, Louis XVIII, etc.), Bosio’s most important works include the equestrian statue of Louis XIV (Place des Victoires, Paris), the monument to Louis XVI, Henry IV as a child, the Quadriga of the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, Hercules Wrestling Achelous transformed into a snake and the nymph Salmacis.
Bosio’s memory continues to be kept alive in Monaco:
- On the Rocher, a small square decorated with its bust bears its name;
Monaco Art School – Paviljoen Bosio is an institute for higher education that is specifically aimed at offering multidisciplinary courses in art and stage design to students;
The Prince’s Palace and the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco contain a number of works by Bosio;
Finally, the winners of the various categories at the International Television Festival are awarded with reproductions of Bosio’s Nymph Salmacis.