Denis Foyatier

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Denis Foyatier
A marble statue of Spartacus in front of a neoclassical building. He is standing naked with his legs astride, looking into the middle distance with his left hand clenched against his chin, his right arm crossing his chest on which his left arm rests.
Spartacus, 1830
Born (1793-09-21)21 September 1793
Bussières, Loire
Died 19 November 1863(1863-11-19) (aged 70)
Nationality French
Education École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts, Paris
French Academy in Rome
Known for Sculpture
Notable work Spartacus
Movement Neoclassicism

Denis Foyatier (21 September 1793 at Bussières, Loire – 19 November 1863 at Paris) was a French sculptor in the neoclassical style.


Foyatier was the child of a family of modest means (his father was a weaver and later a farmer at Bezin, a hamlet near Bussières, Loire). He started by working on religious figures, while taking a design course at Lyon. In 1817, he entered the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts ("National Higher School for Arts and Crafts") in Paris. In 1819 he exhibited his first pieces and, aged 26, was awarded a scholarship for the French Academy in Rome at the Villa Médicis.

At the Villa Médicis he created the mould for his piece Spartacus, which is very well known. A Royal Command of 1828 for a production in marble made him famous.

After a brilliant career as a sculptor and painter, he died on 19 November 1863 and is buried in the Petit-Clamart cemetery in a suburb of Paris.

Some of Foyatier's works have been lost; several were melted down during the Second World War.

He was the father-in-law of the sculptor Jules Blanchard.


Several towns have named streets after him:

and some smaller communes in the Loire department:


Photograph of a bronze statue of Joan of Arc on a horse, all on a large plinth. The picture is taken from below. She is in armour and carries a sword in her outstretched right hand. The horse has its head bowed and its right foreleg raised, as if trotting. The bronze statue is green from verdigris.
Statue of Joan of Arc in the Place du Martroi, Orléans


  • Kjellberg, Pierre (1988). Le Nouveau guide des statues de Paris [New Guide to Paris Statues] (in French). Paris: La Bibliothèque des Arts. 

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