Saint Francis de Sales in Prayer
Augustin Pajou (1730-1809) was pupil to Lemoyne. Child prodigy, winner of the Rome Prize in 1748, he had a successful career as a decorator and portraitist. His Saint Francis de Sales, a sketch from 1765 for a sculpture for the church of Saint Roch in Paris, incurred the wrath of Diderot who described it at the Salon of 1765. The work shows the artist’s hesitations, which he shared with many others of his generation, between the attraction of a bold and energetic style and the gradual movement towards a more heroic, detached style.