Augustin Pajou (1730-1809), born 19 September 1730 in Paris and died in the same city on 8 May 1809, is a French neoclassical sculptor. Pajou was the son of a sculptor and took his first lessons with his father. He later became a student of Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne. At the age of 18 he won the Prix de Rome, which enabled him to study in Rome at the Académie de France. King Louis XV offered him financial assistance when he studied there. In 1761, he married Angélique Roumier, daughter of the sculptor Claude Roumier.
Pajou was a neoclassical sculptor and became known for his portraits of famous French people including Madame du Barry, Élisabeth Vigée-Le Brun and Queen Maria Leszczyńska. Also he was one of the main artists whose work was included in the collection of the Comédie-Française at the end of the 18th century.
Approved at the Royal Academy in Paris in 1759, he was received there in 1760 with his marble of Pluto enchaining Cerberus (now in the Louvre Museum in Paris). He participated several times in the Paris salon. In 1785 he showed his marble sculpture of Blaise Pascal here. This work has been in the Louvre collection since 1960. Some other museums where his work can be found are the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), the Hermitage (St. Petersburg) and the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium.
Pajou was appointed professor of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture on 7 December 1760 and was promoted to rector on 6 December 1766. He succeeded Jean-Marc Nattier and was replaced by Jean-Guillaume Moitte in 1803 .
Discover the sculptures by Augustin Pajou and other artists in our gallery.