Nicolas Sébastien Adam
* 1705 Nancy
† 1778 Paris
Nicolas Sébastien Adam is regarded one of the main representatives of French rococo sculpting. Nicolas Sébastien Adam was born second son of the famous French sculptor Jacob Sigisbert Adam in Nancy in 1705. His older brother was Lambert Sigisbert Adam, who was a much celebrated in Rome and Paris.
Nicolas Sébastien Adam was trained in his father’s studio. After a short while, however, the young Nicolas Sébastien Adam went to Paris, where his older brother was active at that time. During his time in Paris he was commissioned to execute the ornamentation of the castle de la Mosson near Montpellier.
Since Nicolas Sébastien Adam, unlike his brother, was not granted the privilege of a Rome scholarship from the academy, he financed a journey to Rome in 1726 himself. Together with Lambert Sigisbert Adam, Nicolas Sébastien Adam restored the collection of antiquities of cardinal Polignac, who was his older brother‘s patron.
In 1734 Nicolas Sébastien Adam returned to Paris and was accepted by the academy a little later, however, he did not turn his acceptance piece in before 1762.
Together with Lambert Sigisbert Adam, Nicolas Sébastien Adam received numerous contracts from high-ranked commissioners, he contributed, for instance, to the famous Bassin de Neptune in the park of the Versailles Palace. The great talent of Nicolas Sébastien Adam, who was, unlike his brother, modest and prudent, did not remain unnoticed by the king, who would provide Nicolas Sébastien Adam with commissions.
Nicolas Sébastien Adam’s success soon grew even beyond French borders. In 1747 the sculptor was called to Berlin by Frederic II, however, he sent his brother François Gaspard Balthasar to Prussia. By request of king Stanislas Leszczyski, Nicolas Sébastien Adam went to Nancy, where he made his main work, the expressive tomb of queen Catherina Opalinska.
In 1778 the French academy appointed Nicolas Sébastien Adam professor, at that time he already was an old man who had lost eyesight. Nicolas Sébastien Adam died in Paris the same year.