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François Duquesnoy

François Duquesnoy

*  1597 Brüssel
† 1643 Livorno

Alone the countless variants of his name: Du Quesnoy, du Quesnoi, Canoi, Cannoy, Carino, Chenné, Connoe, Dequenova, Ducan, Ducanoe, Duchennel, Kenoy, Quercetus, Quercia, della Quesnoi, de Quesnoy and di Quesnoy, deliver proof of the great international renown of the Flemish baroque sculptor François Duquesnoy. The most frequent ones, however, are François Duquesnoy and François Du Quesnoy.
He was born at Brussels in 1597 son of a family of sculptors. The young boy was educated by his father. It seems he became acquainted with the works by Peter Paul Rubens at an early point. Unfortunately, there are no reliable sources from these days, and the early works by François Duquesnoy are largely lost.
In 1618 François Duquesnoy traveled to Rome on a scholarship from archduke Albert. Instead of two years, as initially planned, François Du Quesnoy stayed for good. During the first decade of his stay in the Eternal City he was occupied with the restoration of antiquities, just as many other artists in those days.
François Duquesnoy, who was a close friend of Nicolas Poussin, was engaged in a cooperation with the doubtlessly most important Italian baroque sculptor, Gianlorenzo Bernini, between 1625 and 1628. François Duquesnoy participated in the construction of the famous baldachin for St. Peter. Along with Giuliano Finelli and Andrea Bolgi, François Du Quesnoy worked on the column putto and the figures for the crowning.
Additionally, François Duquesnoy made his very popular small sculptures in bronze, wood and ivory in Rome. In his art François Duquesnoy manages to unite Classicism and a meaningful Realism.
In 1643 François Du Quesnoy followed an invitation from Louis XIII and set out for France, but never reached his destination. François Duquesnoy died at Livorno in 1643 in the house of a goldsmith from Flanders.