Terracotta, signed on the back "Martin fecit"
Height with pedestal 42 cm, without 30 cm, width: 26 cm, depth: 16 cm
François Martin was born in Grenoble on December 26, 1761, in the parish of Saint-Louis. His father is a master luthier. At the age of 11, he is already attending the École Publique de Dessin in Grenoble, directed by Jacques-André Treillard. He received this teaching until August 1778. It is not known what life he leads during the following years and with whom he learns the job of sculptor. It is mentioned in the work of P. Sanchez (Dictionary of artists exhibiting in the salons of the 17th and 18th centuries,
Dijon 2004) that he is a pupil, in Paris, of the School of the Royal Academy. He seems to quickly show a great professional mastery. He exhibited at the Salon de la Correspondance, in 1785 and the following year, the busts of Parmentier, Linné, Bailly, La Fayette ... We also owe him the portraits of Fénelon, Rousseau, Voltaire, La Fontaine and those of characters important of the Revolution of which he is very close: Marat, Mirabeau, Desmoulins. "From the 23rd Prairial Year II (June 11, 1794) of the Republic one and indivisible. The committee of public safety: considering that by giving encouragement to those who have always devoted their talents to the glory of the fatherland, she would direct the efforts of other artists towards this object and thus awaken, in their souls, the love of the arts and the need of republican esteem.
Stop that the Martin citizen, sculptor, who since the Revolution has honored himself to work only civic subjects and who has collected from his work a virtuous indigence, will receive by way of encouragement and compensation to help him continue his experiments, the sum of 300 livres to be taken out of the 50 millions placed at the disposal of the committee. "Signed: Barere, Prieur, Robespierre. At the end of the year 1795 he moved to Lyon where he continued his statuary activity by performing the busts of many civil and military personalities. He died in Lyon on November 25, 1804. He had married Therese Barberoux in Grenoble in 1799.
His work, still unknown, was the subject of an interesting exhibition in Vizille, the Museum of the French Revolution from 27 June to 27 October 2014.
• Edmond Maignien, Grenoble artists, Ed. X. Drevet, Grenoble 1887
• Face to face. Laneuville and Martin de Grenoble, Journal of the exhibition, Museum of the Revolution, Vizille, 2014.
Louis-Charles of France (Versailles March 27, 1785 - Paris June 8, 1795) is the second son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. In the eyes of the royalists, Louis-Charles succeeds his father, guillotined January 21, 1793, under the name of Louis XVII. He was imprisoned on August 13, 1792, at the Temple Tower, with his parents. After their death, he is locked up alone for more than 6 months, secretly in a dark cell and without hygiene. These living conditions and the ill-treatment he undergoes lead to a rapid deterioration of his state of health.
He died June 8, 1795 after nearly 3 years of captivity. Could Francis Martin, by his friendships with important figures of the revolutionary movement, approach the young prince in the precincts of the Temple? It is more likely that he was inspired by the bust presented by Deseine, sculptor of the King, in the Salon of the Royal Academy in 1791 or portraits made by the Queen's painter, Kucharsky, who went to the Temple twice , in 1792 and 1793. Many copies and interpretations of these portraits spread at this time.