François-Antoine VASSÉ

Toulon 1681 - Paris 1736


The son and pupil of the sculptor Antoine Vassé, and possibly also of Pierre Puget, François-Antoine Vassé first worked with his father at the Arsenal in his native city of Toulon, the premier French naval port. (This was an experience that eventually gained him an appointment as dessinateur général de la Marine in 1715, with responsibility for the design and decoration of the interiors of the most important ships of the French Navy.) By the turn of the century the young Vassé had settled in Paris, where in the spring of 1707 he won a prize at the Académie Royale. By September of the following year he was working as a decorative sculptor at Versailles, where he was active for several years. Vassé also worked at the Tuileries, the Hôtel de Toulouse and the altar of Notre-Dame. He achieved a position of artistic pre-eminence, alongside the designer Gilles-Marie Oppenord, during the last years of the reign of Louis XIV. In 1723 Vassé was agrée at the Académie Royale.