French sculptor. He was the son of a silk merchant and trained under the painter Donat Nonotte at the Ecole Royale de Dessin in Lyon. He then worked with the local sculptor Barthlemy Blaise (1738-1819). In 1772 he assisted Blaise with the restoration of the sculptures on the faade of the Hôtel de Ville. By 1780 he was working independently and received a commission from the canons of St Paul for chalk statues of St Paul, St Sacerdos and the Four Evangelists (all destroyed 1793-94). He subsequently made stone statues of St Bruno and St John the Baptist (partially destroyed) for the Charterhouse at Selignac, near Bourg-en-Bresse.
In 1784, thanks to the patronage of the Lyonnais official Jean-Marie Delafont de Juis, Chinard was able to go to Rome, where he remained until 1787. There he studied the art of antiquity but seems not to have had any contact with Antonio Canova,
the most influential Neo-classical sculptor in the city. In 1786 he won first prize for sculpture at the Accademia di S Luca, the first French artist to do so for 60 years, with the terracotta group Perseus Delivering Andromeda (Rome, Accademia Nazionale S Luca).
Although Chinard produced some attractive, Clodion
-type terracottas, and also more patently Neoclassical, sternly republican sculpture, he remains most remarkable for his portrait busts,
at their finest these rival Houdon
s in realistic vitality, and in addition have a poetic refinement which is Chinard s own.
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