Stouf's representation of the saint shows him standing and looking down at two dead infants at his feet. His facial expression registers his horror at he devastations of the "Fronde"--the civil war of 1648-1653. The resultant life-size statue was the sculptor's first major work.

Saint Vincent de Paul, c. 1787

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The John R. Van Derlip Fundexpand_more  70.15

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Saint Vincent de Paul (1581–1660) dedicated his life to helping the poorest of the poor in France, including abandoned and abused children. About a hundred years later, during the Enlightenment, when the French celebrated scientific reasoning and individual liberty, he was one of the few religious personages honored with a statue in the Great Men of France series, installed in the Louvre’s Grande Galerie. This terra-cotta model is the only record of Stouf’s first proposal for the statue. Severely criticized for showing only the saint’s compassion and not his active deed of charity, Stouf modified the sculpture. His final version shows the saint lifting a child off the ground, symbolizing the children’s salvation.

Details
Title
Saint Vincent de Paul
Artist Life
French, 1742–1826
Role
Sculptor
Accession Number
70.15
Curator Approved

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Stouf's representation of the saint shows him standing and looking down at two dead infants at his feet. His facial expression registers his horror at he devastations of the "Fronde"--the civil war of 1648-1653. The resultant life-size statue was the sculptor's first major work.