Jean Goujon
sculptor and architect.
As Goujon appears first in Normandy, it is supposed that he was born there. It is not known that he ever studied in Italy. He is first mentioned in a contract dated August 9, 1541, for two columns supporting the organ loft of the church of S. Maclou at Rouen (see Castille, Colin). The two sculptured wooden doors in the porch of this church are always ascribed to Goujon without evidence, except such as is derived from their style, --in this case very convincing. A third door on the side of the church is later, and may be by another hand. From about 1542 until 1544 he was associated with the architect Pierre Lescot and the sculptors Laurent Regnauldin and Simon Leroy in the construction and decoration of the choir screen (jubé) of the church of S. Germain 1'Auxerrois, Paris. The jubé was destroyed in 1745. The records of this work have been preserved, and two of its bas-reliefs by Goujon are now in the Louvre. About 1544 he became architect to the Constable Anne de Montmorency, and was associated with Jean Bullant in the decoration of the château of Écouen. The chimney-piece by Goujon at Ecouen is extremely fine. In the dedication of Jean Martin's translation of Vitruvius, published in 1547, for which Goujon drew many plates, he is mentioned as architect to the king, Henri II. After this time, and probably until his death, he was occupied in association with Pierre Lescot in making the splendid sculpture on the façade of the Louvre at the southwest angle of the old court. The pairs of figures about the œils-de-bœuf over the doors are especially fine. The contract for the music gallery, supported by four caryatides in the lower hall of this building, one of his most famous productions, was made in 1550.
The so-called Fountain of the Innocents, in Paris, was originally a loggia built at an angle of the old cemetery of the Innocents on the corner of the Rue Saint-Denis and the Rue aux Fers, Paris. June 10, 1786, the cemetery was suppressed. The fountain, with Goujon's bas-reliefs, was rearranged in the square which replaced the cemetery.
Goujon's decorations of the chateau of Anet date from about 1553 (see De l'Orme, P.). Of these, the most important is the group of Diana with a stag, which is now in the Louvre. The sculptured decoration of the Hôtel Carnavalet, Paris, is attributed to Goujon by Sauval. After 1562, Goujon's name disappears from the meagre records of the works at the Louvre. He was probably a Protestant, and it has been supposed, without proof, that he was killed in the massacre of S. Bartholomew (August 24, 1572). A "Giovanni Goggeon francese, intagliotore di rilieve," who died in Bologna, Italy, between 1564 and 1568, is supposed by Montaiglon to have been the great French sculptor.

Column from the Cathedral of Mantua.




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