Pierre Jean David, a French sculptor, commonly called David d'Angers, born in Angers, March 12, 1789, died in Paris, Jan. 4, 1856. He was not a relative of the famous painter of his name, although he was his pupil and married his niece. When only 20 years old he obtained a medal of encouragement from the academy of fine arts, and in 1811 his bass-relief of Epaminondas, which is in the museum of his native town, gained the first prize for sculpture, and along with it a pension to finish his education in Italy. He passed five years at Rome; then visited London, where, although in indigence, he refused to execute a monument commemorative of Waterloo; and on his return to Paris he established his reputation by his statue of Conde. He was elected a member of the academy of fine arts Aug. 5, 1826, and appointed professor Dec. 6, 1826. From 1835 to 1837 he was employed upon his sculptures of the Pantheon, now the church of St. Genevieve, at Paris, which constituted the great work of his life. His other productions embrace bass-reliefs, colossal medallions, busts, statues, and funereal monuments. Among the first are the "Battle of Fleurus" and the "Battle of Heliopolis" for the arch at Marseilles, and the "Epaminondas," which was the beginning of his reputation.
Among the busts are those of Washington and Lafayette in the capitol at Washington, of Chateaubriand, Lamartine, Rossini, and Beranger at Paris, of Goethe at Weimar, and of Humboldt at Berlin. The mausoleum of Marco Bozzaris, at Missolonghi, presented by him in sympathy with the Greek struggle for independence, is one among several tombs of great beauty which he produced. His last work, the statue of Bichat, was placed in the great court of the'medical school at Paris, July 16, 1857. He was a republican member of the constituent assembly of 1848, and was proscribed after the coup d'etat. He took refuge at Brussels, and was not permitted to return to France until after nearly three years, during which he visited Greece. David excelled more by his immense capacity for labor than by originality.