Pierre Puget, a French artist, born in Marseilles, Oct. 31, 1622, died there, Dec. 2, 1694. He was apprenticed to a ship builder and wood carver, travelled on foot to Italy, and after suffering great hardships obtained admission to the studio of Pietro da Cortona in Rome. Returning to Marseilles in 1643, he was com-missioned by the duke de Brézé to design a magnificent ship, which, in honor of the queen, Anne of Austria, was called La Reine, and Puget devoted three years to decorating it with carvings. He next went to Italy again, and spent some years in copying antique monuments and in art and architectural studies. In 1653 he returned to France, and painted many church pictures for Marseilles, Aix, Toulon, Cuers, and La Ciotat. Ill health obliging him to give up painting in 1655, he devoted himself to sculpture and architecture. The gate and the balcony of the city hall at Toulon, which he built and carved, were his first works. He then went to Genoa, where he executed many important works. In 1665 he was recalled to France by Colbert, and appointed director of ship decorations at the dockyard of Toulon, where he also began to build an arsenal; but its progress being hindered by official intrigues, he retired to his native city.
While at Toulon he had partly sculptured in Carrara marble the group upon which his fame mainly rests, his "Milo of Crotona devoured by a Lion." It was finished in 1683, for the gardens at Versailles. His group of Andromeda and Perseus was completed in 1685, and brought to Versailles by his son; three years later he himself went there with his bass relief of Alexander and Diogenes. After his return to Marseilles, he superintended the building of a church, executed his last work in bass relief, "The Plague of Milan," and spent his later years in retirement.