Mathurin Moreau


Mathurin Moreau was born in Dijon in 1822 and died in Paris in 1912, a famous sculptor, entrepreneur and public figure. His father, Jean-Baptiste Moreau (1797-1855), also an acclaimed sculptor in Dijon, was best known for his restoration of the medieval tombs of the Dukes of Burgundy, which had been damaged during the French Revolution. Mathurin trained under his father and in 1841 entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, where he trained as a sculptor under Etienne-Jules Ramey and Augustin-Alexandre Dumont.

Moreau made his Salon debut in 1848 with a sculpture in plaster, 'Elegy', and in 1852, his Salon exhibit 'Flower Fairy', also a plaster sculpture, was commissioned in bronze by the State. At the 1861 Salon, his marble sculpture 'Spinner' was also purchased by the State, for the Musee du Luxembourg, Paris. Works of this kind continued to earn Moreau medals and prizes at subsequent Salons and international exhibitions.

He had many public commissions and his statues and monuments are to be found in many parts of Paris. Among his public works, he contributed decorative sculpture to the new Opera and to the rebuilt Hotel de Ville in Paris. He also produced commemorative statues, such as the marble and bronze work in Dijon's Place de la Republique from 1899 of Sadi Carnot, President of the French Republic, which he executed in collaboration with Paul Gasq (fl 1881 - 1909); the statuette of Marguerite of Anjou (1901) and the memorial to Gramme in Pere Lachaise cemetery.

Entrepreneurial activities won Moreau an influential position in public life, and from 1878, Moreau was mayor of the Nineteenth Arrondissement in Paris, which is celebrated in 'The Civil Marriage', a painting by Henri Gervex that hangs in the Salle des Mariages of the Mairie of that arrondissement, showing Moreau officiating at his son's civil marriage ceremony before a distinguished audience.