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François Lucas studied with his father Pierre Lucas (1691-1752), one of the founders of the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts de Toulouse. In 1761 François won the First Prize of Sculpture there with David and Abigail, a bas-relief, and three years later he was named professor. In 1774 we find Lucas in Carrara, planning his great bas-relief, The Junction of the Canal des Deux-Mers, seventeen meters in length (Canal des Deux-Mers, Toulouse). Most all of the sculptor’s works are in the Musée des Augustins in Toulouse – in the museum that Lucas himself founded. Lucas was a great art collector, mainly interested in ancient medals and inscriptions. His own works (donated to the museum) include a terracotta statuette of Zephyr, a seated marble statue of Louis XIV, signed and dated 1777, and portrait busts. One especially fascinating project that Lucas took on was a Tower of Illustrious Agenais (1806), an octagonal, two-story pavilion, for which Lucas contributed four life-sized statues: Juste Scaglier, Théophile de Viau, Blaise de Montluc and Bernard Palissy. The tower is on the Daribeau de Lacassagne property in Agen. Lucas carved numerous reliefs in local churches.
Momméja, Jules. “Notes sur un canon en argent en 1646 et sur un amateur agenais du XVIIIe siècle: P.-F.-X. Daribeau de Lacassagne.” Réunion des Sociétés des Beaux-Arts des Départements 27 (1903): 199-213; Rachou, H. “Un buste du musée des Augustins.” Bulletin de la Société Archéologique du Midi de la France, no. 40 (1909-11): 3-5, 173-174; Mesplé, Paul. “L’oeuvre toulousaine et régionale du sculpteur François Lucas.” Bulletin du Musée des Augustins, Toulouse (July-September 1958); Idem, “L’album de dessins de voyage d’Italie de François Lucas.” Bulletin de la Société Archéologique du Midi de la France 28 (1962): 75-84; Worley, Michael Preston. “Lucas, François,” in From David to Ingres: Early 19th Century French Artists. The Grove Dictionary of Art series. London and New York: Grove Art, 2000, p. 305.
Submitted by Michael Preston Worley, PH.D.