1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Adam, Lambert Sigisbert

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ADAM, LAMBERT SIGISBERT (1700–1759), French sculptor, known as Adam l’aîné, was born in Nancy, son of Jacob Sigisbert Adam, a sculptor of little repute. Adam was thirty-seven when, on his election to the Academy, he exhibited at the Salon the model of the group of “Neptune and Amphitrite” for the centre of the fountain at Versailles, and thereafter found much employment in the decoration of the royal residences. Among his more important works are “Nymphs and Tritons,” “The Triumph of Neptune stilling the Waves,” “Hunter with Lion in his Net,” a relief for the chapel of St Adelaide, “The Seine and the Marne” in stone for St Cloud, “Hunting” and “Fishing,” marble groups for Berlin, “Mars embraced by Love” and “The enthusiasm of Poetry.” Adam restored with much ability the twelve statues (Lycomedes) found in the so-called Villa of Marius at Rome, and was elected a member of the Academy of St Luke. Several of his most important works were executed for Frederick the Great in Prussia.

His brother, also a sculptor, Nicolas Sébastien Adam (1705–1778), known as Adam le jeune, born in Nancy, worked under equal encouragement. His first work of importance was his “Prometheus chained, devoured by a Vulture” executed in plaster in 1738, and carved in marble in 1763 as his “reception piece” when he was elected into the Academy. He produced the reliefs of the “Birth” and “Agony of Christ” for the Oratory in Paris, but his chief works are the “Mausoleum of Cardinal de Fleury” and, in particular, the tomb of Catherine Opalinska, queen of Poland (wife of King Stanislaus), at Nancy.

A third brother, François Gaspard Balthasar Adam (1710–1761), born in Nancy, became the first sculptor of Frederick the Great and the head of the atelier of sculpture founded by that monarch, and passed the greater part of his life in Berlin. His chief works adorn the gardens and palaces of Sans Souci and Potsdam.

The work of the brothers Adam was too ornate in style to win the approval of the school that immediately followed them, and found its principal opponents in Bouchardon and Pigalle.

See Dussieux, Artistes français à l’étranger (Paris, 1855, 8vo); Archives de l’art français, documents, vol. i. pp. 117-180, chiefly for; works executed for the king of Prussia; Mariette, Abecedario; Emile de la Chavignerie and Auvray, Dictionnaire général des artistes de l’école française (Paris, 1882), mainly for works executed; Lady Dilke, French Architects and Sculptors of the 18th century (London, 4to, 1900).