The sculpture collections owe much to the legacy of Alexandre Lenoir’s Musée des Monuments Français; the latter bequeathed its monumental pieces to the school, the most spectacular of which is the frontispiece of the Château d’Anet, affixed to the facade of the Chapelle de Petits-Augustins. The museum’s collection was integrated into the educational architectural course designed by architect Félix Duban and completed by acquisitions (fragments from the Hôtel Legendre and the Arc de Torpanne) and donations. The collections also include student works, from the Prix de Rome, from the competitions for sculpted expression, of sketches, and modeled figures. Intended to stimulate students’ creativity of, a major group of sculpted copies, realized by the residents of the Académie de France in Rome, can be found in the school’s exterior spaces (the Palais des études’ facade, the Cour du Mûrier, and Hôtel Chimay). The educational use of casts, which dates to the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, expanded considerably during the 19th century, with the establishment of the casting studio within the school and the museum of models (1834). While the antique studies, once exhibited in the glassed courtyard of the Palais des études, were transferred to the Small Stable in Versailles in 1970, Beaux-Arts de Paris boasts a wonderful collection of casts from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, presented in the Chapelle du Couvent des Petits-Augustins. Thanks to the generosity of figures linked to the school, the development of the collection is testimony to the fertility of the spatial dimension in contemporary creation.
© Pierre François Grégoire Giraud, Aethra et Phalante, c. 1814, wax on slate, 79 x 50 cm