Émile Louis Picault (1833–1915) was one of the most accomplished Orientalist sculptors in the nineteenth Century, best known for works depicting allegorical and patriotic subjects, and mythological heroes.
He trained under Louis Royer and exhibited at the Salon between 1863 and 1909.
His Egyptian figures, of Queens and Pharaoh’s and Priests and Priestesses, were amongst his most popular works and followed in the tradition of ethnographic decorative sculpture favoured in France during the late nineteenth century. The fashion for Egyptian iconography followed on from Napoleon’s successful campaigns in the Nile delta (1791-1801), influencing design and subject matter in all areas of the applied and fine arts.
Picault was a prolific and commercially successful sculptor employing the finest French foundries for casting his sculptures, all of which were exhibited as bronzes. Many were cast by the celebrated firms of Susse Frères, Houdebine, and Colin.
Bronzes by Picault feature in the collections of the Museum of Chambery, ‘Le Semur d’Ides’; The Museum of Clemont Ferrard, ‘Hebe’ and The Museum of Mauberge, ‘Le Devoir’.