Vive la France! World-class French Sculptor 1854-1942 Vive la France!
Denys Puech
Denys PUECH as a young man...  "Service Militaire", about 1880.

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Membre de l'Institut ~ Légion d'Honneur [photo]

Nota bene:  a copy of the book "Denys Puech et Son Oeuvre" (circa 1909, that documents many of the 550-plus works as attributed to: Denys Pierre PUECH) has fallen into the PUBLIC DOMAIN and is now down-loadable from Google. This book, by: Henri JAUDON,  can now be had by ANYONE !   The original book is part of the holdings of the "HARVARD UNIVERSITY, Fine Arts Library".  The tome was reproduced in its entirety (all 264 pages), 4.7 Mega-bytes, digitized July 17, 2007.  Download an  Adobe "PDF"  copy for yourself  (I am assuming you can read French).  If not, there are many wonderful photos and reproductions of his many marble and bronze sculptures. Use OPEN or SAVE [link] : 

Seated, in his workshop [photo].

Son of Jean Puech and Rose Guilbert-Puech [photo]. born "Denys Pierre Puech", on December 3, 1854 in the hamlet of "Gavernac", close to the town of "Bozouls" (more on Bozouls) in the French department of "Averyon" (Auvergne). He had 3 brothers. Their mother was one who gave them the taste for studies and perseverance. Louis Puech [photo] was to become an appointed lawyer, and then a French government Minister (Ministre des Travaux Public). Germain Puech, a doctor. Henri Puech took up the family farm and lands. Denys was to be the artist. In 1870 he entered into apprenticeship as artisan, working marble stone in Rodez. In 1872, he emigrated to Paris, where after two years of preparation, he followed evening courses at the School of Fine Art. In 1881 and 1883, he twice received second prize awards  for sculpture in Rome, Italy -- and obtained a first prize in 1884. In 1885, be became the distinguished Director of the School of Art at the World-famous Medicis Villa, in Rome (more, in French language).  In 1892, he obtained a number of official orders to create: busts, monuments, bas-reliefs, etc. He prepared (in 1903) his project to build a museum in Rodez, which was inaugurated seven years later. In 1908, he was elected to the French "Legion d'Honneur" ('Flash' insert is required) and married Princess Anina Gagarin Stourdza (Russian).

Monument (bronze) in Bozouls (Aveyron) in honor of brothers: Denys & Louis [photo].

Denys Puech (about age 60) -- visit to his birth village at Gavernac (Bozouls) Aveyron, France.    Princess Sturdza-Puech (age about 46) - visit to Gavernac...
Denys Puech  & his wife,  Princess Gagarin-Stourdza
Click on his photo to view the Puech family, at the hamlet of "Gavernac"...
...near "Bozouls", Aveyron (circa about 1914 - image = 870K bytes)

Memorials at for Denys and Anina (click-on links).

Denys Pierre PUECH  &  Anina Gregorievna Gagarin-Sturdza-PUECH


Princely House of Gagarin ~ Genealogy [link]

Princess Anina Gagarin-Stourdza (painting, with Denys PUECH, reading) [photo]

Renault 1907 type XB "Touring Saloon" (click on image)
Info about his chauffeur-driven automobile a "Renault XB" (click on the automobile, thumb-nail above).

More than 550 works in marble and bronze are attributed to Denys... including one on display in the "Jardin du Luxembourg" (photos) in the heart of Paris.

          Medallion -- "Legion d'Honneur"                                                                          
"Legion d'Honneur" (Legion of Honor Medallion) click on photo...            "La Muse et le Poet" - Jardin du Luxembourg - Paris, France.
                              "La Muse et le Poet"  -- Luxembourg gardens, Paris

In 1918, his wife died. From 1921, and for 11 years, he maintained his career as Director to the Medicis Villa. That enabled him to meet many World-class personalities, including Mussolini -- for whom he executed a bust in 1925. In that same year, he returned to Rodez. Denys died in December 1942 (in Rodez) where he was accorded a solemn funeral with many dignitaries present. Many (now, celebrated) American artists studied under and/or were mentored by "Monsieur" Puech.

Two of his sculpted works are now in the collection at the "Hearst Castle", San Simeon, California.   The collection at San Simeon State Historical Monument (the former estate of William Randolph Hearst) contains two examples of the works of Mr. Puech. They are as follows:

Inventory reference: 529-9-338
Les Lys
- Denys Puech 1929 White Marble H: 87" ( 2m21 )
(Standing nude female figure gazing downward at lilies in her hands.)

Inventory reference: 529-9-339
Les Roses
- Denys Puech 1929 White Marble H: 76" ( 1m93 )
(Standing nude female figure clasping, with both hands, a bunch of roses to her throat.)

Both statues were acquired by Mr. Hearst from the artist on April 14, 1931. They are displayed on a lower terrace (photo) in front of Casa del Sol, one of the three guest houses.   Hearst Castle is operated as a historic house museum.


1 )The Legion d'Honneur is France's highest decoration. It was established by Napoleon Bonaparte in May 1802 and is awarded for gallantry in action or twenty years distinguished service in military or civilian life.

2) LINKS to photos and information about: statues, busts, monuments, plaques, bas-reliefs (bronze & marble).

3) Genealogy of the Puech family - Denys Puech.

4) A niece of the sculptor, "Marcelle Clotilde Renée PUECH-ARTHAUD" (Grandmother of my three daughters -ed.) lives in Marseille, France (circa September 2007) was taken-in and raised by her Uncle after the death of her mother, "Clotilde Laporte-PUECH" (during the influenza epidemic of 1918), and following the demise of her father (old age), "Henri Léon PUECH" (brother to Denys). Thus, she knew Denys very well indeed...  This site is dedicated to the Puech family in France. -ed.

(French language section, below.)

Denys Puech Fine Arts Museum

Musée Denys Puech

Le Musée des Beaux-arts Denys Puech
[ suite, en Français ]

La Villa Medicis - Rome

Villa Medicis - Rome (facade)

Villa Medicis - Rome (collage)

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last updated 22-Jan-2016