Jean Goujon (Normandy? c.1510–Bologna after 1572 ), French sculptor and architect, is one of the major figures of the French Renaissance. His early life is little known; he may have traveled in Italy. He worked at the church of Saint-Maclou, his earliest documented work, and the cathedral in Rouen, in 1541-42, where he executed the monument to Louis de Brézé, seigneur d'Anet, before arriving in Paris, where he collaborated with the architect Pierre Lescot at the church of Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois about 1544, working on the pulpit, which was dismantled in the mid-eighteenth century.. In 1544-1547 he was occupied with considerable works at the Château d’Ecouen for the connétable de Montmorency. He became "sculptor to the king" (Henri II of France) in 1547 and in the next years was occupied at the Château of Anet. He was imprisoned at Ecouen in 1555
His most famous works are the sculptural decorations made in collaboration with Lescot for the western extension of the Louvre, 1555-62. A fine representative of Mannerism in France, Goujon's figures are elongated, sensual and fluid; his drapery work reveals knowledge of Greek sculpture, though certainly not at first hand. He is also responsible for engravings for Jean Martin's 1547 translation of Vitruvius and for work on the Château of Ecouen, for the Montmorency family. In 1562, Goujon left France for religious reasons (he was a Huguenot).
The purity and gracefulness of his style were disseminated throughout France by engravings by artists of the School of Fontainebleau and had an influence in the decorative arts. His reputation was slightly eclipsed at the end of the century by more mannered tendencies, but was appreciated by French Classicism.
His most famous works include:
To Goujon is usually attributed the engravings of the French version of Francesco Colonna's Songe de Poliphile (1546), based on the engravings of the original edition (which may be due to the studio of Mantegna).
His workshop is responsible for:
Goujon was a Protestant; he escaped the French Wars of Religion by exiling himself in Italy.