Jean Chalgrin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Chalgrin's drawing of the Arc de Triomphe, 1806.

Jean-François-Thérèse Chalgrin (1739 – 21 January 1811) was a French architect, best known for his design for the Arc de Triomphe, Paris.

Biography[edit]

His neoclassic orientation was established from his early studies with the prophet of neoclassicism Giovanni Niccolò Servandoni and with the radical classicist Étienne-Louis Boullée in Paris and through his Prix de Rome sojourn (November 1759 – May 1763) as a pensionnaire of the French Academy in Rome. His time in Rome coincided with a fervent new interest in Classicism among the young French pensionnaires, under the influences of Piranesi and the publications of Winckelmann.[1][2][3][4]

Returning to Paris, he was quickly given an appointment as an inspector of public works for the city of Paris, under the architect Pierre-Louis Moreau-Desproux, whose own time at the French Academy in Rome had predisposed him to the new style. In this official capacity he oversaw the construction of Ange-Jacques Gabriel's Hôtel Saint-Florentin in the rue Saint-Florentin, where Chalgrin was able to design the neoclassical gateway to the cour d'honneur.[1][2][3][4]

Interior of St. Philippe-du-Roule

In 1764 (Eriksen 1974) he presented his uncompromisingly neoclassical plans for the Church of St. Philippe-du-Roule (illustration; constructed 1774–1784); its colossal Ionic order of columns, which separated the barrel-vaulted nave from the lower, barrel-vaulted aisles, was carried around the apse without a break. In this church, which was built 1772-84, he revived a basilica plan that had not been characteristic of French ecclesiastical architecture since the sixteenth century. [1][2][3][4]

In 1775 he was appointed First Architect to the comte de Provence, brother of Louis XVI; he designed the pavilion of the comtesse de Provence at Versailles. In 1779 he was appointed overseer of the building projects of another brother of the king, the comte d'Artois.[1][2][3][4]

In 1777 Chalgrin partly remodelled the interior of Church of Saint-Sulpice, which had been given a thoroughly neoclassical façade by Chalgrin's former master Servandoni over forty years before. He also designed the case for the great organ.[1][2][3][4]

After the Revolution Chalgrin extended the Collège de France and made alterations in the Palais du Luxembourg to suit it to its new use as the seat of the Directoire. [1][2][3][4]

The Arc de Triomphe was commissioned by Napoleon to commemorate the victorious armies of the Empire. The project was under way when Chalgrin died, and it was completed by Jean-Nicolas Huyot. [1][2][3][4]

Chalgrin married Émilie, a daughter of the painter Joseph Vernet. They had one son.[1][2][3][4]

Major works[edit]

  • 1767–1769: Hôtel Saint-Florentin (later the Hôtel de Langeac, which served as Thomas Jefferson's domicile, 1785–89, then the Hôtel Talleyrand-Périgord), for the comte de Saint-Florentin (Paris, 2 rue Saint-Florentin); demolished 1842.[5]
  • 1767–1770: Hôtel de Mademoiselle de Luzy (Paris, rue Férou)
  • 1774–1780: Additions to the Collège de France (Paris, rue des Écoles )
  • finished 1775: Construction of Claude Nicolas Ledoux's designs for dwellings at Versailles for Madame du Barry and the comtesse de Provence
  • 1777–1780: Restoration of the façade and rebuilding the north tower of Saint-Sulpice (Paris)
  •  ????–1778: Hunting lodge, "Rendez-vous de chasse de la Faisanderie" for the comte de Provence (Étiolles, Département Essonne),
  •  ????–1778: Chapelle du Saint-Esprit (Paris, rue Lhomond)
  • 1780: Ancienne Laiterie de Madame Versailles, 2 rue Vauban.
  •  ????–1780: Music pavilion for the comtesse de Provence (Versailles, 111 avenue de Paris)
  • 1774–1784: Église de St. Philippe-du-Roule (Paris)
  • finished 1785: Pavilion and jardin à l'anglaise "Parc Balbi" (Versailles, destroyed 1798)
  • 1799–1805: Works at Palais du Luxembourg, the grand staircase and the "Salon des Messagers d'État" (Paris)
  • 1806–1811; completed after Chalgrin's death, in 1836: Arc de Triomphe, Place de l'Étoile (Paris)
  • finished 1807: Restoration of the Théâtre de l'Odéon, Paris (burned 1818)

References[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • Svend Eriksen, Early Neo-Classicism in France (London: Faber & Faber), 1974. Chalgrin's biography p 163.

Further reading[edit]

  • Louis Hautcoeur, Histore de l'architecture classique en France, vol. IV second moitié du XVIIIe siècle (Paris) 1952. pp 212-19.
  • Michel Gallet, Demeures parisiennes, époque Louis XVI (Paris) 1964. p. 177.