Jacques I Androuet du Cerceau, also given as Du Cerceau was a renowed French architect, decorator, and engraver. He was the founder and the first member of the Androuet du Cerceau family.
About his life
Androuet was born in Paris, but worked in Orléans until 1559, when he returned to Paris, where he produced his notable Livre d’architecture (dedicated to Henri II). In 1569, under the pressures of the French Wars of Religion, Jacques I Androuet du Cerceau fled to the Huguenot stronghold of Montargis, the seat of Renée de France, duchess of Ferrara, daughter of Louis XII; the château featured strongly in his best-known work, the folio volumes of Les plus excellents bastiments de France. He died in Annecy.
What were his major works?
Du Cerceau’s best and most noted publication, Les plus excellents bastiments de France, 2 vol. (1576 and 1579; “The Finest Buildings of France”), is an outstanding resource for many 16th-century houses that since have been altered or destroyed. Among his other published works are Arcs (1549; “Arches”), Temples (1550), Vues d’optique (1551), and Livre d’architecture (1559; “Book of Architecture”), in which Du Cerceau intended his designs for people of “petit, moyen et grand etats” and included plans for houses of various sizes, from that of a merchant’s townhouse to a grand hotel or country chateau for a noble family.
He is also credited with the designs of the châteaux of Verneuil, in Verneuil-en-Halatte, which was later purchased by Henri IV in 1600, and Charles IX’s château of Charleval, where he was assisted by his son Baptiste, but nothing remains of his work.
image source: http://www.wga.hu/art/a/androuet/charleva.jpg
How we can identify Du Cerceau’s style?
He was the author of albums of engravings with designs for monuments, furniture, and decorative sculpture, all inspired by classical antiquity. He was the creator of Île de France school, which preferred and admired the elegant sculpted goddesses of Jean Goujon, of Italian inspiration, unlike the burgundy school, both defining the Henri II furniture style.