Du Cerceau (1510–1584)

Jacques I Androuet du Cerceau, also known as Du Cerceau was a famous French architect, decorator, and engraver, who established the Île de France school.

Jacques I Androuet du Cerceau's portrait on a metal coin.
Jacques I Androuet du Cerceau

Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_I_Androuet_du_Cerceau#/media/File:Medaille-du-cerceau.jpg

Du Cerceau’s Life

Jacques Androuet was born in 1510, in Paris. Не received the name Du Cerceau, due to a sign that hung in his father’s wine shop. Further, he worked in Orléans, France for some time. However, in 1559, he returned to Paris, where he created his famous Livre d’Architecture (Architecture Book), which he dedicated to Henri II. In 1569, during the French religious wars, Du Cersault took refuge in the Huguenot fortress of Montargis. Then, he died in 1584.

Statue of Jacques I Androuet du Cerceau, by Georges Diebolt, dating back to 1853, at the Louvre Museums.
Jacques I Androuet du Cerceau Statue (1853) Georges Diebolt

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/7e137034-1bb2-4035-9121-46539ac5fbfe by Eutouring

The Original Saint Victor Map, which has been attributed to Jacques I Androuet du Cerceau, although this has been disputed. The map is named Saint Victor because it was preserved in a Parisian library of this name in the 18th century. This is a digital copy of a map at the Leibniz Institute for Regional Geography. 
The Original Saint Victor Map (1552), attributed to Jacques

Image source: https://search.creativecommons.org/photos/bdf5b660-9688-4be9-be1f-60fac3b932c6  by Jacques I Androuet

His Major Works

  • Les plus excellents bastiments de France, 2 volumes (1576 and 1579): The best and the most significant edition of his. It is an outstanding collection of many 16th century houses that have been altered or destroyed.
  • Arcs (1549; “Arches”)
  • Temples (1550)
  • Vues d’optique (1551)
  • Livre d’Architecture (1559): He published his private projects “petit, moyen et grand etats,” including plans for buildings of various sizes and purposes, from shops to grand hotel and private country castle for noble families.
Château of Anet, aerial perspective, Jacques I Androuet du Cerceau, The most excellent bastiments of France.
Château of Anet by Jacques

Image source: http://act.art.queensu.ca

  • Châteaux of Verneuil in Verneuil-en-Halatte: which Henry IV bought in 1600
  • Charles IX’s château of Charleval: Here, he received help from his son Baptiste, but nothing remained of his work.
Interior View of the Court Yard and Frontal View of the Defense Mechanism at Chateau d'Anet. Engraving, 1607.
Interior View of the Court Yard and Frontal View of the Defense Mechanism (1607)

Image source: https://www.metmuseum.org

Features of His Work

He published collections of engravings depicting monuments, furniture, and decorative sculptures, inspired by classical antiquity. Additionally, he founded the Île de France school, which differed from the Burgundy school. Further, he preferred and admired Jean Goujon’s elegant sculptural goddesses, inspired by Italian artists. Both of these schools defined the Furniture style of Henry II.

Engraved design for a cabinet, by Jacques I Androuet du Cerceau, ca. 1550s.
Engraved design for a cabinet (1550s)

Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_I_Androuet_du_Cerceau#/media/File:AduCerceauCabinet.jpg

Info sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_I_Androuet_du_Cerceau https://www.revolvy.com/topic/Jacques%20I%20Androuet%20du%20Cerceau&item_type=topic https://www.britannica.com/topic/du-Cerceau-family#ref288792 https://explore.lib.virginia.edu/exhibits/show/renaissance-in-print/architecture/androuetducerceau


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