Jacques I Androuet du Cerceau (1510–1584)

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

Jacques I Androuet du Cerceau

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About his life.

Jacques Androuet was born in 1510 in Paris. Не was called Du Cerceau from the sign on his father’s wine shop. He worked in Orléans for some time. In 1559  he turn back to Paris, where he created his famous Livre d’Architecture (Architecture Book) and dedicated it to Henri II. In 1569, during the French religion wars, Jacques I Androuet du Cersault took refuge in the Huguenot fortress of Montargis. He died in 1584 at Annecy.


Jacques I Androuet du Cerceau, Georges Diebolt, 1853, Louvre

Image source: http://www.paristoric.com

What were his major works?

  • Les plus excellents bastiments de France, 2 volumes (1576 and 1579; “The most excellent buildings in France”) is the best and the most significant edition of Du Cerceau. 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; “Book of Architecture”), in which Du Cerceau 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, Les Plus excellents bastiments de France

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

To his authorship are also attributed:

  • Châteaux of Verneuil in Verneuil-en-Halatte, which Henry IV bought in 1600;
  • The project of Charles IX’s château of Charleval, where he was helped by 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.

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

How we can identify Du Cerceau’s style?

He published collections of engravings depicting monuments, furniture and decorative sculptures, inspired by classical antiquity.
He founded the Île de France school, which was different from the Burgundy school. 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.

Bed, engraving, Jacques I Androuet du Cerceau

Image source: http://chestofbooks.com

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

http://www.european-furniture-styles.com/Henry-II-Furniture.html

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