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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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