Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Jules Hardouin Mansart

Jules Hardouin Mansart

Ask a question about 'Jules Hardouin Mansart'
Start a new discussion about 'Jules Hardouin Mansart'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
Jules Hardouin-Mansart was a French architect
An architect is a person trained in the planning, design and oversight of the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to offer or render services in connection with the design and construction of a building, or group of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the...

 whose work is generally considered to be the apex of French Baroque architecture
French Baroque architecture
French Baroque is a form of Baroque architecture that evolved in France during the reigns of Louis XIII , Louis XIV and Louis XV...

, representing the power and grandeur of Louis XIV
Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV , known as Louis the Great or the Sun King , was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and Navarre. His reign, from 1643 to his death in 1715, began at the age of four and lasted seventy-two years, three months, and eighteen days...

. Hardouin-Mansart was one of the most important European architects of the seventeenth century.


Born Jules Hardouin in Paris, he studied under his renowned great-uncle François Mansart
François Mansart
François Mansart was a French architect credited with introducing classicism into Baroque architecture of France...

, one of the originators of the classical tradition in French architecture; Hardouin inherited Mansart's collection of plans and drawings and adopted his well-regarded name. He also learned from Libéral Bruant
Libéral Bruant
Libéral Bruant , was a French architect best known as the designer of the Hôtel des Invalides, Paris, now dominated by the dome erected by Jules Hardouin Mansart, his collaborator in earlier stages of the construction...

, architect of the royal veteran's hospital in Paris known as Les Invalides
Les Invalides
Les Invalides , officially known as L'Hôtel national des Invalides , is a complex of buildings in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, France, containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France, as well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans, the building's...

. Hardouin-Mansart served as Louis XIV's chief architect, first enlarging the royal château of Saint-Germain-en-Laye
Saint-Germain-en-Laye is a commune in the Yvelines department in the Île-de-France in north-central France. It is located in the western suburbs of Paris from the centre.Inhabitants are called Saint-Germanois...

, then at Versailles
Versailles , a city renowned for its château, the Palace of Versailles, was the de facto capital of the kingdom of France for over a century, from 1682 to 1789. It is now a wealthy suburb of Paris and remains an important administrative and judicial centre...

 from 1675. He became the surintendant des Bâtiments du Roi
Bâtiments du Roi
The Bâtiments du Roi was a division of Department of the household of the Kings of France in France under the Ancien Régime. It was responsible for building works at the King's residences in and around Paris.-History:...

(Superintendent of royal works). He designed all the extensions and rebuildings at Versailles
Palace of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles , or simply Versailles, is a royal château in Versailles in the Île-de-France region of France. In French it is the Château de Versailles....

 for the King, including the north and south wings, the Royal Chapel (with Robert de Cotte
Robert de Cotte
Robert de Cotte was a French architect-administrator, under whose design control of the royal buildings of France from 1699, the earliest notes presaging the Rococo style were introduced. First a pupil of Jules Hardouin-Mansart, he later became his brother-in-law and his collaborator...

, 1710), and the celebrated Hall of Mirrors decorated by Charles Le Brun
Charles Le Brun
Charles Le Brun , a French painter and art theorist, became the all-powerful, peerless master of 17th-century French art.-Biography:-Early life and training:...

, his collaborator. Outside the château proper, he built the Grand Trianon
Grand Trianon
The Grand Trianon was built in the northwestern part of the Domain of Versailles at the request of Louis XIV, as a retreat for the King and his maîtresse en titre of the time, the marquise de Montespan, and as a place where the King and invited guests could take light meals away from the strict...

 and the Orangerie, as well as subsidiary royal dwellings not far away, such as the Château de Marly
Château de Marly
The Château de Marly was a relatively small French royal residence located in what has become Marly-le-Roi, the commune that existed at the edge of the royal park. The town that originally grew up to service the château is now a dormitory community for Paris....

 (begun in 1679).

Among his other best-known works, in Paris, are the Pont-Royal, the Église Saint-Roch
Église Saint-Roch
The Church of Saint Roch is a late Baroque church in Paris. Located at 284 rue Saint-Honoré, in the 1st arrondissement, it was built between 1653 and 1722.- History :...

, the Invalides great domed royal chapel Église du Dôme des Invalides dedicated to Saint Louis
Louis IX of France
Louis IX , commonly Saint Louis, was King of France from 1226 until his death. He was also styled Louis II, Count of Artois from 1226 to 1237. Born at Poissy, near Paris, he was an eighth-generation descendant of Hugh Capet, and thus a member of the House of Capet, and the son of Louis VIII and...

 (designed in 1680), the Place des Victoires (1684–86) followed by the Place Vendôme
Place Vendôme
Place Vendôme is a square in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, France, located to the north of the Tuileries Gardens and east of the Église de la Madeleine. It is the starting point of the Rue de la Paix. Its regular architecture by Jules Hardouin-Mansart and pedimented screens canted across the...

(1690). Most of these works still set their stamp on the character of Paris and can be seen by a modern-day tourist.

His most prominent position in France put him in place to create many of the significant monuments of the period, and to set the tone for the restrained French Late Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 architectural style, somewhat chastened by academic detailing
Academic detailing
Academic detailing is “university or non-commercial-based educational outreach.” The process involves face-to-face education of prescribers by trained health care professionals, typically pharmacists, physicians, or nurses...

, that was influential as far as Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

 and even echoed in Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

. At the same time, the size of support staff in his official bureaucratic position has often raised criticisms that he was less than directly responsible for the work that was constructed under his name, criticisms that underestimate the discipline control within a large, classically-trained studio.
Hardouin-Mansart used the mansard roof
Mansard roof
A mansard or mansard roof is a four-sided gambrel-style hip roof characterized by two slopes on each of its sides with the lower slope at a steeper angle than the upper that is punctured by dormer windows. The roof creates an additional floor of habitable space, such as a garret...

 (mansarde), named for his great-uncle François Mansart, at the château of Dampiere-en-Yvelines, built for the duc de Chevreuse, Colbert
Jean-Baptiste Colbert
Jean-Baptiste Colbert was a French politician who served as the Minister of Finances of France from 1665 to 1683 under the rule of King Louis XIV. His relentless hard work and thrift made him an esteemed minister. He achieved a reputation for his work of improving the state of French manufacturing...

's son-in-law, a patron at the center of Louis XIV's court. This French Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 château of manageable size lies entre cour et jardin as even Versailles did, the paved and gravel forecourt (cour d'honneur) protected behind fine wrought iron double gates, and enclosed by the main block and its outbuildings (corps de logis), linked by balustrades, symmetrically disposed. A traditional French touch is the modest pedimented entrance flanked by boldly projecting pavilions. Behind, the central axis is extended between the former parterre
A parterre is a formal garden construction on a level surface consisting of planting beds, edged in stone or tightly clipped hedging, and gravel paths arranged to form a pleasing, usually symmetrical pattern. Parterres need not have any flowers at all...

s, now grass. The park with formally shaped water was laid out by André Le Nôtre
André Le Nôtre
André Le Nôtre was a French landscape architect and the principal gardener of King Louis XIV of France...

. There are sumptuous interiors. The small scale makes it easier to compare to the approximately contemporary Het Loo
Het Loo
Het Loo Palace is a palace in Apeldoorn, Netherlands. The symmetrical Dutch Baroque building was designed by Jacob Roman and Johan van Swieten and was built between 1684 and 1686 for stadtholder-king William III and Mary II of England...

 (Netherlands), for William III of Orange
William III of England
William III & II was a sovereign Prince of Orange of the House of Orange-Nassau by birth. From 1672 he governed as Stadtholder William III of Orange over Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders, and Overijssel of the Dutch Republic. From 1689 he reigned as William III over England and Ireland...


He died at Marly-le-Roi
Marly-le-Roi is a commune in the Yvelines department in the Île-de-France region in north-central France. It is located in the western suburbs of Paris from the centre....

in 1708.

External links