Perrault, Claude

Perrault, Claude

(klōd pĕrō`), 1613–88, French architect, scientist, and physician. One of the most eminent French scholars of his time, he advanced the study of anatomy and made other scientific contributions. His greatest architectural achievement is his work on the east facade of the Louvre, known as the Colonnade. In this project (1667–70) he collaborated with Le Vau and Le Brun. Perrault did much to establish the qualities of classical balance and order in French Renaissance architecture. He also built portions of the south facade of the Louvre and the Paris Observatory (1667–72), which, with adaptations to modern scientific requirements, is still in use. At the request of Colbert, he translated (1673) and added notes to the monumental work of VitruviusVitruvius
(Marcus Vitruvius Pollio) , fl. late 1st cent. B.C. and early 1st cent. A.D., Roman writer, engineer, and architect for the Emperor Augustus. In his one extant work, De architectura (c.40 B.C., tr.
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. He also wrote (1683) a treatise on the five orders of columns in architecture. Charles Perrault was his brother.

Bibliography

See study by W. Hermann (1974).

Perrault, Claude

(1613–1688)
French architect, one of the designers of the Louvre, Paris, France (1665), notably the east facade

Perrault, Claude

 

Born circa 1613 in Paris; died there Oct. 8, 1688. French architect. Brother of Charles Perrault.

A physician by training, Perrault independently studied mathematics, physics, engineering, and archaeology. His most important architectural works were his designs for the Louvre, which represent the peak of early French classicism. Of these designs, only two—the great east front and the more modest southern facade—have been carried out. The great east front, which is subordinated to the austere and imposing rhythm of paired Corinthian columns, is imbued with majesty and nobility. Outstanding among Perrault’s theoretical works is his translation of Vitruvius (1673), which for a long time was considered to be the best.

REFERENCES

Hautecoeur, L. Histoire de l’architecture classique en France, vol. 2, part 1. Paris, 1967.
Brönner, W. D. Blondel-Perrault. Bonn, 1972. (Dissertation.)
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