Charles Percier

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Percier, Charles


Born Aug. 22, 1764, in Paris; died there Sept. 5, 1838. French architect.

Percier and P. Fontaine, who worked together from 1794 to 1814, were arbiters of taste during the reign of Napoleon I and leading representatives of the Empire style. Their works were distinguished by a grandeur of form, which revived ancient Roman motifs, and an attempt to achieve a synthesis of architecture and the decorative arts, which at times resulted in a certain dryness and reduced effectiveness of the architectural forms. In addition to such monuments as the triumphal arch on Place Carrousel in Paris (1806), Percier and Fontaine designed furniture, interior decorations, and the decorations for various festivities.


Recueil de décorations intérieures. Paris, 1812. (With P. Fontaine.)


Fouche, M. Percier et Fontaine. Paris, 1904.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Charles Percier and Pierre Francois Leonard Fontaine.
The interior design of architects Charles Percier (1764-1838) and Pierre Francois Leonard Fontaine (1762-1853) is called style Empire but they had been developing it for a number of years before Napoleon declared himself emperor in 1804, and indeed was it originally called style republicain.
The period is evoked in paintings, costumes and furnishings, and includes this 1804 throne chair by Charles Percier and Pierre-Francois-Leonard Fontaine.
Made by Jacob-Desmalter to a design by Charles Percier, this lavishly gilt-bronze-mounted tour deforce was made to the same design as the King of Rome's cradle of 1811, now up the road in the Palace of Fontainebleau.
The prince has furnished his tented study--inspired by the designs of Napoleon's favourite architects, Charles Percier and Pierre Fontaine--with an English Regency crocodile day-bed, in an allusion to Anglo-French rivalries in late 18th- and early 19th-century Egypt (Fig.
1797-1801, after a design by Charles Percier, which was probably made by the French firm Jacquemart et Bernard.
He had been a pupil of Charles Percier and was keen that his students should be familiar with the engravings by the great designer, as well as those by George Smith and T.
The design is strongly classical in character, in accordance with the style devised for the Empire by the architects Charles Percier and Pierre Fontaine, with diamonds clearly outlining the symmetrical arrangement of the alternate lozenge and oval shapes, hung with drops placed between palmettes derived from Greek and Roman art.