Percier, Charles

Percier, Charles

(shärl pĕrsyā`), 1764–1838, French architect. He won (1786) the Grand Prix de Rome, and in 1794 he became associated with Pierre François Léonard FontaineFontaine, Pierre François Léonard
, 1762–1853, French architect. He was known chiefly for the work which, beginning in 1794, he did jointly with Charles Percier; the development of the Empire style in France was almost exclusively an expression of their
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. Napoleon appointed them as government architects, and this post lasted until the emperor's fall. In the development of the Empire style under Napoleon's official sponsorship, Percier and Fontaine became its official interpreters, not only for Paris but also in Antwerp, Brussels, and Rome, where they designed many residences. They worked (1802–12) on the palaces of the Louvre and the Tuileries, designed the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, and did alterations and decorations for the imperial châteaux of Versailles, Malmaison, Compiègne, and Saint-Cloud. As interior decorators they designed every detail of furniture, fabric, hardware, and wallpaper in conformity with Empire motives. The partnership dissolved in 1814, and Percier thereafter conducted a student atelier. With Fontaine he published several books on architecture in Rome and interior decoration.
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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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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