Jules Hardouin Mansart

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Works Chateau de Versailles, at Versailles, France, 1661 to 1774.

St. Louis des Invalides, at Paris, France, 1676 to 1691.

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Jules Hardouin Mansart

(b. Paris, France 1646; d. Marly, France 1708)

Jules Hardouin was born in Paris, France in 1646. He trained under his great uncle, Francois Mansart, a famous architect of the early 17th century. When Francois Mansart died, Hardouin inherited an enormous collection of plans and drawings which he later utilized in his own designs. He also assumed his great uncle's last name.

Hardouin-Mansart generated architecture that epitomized the grand era of the Sun King, Louis XIV. Hardouin-Mansart served as the royal architect for the king starting in 1675. He eventually served as premier architect and then superintendent of buildings.

In a career that spanned the second half of Louis XIV's reign, Hardouin-Mansart created many significant monuments of the period. He represented the age of Louis XIV with architectural structures that conveyed the king's wealth and power. He designed his buildings with imposing scale and understated simplicity.

Toward the end of his career, Hardouin-Mansart became the victim of jealousy among his peers. As a result he was (and is) often accused of not producing many of the designs that bear his name. This claim lacks credibility, because it does not account for his clearly defined grand vision for the era of Louis XIV.

Hardouin-Mansart died in Marly, near Paris in 1708.

Randall J. Van Vynckt. International Dictionary of Architects and Architecture. London: St. James Press, 1993. ISBN 1-55862-087-7. NA40.I48 1993.

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