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Brongniart, Alexandre-Théodore

Brongniart, Alexandre-Théodore (1739–1813). One of the most distinguished exponents of Neo-Classicism in France, born in Paris, a pupil of Blondel and Boullée. His Parisian town-houses, such as the Hôtel de Monaco, Rue St-Dominique (1774–7), Hôtel de Bourbon-Condé, Rue Monsieur (1780–3), and Hôtel de Montesquiou, Rue Monsieur (1782), were in a simple, elegant, Neo-Classical style, much influenced by de Wailly, but he also evolved a severe primitive type of architecture. He used an unfluted baseless Doric colonnade at the cloister of the Monastery of St-Louis d'Antin, Paris (1779–83), now the Lycée Condorcet, and at the Church of St-Germain l'Auxerrois, Romainville, Paris (1785–7), he was clearly influenced by Chalgrin's St-Philippe-du-Roule (1768–84), although he used sturdy Doric columns in the nave. Primitivist, too, was his astonishing stepped pyramid into which was set a tough Doric tetrastyle portico carrying a segmental pediment: he also designed the park, or Élysée, at Maupertuis, in which the pyramid stood. From 1804 Brongniart worked on the designs for Père-Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, in which the jardin anglo-chinois became a burial-ground, a conception that had a profound effect on the design of cemeteries thereafter. His influential Bourse (Exchange) in Paris (1807–13), with ranges of Corinthian columns, satisfied the Napoleonic taste for Roman Imperial grandeur and embodied many of the theories of Cordemoy and Perrault.

Bibliography

Builder (1980);
Brongniart (1986);
Eriksen (1974);
Etlin (1984);
Hautecœur (1952–3);
Kalnein & and Levey (1972);
E. Kaufmann (1955);
Middleton & and Watkin (1987);
Rosenblum (1967)

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