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Wailly, Charles de

Wailly, Charles de (1730–98). French architect and painter, one of the most distinguished and influential of the Louis Seize and Revolutionary periods. He studied under J. -F. Blondel, Le Geay, and Servandoni, and at the French Academy in Rome (1754–6), where he fell under the spell of Piranesi. His numerous surviving drawings compare favourably with those of Hubert Robert, and he acquired a formidable reputation as an interior decorator and stage-designer before becoming an urban planner and architect of several buildings of real distinction, including the austere Théâtre de l'Odéon, Paris (1769–82—with M. -J. Peyre—but subsequently altered), and the Château de Montmusard, near Dijon (1764–9—only partly realized). The latter, with an ingenious plan and rigorous geometry, was the first country-house in France in which the Antique flavour was dominant, heralding a severe later Neo-Classicism of which Boullée and Ledoux were the most celebrated protagonists. His town-houses in the Rue de la Pépinière, Paris (1776–8), were resourceful designs, but, like most of his work, no longer exist. For the crypt of the Church of St-Leu-St-Gilles, Paris (1773–80), he employed sturdy columns derived from the Greek temples at Paestum (but with reeds instead of flutes) supporting arches and vaults, a very advanced design for its date. He also designed the luxurious Gran' Salone, Palazzo Spinola, Genoa (1772–3—destroyed), and a theatrical pulpit for the Church of St-Sulpice, Paris (1788), for which building he also decorated the Chapelle de la Vierge (1777–8). Landgrave Friedrich II of Hesse Kassel (reigned 1760–85) invited de Wailly to submit designs for a Neo-Classical palaces at Kassel (1783) and Wilhelmshöhe (1785), but neither was realized. In the event, Landgrave Wilhelm IX (1785–1803—when he became Elector of Hesse, 1803–21) built (1786–92) Wilhelmshöhe to designs by du Ry and de Wailly's pupil Jussow. Through other pupils (e.g. Voronikhin) de Wailly's influence spread to Russia, especially Saint Petersburg.

Bibliography

Builder (1980);
Gallet (1964);
Mosser & and Rabreau (1979);
Middleton & and Watkin (1987);
D. Watkin (1986);
W&M (1987)

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de Wailly, Charles

de Wailly, Charles (1730–98). See Wailly.

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