Jean-François Bédard

Document Type

Book Review




Jules Hardouin-Mansart, First Architect to the King, France, architectural history, Louis XIV




Architectural History and Criticism | Architecture


In this review, Jean-François Bédard examines two book projects that look at Jules Hardouin-Mansart, who became First Architect to the King in 1681 and Superintendent of Works in 1699. His tenure was marked by a great flurry of activity and the generation of an immense quantity of documents. However, Hardouin-Mansart's professional and social success had a negative impact on the critical reception of his work. In fact many architectural historians doubted that he was behind many of the projects. The projects attempt to reevaluate Hardouin-Mansart's legacy as a designer. Bertrand Jestaz's two volume Jules Hardouin-Mansart is a greatly expanded and revised version of his groundbreaking but unpublished dissertation, supported by a wealth of documentary evidence. The second book, Jules Hardouin-Mansart, 1646-1708 by Alexandre Gady, takes the form of a lavishly illustrated multi-authored work that explores Hardouin-Mansart's work from a variety of perspectives. The stimulating dialogue between the two publications establishes a fertile context for future studies of Hardouin-Mansart.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.