Les dessins du fonds Robert de Cotte de la Bibliothèque Nationale de France. Architecture et décor.
Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France/Ecole Française de Rome 1997.
Large 8vo. 795 + (1)pp, hundreds of photo reproductions of drawings. Publisher’s cloth, in dust wrapper.
A massive volume which provides a comprehensive illustrated record of the very substantial collection of architectural drawings by the French court architect Robert de Cotte (c.1656-1735), preserved in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, since early in the nineteenth century. Robert de Cotte served Louis XIV and Louis XV as Architecte du Roi from 1685 onwards, succeeding his brother-in-law Jules Hardouin-Mansart as Premier Architecte du Roi in 1708, and it fell to him to provide designs for a vast range of architectural commissions from royalty, nobility and princes of the church, not just in France itself but in Germany and even for King Philip V of Spain. The need for a proper publication of this archive was highlighted by Michel Gallet in his excellent summary of De Cotte’s architectural achievement in his Les Architectes Parisiens du XVIIIe Siècle, 1995, and the present volume is a necessary source of knowledge for any serious student of French architecture in this period.