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Biographical Information

Name: Pierre Contant d'Ivry
Born on 11 May 1698 in , Val-de-Marne (94), Ile-de-France, France, Europe
Deceased on 1 October 1777
Teacher of , , ,

Structures and Projects

Participation in the following structures & large-scale projects:


Biography from Wikipedia

Pierre Contant d'Ivry (11 May 1698 in Ivry-sur-Seine – 1 October 1777 in Paris), was a French architect and designer working in a chaste and sober Rococo style and in the goût grec phase of early Neoclassicism.

Early career

An Architecte du Roi from 1728, he spent his career working for the French Crown and for an aristocratic private clientele: the contrôleur-général des finances Machault d'Arnouville, the princes de Soubise and de Croÿ, and baron Bernstorff, the Danish ambassador. Though he was not formally received into the Académie royale d'architecture until 1751, he was the architect attached to Louis François I de Bourbon, prince de Conti, between 1737 and 1749. He was replaced in this position by Jean-Baptiste Courtonne.


Later Contant d'Ivry worked for Louis-Philippe, duc d'Orléans, for whom he transformed interiors of the Palais-Royal, Paris, in 1754, designs that were widely admired and published by Diderot and d'Alembert in the Encyclopédie, 1762, where Jacques-François Blondel praised their "correct middle pathway between two excesses, that of the heavy weight of our ancients and that of frivolity". Surviving examples include the dining room of the Duchesse d'Orléans (now the Salle du Tribunal des Conflits of the Conseil d'État), which is in a neo-classical style with pilasters, and another of her rooms (now the Salle des Finances), in which his surviving decoration of the ceiling and door panels is lighter and more reminiscent of the earlier French Regency period. Contant d'Ivry was also responsible for the exteriors of the northern part of the east wing (now on the Rue de Valois), the avant corps of which, "with its giant balcony brackets and rather inventive detailing, combines Rococo-style decorative charm with a certain Classical solidity in its massing."

In 1763 a fire which started in the east wing in the opera house, the Salle du Palais-Royal, destroyed not only the theatre but also the adjoining sections of the palace. While the municipality of Paris was responsible for the opera house and hired its own architect, Pierre-Louis Moreau-Desproux, who also designed the new facades on the Rue Saint-Honoré side of the building, Louis Philippe engaged Contant d'Ivry, who designed the interiors of the reconstructed corps de logis, the facades of the Cour d'Honneur (on the garden side), and a grand staircase, the "splendid escalier d'honneur, [which] with its domed covering and dramatic curved descent, is justly famous."

Église de la Madeleine

In 1757, he presented a project for the new Église de la Madeleine in Paris, for which he drew inspiration from Jacques-Germain Soufflot's Église Sainte-Geneviève. Though the foundation stone was laid by Louis XV in 1763, funds lagged, and after Contant d'Ivry's death, the plans were modified, then the partially built structure was razed and begun anew.

Principal commissions

  • Château de Bizy, Vernon (Eure), for the maréchal de Belle-Isle (ca 1740, partly destroyed).
  • Hôtel d'Évreux, 19 Place Vendôme, Paris : grand staircase and boiseries (1747).
  • Château d'Arnouville at Arnouville-lès-Gonesse, for Jean-Baptiste de Machault d'Arnouville. He collaborated there with Jean-Michel Chevotet, (1751–1757).
  • Palais-Royal, Paris: In 1752 he provided décors for two main rooms, the salle de la section des Finances du Conseil d'État, (notably for the carved fielded panels of its double doors and its ceiling cornice) and the neoclassical salle à manger of the duchesse d'Orléans (now the salle du Tribunal des conflits), one of the earliest neoclassical interiors in Paris. After a fire in 1763, Contant d'Ivry rebuilt the central block, with its facade on the cour d'honneur and the monumental staircase (1765).
  • Château de Saint-Cloud
  • Project for the Abbey and church of Pentemont, rue de Bellechasse at rue de Grenelle, Paris (published 1769).
  • Hôpital général, Valenciennes (1750)
  • The new palace Saint-Vaast d’Arras, Arras.
  • Église Saint-Wasnon at Condé-sur-Escaut (1751).
  • Château de Stors (Oise): Chapel for the prince de Conti.

Garden designs

  • Château de Chamarande (Essonne).He provided a theater en plein air, an orangerie, a buffet d'eau, belvedere and designs for an ornamental vegetable garden.
  • Château d'Heilly (Somme).
  • Château de Bizy at Vernon (Eure).
  • Château des Conti at L'Isle-Adam (Val-d'Oise).
  • Château de Stors at L'Isle-Adam (Val d'Oise). The park and the monumental terraces.

Furniture designs

  • Console table, gilded wood, c 1750-55; set of four wall lights, 1756. The Getty Center, Los Angeles.

Text imported from Wikipedia article "Pierre Contant d'Ivry" and modified on 22 July 2019 under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 license.

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