Salomon de Brosse  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Salomon de Brosse (1571, Verneuil-en-Halatte, France–9 December 1626, Paris) was the most influential early 17th-century French architect, a major influence on Fran├žois Mansart. Salomon was from a prominent Huguenot family, the grandson through his mother of the designer Jacques I Androuet du Cerceau and the son of the architect Jean de Brosse. He was established in practice in Paris in 1598 and was promoted to court architect in 1608.

De Brosse greatly influenced the sober and classicizing direction that French Baroque architecture was to take, especially in designing his most prominent commission, the Luxembourg Palace, Paris (1615-1624), for Marie de' Medici, whose patronage had been extended to his uncle. Salomon de Brosse simplified the crowded compositions of his Androuet du Cerceau heritage and contemporary practice, ranging the U-shaped block round an entrance court, as Carlo Maderno was doing at Palazzo Barberini, Rome, about the same time. The impetus for the plan is often traced to Palazzo Pitti, Florence, where the Medici queen had spent her youth, but the formal plan of Anet could also be adduced. He clad the building wholly in stone, avoiding the lively contrast of brick and stone that was the more familiar idiom. Though de Brosse was forced to relinquish his post 24 March 1624, construction of the Luxembourg proceeded according to his plan and elevations; extensions made in the nineteenth century have not obscured his external elements.

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