Perspectival View and Floorplan of a Public (?) Building

Anonymous, French, 17th century French

Not on view

This architectural drawing contains a perspectival view of a stately building with a plan of the ground floor above. The perspectival view of the building is executed in pen and ink over a chalk underdrawing and has been enhanced with watercolor and colored chalk. The floorplan is also executed in pen and ink over a chalk underdrawing and the supporting walls have been filled in with black watercolor or wash for emphasis. Above the finished floorplan another plan is visible in very faint chalk only, which may suggest an extension to the building. The inscription on the right side of the sheet also seems to suggest that the building could be expanded upon if so desired.

The drawing dates to the third quarter of the seventeenth century and demonstrates the style of building that became popular under the auspices of architects like Francois Mansart, and the academic approach to architectural drawing that was taught at the Académie des Beaux-Arts. Given the size of the building and the presence of the recurring Royal coat of arms in the decorations, this would likely have been meant as a Royal residence or a public building. The stables to the right and the figure of Athena in the pediment above the main entrance could indicate a military academy or headquarters. It is unclear whether the drawing relates to a specific building commission, or whether it might have been created as a design exercise.

Perspectival View and Floorplan of a Public (?) Building, Anonymous, French, 17th century, Pen and brown ink and watercolor over black chalk

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