(1723–1814). Influential French architect, editor, and critic. He continued J. -F. Blondel's Cours d'architecture (1771–7), responsible for many texts and plates dealing with building materials and construction. His most impressive publication, Monuments érigés en France à la Gloire de Louis XV (Monuments Erected in France to the Glory of Louis XV—1765), included proposals for sophisticated civic designs for Paris. Discours sur l'Architecture (Discourse on Architecture—1754), Études d'Architecture (Studies of Architecture—1755), Mémoires on street-planning (1766), on the building of the west front of St-Sulpice (1767), and Essai sur l'Architecture Théâtrale (Essay on Theatre Architecture—1782), among others, were highly analytical works, and had a powerful effect on late-C18 French rationalist architecture of the Neo-Classical period. He analysed Gothic architecture with great intelligence, showing that buttresses, pinnacles, ribs, piers, and so on were part of a logical structural system, using Notre-Dame at Dijon as his exemplar.
From A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture in Oxford Reference.