French-born, he came to Wales during the French Revolution. He became an assistant to Nash, and made his reputation as a draughtsman, drawing and etching plates for Rudolph Ackermann (1764–1834), John Britton (1771–1857), Edward Wedlake Brayley (1773–1854), and other publishers. He produced some of the first archaeologically accurate images of medieval architecture in Specimens of Gothic Architecture … at Oxford (1816), Specimens of Gothic Architecture (1821–3), Gothic Furniture (1827), Specimens of the Architectural Antiquities of Normandy (1827–8), Examples of Gothic Architecture (1828–36), Gothic Ornaments from Ancient Buildings in England and France (1828–31), and A Series of Ornamental Timber Gables, from Existing Examples in England and Wales (1831). These works were as important for the Gothic Revival as Stuart and Revett's were for the Greek Revival. With Charles Heath (1785–1848) he produced Paris and its Environs (1829–31). He made designs for cemeteries, including a layout for Kensal Green Cemetery, London (1830). His pupils included Ferrey, Pennethorne, and his son, A. W. N. Pugin.
Colvin (1995);Ferrey (1861);Jervis (1984);Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004);Placzek (ed.) (1982);Jane Turner (1996)