Pierre Delorme


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(b Rouen; fl 1501/2–1515). French mason and sculptor. During 1501–2 Delorme worked on the churches of St Nicolas and St Michel in Rouen. His name appears in a document of 1502 as Pierres de Lourme. He was employed in 1502–3 by Cardinal Georges I d’Amboise, Archbishop of Rouen, to carry out work on the episcopal palace, where he led a team of 22 masons and carried out work on ‘la grande galerie et du préau du jardin’. Together with Pierre Fain (fl 1501/2–22), Delorme was again employed by the Cardinal on the second phase (1506–11) of the building campaign of the château of Gaillon (Seine-Maritime), during which period Italianate decorative motifs were introduced. Delorme's name occurs ten times in the detailed accounts for the building project, but none of the parts of Gaillon associated with him has survived. He modified the large square tower of the north wing and created a passage leading from the great courtyard to the gardens. The tower (1508) is known variously as the Portail Neuf, Portail du Jardin, Portail du Chastel or Pavillon Pierre Delorme. The two-storey south-west wing of the great central courtyard was remodelled (1506–8) by Delorme and is referred to in contemporary accounts as the Maison Pierre Delorme. He was no doubt an inventive and original mason involved in various aspects of the construction. In his capacity as a sculptor, Delorme was in 1509 called upon to produce frames for a series of medallions made by a certain Paguenin on the façade of the Cour d’Honneur; Delorme was required to blend all'antica motifs with the indigenous French style. He also made a stone carving of the Cardinal's coat of arms. Around 1508, with Toussaint Delorme, he produced sculptural decoration for the Gallery on the first floor of the Grand Maison (rebuilt 1988). Simultaneously with this work, Delorme and Fain collaborated on the extension of the residence of St Ouen Abbey, Rouen; it was largely complete in 1507, but payments were still being made to them both in 1509. Delorme is last recorded in 1515, when he is described as ‘maistre des ouvrages en la ville et banlieu de Rouen’.

From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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