1667 – 1742
Who was Jacques Gabriel?
His mother was a cousin of Jules Hardouin-Mansart and his father, another Jacques Gabriel was a masonry contractor for the Bâtiments du Roi, the French royal works, and the designer of the Château de Choisy for the king's cousin, La Grande Mademoiselle.
The younger Jacques Gabriel was appointed one of the controlleurs généraux at the Bâtiments du Roi in 1688, at the age of twenty-one. Two years later he was sent to accompany Robert de Cotte on an eighteen-month sojourn in Italy, sharpening his eye, and on his return was made one of the Autres Architectes in the Bâtiments du Roi, where he proved an efficient administrator. He was made a member of the Académie at Mansart's reorganization of that body in 1699.
Pierre-Jean Mariette, who knew him well says that he was "expert in the conduct of building, but he could not have drawn the least jot of ornament" For designers of ornament, Gabriel relied on Pierre Lepautre and after Lepautre's death, on Jean Aubert, another designer trained in the Bâtiments du Roi.
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