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Francis 11 Ansart

age, architect and profession

:11 ANSART, FRANCIS, an eminent French architect, born at Paris in 1598, was son of the king's carpenter, and received those instructions which led him to eminence as an architect, from the celebrated Gautier ; but for the high rank to whice he attained in his profession, he was indebted to the fiwee of his own genius. Ilis taste and judgment, united with a fertile imagination and sublime ideas, enabled him to equal the greatest masters in his plans ; he was, however, too apt to alter his designs, and even, in aiming at perfection, to demolish what was already not only well done, but scarcely to be surpassel. This character was the means of prevent ing him th honour of finishing the fine abbey of Val-de Grace, !blinded by Anne of Austria, \ dila he had coin Ineeced in 11b-1a, and which, when raised to the first story, the queen put into other hands, to prevent its destruction by him who had reared it. Ile was employed by the president Longueil to build his great Chateau des Maisons, near St. Germain's; and, when a considerable part of it was erected, lie pulled it down again, without acquainting the master with his intentions. After this, it is to his credit, that he finished it in a very noble style, and it is reckoned one of the finest architectural monuments of that age. A better idea cannot

be given of his character than this : Colbert applied to him for a design of the principal front of the Louvre, and Man sart produced many sketches of great beauty, but when told he must fix upon one to be invariably fbllowed, if approved, he declined the business. His last work was the portal of the INlinints hi the Place Royale; he flied in I666, at tine age of sixty-nine. Ile is known as the inventor of a particular kind of roof, called the mansarde. l le had a nephew, Jules ] lardouin, who was also eminent in Ids profession as an architect, and was educated by his allele. He became a favourite of Louis XI V., and was enabled, under his patron age, to realize a large fortune. Sonic of his principal works were the Chateau de Clugny, the palace of Versailles, the house of St. Cyr, the gallery of the Palais Royal, the places of Louis-Ic Grand and des Victoires, and the dome and finishing of the Invalides. He died suddenly at Nally, in the real'