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Fontaine, Pierre Francois Leonard

FONTAINE, PIERRE FRANCOIS LEONARD (1762-1853), French architect, was born at Pontoise on the 20th of September 1762. He came of a family several of whose members had distinguished themselves as architects. Leaving the college of Pontoise at the age of sixteen he was sent to L'Isle-Adam to assist in hydraulic works undertaken by the architect André. To facilitate his improvement André allowed him to have access to his plans and to copy his designs. In October 1779 he was sent to Paris to study in the school of Peyre the younger, and there began his acquaintance with Percier, which ripened into a life-long friendship. After six years of study he competed for a prize at the Academy, and, winning the second for the plan of an underground chapel, he received a pension and was sent to Rome (1785). Percier accompanied him. The Revolution breaking out soon after his return to France, he took refuge in England; but after the establishment of the consulate he was employed by Bonaparte, to whom he had been introduced by the painter, David, to restore the palace of Malmaison. Henceforth he was fully engaged in the principal architectural works executed in Paris as architect successively to Napoleon I., Louis XVIII. and Louis Philippe. In conjunction with Percier (till his death) he was employed on the arch of the Carrousel, the restoration of the Palais-Royal, the grand staircase of the Louvre, and the works projected for the union of the Louvre and the Tuileries. In 1812 he was admitted a member of the Academy of Fine Arts, and in 1813 was named first architect to the emperor. With Percier he published the following works - Palais, maisons, et autres édifices de Rome moderne (1802); Descriptions de cérémonies et de fêtes (1807 and 1810); Recueil de décorations intérieures (1812); Choix des plus célèbres maisons de plaisance de Rome et des environs (1809-1813); Résidences des souverains, Parallèle (1833). L'histoire du Palais-Royal was published by Fontaine alone, who lost Percier, his friend and associate, in 1838, and himself died in Paris on the 10th of October 1853.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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