LESCOT, Pierre
(b. ca. 1510, Paris, d. 1578, Paris)

Biography

French architect. Unlike the other architects of the French Renaissance, Pierre Lescot was not from a line of masons but the son of a seigneur. His father, also Pierre Lescot, was sieur of Lissy en Brie and Clagny, not far from Versailles, seigneuries his son Pierre inherited.

François I took him into his service, and appointed him architect in charge of the building projects at the Louvre, which transformed the old château into the palace that we know. Though Lescot was confirmed in his position after the king's death by his heir Henri II, and though he worked at the Louvre project until his death, only the west side and part of the south side were completed, comprising the present southwest wing of the Cour Carré, the Aile Lescot (Lescot Wing).

His first achievements (1540-45) were the rood-screen in St-Germain-l'Auxerrois, of which only some sculptures by Goujon have been saved and in Paris the Hôtel de Ligneris (1548-50, now the Musée Carnavalet).

Lescot's career is so scantily documented it is not known whether he ever visited Italy, or whether his knowledge of Italian practice was derived through the architecture and engravings that issued from the School of Fontainebleau. All of Lescot's known works have sculptural decoration by Trebatti and by Jean Goujon, who collaborated with him at the Louvre.