BRUAND, Libéral
(b. ca. 1635, d. 1697, Paris)

Exterior view

c. 1670
Photo
Chapelle de la Salpêtrière, Paris

Impressive simplicity is evident in a high degree in the chapel which Bruand designed about 1670 for the Salpêtrière, the hospital founded by Mazarin for the sick and destitute of Paris. Here Bruand has shown great inventiveness in planning a building with a number of almost separate compartments to accommodate the various sections of the community occupying the hospital, while producing at the same time a highly original variant of the centralized church plan. Round the central octagon are grouped four identical rectangular members and in the spaces between them four smaller octagonal chapels. All these subsidiary parts are connected with the central octagon by small bays, almost like apses cut off in the middle, so as to leave a narrow arched opening. The unusual forms so created are treated with extreme simplicity as regards decoration, and the result is an interior which shows a feeling for hollow enclosed space almost unique in French architecture of the seventeenth century.

The photo shows the Chapelle de la Salpêtrière, viewed from the Cour Mazarin.

View the ground plan of the chapel.