DELORME, Philibert
(b. ca. 1515, Lyon, d. 1570, Paris)

Exterior view

c. 1552
Chapel, Château d'Anet (Eure-et-Loir)

Philibert Delorme is the first French architect to have something of the universality of the great Italians. He combines the engineering skill of the French mason with the learning of the Italian artist. He is classical without being merely an imitator of the Italians. Unfortunately almost all that he built has been destroyed, and apart from sections of Château d'Anet and the tomb of Francis I, we have to rely on engravings.

Though the greater part of Anet has been destroyed, its three essential features have survived: the frontispiece (avant-corps) from the main block, which now stands in the court of the École des Beaux-Arts; and the chapel and entrance gate, which are still in situ.

The chapel of Château d'Anet is still in situ, though it now stands free instead of being, as it originally was, veiled by the porticoed east wing of the court. It is the first chapel in France in which is applied the Renaissance principle that the circle is the perfect figure, and therefore suitable for the house of God. It is applied, moreover, with great originality. Not only is the central domed space circular, but the side chapels are so shaped that the outer contour of the whole building is a circle, interrupted only by the right angles of the two sacristies. Further, the marble pavement is made up entirely of arcs of circles, forming a pattern which is the direct projection of the coffering in the dome. The emphasis on the circle is in accordance with the practice of Bramante (see his Tempietto).

View the ground plan of the chapel.