GABRIEL, Ange-Jacques
(b. 1698, Paris, d. 1782, Paris)

Exterior view

École Militaire, Paris

The Gabriel family, related to the Mansart family, boasted three or four architects prior to Ange-Jacques, the fifth to bear that name. He succeeded de Cotte as First Architect, and was an engineer and builder of some of France's most remarkable bridges - in Lyon, Poissy and Blois. He became the master architect of the reign of Louis XV, characterized by three exemplary edifices: the École Militaire (1751-68), the Versailles opera house (1753-70), and Place Louis XV (today Place de la Concorde) flanked by the Hotel du Garde-Meuble (1757-70). In addition, he also built the Petit Trianon.

The École Militaire was planned as early as 1751 by Ange-Jacques Gabriel at the request of Madame de Pompadour. A kind of pendant to the nearby Hotel des Invalides, it was only built after 1765. The north façade is powerfully composed, with a central portico featuring colossal order columns topped by a dome set on a square plan. The south façade, facing the inner courtyard, had a more simple portico, yet also boasted colossal order columns echoing the outer façade.

The photo shows the north façade of the central building.