LE BRETON, Gilles
(b. ca. 1500, Paris, d. ca. 1552, Paris)
Reconstruction of the staircasebegun 1531
Cour de l'Ovale, Fontainebleau (Seine-et-Marne)
Of the many works carried out by Le Breton at Fontainebleau almost all have been altered or pulled down; but one must be mentioned, even though as it stands today is only a fragment. This is the portico and staircase in the Cour de l'Ovale, of which a reconstruction by Albert Bray (1935) is shown in the figure.
This design is original, it may have been inspired by an Italian artist, perhaps Rosso, but in many respects it develops out of a French tradition. The form of the staircase with a double flight leading to a single flight bridging an arch to the first floor of the building is in the late medieval French tradition. The staircase is the first of a great series of similar schemes.