LEMERCIER, Jacques
(b. ca. 1584, Pontoise, d. 1654, Paris)

Exterior view

begun 1626
Photo
Church of the Sorbonne, Paris

The church of the Sorbonne (the university of Paris) is a centralized structure. Dominated by its dome, with a short transept, lengthened transverse arms, and side chapels, it has a similar ground plan to that of the Roman church of San Carlo ai Catinari.

The ground floor of the west façade is dominated by massive Corinthian columns reinforced at the corners, but reduced to pilasters on the upper storey. Powerful entablatures emphasize the horizontal lines. A different design is used for the courtyard façade; the stepped effect of the temple front, triumphal arch, hipped roof, and tambour dome give the picturesque effect of a stage set, a completely idiosyncratic combination of classical and Baroque elements.

The picture shows the west façade.

View the ground plan of the church of the Sorbonne.