MACHY, Pierre-Antoine de
(b. 1723, Paris, d. 1807, Paris)

Clearing the Area in front of the Louvre Colonnade

c. 1760
Oil on canvas, 60 x 92 cm
Musée Carnavalet, Paris

In the mid 18th century, the Louvre housed various academies and administrative offices, as well as containing artists' studios. The Court Carrée and the east façade were still cluttered with lowly buildings, which shocked observers. In 1759, the architect Germain Soufflot (1713-1780) began clearing the area in front of the Louvre Colonnade. De Machy left six paintings and five drawings documenting this work. It was only in 1776 that the roof of the Louvre was completed and a provisional square cleared in front of the façade.