RENARD, Jean Augustin
(b. 1744, Paris, d. 1807, Paris)

Exterior view

from 1803
Hôtel Beauharnais, Paris

Private architecture during the Empire, likewise public buildings, employed also the classicising rhetoric of Roman Imperial buildings, if on a reduced scale.

The top category was represented by the Hôtel Beauharnais in Paris, extended by Nicolas Bataille from 1803 for Napoleon's stepson and later Viceroy of Italy, Eugène Beauharnais. At ground level, the original building by Germain Boffrand dating from 1714 was given a new Neo-Egyptian portico with battered piers adorned with reliefs and lotus-blossom columns.

Like other exoticism, the use of Egyptian motifs went back to the 18th century, but the throng of scholars who accompanied Napoleon on his expedition to Egypt in 1798 triggered off a full-blown fashion that gave rise to fountains as well.

The photo shows the Egyptian portico which is attributed to Jean Augustin Renard.