ANDROUET DU CERCEAU, French family of architects

Members of the family were active in the 16th and 17th centuries. Founder of the dynasty was Jacques Androuet du Cerceau the Elder who was trained as an architect, decorator, and engraver. His major achievements were his published collections of engravings, furniture designs, and architectural details. The nickname "Cerceau" comes from the emblem of a ring that appears in lieu of a signature on engravings by Jacques Androuet.

Baptiste Androuet du Cerceau (1545-90) succeeded his father, Jacques Androuet, in 1572-77 as the major architect of Charles IX's Château Charleval. Later, in 1579, he worked on the Pont Neuf, which is his only surviving work. In 1584 Henry III named Baptiste supervisor of France's royal office of works; it is believed that Baptiste was responsible for the Hôtel d'Angoulème and the Hôtel de Lamoignon (1584).

Jean I Androuet du Cerceau (1585-1649), grandson of Jacques Androuet, was the most important designer of private houses during the early 17th century. He was responsible for the two most typical private homes of Louis XIII's reign: the Hôtel de Sully (1624-29) and the Hôtel de Bretonvilliers (1637-43). He also held the title of honorary architect of all the works and buildings of the king and was responsible for the horseshoe stairs at Fontainebleau.

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