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 Jean (The Elder) Aubert  (ca. 1680 - 1741)

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Lived/Active: France      Known for: architecture

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Jean Aubert the Elder (ca. 1680 – 13 October 1741) was a French architect, "responsible for many fine interiors but not a leader of the first rank."

He was the son of Jean-Jacques Aubert, master carpenter in the Bâtiments du Roi, and was trained in the large atelier of Jules Hardouin-Mansart. Aubert was employed in the Bâtiments du Roi as a designer from 1703 (Kimball p 131); in 1707, Hardouin-Mansart had him appointed an architecte du Roi and attempted to get him seated in the second class of the Académie royale d'architecture.  As a protégé of Hardouin-Mansart, Aubert may have come into conflict with Robert de Cotte, Hardouin-Mansart's successor as premier architect though not as director at the Bâtiments du Roi. Diversifying his commissions, Aubert became the architect to the Bourbon-Condé: for them he worked at Saint-Maur (1709–10), Chantilly and at other lesser possessions.

Jules Hardouin-Mansart had provided Henri-Jules de Bourbon-Condé plans for the complete transformation of his Château de Chantilly. They were realized by Daniel Gittard, and by Aubert after 1708, though documentation for work other than for the stables is lacking (Kimball p 131).

From 1724 Jean Aubert worked in Paris on the Palais Bourbon fronting the Seine, which was built for Louise Françoise de Bourbon (1673-1743), Duchesse de Bourbon. The plans had been consigned to an Italian architect named Giardini, of whom little is known saved that he died in 1722. Pierre Cailleteau Lassurance, who succeeded him in the project and designed the decor of the vestibule (Kimball 1943 p 130), died himself two years later. Aubert took up the project, working with the already-established foundations, but redistributing the magnificently-finished apartments and introducing elliptical salons.

Right next to the Palais Bourbon, Jean Aubert was also put in charge of the Hôtel de Lassay, which Lassurance had also begun, for the Marquis de Lassay, the lover of the Duchesse de Bourbon. If the edifice came under some criticism, its interiors marked a step towards the freest rococo.

Between 1728 and 1731 Aubert constructed for the wealthy speculator Abraham Peyrenc de Moras the Hôtel Biron, named for a later owner, which now houses the Musée Rodin. Jacques Gabriel's role in its construction has recently been disallowed. In 1736, he built a little annex to the hôtel, which had been purchased from the widow of Peyrenc de Moras by the Duchesse du Maine, herself a Bourbon-Condé by birth.

In 1738 Aubert built the lodgings at the Abbey of Fontevraud where Mesdames, the daughters of Louis XV, passed some years of their youth under the supervision of the abbesse de Montmorin.

Jean Aubert married Geneviève Brunault; the couple was childless. In Paris they lived in Rue des Tournelles, probably in one of the buildings there that belonged to the heirs of Mansart.

Principal works
    •    Stables of the Château de Chantilly, 1719-1735.
    •    Palais-Bourbon, rue de l'Université, Paris, 1724-1730.
    •    Hôtel de Lassay, rue de l'Université, Paris, 1726-1730.
    •    Hôtel Biron, the Musée Rodin, 1728-1731.
    •    Constructions at Chaalis, 1736.

"Jean Aubert the Elder," Wikipedia, // (Accessed 7/16/2013)

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