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Jean-Baptiste Lepère (1761-1844), „Architecte de l'Empereur” : die Zeichnungen der Paläste von Saint-Cloud, Meudon und Saint-Germain-en-Laye im Kontext der Architekturpolitik Napoleon I. 1811-1814

Abstract : The scientific examination of the inheritance of Jean-Baptiste Lepère conserved by the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum in Cologne is a desideratum of the early architectural history of the 19th century. The aim of this work is, to investigate the architectural politics of Napoleon I. on the basis of Lepère’s drawings of the Palaces of Saint-Cloud, Meudon and Saint-Germain-en-Laye. The architectural politics of the emperor include the architectural program and the organisation of the imperial construction firm. These two aspects will be represented in detail. Thereupon it will be explored in which way the construction firm of Napoleon operated concretely, by referring to the projects at the three palaces. Which role do the constructor and architect play? How are the governmental directives reflected in the building activity? This work examines the years from 1811 until 1814, which span a period from the point of culmination of the Grand Empire with the birth of the Roi de Rome until the abdication of Napoleon. Therefore it is necessary to analyse the consequences of the political development on Lepère’s architectural projects. To capture Napoleon's architectural policy precisely, decrees firstly time discovered in the archives, concerning the organisation of the imperial construction firm, will be used. Based on the decrees, the tasks and functions of the individual offices of the construction firm can be declared. Furthermore the roots of the Ancien Régime and innovations of Napoleon I. are to be clarified. This raises the question as to what political intentions hide behind the decrees, respectively behind the new organisation? The architectural preconditions for Lepère as an architect will be clarified with the help of the existing literature concerning the three palaces. In this dissertation, 65 drawings of the Palaces of Saint-Cloud, Meudon and Saint-Germain-en-Laye will be described, analyzed and put into context with the architectural policy of Napoleon I. In order to place the drawings into context, they will be attributed to individual project-chapters with the help of previously undiscovered documents in the archives. Within one chapter dedicated to one project the drawings will be illustrated and information of the inventory number, inheritance, artist, material, technique, dimensions, restoration and archival documents will be presented. Afterwards the details about the inscriptions like title, signature, dating, measure rod, measures and the reverse side succeed. Followed by a description of the drawing and a reconstruction of the context of the project based on the archival documents, that had to be prepared according to the instructions of the government. A stylistic analysis of Lepère’s designs will explore and evaluate his personal interpretation of a napoleonic architecture of palaces in consideration of biographical aspects and the private library of Lepère. Doing so will clarify, which typological and formal repertoire Lepère used. The design of the plans will be classified in context with classicism, architectural concepts of the revolution period as well as ideas of an imperial representation architecture during the Premier Empire. A closing chapter will reveal, with aid of the acquired results, the aim of Napoleon’s architectural policy and summarize the consequences of the civil service for Lepère’s projects on the three palaces. The illustrations and informations of the drawings will not be presented in a catalogue at the end of this dissertation but in the beginning of each chapter dedicated to one project. The significant documents in the archives allow to determine the evolution of the projects. This dissertation aims to establish a context between the drawings, the building history and the process of the projects.
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Anna-Sarah Schlatt. Jean-Baptiste Lepère (1761-1844), „Architecte de l'Empereur” : die Zeichnungen der Paläste von Saint-Cloud, Meudon und Saint-Germain-en-Laye im Kontext der Architekturpolitik Napoleon I. 1811-1814. Art and art history. Université Paris sciences et lettres; Universität Köln, 2019. German. ⟨NNT : 2019PSLEP019⟩. ⟨tel-02867967v2⟩

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