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Debret, Françoislocked

(b Paris, June 27, 1777; d Saint-Cloud, Feb 19, 1850).
  • Christopher Mead


French architect. He studied with Charles Percier c. 1793, and in 1813 he succeeded Jacques Cellerier as the architect responsible for restoring the royal abbey church of Saint-Denis, near Paris. Debret’s restorations revealed his ignorance of Gothic architecture and included a structurally dangerous trimming of stone from the church’s buttresses, the removal of authentic ornament and such ill-conceived additions as the historically implausible Gallery of Kings on the west façade. Already under attack by medievalists, Debret then rebuilt the spire of the façade’s north tower (which had been struck by lightning in ...

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Dictionnaire de biographie française (Paris, 1933–)