(b Rouen, Jan 8, 1705; d Paris, Jan 9, 1774).
French architect, theorist, teacher and writer, nephew of Jean-François Blondel. Although he was also a practicing architect (see §2 below), Jacques-François Blondel made a considerable contribution to the development of architectural theory in France in the latter part of the 18th century and was arguably the most outstanding teacher of architecture of the period.
He received his early training in architecture from his uncle and continued his studies under Gilles-Marie Oppenord, from whom he acquired a knowledge of the Rococo. His earliest published writings were his contributions to Jean Mariette’s practical manual L’Architecture française (Paris, 1727–38). His earliest independent publication, De la distribution des maisons de plaisance et de la décoration des édifices en général (1737–8), is essentially a compendium of the early phases of the Rococo, addressing the question of style and including the work of Robert de Cotte and Jean-François Blondel.
In 1742 Blondel received permission from the Académie d’Architecture in Paris to open his own private school, the ...