- Olivier Michel
[Gondrin, Antoine-Louis de Pardaillan de]
(b Paris, Nov 5, 1665; d Paris, Nov 2, 1736).
French administrator and patron. He was the son of the Marquis de Montespan, whose wife, Françoise Athénais de Mortemart, became one of the mistresses of Louis XIV. During the prominence of her successor Mme de Maintenon, d’Antin pursued an undistinguished military career, and it was only after his mother’s death in 1707 that his gifts as a courtier were rewarded with the post of governor of the Orléanais and, in 1708, with that of Directeur-Général des Bâtiments du Roi (see Maison du Roi, §II). His predecessor, Jules Hardouin Mansart, had been termed Surintendant; d’Antin held this amplified title from 1716 to 1726, but thereafter returned to his initial designation. His dukedom was from 1710. He inherited the châteaux of Bellegarde (Loiret), Oiron (Deux-Sèvres) and Petit-Bourg near Fontainebleau, and considerably embellished them.
As Directeur-Général, d’Antin’s authority extended over all artists nominally attached to the royal household, over the Imprimerie Royale, the Mint, the Gobelins, the Observatoire and all the academies except the Académie des Sciences. During the last years of Louis XIV financial difficulties inhibited state patronage of the arts, but after his death in ...