(b Paris, May 11, 1698; d Paris, Oct 1, 1777).
French architect. He belonged to a family of gardeners from Ivry, in the inner suburbs of Paris. He did not make the traditional trip to Italy to complete his education and appears to have learnt his trade with Nicolas Dulin.
The career and works of Contant are known chiefly from the praise of his contemporaries and through the publication of his executed buildings and designs, the Oeuvres d’architecture (1769), which includes drawings dating from 1739 onwards. This collection of 71 engravings has no written text, and many of the designs for doors and fountains are difficult to identify or date. The fountains are characterized by the use of a generally Baroque vocabulary: various types of rustication, columns with alternating bands, rockwork etc. The triumphal arches, on the other hand, remain close to the style of the reign of Louis XIV (see Louis XIV style).
Contant worked independently for the first time in ...