(b Nov 1653; d Paris, May 1728).
French architect and theorist. He figures as a draughtsman of plans in the Comptes des Bâtiments du Roi from the age of 16. He may have taken part in the competition to invent a French order of architecture in 1672, before being sent to Rome on a royal bursary. He spent his two-year stay there recording ancient architecture. On his return, at the request of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, he published Les Edifices antiques de Rome dessinés et mesurés très exactement (1682). For this work he was formally congratulated by the Académie and rewarded with the sum of 2,000 livres. Claude Perrault used the variations noted by Desgodets in the proportions of the Classical orders as a basis for his theory that the canons of the orders were subject to free interpretation.
The Edifices antiques was reprinted in 1779, and Desgodets’s work is today regarded as the beginning of modern scientific ...