- Hélène Himmelfarb
(b Blandy-en-Brie [now Blandy-les-tours], Seine-et-Marne, March 14, 1625; d Paris, Dec 15, 1686).
French architect. He was from a family of carpenters that supplied the château of Vaux-le-Vicomte with building timber, and received his first commissions from the religious orders of the Counter-Reformation and their devout patrons connected with Nicolas Fouquet. He designed novices’ quarters (destr. 19th century) and the chapel at the Institution de l’Oratoire, Paris (1655; now St Vincent-de-Paul hospital), and the convent for the Benedictine Sisters of the Holy Sacrament, Paris (1658; destr. after 1796), financed by Queen Anne of Austria. For Fouquet himself, he fortified Belle-Isle, Morbihan (1660–61).
Although Gittard retained landed and professional interests in his native Brie (he restored the church of St Aspais, Melun, in 1676), he moved to Paris, buying an architect’s commission in the Bâtiments du Roi as early as 1655; throughout his life he was to engage in building- and property-speculation in the parish of St Sulpice as did Louis and François Le Vau on the Ile Saint-Louis. His plans for the huge new church of St Sulpice were preferred to those of Louis Le Vau: Gittard supplied the general design and built the sanctuary, ambulatory, apsidal chapels, transept and north portal (...