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date: 07 December 2019

Godefroy, Maximilianlocked

(b Paris, 1765; d Paris, 1848).
  • Robert L. Alexander

Extract

(b Paris, 1765; d Paris, 1848).

French architect and draughtsman, active in the USA, England and France. All that is known of the first 40 years of Godefroy’s life is that he served 18 months in the army, probably practised engineering briefly and spent 19 months in Napoleonic prisons before being exiled to the USA. He arrived in New York on 26 April 1805 and in December took up a post as drawing-master at the college founded by the Sulpicians of St Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore. His modest competence in drawing, evident in several works in pencil and pen, bistre and coloured washes, suggests training. A few are landscapes and one, the Battle of Pultowa (1804–5; Baltimore, MD Hist. Soc. Mus.), is a historical composition, but most are Neo-classical designs, for example for diplomas, employing allegorical subject matter. Godefroy’s importance lies in his introduction of recent French ideas in the buildings he designed and built in Baltimore. He began to study architecture ...

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A. K. Placzek, ed.: Macmillan Encyclopedia of Architects, 4 vols (New York, 1982)
H. M. Colvin: A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600–1840 (London, 1954, rev. 2/1978)