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The Louvre, East Façade (study for the First Project)

Gian Lorenzo Bernini1664

The Courtauld Institute of Art

The Courtauld Institute of Art
London, United Kingdom

In 1664 the celebrated Roman sculptor and architect Gian Lorenzo Bernini took part in a competition to design the east façade of the palace of the Louvre in Paris, which King Louis XIV wished to complete. This freehand drawing shows Bernini’s initial proposal for the façade, featuring a central oval pavilion. The arches and monumental columns derive from classical precedents, however Bernini’s unusually animated design was rejected in favour of Claude Perrault’s more conventional plan for a linear row of columns on a raised pavilion.

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