Blondel, François (fräNswäˈ blôNdĕlˈ) [key], 1617–86, French architect. In 1672 he became director of the Academy of Architecture. Blondel's writings, which exerted great influence, include Cours d'architecture enseigné dans l'Académie royale d'architecture (2 vol., 1675–83) and Nouvelle Manière de fortifier les places (1684). He advocated a strict adherence to a classical and rationalist doctrine of architecture. His nephew, Jacques François Blondel, 1705–74, opened the first French private school of architecture in 1739. As architect to the king he devised plans for the civic beautification of Metz and Strasbourg. He designed the town hall and Place d'Armes at Strasbourg and the west portal of the cathedral at Metz. His published works include L'Architecture française (1752), valuable for its engraved views of buildings that no longer exist, and Cours d'architecture; ou, Traité de la décoration (6 vol., 1771–77).
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