Percier, Charles (shärl pĕrsyāˈ) [key], 1764–1838, French architect. He won (1786) the Grand Prix de Rome, and in 1794 he became associated with Pierre François Léonard Fontaine. Napoleon appointed them as government architects, and this post lasted until the emperor's fall. In the development of the Empire style under Napoleon's official sponsorship, Percier and Fontaine became its official interpreters, not only for Paris but also in Antwerp, Brussels, and Rome, where they designed many residences. They worked (1802–12) on the palaces of the Louvre and the Tuileries, designed the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, and did alterations and decorations for the imperial châteaux of Versailles, Malmaison, Compiègne, and Saint-Cloud. As interior decorators they designed every detail of furniture, fabric, hardware, and wallpaper in conformity with Empire motives. The partnership dissolved in 1814, and Percier thereafter conducted a student atelier. With Fontaine he published several books on architecture in Rome and interior decoration.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.