Perrault, Claude (klōd pĕrōˈ) [key], 1613–88, French architect, scientist, and physician. One of the most eminent French scholars of his time, he advanced the study of anatomy and made other scientific contributions. His greatest architectural achievement is his work on the east facade of the Louvre, known as the Colonnade. In this project (1667–70) he collaborated with Le Vau and Le Brun. Perrault did much to establish the qualities of classical balance and order in French Renaissance architecture. He also built portions of the south facade of the Louvre and the Paris Observatory (1667–72), which, with adaptations to modern scientific requirements, is still in use. At the request of Colbert, he translated (1673) and added notes to the monumental work of Vitruvius. He also wrote (1683) a treatise on the five orders of columns in architecture. Charles Perrault was his brother.
See study by W. Hermann (1974).
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