Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Gilles-Marie Oppenordt

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(Oppenord)

Born in Paris, 1672; died there, 1742; a celebrated rococo artist, known as "the French Borromini". As a boy he was sent to Rome as a royal pensioner, where, for eight years he studied, principally under Bernini and Borromini. The way had been paved in France for this style, for in the latter days of Louis XIV a change had appeared in the architectural productions of the Baroque style. The endowment of the Renaissance was adapted to the taste of Louis XV's time. It was called the Style of the Regency, the salon et boudoir style. Oppenordt, in connection with Robert de Cotte, developed the voluptuous rocaille border and shell ornamentation founded on the Italian Grotesque. The high alter of St. Germain des Prés and that of Saint-Sulpice (1704) gained for him the favour of the regent. He was entrusted with the restoration and decoration of the Château Villers Cotterets, for the reception of the king after his anointing at Reims. In the Palais Royal and the Hotel du Grand Prieur de France he proved himself an elegant decorator. In 1721 the continuation of the work on Saint-Sulpice was transferred to him. He had already (in 1710) built the chapel of St. John the Baptist in the cathedral of Amiens and earlier the Dominican novitiate church in Paris. He possessed unusual talent as a draughtsman. In his"Dessins, couronnements et amortissements convenables pour dessus de porte" etc., Huquières gives many of Oppenordt's designs.

Oppenord, L'Art décoratif du 18 siècle (Paris, 1888); Guilmard, Les maîtres ornemanistes(Paris, 1881); Destailleur, Recueil d'estampes (Paris, 1863-); Idem, Notices sur quelques artistes français (Paris, 1863); Lance, Dictionnaire des architectes français (Paris, 1873).

G. GIETMANN