Description

The Parisian hôtel was a single-family home for the urban elites built between a courtyard and a garden. Twelve examples of this type of domestic architecture were included by Durand in his Vues Pittoresques des Principaux Édifices de Paris (1785-1792). A remarkable number of his plates depict buildings designed by the Neoclassical architect Claude-Nicolas Ledoux (1736-1806). This view in the King’s Topographical Collection shows the main façade of Ledoux’s Hôtel d’Espinchal to the Rue des Petites-Écuries. The Hôtel d’Espinchal is represented again in plate 50. In Durand’s overview of Paris, the Gothic interior of Notre-Dame and the grandiose dome of Les Invalides receive the same attention as the Duc de Montmorency’s pretty Chinese Pavillion and the fashionable Hôtel Guimard by Ledoux. 

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