History and architecture

History and architecture

Today’s École des Beaux-Arts is a vast complex spreading over an area of more than two hectares between the rue Bonaparte and the Quai Malaquais.
Most of the buildings date from the 17th to the 19th centuries; some are from the 20th.

The oldest buildings are the chapel and its annexes, erected in the early 17th century as part of the monastery. During the French Revolution and the Napoleonic era, the architect Alexandre Lenoir (1761-1839) converted the premises into the Musée des Monuments Français, a museum with several extraordinary works of French sculpture.
When the museum was closed in 1816, the buildings were allotted to the École des Beaux-Arts.

The architect François Debret (1777-1850) was subsequently commissioned to design additional buildings. He first constructed the Bâtiment des Loges, an essential facility for competitions, then began work on the Palais des Études. Debret was succeeded by his pupil and brother-in-law Félix Duban (1797-1872), who continued the Palais des études and the exhibition building overlooking the Quai Malaquais (Palais des Beaux-Arts).
He also redesigned the entrance courtyards on the rue Bonaparte side, the chapel, and what had been the monastery cloister (Cour du Mûrier).

In some cases Duban re-used quite disparate architectural and decorative elements that had remained in place after the Musée des Monuments Français was closed and its collections dispersed, thereby endowing the whole with an undeniable esthetic unity.
In 1883, in what was to be its last extension, the École acquired the Hôtel de Chimay and its outbuildings, dating from the 17th and 18th centuries, located at 15 and 17 Quai Malaquais.

In mid-XXth century three floors of studios were built around the Melpomène room of the Palais des Beaux-Arts by the Perret Frères company.

In 1972 all the buildings of the school were classified as historical monuments.

Since 2008 five of the Technical Skills studios dedicated to sculpture and volume were opened at Cap Saint-Ouen, a building leased to crafts, arts and technology companies in the heart of the renowned antiques market district of the City of Saint-Ouen, just outside Paris. Saint-Ouen municipal officials have enabled the Beaux-Arts de Paris to install these studios in a space of more than 800 square meters.

 

Restorations

The facades of Quai Malaquais buildings

The restoration of the facades could start with the generous private sponsorship of Mr. and Ms Karine and Philippe Journo, and Compagnie de Phalsburg, whom M Jouno is the President. This sponsorship was completed by the Ministry of Culture and Communication.
This work concerns the buildings built between the seventeenth and nineteenth century, was undertaken in three phases has been completed in 2014.

 

Cour vitrée of the Palais des Etudes

The restoration of the Cour Vitrée began in January 2007 with the glass roof and stone facings and pictorial ornaments of different facades. Eleven trades have occurred under the leadership of Benjamin Mouton, chief architect of historic monuments.

The Ministry of Culture and Communication, the FIAC, the Hermès Fondation, Lenôtre and Nicolas Feuillatte champagne sponsored the restoration which was completed in March 2009.