Robert de Cotte

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Robert de Cotte

Robert de Cotte (* 1656 in Paris ; † July 15, 1735 in Passy near Paris) was a French builder , court architect and interior designer . He is considered the most important French master builder of the early Rococo .


From 1672 he worked for the French King Louis XIV. During his work as architecte ordinaire , from 1685 to 1689 at the side of his brother-in-law Jules Hardouin-Mansart (1646-1708), he was accepted into the Académie royale d'architecture in 1687 . After studying in Italy , he became court architect in 1689, raised to the nobility in 1702 and followed Hardouin-Mansart in 1708, at the age of 52, in the office of Premier architecte du Roi (first architect of the king) after the death of Hardouin-Mansart . In the same year he was promoted to director of the Académie d'architecture.

He completed Hardouin-Mansart's works, including the palace chapel of the Palace of Versailles, and was involved in almost all of the major churches and palaces of his time.

Robert de Cotte died at the age of 79 and was buried in the parish church of Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois .


De Cotte was a very important and famous master builder who - although he rarely left Paris - achieved fame all over Europe and was consulted by many European architects, such as Johann Balthasar Neumann for the residence in Würzburg (1723) and Poppelsdorf Palace has been. He was also a great interior designer. His buildings have been praised for both their style and furnishings.

In 1715 he built a castle in Bonn on the site of the destroyed Poppelsdorf moated castle, until construction was stopped after the death of Joseph Clemens von Bayern in 1723. Also in 1715, de Cotte continued to build on the construction of the Bonn residential palace, which Enrico Zuccalli had begun and left behind , and completed the construction with his own plans.

One of his large and also one of his last works was the Palais Thurn und Taxis (1729–1734) in Frankfurt am Main , for which he provided the plans. Around the same time, the archbishop's palace in Strasbourg ( Palais Rohan ) was built.

Selection of works



The Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris keeps eight volumes with drawings by him (Cabinet des Estampes, Fonds Robert de Cotte).

  • Robert Neumann: Robert de Cotte and the Perfection of Architecture in Eighteenth-Century France . The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 56, N ° 1, 1997, pp. 103-104
  • Robert Neumann: French Domestic Architecture in the Early 18th Century: The Town Houses of Robert de Cotte . The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol 39, N ° 2,1980, pp. 128-144
  • Simone Meyder: "More royal than free": Robert de Cotte and building in Strasbourg after 1681 . Waxmann, Münster / Munich / Berlin [a. a.] 2010. Zugl .: Tübingen, Univ., Diss., 2006, ISBN 978-3-8309-2181-3

Web links

Commons : Robert de Cotte  - Collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. incorporated into Paris since 1860
  2. Poppelsdorf Palace was further built and expanded from 1744 according to Balthasar Neumann's plans .
  3. The Bonn residential palace was completely destroyed by fire in 1777.
  4. The Palais Thurn und Taxis was badly damaged in the Second World War and demolished in 1951 except for the portal buildings. From 2004 to 2009 it was reconstructed with a modified floor plan by the architects KSP Engel and Zimmermann.