Giovanni Niccolò Servandoni (1695-1766)

Born in Florence and trained in Rome, Servandoni went to Paris in 1724. A versatile artist with a strong knowledge of perspective and antiquity, he found success in a variety of fields, from theater design to courtly festivals, with their fanciful temporary structures. Although he was not formally trained in architecture, he won the 1732 competition to design the façade of Saint Sulpice, which earned him the title Architecte du Roi. He also produced paintings in oil and gouache. They are typically architectural capricci that recall the layered perspective of stage sets, as here, where a crumbling archway frames a distant view of a triumphal arch.