Philippe de La Guêpière, Projets d'architecture, Frontispiz, Stuttgart Cotta 1752

A Frenchman in the service of WürttembergPhilippe de La Guêpière

What didn't he build in Württemberg! As Duke Carl Eugen's royal architect, Philippe de La Guêpière (1715-1773) created one palace after another, each bearing his mark. The refined backdrops for court festivals were also largely created by him.

Portrait of Duke Carl Eugen von Württemberg on a medallion, circa 1780

Profile of Duke Carl Eugen.

When did Philippe de La Guêpière come to Württemberg?

Who could possibly satisfy the exacting standards of Duke Carl Eugen? At first, hardly any artist in Württemberg met them. That is why the duke often had artists come from France or Italy, and paid high wages to keep them at his court. In 1752, he engaged the French architect Philippe de La Guêpière.

Aerial view of the New Palace in Stuttgart

The New Palace in Stuttgart.

Where did the architect come from?

Philippe de La Guêpière was born near Paris and completed his studies at the Parisian Académie Royale d’architecture in the 1730s. He came to Württemberg with an intimate knowledge of current fashions in Paris and of the new, early Classical style of architecture. He was made royal building director by Carl Eugen and was intended to complete the construction of the New Palace in Stuttgart, which had already begun.

View of the garden side of Solitude Palace with perron and terrace

Solitude Palace served as a retreat.

What did de La Guêpière build in Württemberg for the duke?

Anyone who has heard of Duke Carl Eugen knows that he would not be satisfied with just one palace. While the New Palace was being constructed in Stuttgart, he simultaneously had Ludwigsburg Palace modernized by his architect. De La Guêpière also built Monrepos Lakeside Palace not far from Ludwigsburg Palace, and ultimately built Solitude Palace as well. The early Classical style of the French was best realized here.

Exterior view of Monrepos Palace in Ludwigsburg

Monrepos Palace in Ludwigsburg.

Could he complete all of these building projects?

The duke's whims certainly didn't make it easy for the architect. However, his construction projects also didn't always run smoothly either. The Monrepos Lakeside Palace threatened to sink into the lake. The New Palace burned down almost as soon as it was furnished. In 1768, de La Guêpière finally left the court of Württemberg and went back to Paris.

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