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Collection of the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum

Jules Frédéric Bouchet

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Jules-Frédéric Bouchet was an architect and engraver who began his career as a student of French architect and designer Charles Percier (1764–1838). In 1822, Bouchet obtained second prize in the Grand Prix of architecture for his design of an opera-house interior. While he lived and worked in Paris, Bouchet was enamored with Italian ruins and antiquities. After a trip to study them from 1825 to 1828, he completed twenty-seven engraved illustrations of the Maison du poète tragique `a Pomp’ei (The House of the Tragic Poet at Pompeii), one of the first major studies of a Pompeiian house. Upon his return to Paris, he was named Inspector of the Works of the Royal Library (later the Bibliothèque Nationale) under Ludovico-Tullio-Giacomo Visconti (1791–1853). Bouchet was also named Inspector of the Tomb of Napoleon, and finally was appointed chief architect of the tomb project after Visconti’s death. Bouchet actively showed at numerous salons from the 1830s through the 1850s. (JGK)