Giles-Marie Oppenord


A prolific and imaginative draftsman, Oppenord produced creative designs for everything from wall-lights, candlesticks, clocks and chandeliers to large scale architectural projects, complete interiors and church monuments. Though his designs were initially influenced by the Baroque, he then began working in a lightness of touch, introducing sinuous asymmetrical lines whose creative designs played a significant role in the development of the early Rococo style.

He was the son of the ébéniste Alexandre-Jean Oppenord and grew up in the Palais du Louvre, where his father had been given an apartment by the king. A pupil of Jules Hardouin Mansart, he was granted an income and went to work in Rome for eight years, where he was influenced by Bernini and Borromini. But after his return to France he began to adopt an early Rococo style and began designing domestic interiors. His main patron was the Régent, duc d’Orléans who appointed him directeur des Manufactures Royales.

However, his main activity was that of an interior designer and as such he oversaw the design of the interior and all the furnishings for the duc’s residence at the Palais-Royal. Subsequently, under the direction of Robert de Cotte he was involved in the interior design for the decor at the Elector’s Palace in Cologne and in addition worked on the interior decoration at château de la Grange at Yerres.

Whilst a leading figure in his day, Oppenord’s influence became far greater after his death when many of his designs were engraved by Huquier and subsequently published as a series.