François de Cuvilliés

  • 1695 - 1768
  • Artist
  • French

Of miniature stature, François de Cuvilliés entered the service of Maximilian II Emanuel, the Elector of Bavaria, as a court dwarf when he was only eleven. The Elector was fond of Cuvilliés and arranged for him to learn mathematics and engineering before sending him to Paris to study architecture. There he studied the newly emerging French Rococo style under the personal supervision of the younger François Blondel.

When he returned to Munich, Cuvilliés was appointed court architect of Bavaria. He was responsible for designing a suite of state rooms at the Residenz and, in the park of the Nymphenberg palace, the small Amalienberg pavilion, considered one of the masterpieces of Rococo decoration. Between 1738 and 1756, he published fifty-five books of designs for interior decoration, wall paneling, ceilings, furniture, wrought-iron work, and other decorative objects. These engravings were important for disseminating the Rococo style throughout Europe.