The Comte d'Angiviller had an illustrious career in the French army, serving under Louis XV at the battle of Fontenoy in 1745. In 1774 he was appointed directeur général des Bâtiments du Roi, thus following royal commissions for works of art and the construction and maintenance of royal residences. A key figure in the scientific and artistic circles in the years just preceding the French Revolution, the Comte d'Angiviller gave increasing importance to the royal buildings and patrimony they represented. His most ambitious and revolutionary project was setting up the Musée Royal in the grande galerie du Louvre, which aimed to house and conserve the king's entire paintings collection for posterity. Charismatic and self-assured, the Comte's cold exterior hid a 'courtoisie extrême et sa timidité jointe à une grande sensibilité' , as described by De Sacy (J.S. de Sacy, "Le comte d'Angiviller, dernier directeur général des Bâtiments du Roi", in Ars et Historia, Paris 1953, p. 104).
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