1767-1777 – Hôtel de Saint-Florentin
The “hôtel particulier” (meaning “private urban mansion”) known today as Hôtel de Talleyrand was built between 1767 and 1769 for Louis Phélypeaux, Comte de Saint-Florentin, Marquis then Duc de La Vrillière (1705-1777). As State Secretary in charge of the King’s House, State Minister, State Secretary in charge of Foreign Affairs, and personal friend of the King, Saint-Florentin was one of the most influential figures of the reign of Louis XV.
The mansion was built in the neo-classical style. The elevations of the residence were designed by Ange-Jacques Gabriel (1698-1782), First Architect of the King, the designer of the Place Louis XV (today Place de la Concorde), of the Château de Compiègne, of the Petit Trianon in Versailles and of the Ecole Militaire in Paris. The chief interior designer was architect Jean-François-Thérèse Chalgrin (1739-1811), who later designed the Eglise Saint-Sulpice, the Eglise Saint-Philippe-du-Roule, the Collège de France and the Arc de Triomphe. Chalgrin selected a team including some of the most skilled artists of the period to work on the building’s design: sculptors Guillaume Coustou the Younger (1716-1777), Étienne-Pierre-Adrien Gois (1731-1823), François-Joseph Duret (1729-1816), and Denis Coulonjon (?-?), painters Jean-Simon Berthélemy (1743-1811) and Hubert Robert (1733-1808), and master ironsmith Pierre Deumier (1715-1785).
After the death of Saint-Florentin in 1777, the mansion became the property of the Duc de Fitz-James, and in 1784, of the Princesse de Salm-Salm, Duchesse de l’Infantado. It was the home of the Embassy of the Venetian Republic between 1790 and 1794. In 1794, during the French Revolution, it was requisitioned by the Committee of Public Safety to house the Commission on Commerce, and the stables were used to manufacture saltpeter and as an ammunition storage facility. In 1800, the Duchesse de l’Infantado sold the mansion to the Marquis de Hervas.