Brongniart, Alexandre, the son of an eminent French architect, was born in Paris in 1770. He began life as a soldier, but having a taste for natural history, became professor of natural history in the College des Quatre Nations and of mineralogy at the School of Mines. He was one of the earliest systematisers of geology. In 1800 he was appointed director of the porcelain works at Sevres, and revived the decayed art of painting on glass, publishing in 1845 his Traite des Arts Ceramiques. He is known as the author of the division of reptiles into Saurians, Batrachians, Chelonians, and Ophidians. In 1816 he was elected to the Academy, and in later years he made scientific visits to Switzerland, Scandinavia, and Italy. He died in 1847. Along with Cuvier he wrote the Essai sur la Geographie Mineralogique des Environs de Paris. His son Adolphe Theodore (1801-76) was also a distinguished naturalist.