Beaux-Arts architecture expresses the academic neoclassical architectural style taught at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. The style "Beaux Arts" is above all the cumulative product of two-and-a-half centuries of instruction under the authority, first, of the Académie royale d'architecture, then, following the French Revolution of the late 18th century, of the Architecture section of the Académie des Beaux-Arts. The organization under the Ancien Régime of the competition for the "Grand Prix de Rome" in architecture, offering a chance to study in Rome, imprinted its codes and aesthetic on the course of instruction, which culminated during the Second Empire and the Third Republic that followed. The style of instruction that produced Beaux-Arts architecture continued without major interruption until 1968.
The Beaux-Arts style heavily influenced the architecture of the United States in the period from 1880 to 1920. Non-French European architects of the period 1860–1914 tended to gravitate toward their own national academic centers rather than fixating on Paris. British architects of Imperial classicism, in a development culminating in Sir Edwin Lutyens's New Delhi government buildings, followed a somewhat more independent course, owing to the cultural politics of the late 19th century.