By Martin Bressani

Notre-Dame in Paris, the walled urban of Carcassone, the citadel at Pierrefonds, visionary initiatives utilizing iron construction...Eugene-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc's significance inside of smooth structure can't be overstated. Hailed as one of many key theoreticians of modernism, he used to be additionally the main well known recovery architect of his age, a celebrated medieval archaeologist and a fervent champion of Gothic revivalism. He released essentially the most influential texts within the heritage of recent structure akin to the Dictionnaire raisonne de l'architecture francaise du XIe au XVIe siecle and Entretiens sur l'architecture, but in addition reviews on battle, geology and racial historical past. Martin Bressani expertly lines Viollet-le-Duc's advanced highbrow improvement, mapping the attitudes he followed towards the previous, exhibiting how recovery, in all its layered which means, formed his outlook. via his existence trip, we persist with the path during which the technological topic was once born out of nineteenth-century historicism.

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Extra info for Architecture and the Historical Imagination: Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc, 1814–1879

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Portrait of Prosper Mérimée. c. 1832. Heliogravure by E. Capron. From Maurice Tourneux, Prosper Mérimée, ses portraits, ses dessins, sa bibliothèque, 1879. Private collection 16 architecture and the historical imagination take on human nature. The two writers, like many other members of the salon, stood at the realistic and rationalist pole of Romanticism, and were generally scornful of Hugolian lyricism. But their desire to succeed and to provoke was not lessened for that reason. The force of ambition must have been quite palpable in the family house, and may indeed have left a strong mark on the Viollet-le-Duc at quite an early age, especially since neither Delécluze nor Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc were able to measure up to the challenges offered by their remarkable friends.

Of the Royal precinct. Sorting through the debris, they endeavored to restore order and meaning in the wake of the chaos that had caused so much upheaval within their own lifetimes. Their antiquarianism exemplifies social tendencies long identified by historians as a mal du siècle. The sense of dispossession that emerged during the post-revolutionary era led to an obsessive urge to rebuild from the ruins of the past. That sentiment must have been felt with particular acuity in the case of the Viollet-le-Ducs since their family had developed special ties with the social world of the ancien régime.

I express my appreciation to many others, and their institutions, in France and Canada: Bruno Ricart, director of the Archives départementales de l’Oise; Nicole Garnier, Conservateur général at the Condé Museum in the Château de Chantilly; Anne-Marie Joly, Conservateur at the late Musée de Notre-Dame de Paris; Annie Jacques and Bruno Girveau at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts; Caroline Mathieu and Alice Thomine at the Musée d’Orsay; Jennifer Garland, Ann Marie Holland and Marilyn Berger at the McGill University Libraries; and, not least, Howard Shubert, Pierre-Edouard Latouche, Paul Chénier, and Pierre Boisvert at the CCA.

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