French Drawings

Eugene Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc

One of the most influential architectural theorists of the 19th century, Eugene Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc impacted not only French architecture, but also work in England and especially in America. His writing encouraged a great deal of creative thought and debate regarding honest structural expression and the embracing of modern technology. Henry Van Brunt's translation of Viollet-le-Duc's "Discourses on Architecture" was published in 1875, making it available to an American audience little more than a decade after its initial publication. In addition to his written work, Viollet-le-Duc is remembered for his "restoration" of numerous French cathedrals, including Notre Dame. Ware visited Viollet-le-Duc during his travels and returned with several lithographs of his work.

This drawing is an example of one of Viollet-le-Duc's "rebuilding" schemes. He created this massive Gothic confection upon an existing chateau for Emperor Louis Napoleon. While it pleased the Emperor, its romanticism disappointed many of Viollet-le-Duc's followers, in spite of his use of iron truss work to support the pitched roofs.

Monuments Historiques: Chateau Imperial de Pierrefonds

Monuments Historiques: Chateau Imperial de Pierrefonds
facade sur la cour interior
lithograph by Lemercier, Paris, 1864

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