Architect: Eugène Viollet-le-Duc

The Architect and the Matador

The Architect and the Matador

By Thomas Gould

On one sheet, a matador;on the other, a design,with measurements, for a cathedral pier.  What unites these drawingsis provenance:both, apparently, executedby the architectEugène Viollet-le-Ducin meetings.  As Viollet-le-Duc’s mind wanderedfrom doodle to design,my attention,beholding the drawings,is drawn between the two sheets; drawn, by the insistently connective impulseof looking,into associations.  Between architect… Read More

Viollet-le-Duc: Ruins in Reverse

Viollet-le-Duc: Ruins in Reverse

By Thomas Gould

In 1844, architect Eugéne Viollet-le-Duc won a competition to supervise the restoration of the Notre-Dame Cathedral.  Blasted and defaced during the Revolution, the condition of the great church testified less to the promises of an infant republic than to the bloody throes of its birth. For its restoration, the Comité des… Read More

Summerson: The Little House

Summerson: The Little House

By John Summerson

– John Summerson, ‘Heavenly Mansions: An Interpretation of Gothic,’ in Heavenly Mansions, and other Essays on Architecture (New York: W. W. Norton, 1963), 1-3.

Viollet-le-Duc: Mont Blanc

Viollet-le-Duc: Mont Blanc

By Martin Bressani

This simple but fascinating ink drawing by French architect Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc (1814–1879) illustrates the geometrical structure that, according to him, regulates the morphology of the entire Mont Blanc massif. Far from an amorphous, chaotic mass, he describes the mountain as a gigantic crystal that follows the regular structure of a… Read More

Architecture and Geology

Architecture and Geology

By William Mann

What is the relation between the forces that shape buildings and those that shape the earth’s surface? How are the imaginative powers of architects heightened by their knowledge of geological processes? How is their handling of all the cultural, economic and material constraints on their practice enriched by exposure to… Read More

Jean-Baptiste Lassus

Jean-Baptiste Lassus

By Martin Bressani

After a brief passage at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris in the studio of Henri Labrouste from 1828 to 1830, French architect Jean-Baptiste Lassus fell under the sway of the romantic cult of history and turned toward the middle ages. Together with his life-time associate Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc (1814–1879), he… Read More

Sketch from Vézelay from letter to Mérimée (1843)

Sketch from Vézelay from letter to Mérimée (1843)

By Eugène Viollet-le-Duc

From a letter to Mérimée written in 1843 from Vézelay: You, Sir, who have ceaselessly lived the life of the past, you understand the joy, the secret happiness felt when we can record in our sketchbook some of these forgotten [historical] treasures … but how much more interesting when these… Read More