Caumont, Arcisse de. Cours d’Antiquités Monumentales Professé à Caen, en 1830: Histoire de l’Art dans l’Ouest de la France, depuis les Temps les Plus Reculés jusqû au XVIIE Siècle. 6 vols. Paris: Lange, 1830-1841.
In 1831, French historian and archaeologist Arcisse de Caumont began publishing Cours d’Antiquités Monumentales, a six part examination of the evolution of French civil, religious and military architecture from the Gallo-Roman period through the renaissance. Over the course of this considerable tome, de Caumont categorizes major French monuments, organizing each part chronologically. This work represents an early attempt at examining architecture along the temporal register, and, while de Caumont’s efforts is largely archaeological in nature, a significant contribution to the historiography of French architecture.
In general, these works are difficult to navigate. Though each part opens with a detailed listing of content contained within each chapter, they lack any sort of true table of contents or indices. This is further complicated by the occasional inclusion of images of certain architectural details and charts. These materials illuminate issues that are discussed each part but are difficult to triangulate within the text or to locate out of sequence. On the whole, Caumont’s Cours represent an important effort, but do not accord with traditional standards for legibility and use.
Library of Congress call number: NA 1041 C3 V. 1-3, NA 1041 C3 V. 4-5
Arizzoli-Clémentel, Pierre, ed. Versailles. 2 vols. Paris: Citadelles & Mazenod, 2009.
A recent acquisition to the Architecture & Planning Library Special Collection, Versailles is a compendium documenting the rich architectural, art and cultural histories of the 17th century palace. This two-volume work juxtaposes plans, sections, and other drawing that express the palace’s design with high-resolution photographs of its resplendent interior and exterior spaces, and a number of essays that explore its art, sculpture, and landscape and architectural design. Versailles includes additional essays that examine the cultural and political activities that took place within the palace.
Visit the Architecture & Planning Library special collection located in Battle Hall
As part of our ongoing effort to expose the rich and diverse materials held in the Architecture & Planning Library special collections, we will be highlighting a number of collection items that explore various historical and historigraphical topics related to the study of French architecture during the summer and fall 2011 sessions. The volumes featured in this series were reviewed by architectural history and theory graduate student Kristen Decker-Ali as part of a volunteer project completed during the summer 2010. Decker-Ali, whose own work focuses on Philibert de l’Orme’s Château d’Anet for Diane de Poitiers, reviewed dozens of volumes documenting 33 items of specific interest. These items belong to 26 separate titles, explore the history of urban and provincial architecture in France from the medieval period through the early 19th century and include volumes published as early as 1830. Check out Battle Hall Highlights each week, as we take a look at these titles.
Including over 20,000 volumes, the Architecture & Planning Library special collections comprise almost 1/5th of the library’s holdings and function as an invaluable resource for scholars in the disciplines of architecture, art and architectural history, landscape architecture, community and regional planning, building technology and construction science. Special strengths include central and eastern European architecture, especially the Vienna Secession Movement, late nineteenth and early twentieth century British and French architecture books, as well as titles from the libraries of architects whose work is represented in the Alexander Architectural Archive. Of special note are the libraries of architect Paul Philippe Cret, architectural historian Colin Rowe, and architect and educator Charles W. Moore.