Tag Archives: French architecture

French Provincial Architecture

Goodwin, Philip Lippincott and Henry Oothovt Milliken. French Provincial Architecture: As Shown in Various Examples of Town and Country Houses, Shops and Public Places Adaptable to American Conditions. London: B.T. Batsford, 1924.

American architects Philip Lippincott Goodwin and Henry Oothovt Milliken assembled this study of French provincial architecture to provide an American audience access to lesser known and vernacular French architecture. The book includes photographs, sketches and drawings of these buildings accompanied by an index to facilitate research. Though images included in the book are of middling quality, they represent a unique addition to the literature on French architecture, resurrecting the vernacular as a significant cultural object.

Library of Congress call numbers: NA 1041 G6 1924A

Architectural Studies in France

Petit, John Louis. Architectural Studies in France. New ed.; Revised Edition. London: G. Bell, 1890.

In this study of medieval French Architecture, John Petit utilizes a comparative framework to generate analyses of various buildings and building elements. The product of his travels in France, Petit celebrates his visitor status, acknowledging that the outsider who lacks cultural access notes significances that might otherwise be glossed or even neglected. It naturally follows that Petit opens with a discussion of French architecture as it relates to his experience and observation of English architecture. This comparative trope enables Petit to elegantly extend his conversation from the architectural majuscule to those bit parts which create it. Combined with engravings of significant buildings and architectural components, Petit’s Architectural Studies in France is an excellent resource for the medievalist and for those who delight in directed travel literature.

Library of Congress call number: NA 1042 P485 1890

L’Art Architectural en France: Francois I to Louis XIV

Rouyer, Eugène. L’Art Architectural en France depuis François Ier jusqu’à Louis XVI : Motifs de Décoration Intérieure et Extérieure Dessinés d’après des Modèles Exécutés et Inédits des Principales Époques de la Renaissance.

Collection: Cret

In the opening lines of the two-volume, French language text, L’Art Architectural en France depuis François Ier jusqu’à Louis XVI, architect Eugène Rouyer and conservationist Alfred Darcel call attention to the lack of critical literature concerning French Renaissance architecture. In 1863, at the time of original publication, these Louvre scholars noted a high degree of sycophantism in contemporary writing on the period, the work of men seduced by beauty–“Mais arrivée à la Renaissance, à une époque où les documents abondent, il semble que, séduite par la grâce toute nouvelle des monuments qu’elle rencontre, elle ait abdiqué toute idée critique.” In response, Rouyer and Darcel produced a series of truly elegant building analyses unencumbered by obsequious prose and illustrated with exquisite engravings noting building details on both a large and small scale. The Cret volumes are organized building analyses first, followed by a table of contents that triangulates the location of engravings with that of its associated text. Together, these tomes represent an integral reference for the Renaissance scholar.

Library of Congress call numbers: NA 1044 R7 1863 V. 1 Copy 2, NA 1044 R7 1863 V. 2

Monuments Historique de France

Roussel, Joules. Monuments Historiques de France. Ensembles d’Architectura, Détails Décoratifs, Documents, d’après les Archives du Ministère de l’Instruction Publique et des Beaux-arts. 3 Vols. Paris: A. Guérinet, [n.d.].

Assembled by the French Ministère de l’Instruction Publique et des Beaux-Arts, Monuments Historiques de France is a three volume series containing over 200 19th- and 20th-century photographs that document French monumental architecture from the Roman Empire to the 18th century. A range of building types are represented including public works, cathedrals, palaces and other domestic architecture. These volumes are organized chronologically and provide high-quality photographs capturing exterior, interior, and detailed views of some of France’s most renowned architectural spaces. A product of the neoimperialist era, a small section of photographs also documents Algerian architecture, though these plates are strangle absent from the volumes available in the Architecture & Planning Library special collection.

Library of Congress call numbers: NA 1041 R63 V. 1, V.2, V3

Small French Buildings

Coffin, Jr., Lewis A., Henry M. Polhemus and Addison F. Worthington. Small French Buildings: The Architecture of Town and Country, Comprising Cottages, Farmhouses, Minor Chateaux or Manors with their Farm Groups, Small Town Dwellings, and a Few Churches. New York: C. Scribner, 1921.

Small French Buildings is an English-language celebration of the French vernacular in Normandy, Brittany, the Cote d’Or and Dordogne. The book divides its collection of 183 plates into four sections by building type: Cottages, Churches and Chapels, Town Houses, and small Châteaux, Manors and other farm buildings. While it is unclear why certain buildings are highlighted in this volume, the images included provide access (though somewhat distilled) to the architecture of the everyday–where people lived, worked, played and dreamed. Published in 1921, this idealized vernacular, however uncluttered by its society, is a unique document in an era when art and architectural historians were generally concerned with the canon.

Library of Congress call number: NA 1041 C6

The Artists’ Society’s Pugin

Pugin, Augustus Welby. Details of Ancient Timber Houses of the 15th & 16th Centuries: Selected from Those Existing at Rouen, Caen, Beauvais, Gisors, Abbeville, Strasbourg. London: Ackermann, 1836.

In 1836, Augustus Pugin, England’s renowned Neo-Gothic architect, completed a series of studies that document French timber architecture from the 15th and 16th centuries. “Drawn on the spot and etched” in Rouen, Caen, Beauvais, Gisors, Abbeville, Strasbourg and more, these sketches and etchings largely record timber design details on architectural elements embellishing pubs, manor houses, churches–largely vernacular architecture. From time to time, Pugin sees fit to establish scale and even intimate construction technique. However, as a source, Pugin’s studies tell us more about iconography than construction practices.

Notably, our copy of Pugin’s Details of Ancient Timber Houses of the 15th & 16th Centuries once belonged to the Langham Sketching Society, one of London’s artist collectives which became so popular in the 19th century and an important precursor to the establishment of true professional societies. The circulation manifesto appears fixed to the book’s front binder and establishes basic circulation practices. Interestingly, these “bye-laws” also provide some insight into the activities of the society–“All Costumes or draperies must be returned on the Saturday evening before the Monday on which the draped figure is to be set.”

Library of Congress call number: NA 1042 P755

Manuel d’Archéologie Française depuis les Temps Mérovingiens jusqu’à la Renaissance: Costume

Enlart, Camille. Manuel d’Archéologie Française depuis les Temps Mérovingiens jusqu’à la Renaissance: Costume. V. 3. Paris: Picard, 1916.

Collection: Cret

In his final installment of Manuel d’Archéologie Française, Camille Enlart relies heavily upon visual sources including paintings, drawings, sculptures and artifacts to produce a chronological analysis of medieval dress and style. In the introduction, Enlart establishes himself within the contemporary academic milieu, citing contributors to the study of French dress while distinguishing himself as a more deliberate scholar. He expands the traditional chronological framework and fastidiously collects and cites sources, exemplifying the turn-of-the-century trend toward positivism. He also constructs a detailed index that not only links significant terms to relevant discussion within the book, but also assists the reader in organizing these terms, understanding their meaning, and situating them in their historical context. For Enlart, the scientific method affords a greater opportunity to effectively discern and communicate new meaning from familiar material.

Library of Congress call number: NA 1043 E6 1919

Manuel d’Archéologie Française depuis les Temps Mérovingiens jusqu’à la Renaissance: Architecture Civile et Militaire

Enlart, Camille. Manuel d’Archéologie Française depuis les Temps Mérovingiens jusqu’à la Renaissance: Architecture Civile et Militaire. V. 2. Paris: Picard, 1904.

Collection: Cret

The second volume of Manuel d’Archéologie Française analyzes civil and military architecture as well as private residences, monasteries and gardens utilizing similarly scientific methods to further Enlart’s chauvinistic thesis. Again, Enlart relies heavily on visual references, incorporating a number of drawings, plans, and photographs that illustrate the hybridization and evolution of style. This text is also accompanied by an extensive index and a reference section entitled Répertoire Archéologique that provides a comprehensive listing of  archaeological and historical sites discussed in the book.

Library of Congress call number: NA 1043 E6 1919

Manuel d’Archeologie Francaise: Architecture Religieuse

Enlart, Camille.  Architecture Religieuse. Vol. 1, bks. 1 and 2, Manuel d’Archéologie Française depuis les Temps Mérovingiens jusqu’à la Renaissance. Paris: Picard, 1919-1920.

Collection: Cret

Turn-of-the-century gothic art historian Camille Enlart examined French architecture and fashion in his three volume work Manuel d’Archéologie Francaise. Published in two books, the first volume looks specifically at French religious architecture and continues Enlart’s career assertion that the cultural vacuum created by the decline of the Roman empire facilitated the insertion of French forms and themes into Mediterranean art and architecture. Enlart produces a formal survey analyzing various architectural elements, building plans, and construction practices to discern a more precise relationship between forms emerging from classical modes and those of Gallic (and likely Celtic) provenance. The resulting positivist history suggests that the Carolingian epoch represents a decided shift in the dominant aesthetic vocabulary in this part of Europe.

Each book in Enlart’s Manuel d’Archéologie Française includes a number of sketches, plans, and photographs of various architectural elements, construction practices, buildings, sculptures, and costumes. Comparative series play a significant role in each work providing information about the variety and evolution certain architectural objects.

For this volume, Enlart produced an extensive bibliography including works in English, French, Italian, and German divided into five categories: works that deal generally with the chronology and geography of French architecture; works that deal with the origins and duration of early Christian and Romanesque architecture; works that deal with French monuments from the 11th to the 16th century; works that deal with French influence in other countries for the same period; and works concerned with religious architecture. There is no index.

Library of Congress call number: NA 1043 E6 1919

The Architecture of Provence and the Riviera

MacGibbon, David. The Architecture of Provence and the Riviera. Edinburgh: D. Douglas, 1888.

Scottish Victorian architect David MacGibbon moved to the French Riviera in 1874 after a tragic accident left his daughter Rachel permanently disabled. In this restorative climate, MacGibbon discovered the rich architectural heritage of Provence and its environs, documenting these spaces in a number of sketches that would later form the core of The Architecture of Provence and the Riviera. Published 14 years after this initial excursion, The Architecture of Provence and the Riveria examines ancient and medieval architecture in southern France, an heretofore underrepresented region in the annals of cultural history. Here, MacGibbon chronicles the early history of the region and explores its late-antique and medieval social and political infrastructure before focusing the remainder of his work on its art and architecture. In these sections, MacGibbon combines chronological, stylistic and geographic categories to organize his work, including a number of explanatory sketches to better demonstrate the spaces and works of art about which he has concerned himself.

Library of Congress call number: NA 1049 P8 M3