Tag Archives: french renaissance

La Renaissance en France

The last volume in our special collection focus series on French architecture, Camille Martin’s La Renaissance en France: L’architecture et la Decoration, is a two-volume collection that documents renaissance architecture in France. Its 100 plates consist of large- and small-format black-and-white photographs of exterior and interior architecture and architectural details of building types including both the religious and residential. Each plate is examined in detail at the beginning of the first volume, providing information about its subject’s specific history and design, and, in some cases, additional visual references such as plans or façade or detail renderings. The high-quality images and complementary encyclopedic text make La Renaissance en France the perfect launchpad for monographic inquiries.

Library of Congress call number: NA 405 M3

Fragments d’Architecture

d’Espouy, Hector. Fragments d’Architecture du Moyen Âge et de la Renaissance d’Après les Relevés and Restaurations des Anciens Pensionnaires de l’Académie de France à Rome. 2 vols. Paris: C. Schmid, 1897-c. 1925.

Collection: Cret

The French-language Fragments d’Architecture du Moyen Âge et de la Renaissance utilizes work produced by novitiate architects studying at the French Academy in Rome to generate an historically fractured vision of the Italian peninsula during the Byzantine, medieval and renaissance periods. Developed under the direction of Hector d’Espouy, winner of the very first Prix de Rome, this volume follows his 1905 publication, Fragments d’Architecture Antique, and includes 180 plates that encompass almost a thousand years of architectural history.

Because students at the Academy generated intricately detailed drawings and plans of Italian monuments as part of their course of study, their work functions to document not only the monuments themselves, but also approaches to contemporary design pedagogy. In perusing these works, one will notice a considerable degree of consistency from plate to plate suggesting a very rigid and systematic drafting instruction.

This consistency is present in the watercolors as well.

As an historical document, the Fragment defy traditional readability. Ecclesiastical and secular buildings are included and organized neither geographically nor chronologically. Typology, style, technique and architectural element are similarly disregarded as organizing factors such that we find tomb and arcade studies intermingled with those rendering façades, campaniles, muqarnas, and mosaics. Nevertheless, these tomes function historically, canonizing certain Italian monuments while providing insight into the curriculum established to train architects.

Library of Congress call number: NA 1111 E7 1925 V.1, V.2

Three Hundred Years of French Architecture

Blomfield, Reginald. Three Hundred Years of French Architecture, 1491-1794. London: A. Maclehose, 1936.

This is the second installment from the pen of Sir Reginald Blomfield to be included in our series on French Architecture. In Three Hundred Years of French Architecture, the English scholar and architect, whose own architectural work represents a rejection of what he considered “the paralysing conventions of the Victorian era,” explores the relationship between the evolution of style in French architecture and its historical backdrop. Blomfield addresses Three Hundred Years of French Architecture to the everyman, whose collective cultural curiosity he believes should be tempered by history. To that end, he parallels an indulgent listing of canonical works with often entertaining prose, generating a well-illustrated, linear narrative of the intellectual history of style through the rich period of Neoclassicism in France.

Library of Congress call number: NA 1041 B53

Interior Design in 18th Century France

Mariette, Jean. L’Architecture de Mariette. (Paris: A. Guérinet, 192?).

Oeuvre de Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier: Peintre, Sculpteur, Architecte and Dessinateurd de la Chambre et Cabinet du Roy. (Paris: A. Guérinet, 192?).

Briseux, Charles-Etienne. Dessins de Menuiserie, de Serrurerie etc.: Propres à la Décoration Interieure et Extérieure des Appartements. (Paris: A. Guérinet, 192?).

Bound in a single volume, these three titles provide access to over 130 plates that document the history of interior design during the 18th century. Including the work of engraver Jean Mariette, architectural theorist Charles-Etienne Briseux, and architect and designer to contemporary European royalty, Juste Aurèle Meissonier, this collection assembles engravings of interior and exterior design details, mostly of doorways, paneling, apertures of varying types and columns. Though the engravings are not richly detailed, this type of documentation nevertheless provides a unique opportunity to explore the history of taste, style and even collecting during the 18th century.

Library of Congress call number: NA 1041 M343

A History of French Architecture 1494 to 1661

Blomfield, Reginald. A History of French Architecture 1494 to 1661: From the Reign of Charles VIII till the Death of Mazarin. 2 vols. London: G. Bell, 1911.

In 1911, architect and scholar Sir Reginald Blomfield penned A History of French Architecture 1494 to 1661, an authoritative two-volume work on the history of French architecture. Part of the Architecture & Planning Library’s Paul Philippe Cret collection, A History of French Architecture constructs a linear history of French architecture encompassing the scope of what might be termed a long 16th century. In this English-language text, Blomfield endeavors to locate a continuous trajectory between the beginnings of Italian renaissance influence in French architecture and the inception of a neo-classical design expression during the era of Louis XIV. Blomfield’s is an essential reference for the renaissance historian, functioning at once as an erudite piece of scholarship and a foundational historiographical text.

Library of Congress call number: NA 1044 B6

 

 


Special Collections Focus: French Architecture


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.