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
Caumont, Arcisse de. Abécédaire; ou Rudiment d’Archéologie: Architecture Religieuse. 5th ed. Paris: Derache, 1886
In this French-language text, Arcisse de Caumont imagines medieval architecture as an aberrant rupture in the history of architecture in France. Situated outside the dominate classicist paradigm which flanks the period, Caumont perceives Middle Age architectural objects as degenerate. He classifies buildings according to two major eras which he terms ère romane and ère ogivale, further subdividing these categories into three epochs that express the initial moments of each in pejorative terms (terming one primordiale and, the other, primitive). This language denotes a specific attitude about the medieval period that might be reflected in contemporary literature.
As a reference work, Rudiment d’Archéologie provides access to a number of woodcuts that document buildings and architectural elements in varying states of decay. The images proliferated in this text demonstrate the specific iconographic concerns of medieval religious architecture and suggest a relationship with their architectural milieu.
The notion of aberrance is perhaps the most interesting historiographical element in this otherwise linear narrative documenting the iconographic in medieval architecture.That this degeneracy is so duly noted and then supplemented with visual expressions of space in ruin creates a curious dialectic.
Library of Congress call number: NA 1041 C376 1886
Townsend, Charles Harrison, T. S. Boys, William Callow, J. Coney, S. Prout, David Roberts, and C. Wild. Beautiful Buildings in France & Belgium: Including Many which have been Destroyed during the War. London: T. F. Unwin, 1916.
This unique document reconstitutes historical renderings and paintings of gothic architecture in France and Belgium. Elegiac in tone, Beautiful Buildings of France & Belgium is an exercise in preservation, rehabilitating the obscured architectural object whose historical state was, in many cases, disrupted by the Great War. This type of visual doubling provides an early example of how what we see constructs social memory and nostalgia, and demonstrates the importance of certain types of documents in maintaining or proliferating a specific memory. Here, highly romanticized prose organized by location (Amiens, Bruges, Ghent) accompany each rendering to both celebrate and mourn these sites of tremendous cultural activity and the abundance of meaning that they represent.
Library of Congress call number: NA 1041 T6
Mortet, Victor. Recueil de Textes Relatifs à l’Histoire de l’Architecture et à la Condition des Architectes en France au Moyen Âge, XIe-XIIe siècles. Paris: A. Picard, 1911.
Sorbonne Archivist Victor Mortet assembled 153 primary sources concerning the history of Gothic architecture in France in Recueil de Textes Relatifs à l’Histoire de l’Architecture. Originally composed in Latin, the texts incorporated into this collection were generally composed by members of the clergy and describe the construction of churches and other religious architecture between the 10th and 12th centuries. Each text includes a brief introduction in French and copious footnotes that contextualize these sources historically while cross-referencing contemporary scholarship. Accompanied by an extensive index and glossary, this is an invaluable resource to the medieval French scholar.
Library of Congress call number: NA 1043 M6