Dictionary of Art and Artists



 

 


History of

Architecture and Sculpture

 
 

 

 
 

 
 

CONTENTS:

 
 

PART ONE
THE ANCIENT WORLD
PREHISTORIC ART
EGYPTIAN ART

ANCIENT NEAR EASTERN ART
AEGEAN ART
GREEK ART
ETRUSCAN ART
ROMAN ART
EARLY CHRISTIAN AND BYZANTINE ART

PART TWO
THE MIDDLE AGES
EARLY MEDIEVAL ART
ROMANESQUE ART
GOTHIC ART

PART THREE
THE RENAISSANCE THROUGH THE ROCOCO
LATE GOTHIC
THE EARLY RENAISSANCE IN ITALY
THE HIGH RENAISSANCE IN ITALY
MANNERISM AND OTHER TRENDS
THE RENAISSANCE IN THE NORTH
THE BAROQUE IN ITALY AND SPAIN
THE BAROQUE IN FLANDERS AND HOLLAND
THE BAROQUE
THE ROCOCO

PART FOUR
THE MODERN WORLD
NEOCLASSICISM AND ROMANTICISM
REALISM AND IMPRESSIONISM
POST-IMPRESSIONISM, SYMBOLISM, AND ART NOUVEAU

PART FIVE
TWENTIETH-CENTURY
TWENTIETH-CENTURY SCULPTURE
TWENTIETH-CENTURY ARCHITECTURE


INDEX
FIGURES
 

 
 

 
 

CHAPTER ONE
 

NEOCLASSICISM AND ROMANTICISM
 

NEOCLASSICISM
PAINTING
SCULPTURE and ARCHITECTURE- Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

THE ROMANTIC MOVEMENT
PAINTING
SCULPTURE and ARCHITECTURE - Part1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20

PHOTOGRAPHY
 

 


SCULPTURE and ARCHITECTURE
 

ARCHITECTURE



BOULLEE.


Etienne-Louis Boullee
(1728-1799) was half a generation younger than Soufflot and far more daring. He began as a painter and retired early, but though he built little, his teaching at the Royal Academy helped to create a tradition of visionary architecture that flourished during the last third of the century and the early years of the next. Boullee's ideal was an architecture of "majestic nobility," an effect he sought to achieve by combining huge, simple masses. Most of his designs were for structures on a scale so enormous that they could hardly be built even today.

He hailed the sphere as the perfect form, since no trick of perspective can alter its appearance (except, of course, its apparent size). Thus he projected a memorial to Isaac Newton as a gigantic hollow sphere, mirroring the universe (fig. 872). "O Newton!" he exclaimed, "I conceived the idea of surrounding you with your discovery, and thus, somehow, of surrounding you with yourself." The interior was to be bare, apart from an empty sarcophagus symbolizing the mortal remains of the great man, but the surface of its upper half was pierced by countless small holes, points of light meant to give the illusion of stars. Bathed in deep shadow, Boullee's plan for the memorial to Newton has a striking pictorialism inspired in part by the Prison Caprices of Piranesi (see fig. 856). Plans such as this have a Utopian grandeur that dwarfs the boldest ambitions of earlier architects. Largely forgotten during most of the nineteenth century, Boullee was rediscovered in the early twentieth, when architects again dared to "think the unthinkable."




872. ETIENNF-LOUIS BOULLEE. Project for a Memorial to Isaac Newton. 1784.
Ink and wash drawing,
39.3 x 64.7 cm. Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris




872. ETIENNF-LOUIS BOULLEE. Project for a Memorial to Isaac Newton. 1784.




872. ETIENNF-LOUIS BOULLEE. Project for a Memorial to Isaac Newton. 1784.


 


Étienne-Louis Boullée

Étienne-Louis Boullée, (born Feb. 12, 1728, Paris, France—died Feb. 6, 1799, Paris), French visionary architect, theorist, and teacher.

Boullée wanted originally to be a painter, but, following the wishes of his father, he turned to architecture. He studied with J.-F. Blondel and Germain Boffrand and with J.-L. Legeay and had opened his own studio by the age of 19. He designed several Parisian city mansions in the 1760s and ’70s, notably the Hôtel de Brunoy (1774–79). Despite the innovative Neoclassicism of his executed works, Boullée achieved a truly lasting influence as a teacher and theorist. Through his atelier passed such masters as A.-T. Brongniart, J.-F.-T. Chalgrin, J.-N.-L. Durand, A.-F. Peyre, and L.-M. Thibault. In all, he taught for over 50 years.

In his important theoretical designs for public monuments, Boullée sought to inspire lofty sentiments in the viewer by architectural forms suggesting the sublimity, immensity, and awesomeness of the natural world, as well as the divine intelligence underlying its creation. At the same time, he was strongly influenced by the indiscriminate enthusiasm for antiquity, and especially Egyptian monuments, felt by his contemporaries.

The distinguishing aspect of Boullée’s mature work is his abstraction of the geometric forms suggested by ancient works into a new concept of monumental building that would possess the calm, ideal beauty of classical architecture while also having considerable expressive power. In his famous essay La Théorie des corps, Boullée investigated the properties of geometric forms and their effect on the senses, attributing “innate” symbolic qualities to the cube, pyramid, cylinder, and sphere, the last regarded as an ideal form. In a series of projects for public monuments, culminating in the design (1784) for an immense sphere that would serve as a cenotaph honouring the British physicist Isaac Newton, Boullée gave imaginary form to his theories. The interior of the cenotaph was to be a hollow globe representing the universe.

To bring geometric forms to life, Boullée depended on striking and original effects of light and shadow. He also emphasized the potential for mystery in building, often burying part of a structure. This “poetic” approach to architecture, in some ways prefiguring the 19th-century Romantic movement, may also be seen in Boullée’s extensive use of symbolism. For example, his Palais Municipal rests on four pedestal-like guardhouses, demonstrating that society is supported by law.

Boullée’s emphasis on the psychology of the viewer is a principal theme of his Architecture, essai sur l’art, not published until the 20th century. He has been criticized as a megalomaniac, because of his tendency toward grandiose proposals, but these should be regarded simply as visionary schemes rather than as practical projects. In his desire to create a unique, original architecture appropriate to an ideal new social order, Boullée anticipated similar concerns in 20th-century architecture.

Encyclopædia Britannica
 

 




Etienne-Louis Boullee. Deuxieme projet pour la Bibliotheque du Rois
1785




Etienne-Louis Boullee. Projet de reconstruction de l'Opéra de Paris, 1781.





Etienne-Louis Boullee. Projet pour la nouvelle église de la Madeleine à Paris
1777 et 1781




Etienne-Louis Boullee. Architectural Project for the Church of the Madeleine





Etienne-Louis Boullee.
Architectural drawing of a Church for the cult of the supreme being, named "Métropole"





Etienne-Louis Boullee. Perspective View of the Interior of a Metropolitan Church, 1780-1781





Etienne-Louis Boullee. Interior of Cathedral





Etienne-Louis Boullee. Front elevation view of a plan for the Arc de Triomphe





Etienne-Louis Boullee. Projet d'un hôtel des Monnaies, 11 quai Conti à Paris





Etienne-Louis Boullee. Cenotaphe de style egyptien
c. 1786

 
 

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