The Architectural Theory of Viollet-le-Duc: Readings and Commentary

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Among architects and preservationists, the writings of Viollet-le-Duc (1814-1879) have long been considered major resources. They inspired a generation of American architects, including Frank Furness, John Wellborn Root, Louis Sullivan, and Frank Lloyd Wright, In 1894, the critic Montgomery Schuyler observed that Viollet-le-Duc's books "have had the strongest influence on this generation of readers." But for the past century, all but one of his works have been out of print in English.

These readings carefully selected from the entire range of Viollet-le-Duc's work make available the historical insights and practical principles of one of the most imaginative, and inspiring architectural theorists of the modern era. M.F. Hearn has culled from Viollet-le-Duc's books on architecture the passages in which his major ideas about the theory of architecture are most cogently expressed.

Hearn has arranged and interplated the readings in a sequence of topics covering Viollet-le-Duc's views on the architecture of the past, his convictions about the education of architects, his philosophy of method, principles of design, and his guidelines for restoration. The selections are introduced by a biographical essay connected by interpretive commentaries, and followed by a biographical note.

M.F. Hearn is Professor of Fine Arts and Director of Architectural Studies at the University of Pittsburgh.
 

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Contents

A Visionary among the Gargoyles
1
The Origins and Development of Architecture 2 3
23
Greek Roman Gothic
39
Educating the Architect
119
Adopting a Design Method
141
Handling Materials
169
Planning Rationally
181
Decorating Appropriately 2 05
205
Achieving Style 2 15
215
Applying New Architectural Principles
231
Defining the Nature of Restoration 2 69
269
Select Bibliography 2 89
289
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About the author (1990)

Fil Hearn is Professor of History of Art and Architecture and Director of Architectural Studies at the University of Pittsburgh.

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