Françoise Bercé

His reputation is far from crystal clear as he is described as being responsible for all sorts of the artificial styles of the XIXth century, the neo-Gothic in first place, even if other architects left their mark in this field. As we are getting ready to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Eugène Viollet-le-Duc (1814-1879), this new monographic work reminds us of the person’s extreme diversity. Indeed he invented at Notre-Dame, Pierrefonds or even Carcassonne a middle Ages that never really existed. But he was also the savior of various monuments - the Madeleine of Vézelay among others–which could have disappeared if he had not intervened (commissioned by Mérimée, then an inspector of historical monuments). And the list of his talents, as the author shows us throughout the various chapters, does not end there: he wrote a lot on architecture, designed furniture, was the instigator of the musée des Monuments français and was even a great painter of mountain scenes. It was about time we re-discover Viollet-le-Duc…

Viollet-le-Duc par Françoise Bercé, Éditions du Patrimoine, 2013, 256 p. , €45.

Viollet-le-Duc - Françoise Bercé

Review published in the newsletter #325 - from 5 December 2013 to 11 December 2013

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