Eugène Viollet-le-Duc's 200th birthday: Architect celebrated in Google doodle
Viollet-le-Duc dominates 19th-century theories of architectural restoration.
Monday 27 January 2014
Google's latest doodle celebrates the French gothic revival architect, building restorer and theorist Eugène Viollet-le-Duc.
Born in January 1814 to a well-connected Parisian family, Viollet-le-Duc went on to dominate 19th-century theories of architectural restoration.
He initially studied Renaissance architecture in Italy before returning to France.
On his return he rekindled his lifelong love of Gothic engineering and decoration and was appointed in the 1840s to the Office of Historic Monuments.
His works were most restorative with few of his actual designs being ever realised. His restorative work was widely criticised during his lifetime.
Twentieth-century archaeologists and restorers have also criticised his restoration techniques which often involved adding completely new elements to the building.
His work at Roquetaillade castle, Pierrefonds, Saint-Michel, Carcassonne, and Mont Saint-Michel were among his most high-profile projectsm, but it was his restoration work on Notre Dame de Paris that brought him to national attention.
Viollet-le-Duc is considered by many to have been the first theorist of modern architecture.
Later in life Viollet-le-Duc had a second career in the military, most significantly in the defence of Paris during the Franco-Prussian War.
In his old age he relocated to Lausanne, Switzerland, where he constructed a villa.
He was commissioned to design the internal structure of the Statue of Liberty, but died in 1879 before the project was completed.
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