Boullee architecture essay on art

Boullee architecture essay on art

Architecture, essay on art

Please choose whether or not you want other users to be able to see on your profile that this library is a favorite of yours.

Find a copy in the library

Finding libraries that hold this item.

Similar Items

Related Subjects: (2)

You may have already requested this item. Please select Ok if you would like to proceed with this request anyway.

Linked Data

Primary Entity

# Architecture, essay on art
A schema:Book, schema:CreativeWork ;
Library:oclcnum » 181790975 » ;
Library:placeOfPublication ; # London
Library:placeOfPublication ;
Schema:about ;
Schema:about ; # Etienne Louis Boullée
Schema:about ; # Architecture
Schema:bookFormat bgn:PrintBook ;
Schema:contributor ; # Helen Rosenau
Schema:contributor ; # Sheila de Vallée
Schema:creator ; # Etienne Louis Boullée
Schema:datePublished » 1976 » ;
Schema:description » Includes ‘Architecture, essai sur l’art’ / by Etienne Louis Boullée, originally published: London : Tiranti, 1953, and its translation ‘Architecture, essay on art’ / translated by Sheila de Vallée. «@en ;
Schema:exampleOfWork ; # Architecture, essai sur l’art.
Schema:inLanguage » en » ;
Schema:name » Architecture, essay on art «@en ;
Schema:productID » 181790975 » ;
Schema:publication ;
Schema:publisher ; # Academy Editions
Wdrs:describedby ;

Related Entities

# Architecture, essai sur l’art.
Schema:name » Architecture, essai sur l’art. » ;

Étienne-Louis Boullée

Étienne-Louis Boullée, (born February 12, 1728, Paris, France—died February 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 Alexandre-Théodore Brongniart, Jean-Franƈois-Thérèse Chalgrin, Jean-Nicolas-Louis Durand, and Louis-Michel Thibault. In all, he taught for more than 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.

Catalog Record: Boullée & visionary architecture : (including Boullée’s Architecture, essay on art) | Hathi Trust Digital Library


Main Content

Similar Items

  • Boullée & visionary architecture /
    By: Rosenau, Helen
    Published: (1976)
  • Treatise on architecture; a complete presentation of the Architecture, Essai sur l’art, which forms part of the Boullee papers (Ms. 9153) in the Bibliotheque nationale, Paris.
    By: Boullée, Etienne Louis, 1728-1799.
    Published: (1953)
  • Architecture : essai sur l’art /
    By: Boullée, Etienne Louis, 1728-1799.
    Published: (1900)
  • Boullée /
    By: Madec, Philippe, 1954-
    Published: (1986)
  • Revolutionsarchitektur; Boullée, Ledoux, Lequeu.
    By: Lequeu, Jean-Jacques, 1757-ca. 1825.
    Published: (1971)
  • Etienne-Louis Boullee, 1728-1799 /
    By: Pérouse de Montclos, Jean-Marie.
    Published: (1997)
  • Architecture, essai sur l’art.
    By: Boullée, Etienne Louis, 1728-1799.
    Published: (1968)
  • The ideal city : its architectural evolution.
    By: Rosenau, Helen.
    Published: (1974)
  • The ideal city, its architectural evolution /
    By: Rosenau, Helen.
    Published: (1975)
  • The ideal city in its architectural evolution.
    By: Rosenau, Helen.
    Published: (1959)

Boullée & visionary architecture : (including Boullée’s Architecture, essay on art) / Helen Rosenau.


  • Limited (search only)(original from University of Michigan)

Catalog Search
Bibliographic search (Title, Author, Subject, ISBN/ISSN, Publisher, Series Title, or Year of Publication) of all HathiTrust items

Experimental Search
Full-text search of a small subset of HathiTrust items

Go to Public Collections to browse other people’s collections. Items from these collections can be copied into your own private collection.

Create your own Private Collection by searching or browsing to find items of interest and then adding them to a collection.