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date: 11 November 2019

Laugier, Abbé Marc-Antoinelocked

(b Manosque, Provence, Jan 22, 1713; d Paris, April 5, 1769).
  • David Watkin

Extract

(b Manosque, Provence, Jan 22, 1713; d Paris, April 5, 1769).

French Jesuit priest, diplomat and writer. Laugier is celebrated in the history of 18th-century taste as the most influential of those who advocated a return to first principles in architecture. In his Essai sur l’architecture (1753) he argued that architects should always have before them the primitive hut as a reminder of the origins of architecture. This programme for a new architecture of radical simplicity was welcomed by those anxious to rid architecture of Baroque ornament, as well as by the supporters of Rousseau’s plea for a return to nature. The Essai caused such a stir outside France that it was translated into English in 1755 and German in the following year. Laugier produced an expanded edition of his Essai in 1755; he published the 12-volume Histoire de la République de Venise, depuis sa fondation jusqu’à présent in 1759–68, and Observations sur l’architecture in 1765.

The second edition of ...

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