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Article

Jean-Michel Leniaud

(b Paris, Feb 18, 1820; d Cannes, May 8, 1887).

French architect, restorer, teacher and writer. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, in the studio of Simon-Claude Constant-Dufeux. He was subsequently appointed junior lecturer and in due course the first professor of the history of the decorative arts at the Ecole Royale de Dessin (later the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs), where he remained for the whole of his teaching career. In 1844 he asked to be appointed Inspecteur des Travaux at Notre-Dame, Paris, a post for which he was recommended by the Broglie family. In 1848 he was appointed Diocesan Architect to Bayeux Cathedral and to diocesan buildings in Coutances, and shortly afterwards he became Auditeur to the Commission des Arts et Edifices Religieux. His later diocesan posts were at Séez (1854), Nevers (1857), Albi (1877–9) and Reims (1879). In 1883 Ruprich-Robert was unable to visit his construction sites due to ill-health and the following year he requested the appointment of deputies at Reims and Nevers, although he refused to relinquish his artistic control of the construction works....

Article

Jean van Cleven

(b Ghent, July 26, 1826; d Ghent, Feb 24, 1907).

Belgian architect, writer and restorer. He was the son of a carpenter-builder, and his studies at the Academie voor Schone Kunsten in Ghent under the direction of Louis Joseph Adrien Roelandt, J. Van Hoecke (1803–1862) and Adolphe Pauli were crowned by a first prize in 1855–6. His first works included several designs for houses and a published project for a museum (‘Ontwerp van een Museum van beeldende kunsten’, in Album uitgegeven door hat kunstlievend geselschap der Gentsche Academie (Ghent, 1856)) in the classical taste, as well as work in the Rundbogenstil advocated by his teachers. When Jean-Baptiste-Charles-François Baron Bethune settled in Ghent in 1858, Van Assche became his pupil and collaborator, teaching at the St Luke Schools and becoming a member of the archaeological society, the Gilde de St Thomas et de St Luc. Under Bethune’s influence, from c. 1865 he increasingly developed his own practice as a protagonist of the Gothic Revival movement. His personal interpretation of Bethune’s architectural principles, distinguished by a preference for a strong visual impact sometimes resulting in a striking constructional polychromy, are evident in St Joseph’s (...

Article

Françoise Bercé

(b Paris, Jan 27, 1814; d Lausanne, Sept 17, 1879).

French architect, restorer, designer and writer. He is one of the few architects whose name is known to the general public in France, although his fame as a restorer of medieval buildings is often accompanied by a somewhat unflattering critical judgement: a restoration ‘à la Viollet-le-Duc’ is usually understood to be abusive in terms of the original work and is often confused with the type of eclectic architecture that he himself particularly disliked. Through his published writings, particularly his Dictionnaire raisonné de l’architecture française du XIe au XVIe siècle (1854–68), he made a substantial contribution to contemporary knowledge of medieval buildings. In addition, his writings and theories had an enormous impact on attitudes to restoration ( see Architectural conservation and restoration ) and on contemporary design, not only for the Gothic Revival movement but also in the development of rationalism, providing an important stimulus to new movements in architecture both in France and abroad (...