Viollet-le-Duc, Eugène Emmanuel

Viollet-le-Duc, Eugène Emmanuel

(özhĕn` ĕmänüĕl` vyôlā`-lə-dük), 1814–79, French architect and writer. He was the most prominent exponent of the Gothic revival in France, and was internationally celebrated for his restoration work upon historic French buildings. He studied architecture in Paris, traveled in Italy, and painstakingly studied medieval monuments throughout France. After restoring various churches and town halls in small towns of S France, he was employed, with J.-B. A. Lassus (1807–57), to restore the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris. With Lassus he later did important work (1845–70) upon Notre-Dame de Paris, including the design of the pulpit and a replacement for the original central spire. His other important restorations include the cathedrals of Amiens, Chartres, and Reims; the château of Pierrefonds; and the city of Carcassonne. Viollet-le-Duc wrote a number of books of permanent archaeological value, in which he emphasized the structurally organic and rational quality of Gothic edifices. They include Dictionnaire raisonné de l'architecture française du XI au XVI siècle (10 vol., 1854–69) and Dictionnaire du mobilier français de l'époque carlovingienne à la Renaissance (1855), both of these great standard works containing illustrations by Viollet-le-Duc; Monographie de Notre-Dame de Paris (1856), with the baron de Guillermy; and Entretiens sur l'architecture (2 vol., 1858–72, tr. Discourses on Architecture, 1959 ed.).
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Viollet-Le-Duc, Eugène Emmanuel


Born Jan. 27, 1814, in Paris; died Sept. 17, 1879, in Lausanne, Switzerland. French architect, historian and theoretician of architecture.

Viollet-le-Duc restored a number of French Gothic cathedrals (including the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, beginning in 1845, with J. B. Lassus), the Carcassonne fortifications, the Chateau de Pierrefonds, and other structures. In his historical and theoretical works (Interpretative Dictionary of French Architecture, 10 vols., 1854-68; Conversations About Architecture, 2 vols., 1858-72, Russian translation, 1937-38; and Russian Art, 1877, Russian translation, 1879), he strove to reveal the general laws governing architecture (the conditionality of forms by construction), the uniqueness of its national schools, the nature of medieval art, and the constructive achievements of Gothic architecture, the study of which stimulated the development of framework structure.


Gout, P. Viollet-le-Duc. Paris, 1914.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.