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Robert De Cotte and the Perfection of Architecture in Eighteenth-Century France cover
  • ISBN: 9780226574370
  • ISBN10: 0226574377

Robert De Cotte and the Perfection of Architecture in Eighteenth-Century France

by Robert Neuman

  • List Price: $92.00
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
  • Publish date: 06/01/1994
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Description
Robert de Cotte (1656/7-1735), Principal Architect to the King of France, was among the most prominent European architects of his day. In a period that witnessed the ascendancy of Paris over Rome as the international center of fashion, princes and nobles in Germany, Italy, and Spain eagerly commissioned him to design buildings in the French court style. Robert Neuman provides the first comprehensive examination of fifty or so building projects by de Cotte, which include such extant works as the Hotel d'Estrees, Paris; Schloss Poppelsdorf, Bonn; and his universally acknowledged masterpiece, the Palais Rohan, Strasbourg. Neuman begins with a description of the royal architectural office under Louis XIV and Louis XV and then moves to a discussion of the function of architectural drawings and the impact of theoretical writings on architectural practice in the eighteenth century. The centerpiece of his book is a thorough survey of de Cotte's projects. Reflecting the eighteenth-century interest in classification, Neuman organizes this section by building type, analyzing in turn de Cotte's treatment of the palace and the country house, the public square and the town house, the church and the monastery. For each commission, Neuman recreates the actual design process, showing how de Cotte manipulated an accepted vocabulary of architectural forms to meet the patron's specific requirements. He illustrates these design histories with drawings, many reproduced here for the first time, from the collection in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris. Quotations from contemporary writings - letters, memoranda, newspapers, guide books, etiquette books - vividly supplement the case histories. Neuman affirms deCotte's place as primary inheritor of the artistic vision of his great seventeenth-century predecessors: Francois Mansart, Louis Le Vau, and Jules Hardouin-Mansart. At the same time, however, he shows de Cotte striving throughout his work to increase livability, privacy, and understated elegance and to incorporate Palladian principles of composition. This much-needed book reveals de Cotte as an innovative and strikingly modern architect.
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Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 264 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade.
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