Architecture, Print Culture and the Public Sphere in Eighteenth-Century France
Routledge – 2008 – 304 pages
This book focuses on the complex ways in which architectural practice, theory, patronage, and experience became modern with the rise of a mass public and a reconfigured public sphere between the end of the seventeenth century and the French Revolution.
Presenting a fresh theoretical orientation and a large body of new primary research, this book offers a new cultural history of virtually all the major monuments of eighteenth-century Parisian architecture, with detailed analyses of the public debates that erupted around such Parisian monuments as the east facade of the Louvre, the Place Louis XV [the Place de la Concorde], and the church of Sainte-Genevieve [the Pantheon].
Depicting the passage of architecture into a mediatized public culture as a turning point, and interrogating it as a symptom of the distinctly modern configuration of individual, society, and space that emerged during this period, this study will interest readers well beyond the discipline of architectural history.
'This book succeeds admirably in clarifying an architectural culture with plenty of original points of view and exciting ideas that place eighteenth-century French architecture in a new perspective, and open new ways to assess and appreciate architectural writing and historiography.' – Freek Scmidt, CAA Reviews
Introduction Part I: The Academy and the Public 1. A Network for Debate 2. The Aestheticizing Discourse of Print 3. Architecture and Civic Ideals Part II: Architecture, Politics, and Public Life 4. The City as Critical Allegory 5. The Debate on the Place Louis XV and the Louvre Part III: The Impact of Public Debate 6. Marigny's Program 7. A Public for Architecture 8. A New Paradigm for Publicity: 1759-1763 Part IV: The Crisis of Architectural Representation 9. Sainte-Geneviève and the Unravelling of a Tradition 10. Politics and Monuments under Louis XVI 11. Private Interest and the Rhetoric of Public Good 12. The Disrepute of Architecture Conclusion: The Image of Unity
Richard Wittman is Assistant Professor in the Department of History of Art and Architecture at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He is a cultural historian of early modern and modern European architecture and town planning, with secondary interests in theory and the historiography of architecture.