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PAUL MARIE VIOLLET (184o- )

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Originally appearing in Volume V28, Page 108 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PAUL MARIE VIOLLET (184o- ), French historian, was born at Tours on the 24th of October 184o. After serving his native city as secretary and archivist, he became archivist to the national archives in Paris in 1866, and later librarian to the faculty of law. In 1890 he was appointed professor of civil and canon law at the ecole des chartes. His work mainly concerns the history of law and institutions, and on this subject he published two valuable and scholarly books—Droit public: Histoire des institutions politiques et administratives de la France (189o-98), and Precis de l'histoire du droit frangais (1886). VIOLLET-LE-DUC.. EUGENE EMMANUEL (1814-1879), French architect and writer on archaeology, was born in Paris on the 21st of January 1814. He was a pupil of Achille Leclere, and in 1836-37 spent a year studying Greek and Roman architecture in Sicily and Rome. His chief interest was, however, in the art of the Gothic period, and, like Sir Gilbert Scott in England, he was employed to "restore " some of the chief medieval buildings of France, his earliest works being the abbey church of Vezelay, various churches at Poissy, St Michel at Carcassonne, the church of Semur in Cote-d'Or, and the fine Gothic town halls of Saint-Antonin and Narbonne, all carried out between 184o and 1850. From 1845 to 1856 he was occupied on the restoration of Notre Dame in Paris in conjunction with Lassus,l and also with that of the abbey of St Denis. In 1849 he began the restoration of the fortifications of Carcassonne and of Amiens cathedral; and in later years he restored Laon cathedral, the chateau of Pierrefonds, and many other important buildings. He was an intimate friend of Napoleon III., and during the siege of Paris (1871) gave valuable help as an engineer to the beleaguered army. He held many important offices, both artistic and political, and was for many years inspector-general of the ancient buildings throughout a large part of France. His last work was the general scheme ' He published in 1867-69 a fine work showing his not very successful coloured decoration applied to the chapels of Notre Dame. for the Paris exhibition buildings in 1878. He died on the 17th of September 1879 at Lausanne. As a designer Viollet-le-Duc occupied only a secondary place; but as a writer on medieval architecture and the kindred arts he takes the highest rank. His two great dictionaries are the standard works in their class, and are most beautifully illustrated with very skilful drawings by his own hand. Violletle-Duc was a man of the most varied and brilliant abilities, endowed with a power of work which has seldom been equalled. He was at once an artist, a man of science, a learned archaeologist and a scholar. The map in his Le Massif du Mont Blanc, showing the rock contours and the glaciers of Mont Blanc, is a model of its kind, which combines great artistic beauty with the accuracy of the most skilful engineer. His strong poetical fancy enabled him to reconstruct the life and buildings of the middle ages in the most vivid way. His principal literary works were the Dictionnaire de l'architecture francaise du XI. au X VI. siPcle (1854-68) ; Dictionnaire du mobilier francais (1858-75); L'Architecture militaire au moyen ige (1854); Entretiens sus l'architecture (1863-72) ; Cites et ruins americaines (1863) ; Memoire sur la defense de Paris (I871); Habitations moderns (1874- 77) ; Histoire dune maison (1873) ; Histoire d'une forteresse (1874) ; Histoire de 1'habitation humaine (1875) ; Le Massif du Mont Blanc (1876) ; L'Art russe (1877) ; Histoire d'un hotel-de-ville et d'une cathedrale (1878) ; La Decoration appliquee aux edifices (1879); as well as many minor works dealing with separate buildings.
End of Article: PAUL MARIE VIOLLET (184o- )
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