Essay Art Boullee

Essay Art Boullee-73
Illustrated with black-and-white drawings and reproductions; with a handlist of drawings and engravings and a bibliography.Bookseller's sticker to upper pastedown, early ownership inscription to front free endpaper.

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to put nature to work; and I can say that this discovery belongs to me. It is not, in fact, the means which I am con­testing but the result.

Someone will object that he has seen more or less similar things, will give examples of places lit by means of apertures. And if it is assumed that I am not suggesting anything new, which belongs to me alone, then I would observe that apples fell before Newton and I would ask what was the result of it before this divine intelligence ... Doubtless I could also add that the palette of a dauber contains the same colours as those used by a gifted artist and isn't the ink that an idiot writes with the same as the ink used by a man of genius, etc., etc., etc.

By using your divine system, Newton, to create the sepulchral lamp that lights thy tomb, it seems that I have made myself sublime. I would have felt I was committing sacrilege if I had used any other decoration for this monument.

The conception of the interior of this tomb is in the same spirit.

The daylight outside filters through these apertures into the gloom of the interior and outlines all the objects in the vault with bright, sparkling light.

This form of lighting the monu­ment is a perfect reproduction and the effect of the stars could not be more brilliant.The un­ique advantage of this form is that from whichever side we look at it (as in nature) we see only a continuous surface which has neither beginning nor end and the more we look at it, the larger it appears.This form has never been utilized and it is the only one appropriate to this monument, for its curve ensures that the onlooker cannot approach what he is looking at; he is forced as if by one hundred different circumstances outside his control, to remain in the place assigned to him and which, since it occupies the centre, keeps him at a sufficient distance to contribute to the illu­sion.The effect of this magnificent composition is, as we can see, produced by nature.One could not arrive at the same result with the usual techniques of art.The form of the interior of this monument is, as you can see, that of a vast sphere.The centre of gravity is reached by an opening in the base on which the Tomb is placed.Helen Rosenau's analysis of French neoclassical architect Boulée's life and art, including an annotated bilingual version of his "Essay on Art." Boullée broke from the ornate design of French rococo in favor of pure natural forms – particularly the circle – planning buildings that emphasize symmetry and scale, most notably his Cenotaph for Newton.Despite becoming one of the most visionary architects of the 18th century, none of his projects were ever executed.The arrangement of the planets corresponds to nature.These planets are in the shape of and resemble funnel-like openings which transpierce the vaulting and once inside assume their form.


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