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Etienne-Louis Boullee

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Works Bibliotheque Nationale, at Paris, France, 1785.

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Biography Etienne-Louis Boullee

(b. Paris, France 1728; d. Paris 1799)

Etienne Louis Boullee was born in Paris in 1728. He spent his entire life in Paris working first as a painter and later as an architectural theorist. He taught at the Ecole des Ponts et Chaussees and later became a professor at the Academi d' Architecture. Although few of his architectural designs were built, his theories and drawings enjoyed a large public following.

Boullee admired the clear, bold lines of neoclassic architecture but considered emotion equally as important to architecture as classical rules of proportioning. In his writing, Essai sur l' Art , which remained unpublished until 1953, he pleaded for a monumental architecture which employed both emotion and reason. In his designs Boullee restricted himself to the use of simple, geometrical shapes, such as pyramids, sphere and cylinders.

Boullee died in Paris in 1799.

Dennis Sharp. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Architects and Architecture. New York: Quatro Publishing, 1991. ISBN 0-8230-2539-X. NA40.I45. p27.

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