French Architects and Engineers in the Age of Enlightenment
Author: Antoine Picon Cambridge Studies in the History of Architecture, Cambridge University Press, 1992
The architectural and engineering professions, which had maintained close links since the time of the Renaissance, became gradually isolated from one another in France during the course of the eighteenth century. This book analyzes the meaning of this gradual mutual isolation, discusses the work of a number of major French architects and engineers of the period, and comments on how their debates and conflicts have implications for our contemporary debates on the appropriate form of our modern buildings. In addressing the teaching and practice of a group of major figures in the history of French architects, Professor Picon also makes available for the first time in English a body of invaluable material for architectural historians and their students. The issues raised are also central to eighteenth-century thought in general, and have implications for our study of nature and reason, Newtonian science, the Philosophes and the Encyclopedistes.