Hailed as one of the key theoreticians of modernism, Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc was also the most renowned restoration architect of his age, a celebrated medieval archaeologist and a fervent champion of Gothic revivalism. He published some of the most influential texts in the history of modern architecture such as the Dictionnaire raisonné de l’architecture française du XIe au XVIe siècle and Entretiens sur l’architecture, but also studies on warfare, geology and racial history. Martin Bressani expertly traces Viollet-le-Duc’s complex intellectual development, mapping the attitudes he adopted toward the past, showing how restoration, in all its layered meaning, shaped his outlook. Through his life journey, we follow the route by which the technological subject was born out of nineteenth-century historicism.

part |2 pages

Part I: Restoration and Loss

chapter 1|42 pages

Mourning 3

chapter 2|46 pages

Architecture Painted

part |2 pages

Part II: The Gothic Reborn

chapter 3|36 pages

History Re-enacted

chapter 4|36 pages

Reviving the Gothic

chapter 5|24 pages

The Gothic Narrated

part |2 pages


chapter 6|32 pages

Toward Empire

chapter 7|44 pages

The Gothic Put to Use

part |2 pages

Part IV: The Gothic as Will

chapter 9|28 pages

War rue Bonaparte: 1856–1864

chapter 10|48 pages

Instinct and Race

chapter 11|24 pages


part |2 pages

Part V: Transgressions into Modernity

chapter 12|44 pages

Locomotives and Iron

chapter 13|14 pages

At War

chapter 14|34 pages

Late Works

chapter 15|28 pages

Conclusion: Autogenic Rebirth