Eugène Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc, the French born architect best-known for his gothic revivalist style restorations of medieval buildings is celebrated today with a google doodle.
Viollet-le-Duc was born on this day in Paris in 1814 and embraced republicanism and anti-clericalism and took part in the July Revolution of 1830. After studying in Italy in 1835, he was instructed to restore the Romanesque abbey of Vézelay. This was the first in a long line of restorations which also included work at the Gothic Notre Dame cathedral de Paris. The project escalated him to becoming a household name. He also did work at Mont Saint-Michel, Carcassonne, Roquetaillade castle and Pierrefonds around this time.
In 1848 he helped with the restoration of a number of medieval buildings, the best known being the Amiens Cathedral. In 1849, the synodal hall at Sens in and the fortifications of Carcassonne in 1852 as well as the church of Saint-Sernin at Toulouse in 1862.
Viollet-le-Duc’s influence in early 19th-century theories of architectural restoration was largely unrivalled. But while his early aim was to carry out restorations in the style of the original building, his addition of entirely new elements later on has been criticised by 20th century archeologists.
Later in his career, he was involved in the defence of Paris during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1, developing theories which influenced the engineers behind the fortifications at Verdun prior to Second World War and the Maginot Line before the Second World War to World War II.
He died in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he retired after building a villa in the town in 1879.