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Thinking Allegory Otherwise$
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Brenda Machosky

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804763806

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804763806.001.0001

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Monuments and Space as Allegory

Monuments and Space as Allegory

Town Planning Proposals in Eighteenth-Century Paris

Chapter:
(p.142) Six Monuments and Space as Allegory
Source:
Thinking Allegory Otherwise
Author(s):

Richard Wittman

Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804763806.003.0007

During the French Enlightenment, most architects and theorists strove for clarity and even transparency of meaning. The press and the development of architectural criticism in part enabled architects to become aware that they were addressing an unprecedentedly broad and heterogeneous public, one in which the symbolic language of classical architecture often seemed irrelevant. This chapter examines allegory in relation to the history of architecture. Focusing on the architecture and city planning of Paris during the eighteenth century, it shows how conventional allegory that disappeared from actual buildings resurfaced in criticism of those buildings. It also demonstrates how allegory became a determining feature in written proposals for buildings and monuments never intended to materialize. Through a narrative discursive practice, allegory provided a means with which architecture could express its meaning without a material edifice. In this context, allegory became the material of architectural theory and served as a means for an absolute abstraction from materiality.

Keywords:   allegory, architecture, city planning, Paris, French Enlightenment, buildings, monuments, materiality, architectural theory

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