John Tschirch, architectural historian specializing in historic houses, landscapes and urban design; instructor in design history, Rhode Island School of Design; visiting curator, Newport Historical Society
Paris is a work of art and history, where classical formality and romantic abandon coexist. A city devoted to the pursuit and creation of beauty, it wears its experience like a well-fitted garment. The great landmark buildings, boulevards and the bosquets of its gardens all appear unified and harmonious, but the story behind them is complex: a mix of fate, fortune and fashion. This 2-part lecture series explores the evolution of Paris from its foundation as a Roman camp city and its continued redesign for over three hundred years by successive French monarchs, from Henry IV to Napoleon III, and its role as the crucible of modernity.
In the first lecture, Tschirch will cover royal squares from the Place Vosges to the Place Vendome, the palaces of the Tuileries and the Luxembourg, and the building of the Church of the Invalides, as well as the Institute de France, the East Façade of the Louvre and the buildings of the Place de la Concorde – all testaments to the desire of the Bourbon dynasty to transform Medieval Paris into a shining classical city, a New Rome.
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