The Avant Garde Paris Essay

Paris today is known as a center of arts and rich culture both acclaimed and original. Famous moments pop up through the history of France’s art, such as the impressionistic artworks by Monet, the Ecole des Beaux-Arts teachings of classicism, and the iconic Eiffel Tower by Stephen Sauvestre. Paris augments itself with numerous museums to catalog countless masterpieces and sculptures throughout France’s enduring, yet sometimes gritty, history. As a whole, Paris comprises of a mixture between historic architectural themes like rusticated brick clad, mansard roofs, striated columns, and a modern day architectural themes like engineered metalwork, and external program support machinery. The notion of classic French architecture, juxtaposed to modern French architecture, creates unsettled opinions about the urban fabric. Among controversial architecture, the Louvre stands a testament to the evolution of art and architecture from the structure’s foundational roots built several centuries back to the modernistic steel and glass geometric surfaces today. Touring the building today offers the sight of blue mansard rooftops, ornate rhythm in the facade, exorbitant stonework detail, and one obtrusive glass pyramid. The Louvre was not founded as a museum, but rather a fortress of defense whose program changed as the centuries turned. The history of the building’s program, in addition to the architecture styles fabricated through the centuries, convey the Louvre as a piece of art still a work in progress by an artist. In fact, much like I. M. Pei’s controversial installation of a glass pyramid into the courtyard, a new out-of-place architectural element sets itself in the Louvre’s domain within the past 18 months as a new stroke on th…

…ial installations, the changing functions and programs, and a deeper analysis into not a departure from the old, but rather a nod at the ever-changing definition of art and architecture.

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Works Cited

Connelly, James L. “The Grand Gallery of the Louvre and the Museum Project: Architectural Problems.” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historian 31.2 (1972): 120-32. JSTOR. University of Kansas. Web. 28 Feb. 2014.

Deitz, Paula. “The Grande Galerie of the Louvre.” Proquest. The Magazine Antiques, Sept. 1991. Web.

Goldberger, Paul. “Pei Pyramid and New Louvre Open Today.” New York Times 29 Mar. 1989. Business Insights: Essentials. Web. 23 Feb. 2014.

Ingersoll, Kostof. . World Architecture, A Cross-Cultural History. New York: Oxford University Press, USA, 2013. print.

“Islam in Paris; Islamic Culture.” The Economist. The Economist, 29 Sept. 2012. Web. 28 Feb. 2014.


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