- 1728 - 1799
Étienne-Louis Boullée's greatest architectural legacy is not what was built from his designs but the designs themselves. He never went to Italy, yet his theories greatly influenced the development of
Boullée wanted to be a painter but switched to architecture at his father's insistence. He learned to make architectural drawings with
By the 1780s Boullée focused only on his roles as educator, academician, and theoretician. Committed to ideas of symbolic power, he believed that architecture could elicit moral and emotional responses when the combination of forms suggested a union with divinity. He theorized that the abstract, geometric forms he used were the basis for beauty through their regularity, symmetry, and variety.
Boullée preserved his principles in a treatise, which he illustrated with magnificent drawings for public projects he designed between 1778 and 1788, but the treatise remained unpublished until 1953. Through his pupils as well as the architectural prize competitions for the