Musée d'Orsay: The Italy of the Architects, from layout to invention.

The Italy of the Architects, from layout to invention.

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Eugène Viollet-le-DucView of Florence© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski
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The stay in Italy, indispensable for the study of monuments, also contributed to an awakening of the architects' pictorial sensibilities. They are fascinated by the riches of the country and the beauty of its landscapes. Like the painters, who were often their travelling companions, the architects sought to capture the picturesqueness and the luminosity of the location, but used watercolours and washes meant for architectural studies.

Alfred-Nicolas NormandAtrium of the house known as the Casa di Cornelio Rufo, Pompeii© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski
Of course, the subjects they chose were mainly the ruins of ancient monuments or buildings, but in these paintings there prevailed a more general desire to convey a mood, to create an atmosphere for the architecture, to give life to the monuments.

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