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Blouet, Guillaume-Abel

Blouet, Guillaume-Abel (1795–1853). Architect and theorist of mid-C19 France. He worked with Gilbert in Rome and later in Paris, where he was appointed architect to the Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile in 1831 (with Gilbert as his deputy): he added the Attic storey to Chalgrin's arch. Blouet travelled to Greece in 1828 and prepared studies of the Doric temple at Aegina (published in 1838), which showed the building brilliantly coloured, with strong blue and red predominating. With Gilbert and Hittorff, Blouet was an important protagonist of the use of colour in Greek architecture. His reputation as a scholar of Antique architecture was further enhanced by his Restauration des thermes d'Antonin Caracalla à Rome (Restoration of the Baths of Caracalla in Rome–1828).

Blouet determined to use architecture to further social and moral aims, and his ideas were developed from those of François-Marie-Charles Fourier (1772–1837) and Claude-Henri de Rouvroy, Comte de Saint-Simon (1760–1825). In 1836 he toured America to look at prisons, and on his return (1839) designed a number of formal corrective institutions, including the penal-farm colony at Mettray, near Tours. He became an authority on the design of prisons. His utilitarian aims were promoted through his teaching, and in 1846 he succeeded L. -P. Baltard as Professor of the Theory of Architecture at the École des Beaux-Arts, a post he held until his death. In 1847 he commenced work on the Supplément à la traité théorique et pratique de l'art de bâtir de Jean Rondelet, essentially a catalogue of early C19 achievements in engineering.

Bibliography

Hautecœur (1943–57);
Middleton & and Watkin (1987)

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