Article cover

Jean-Louis de Cordemoy

Francesca Valensise

From the Journal: Architectura

Published online:

24 Jul 2019



First published in Paris in 1706, the ›Nouveau Traité de toute l’architecture ou l’art de Bastir‹ by Jean-Louis de Cordemoy marked a provocatively unprecedented point of view in the panorama of 18th century architectural theories. Through a critical revision of the excesses of the Baroque, which was considered the last rhetorical public manifestation of the Ancien Régime, and in the name of a logical renewal of design, the work immediately became the focus of a broad cultural debate, which continued until 1713 in a polemic with Amédée François Frézier. Revolutionary in its challenge to the Vitruvian orthodoxy, the Nouveau Traité developed the search for a Greek-Gothic architectural ideal, which, in a comparison between classical and modern, was realized in the querelle des Anciens et des Modernes and developed in France in the effort to define a ›national‹ architectural style. As precursor and inspiration for the aesthetics of Marc-Antoine Laugier, Cordemoy subjected adornment to the laws of bienséance and was a harbinger of the modern functionalist language – the principles of simplification of surfaces, a rigorous volumetric study that anticipated what in later decades would result in stereometric purity of Enlightenment experiments.

Other articles in this issue:

architectura Issues

Volume 51 (2021)
Volume 50 (2020)
Volume 49 (2019)
Volume 48 (2018)
Volume 47 (2017)
Volume 46 (2016)
Volume 45 (2015)

Get instant, unlimited access to this journal

Related titles

Would you like to receive monthly information about new publications and events?


Deutscher Kunstverlag

Genthiner Straße 13

10785 Berlin

+49 (0)30 / 27 90 76 - 0

Neumarkter Straße 28

81673 München