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|Location||Paris, France map|
|Date||1857 to 1874 timeline|
|Building Type||theater, opera house|
|Construction System||masonry, cut stone|
|Notes||Polychrome facade, opulent staircase. Commission by competition. The Opera Garnier, not to be confused with the modern L'Opera de Bastille, built recently in another part of Paris.|
|Discussion||Paris Opera Commentary
"Although described by a contemporary critic as 'looking like an overloaded sideboard', it (the Paris Opera House) is now regarded as one of the masterpieces of the period. Here Garnier triumphed over a cramped and difficult site, handling the carriage-ramps and approach steps, the foyers and staircases, both in section and plan, with confidence and skill. The style is monumental, classically based and opulently expressed, as the times demanded, in an elaborate language of multicoloured marbles and lavish statuary. Throughout his life, Garnier was criticized for his excessive use of ornament, as Napoleon and Haussman are still accused of being inspired by an out-of-date and imperialist showmanship expressed in a language already debased. Such critics forget that every city needs its occasional monuments and occasions of grandeur, and that thanks largely to these three men, Paris remains one of the most beautiful cities in the world."
John Julius Norwich, ed. Great Architecture of the World. p214.
The Garnier Opera is a grand landmark at the north terminus of the Av. de la Opera in Paris.
Sources on Paris Opera
Werner Blaser and Monica Stucky. Drawings of Great Buildings. Boston: Birkhauser Verlag, 1983. ISBN 3-7643-1522-9. LC 83-15831. NA2706.U6D72 1983. plan drawing, p152. section drawing, p153.
Johnson Architectural Images. Copyrighted slides in the Artifice Collection.
Kevin Matthews, University of Oregon. Slide from photographer's collection, August 1992. PCD.3189.1011.1916.002
Claude Mignot. Architecture of the Nineteenth Century in Europe. New York: Rizzoli, 1984. NA957.M5313. ISBN 0-8478-0530-I. LC 83-43266. section, p154.
John Julius Norwich, ed. Great Architecture of the World. London: Mitchell Beazley Publishers, 1975. interior photo, p214, exterior photo, p215. Reprint edition: Da Capo Press, April 1991. ISBN 0-3068-0436-0. An accessible, inspiring and informative overview of world architecture, with lots of full-color cutaway drawings, and clear explanations. Available at Amazon.com
Alene Stickles, University of Oregon. Slide from photographer's collection, June 1993. PCD.2365.1012.0634.030. Facade photo.
Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.
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