Monuments de l'architecture chrétienne depuis Constantin jusqu'à Charlemagne et de leur influence sur le style des constructions religieuses aux époques postérieures. Ouvrage traduit de l’allemand par V. Guerber. 2 volumes.
Paris, A. Morel, 1866.
IV pp., 116 columns, XXX columns, 6 leaves; 63 litho plates , some partly coloured ot tinted.
56 x 44 cm. Contemporary half calf, marbled boards.
The present French-language version of Heinrich Hübsch’s book, intended to appear simultaneously with a German-language one, includes a good biographical notice of Hübsch by his French translator. “Hübsch's last and most extensive work, "Die altchristlichen Kirchen nach den Baudenkmalen" (1858-1862 /63), which has long
been considered to be a publication on early Christian and Byzantine monuments in Italy. A closer analysis of the text reveals that Hübsch tried again to reconcile theory and history of architecture in order to establish a new, objective canon or "grammar" of architectonic elements which could be modified by each architect
according to present needs and individual taste. In the first part, the architect takes up the question of style in contemporary church building and then holds the view that it must be founded on the "altchristliche Stil" (i.e. early Christian and Byzantine tradition) to meet ethical, aesthetic and practical needs of modern church
architecture. Hübsch felt the need to justify his thoroughly rational and universal concept of style by giving it historical roots of the Christian tradition in order to compete with the architects of the Gothic Revival movement who could rely on a series of accepted Gothic monuments that were held to represent a "period style". Hübsch's second part of that work, his contribution to archaeological reconstructions of destroyed monuments in Italy, Asia Minor etc. is described by way of summary and illustrated by his reconstruction of S. Lorenzo maggiore
(Milan), which led to a controversy with the art historian Franz Kugler concerning the value of the "altchristliche Stil".” Silke Walther, "In welchem Style sollen wir bauen ?" - Studien zu den Schriften und Bauten des Architekten Heinrich Hübsch (1795-1863). Diss. Stuttgart 2004.
ADB 23, 273. Thieme/ Becker 18, 51. ADB 13, 273. Ausstellungskatalog Heinrich Hübsch, Der große badische Baumeister der Romantik, Karlsruhe 1983.
Slight browning at beginning and end of the text volume, but otherwise very good, fresh copies of each volume in pleasing contemporary bindings.