Charles Garnier

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Works Paris Opera, at Paris, France, 1857 to 1874.

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Charles Garnier

(b. Paris, France 1825; d. Paris 1898)

Charles Garnier was born of humble origins in Paris in 1825. He studied at the Ecole Gratuite de Dessin in the evenings until 1840 when he entered the atelier of Lebas. Later he worked as a draughtsman for Viollet-le-Duc.

In 1842 Garnier entered the Ecole des Beaux Arts where he eventually won the Grand Prix de Rome. He studied for five years at the Academy in Rome where he became interested in the "pageantry of Roman society". He rounded out his architectural education with a visit to Greece and Turkey in 1852.

Back in Paris, Garnier received few private commissions but accepted several municipal posts including that of architect of the fifth and sixth arrondissemnets. In 1861 Garnier entered and won the competition for the new Paris opera house. His design reflected the aspirations of the Second Empire with its rich coloring and decoration. From his studies of Roman pageantry, Garnier had developed a great sense of occasion and drama which when coupled with a logical floor plan was used to good effect in the opera. It quickly became known as the "Style Napoleon III".

Dennis Sharp. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Architects and Architecture. New York: Quatro Publishing, 1991. ISBN 0-8230-2539-X. NA40.I45. p60.

Resources Sources on Charles Garnier

Andrea Folli and Gisella Merello. Charles Garnier e la Riviera. Genova, Italia: Erga Edizioni. (Italian)   Find books about Charles Garnier

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