Influence on the restoration of antiquities in France

The example of the Arch of Titus was also accepted by Quatremere de Quincy, when he defined the word 'restoration' in his Dictionnaire in 1832. According to him, restoration meant, first, the work carried out to repair an ancient monument, and secondly, a graphic illustration of a ruined monument in its original appearance. He emphasized the educational value in the restoration of monuments, but limited it to really significant ones which could serve as a model. 'What remains of their debris should only be restored with a view to conserving that which can offer models for art or precious references for the

Figure 4.11 The Arch of Orange in France was first restored in 1807-09, and completed by A-N. Caristie in 1824, opting for minimum intervention

science of antiquity . . .'. Referring further to the Arch of Titus, he indicated the guidelines according to which such classical monuments, decorated with friezes and sculptures, should be restored, and that 'it should suffice to reintegrate the missing parts of the whole, but leaving details aside, so that the spectator cannot be misled between the ancient work and the parts that have been rebuilt merely to complete the whole'.32

Recording and study of ancient monuments in Rome was already a long tradition; from the middle of the eighteenth century, the architectural competitions of the Accademia di San Luca had continued to keep this tradition alive. The work of the students of the French Academy in Rome also contributed to an increasingly accurate archaeological survey of ancient monuments in those years. Since 1787, this study had become obligatory, and it included a careful and detailed study of a classical monument, a recording of its present state, a study of 'authorities', i.e., approved texts and well-known monuments of similar characteristics, as well as a graphic restoration on paper. An early example of this sort of study was the work on the Arch of Titus by A. J. M. Guenepin in 1809 (Berard, 1985:292ff). This method of study also came to influence the approach to mediaeval structures in the nineteenth century.

During the years of important restorations in Rome, work was also done on classical monuments in France. These restorations, mainly on the amphitheatre of Nîmes and the Triumphal Arch of Orange, were carried out with reference to the laws established during the Revolution at the end of the eighteenth century. In 1807, the Conseil des Bâtiments recommended that methods of consolidation should be studied for the amphitheatre of Nîmes, so as to 'respect the character of the Roman buildings, not to change anything of the state of the ruins as they are at present, and to strive to strengthen them for a long period of time'.33 The Roman remains were to be preserved in their actual state - including the cracks - an approach similar to the first consolidation of the Colosseum in 1806. The actual works were carried out during 1809-13, and consisted of the consolidation of some internal structures as well as of the restoration of the arena, but the mediaeval buildings that had been built in the arena area and around it were demolished. From 1807 to 1809, the Triumphal Arch of Orange was consolidated with full respect to the original structures; the lost parts were completed with plain masonry without any attempt to reconstruct. These works, carried out by the city of Orange, with the financial aid of the government and the support of the

Count of Montalivet, were completed in 1824 by architect A-N. Caristie.

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