Small French Buildings: The Architecture of Town and Country, Comprising Cottages, Farmhouses, Minor Chateaux or Manors with Their Farm Groups, Small Town Dwellings, and a Few Churches

Small French Buildings: The Architecture of Town and Country, Comprising Cottages, Farmhouses, Minor Chateaux or Manors with Their Farm Groups, Small Town Dwellings, and a Few Churches

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Small French Buildings: The Architecture of Town and Country, Comprising Cottages, Farmhouses, Minor Chateaux or Manors with Their Farm Groups, Small Town Dwellings, and a Few Churches

Small French Buildings: The Architecture of Town and Country, Comprising Cottages, Farmhouses, Minor Chateaux or Manors with Their Farm Groups, Small Town Dwellings, and a Few Churches

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The minor architecture of France, of which this book can unfortunately cover but a small part, comprises a field worthy, we believe, of further study and attention. It is astonishing that these small buildings have received so little attention as compared with similar types of other countries, notably of Italy and of England, in regard to which a considerable number of books are available. Why these buildings of France have not been more sought out and preserved in publication, it is difficult to say. Perhaps it is because France seems so distinctly a country of monumental architecture, that its lesser and more modest buildings of the country and the provinces have come little to the attention of the student; perhaps because the finer examples are quite widely scattered, so that any collection of such material must of necessity be difficult. In gathering the pictures and other data, we covered, on foot and cycle, the sections of France that seemed most full of promise: Normandy, Brittany, the Côte-d'Or, the Dordogne section, and the fertile valleys of the interior. Of course it was impossible to reap the full harvest even of the parts visited, and we know that a vast mass of excellent material remains untouched as yet. It is hoped that some time soon most of it may be gathered together in published form, for much that is worth while disappears year by year.

In choosing our material, we have purposely avoided the châteaux, particularly those familiar ones of the Loire valley, as well as the larger and better-known buildings in general. Our idea has been to include only the smaller châteaux, quite unfamiliar ones off the beaten track, the manors, the farm groups, and the cottages of the peasants. At first there was every intention to omit all churches, but in Normandy and often elsewhere it was quite impossible to resist photographing the quaint little churches and chapels that fit in so well with the country, the people, and the surrounding hamlets. And now it is as impossible to refrain from including a few of these. The majority of the photographs we took ourselves, so for their quality we can hold to account only ourselves and the fickle weather of France. A few pictures we bought and a few very interesting ones have been contributed by Mr. Philip L. Goodwin, to whom our thanks are given.

There is no truer mirror of a people and a civilization than their informal architecture. In it there has been no attempt at artificial effect and very small obeisance to the passing fashions. The buildings of the French farmer, the small landowner, and the peasant, are as indigenous to their soil as the poplar-trees and poppies in the fields. The Frenchman is and always has been a lover of fine words, of gay colors, of flowered gardens, of piquancy, and of originality. So, too, are his . . .

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