Louis Boitte

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Louis Boitte
The Erechtheion on the Acropolis, Athens Verso: Architectural detail of a Column
ca. 1864
Watercolor with white opaque watercolor with scratching over black chalk on wove paper. Verso, graphite.
12 7/8 x 19 inches (326 x 484 mm)
Gift of Mr. & Mrs. Hamilton Robinson, Jr.

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Before being appointed official architect of the Palace of Fontainebleau and professor at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, Boitte won the prix de Rome for architecture and was a pensionnaire at the French Academy in Rome. Each student was expected to produce and submit drawings of ancient monuments, including those under restoration, during their stay. After 1845, students were allowed to choose sites beyond Naples, Pompeii, and Sicily; they were given the option of sites in Greece.
In 1863, Boitte, along with Charles Garnier (1825-1898) and Jacques Martin Tétaz (1816-1865), made extensive drawings of sites in Greece (many of which are preserved in the Ecole des beaux-arts, Paris). This watercolor reimagines the south facade of the Erechtheion, the temple dedicated to Athena and Poseidon on the Acropolis, as it appeared before it was severely damaged during the Greek War of Independence (1821-32). On the temple's north side at the far right is the famous Porch of the Maidens, for which draped female figures served as columns. Some of Boitte's drawings from his dispatches to the Ecole des beaux-arts were published in architectural periodicals. Stéphanie Guilmea-Shala records that in 1872, Boitte's depictions of the tribune of the Erechtheion Caryatids appeared in “Le Moniteur des architects.”

Mr. & Mrs. Hamilton Robinson, Jr.
Associated names: 

Robinson, Hamiliton, Jr. former owner.
Robinson, Hamiliton, Mrs. former owner.


GUILMEAU-SHALA, Stéphanie. En quête de la couleur : publication de dessins réalisés lors de voyages d'études en Grèce In : Bibliothèques d'atelier : Édition et enseignement de l'architecture, Paris 1785-1871 [en ligne]. Paris : Publications de l'Institut national d'histoire de l'art, 2011.

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