A Civic Utopia: Lex

Lex suggests the central place of public order, civil regulation, and the rule of law in the construction of a just society, and the determination to represent their fundamental role in asserting the rights and duties of the citizenry, both in the prominence of the buildings to service them and through their iconography.

Louis-Francois Trouard, Design for Cazernes des Gardes francoises a Versailles, 1771 DM 2003.1 IN SET – Drawing Matter

Louis-François Trouard (1729–1804), Design for Cazernes des Gardes francoises à Versailles, 1771. Pen, ink, grey and blue wash on laid paper, 435 × 610 mm. Drawing Matter Collections

Louis-Francois Trouard, sections and elevation, Design for Cazernes des Gardes francoises a Versailles, 1771 DM 2003.3 IN SET – Drawing Matter

Louis-François Trouard (1729–1804), Design for Cazernes des Gardes Francoises a Versailles: Lengthwise and cross sections with end elevation, 1771. Pen, ink, blue, grey and pink wash on laid paper, 431 × 610 mm. Drawing Matter Collections

Baltard, Palais de Justice et Prison de Lyon, 1823-34, DM 2462 – Drawing Matter

Louis-Pierre Baltard (1764–1846), Exposé Relatif aux Constructions du Palais de Justice et de la Prison de Lyon, 1823 – 1834. Pen, ink and wash, 200 × 500 mm. Drawing Matter Collections

Louis-Pierre Baltard, Palais de Justice et Prison de Lyon, elevation, 1823-34 DM 2462.2 – Drawing Matter

Louis-Pierre Baltard (1764–1846), Exposé Relatif aux Constructions du Palais de Justice et de la Prison de Lyon: elevation, 1829 – 1830. Pen, ink and wash on wove paper, 205 × 500 mm. Drawing Matter Collections

Louis-Pierre Baltard, Palais de Jusitice et Prison de Lyon, Section, 1829-30, DM 2462.4 – Drawing Matter

Louis-Pierre Baltard (1764–1846), Exposé Relatif aux Constructions du Palais de Justice et de la Prison de Lyon, Section, 1829 – 1830. Pen, ink and coloured wash on paper, 203 × 550 mm. Drawing Matter Collections

Louis-Pierre Baltard, Palais de Justice et Prison de Lyon, Plan and facades, 1829-30, DM 2462.5 – Drawing Matter

Louis-Pierre Baltard (1764–1846), Exposé Relatif aux Constructions du Palais de Justice et de la Prison de Lyon: plan and facades, 1829 – 1830. Pen, ink and wash on wove paper, 505 × 262 mm. Drawing Matter Collections

These preparatory drawings by Louis-Pierre Baltard for a pamphlet depicting one of his projects for the palais de justice and prisons in Lyon are perfect examples of the increasing centralization of the architectural world in the post-Revolutionary period.  The Parisian Baltard was chosen over local architects and his designs epitomise the restrained classicism defended by the École des Beaux-Arts, where Baltard held the chair of architecture. This scheme, placed high above the rocks in the river Saone at the heart of the city, would have presented the ensemble to traffic on the river and citizenry on the shore as a landmark to the law. – BB

Jean Charles Delafosse, Ideal prison, c. 1767, DM 2259 IN SET – Drawing Matter

Jean-Charles Delafosse (1734–1791), Study for 'projets de prison', c. 1770. Pen, ink and watercolour on laid paper, 354 × 233 mm. Drawing Matter Trust; Waddesdon Manor, The Rothschild Collection (the National Trust).

From a series of drawings and engravings proposing varied iconographic and architectural elements for a standardised form of local guardhouse or prison that would symbolise (here with slightly whimsical ferocity) the impartiality of justice and the authority of the police. By illustrating the escort of a thief into the gates from a neighbouring market stall and the comfortable demeanour of passers-by, Delafosse draws attention to the civilising force of the law in protecting the commerce, civility and sociability of the city street. – NO

Louis Bricard, Palais de Préfecture pour la Ville de Laval, Elevation 2, 1803, DM 2645 IN SET – Drawing Matter

Louis Bricard (1750–1820), Elevation géométrale du Palais de Préfecture de la ville de Laval, 1803. Pen, ink watercolour on two joined sheets of watermarked laid paper with blue wash border, 210 × 450 mm. Drawing Matter Collections

Louis Bricard, Palais de Préfecture pour la Ville de Laval, elevation, 1803, DM 2646 IN SET – Drawing Matter

Louis Bricard (1750–1820), Elevation géométrale sur l'une des faces latérales du Palais de Préfecture pour la ville de Laval, 1803. Pen, ink and watercolour on two joined sheets of watermarked laid paper with blue wash border, 208 × 830 mm. Drawing Matter Collections

The Dominican monastery in the centre of the city of Laval on the Loire was seized during the first year of the Revolution, while an expansion was in construction, and then acquired by the regional government as its seat of administration. In 1803 the medieval cloister and chapel were demolished and these designs for a completely new and more efficient building were made, asserting the presence of the central government in the provincial capital, yet appearing as something of a people’s palace, marked by a public promenade and gardens. Only the service quarters and entry in Bricard’s Palladian design were built, and the palais’s later architects reverted, under the Restoration, to the more closed and ecclesiastical plan the monks had begun to build before the Revolution. – NO