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|Louis Villeminot (1826-1914)|
Louis Villeminot worked as a draftsman and sculptor for Viollet-le-Duc, providing many of the major elements found in the firm's designs for The National Assembly, Paris's Hotel DeVille,and numerous provincial city halls.
Involved as he was in France's most influential architectural firm, Villeminot became acquainted with Garnier, Gabriel Davioud, Louis Hedin and other important architects and sculptors creating the new Paris. From them he began collecting small drawings and sketches of their design work that he carefully identified and dated. Today, many of his cherished scraps of paper are to be found in museum collections of nineteenth century architecture.
Villeminot revered architectural drawings as works of art in themselves, following England's John Soane in his appreciation of design drawings as fine art objects to be collected. Only later did museums understand the importance and beauty of architectural rendering, giving legitimacy to the earliest private collectors. Louis Villeminot deserves credit as one of those early visionaries.
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