BALLU, Théodore
(b. 1817, Paris, d. 1885, Paris)

Interior view

after 1839
Sainte-Clotilde, Paris

The Gothic Revival asserted itself in current architectural development relatively late in France. After the establishment in 1837 of the Commission des monuments historiques, work started on systematically restoring important monuments such as the Sainte-Chapelle and cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris. However, it was only in 1845 that work was begun on the first newbuild church in Paris, the Sainte-Clotilde.

The German-born architect Franz Christian Gau had already submitted a project in 1839, but in the end had to leave the execution to his colleague Théodore Ballu, who made alterations to the towers. The stately west front with its twin steeples and expansive triple doorway group and the three-story elevation of the interior re-introduce motifs of 13th-century cathedral Gothic, but translated into a flatter, linear version, in which the Neoclassical tone is still evident. Contemporary champions of the Gothic Revival accused the church of being overloaded in detail with sculptures and stained glass windows.

The photo shows the the view towards the altar.