Basile Baudez  Assistant Professor


Basile Baudez

Assistant Professor18th- and 19th-Century European Architectural History


Ph.D., Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris, 2006; MA, Ecole nationale des Chartes, Paris

Basile Baudez specializes in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European architecture. Focusing on the role of architecture in politics and society, his latest research investigates modes of graphic communication devised by architects and engineers to convey information amongst themselves and the public sphere. His first book Architecture et Tradition Académique au Siècle des Lumières(2012) questions the nature of the relationship between political bodies and architects in three early-modern European academies: Paris, Madrid and Rome. His co-edited volume Chalgrin. Architectes et Architecture entre l’Ancien Régime et l’Empire (2016) considers the impact of the French Revolution on a generation of neo-classical, European architects. He has curated exhibitions on architectural drawings at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and the Courtauld Institute of Art in London.

Currently, Baudez is completing a book addressing early modern architectural draftsmanship. Tentatively entitled Inessential Colors, this study questions the role of color in Western architectural representation from the Renaissance to the nineteenth century under the concepts of convention, imitation and seduction. He argues that color is only used by architects at moments when their trade comes closer to either the cartographic world of engineers or the picturesque realm of painters.

Baudez joined Princeton’s faculty in 2018. Previously, he was assistant professor of architectural history at the Paris-Sorbonne University. He has also served as visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania and at the Pratt Institute. His research has been supported by grants from the Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts (CASVA), the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS) and the Getty Research Institute. 

Teaching Interests

Baudez’s teaching interests include architectural draftsmanship, the professionalization of building trades, the history of artistic education, the conflict between engineers and architects in Europe and its colonies and the dynamic between textile and architecture.  More broadly, he is interested in advising students in the field of European and Colonial 18th-and 19th century architecture and in the history of architectural preservation.

Selected Publications

A Civic Utopia. Architecture and the City in France, 1765-1837, with N. Olsberg (London: Drawing Matter, 2016).

“A Palace for Louis XVI: Jean-Augustin Renard at Rambouillet,” Metropolitan Museum Journal 51, (Dec. 2016).

“‘No es el dibujo lo que constituye arquitecto’: debates sobre la naturaleza de la arquitectura en las academias de París y Madrid en el siglo de las Luces,” Cuadernos Dieciochistas, 17 (November 2016).

Ed. Chalgrin. Architectes et architecture entre l’Ancien Régime et l’Empire, with. D. Massounie (Bordeaux: Blake, 2016).

Architecture et tradition académique au siècle des Lumières (Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2012).