Upcoming Events

Competing Capitals: Towards the Embellishment of London and Paris

Research Seminar – Sigrid de Jong

  • 23 June 2021
  • 6:00 – 7:30 pm
  • This series of Research Seminars will be delivered by our Senior Fellows who were awarded in 2019 to talk on the research they have conducted as part of their fellowship.

The cities of London and Paris went through major urban and architectural developments during the second half of the eighteenth century. Questions about the situation, spatial composition, form and meaning of buildings were vividly debated in salons, and on paper in journals, pamphlets and other publications. When thinking about how to improve and embellish their city, Parisian writers and architects often referred to the other great metropolis, London. And the same holds true for London writers; they frequently compared their city to Paris.

In the eighteenth-century texts on both cities featuring comparison and competition, the effects of buildings and the urban fabric comes to the fore, as Sigrid de Jong’s research project demonstrates. Authors describe their multi-sensory experiences while moving through the cities of London and Paris, and narrate how they approach buildings, enter them and then wander inside them. They also address how the city sounds, smells and feels. When proposing improvements for their own city and offering design examples to future architects, the aesthetic experiences of foreign buildings and urban spaces prevail. But some writers also invoke more contradictory elements of experiencing edifices and the metropolis, and include thoughts on history, cultural meaning, or social and political issues.

A Senior Research Fellow of the Paul Mellon Centre from the academic year 2019/2020, Sigrid de Jong will present part of the research she has conducted for her book project on the emergence of architectural experience in Paris and London in the period 1750–1815. In this research seminar she will address the flow of comparison, competition, rivalry and inspiration captured in the different dialogues on architecture and the city that were held across the Channel from the 1750s onward. She will analyse a choice of urban and architectural projects for the cities of London and Paris, including the Palais-Royal in the French capital, and John Gwynn’s and George Dance’s projects for the British capital.

  

Zoom webinar guidance

Before the webinar

● Please download Zoom software in advance.

● Please register to attend the Research webinar through Eventbrite.

● We will share the link to the Zoom webinar with you the day before and the day of the event itself.

● If you require closed captioning during this event, please get in touch at least two weeks before the event date.

During the event

● Paul Mellon Centre staff hosting the event will employ the appropriate security features to help ensure that events and meetings operate safely.

● There will be a waiting room feature that allows the host to control when all participants join the meeting.

● You will be automatically muted when you join the webinar and can only communicate verbally if the host unmutes you.

● The talk will last for 30–40 minutes and will be followed by a Q&A where the chair will prompt discussion.

● Use the Q&A box to ask/write your questions after the talk.

● You can also use the virtual raise hand button if you have a question/comment to make by audio.

● Use the chat box to make comments.

● If you are experiencing any technical problems, please notify Ella Fleming (events manager) or Danielle Convey (events assistant) directly using the chat box function. Alternatively you can email them via events@paul-mellon-centre.ac.uk.

● The Paul Mellon Centre will not take photographs of this event and participants are requested likewise not to do so.

● This session will be recorded.

● Any offensive behaviour will not be tolerated and attendees can be removed from the webinar by the host.

GDPR

The Paul Mellon Centre is aware of its obligations under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and is committed to processing your data securely and transparently.

For more information on how the Centre processes personal information see our privacy policy.

For more information on Zoom’s compliance with EU GDPR see: https://zoom.us/gdpr.

Image Caption: William Daniell, after George, Perspective Sketch Illustrating a Design on the Improvement of the Port of London, c. 1800–1810, Coloured aquatint, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection, B1977.14.11394

About the speaker

  • Headshot of Sigrid de Jong against background of bookshelf.

    Sigrid de Jong is a senior researcher and lecturer at the Department of Architecture, gta Institute, ETH Zürich, and teaches the history and theory of architecture. From 2016 to 2019 she conducted a research project entitled ‘Experience and Design: The Emergence of Architectural Experience in Paris and London, 1750–1815’ at Leiden University, funded by the talent scheme of NWO (Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research). She is currently finishing the manuscript of her book resulting from this research, for which she was awarded a Senior Fellowship from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art in London in 2019.

    She holds a PhD in architectural history and theory from Leiden University and was a postdoctoral researcher in a project on primitivism and architectural theory (1750–1850). She is the author of several articles in journals (Architectural Histories, Architectural History, Art History, Dix-Huitième Siècle, Journal of Architecture) and in monographs (Semper, Labrouste, Soufflot). Her book Rediscovering Architecture: Paestum in Eighteenth-Century Architectural Experience and Theory was published by Yale University Press in 2014. Together with Caroline van Eck she is the editor of the Companion to Eighteenth-Century Architecture (Wiley- Blackwell, 2017).