BOOKS ON ARCHITECTURE
|| Sauval, Henri
|| Histoire et recherches des antiquités de la ville
|| Paris, C. Moette & J. Chardon, 1724
Tours, Bibliothèque universitaire, FB 1925, FB 1926, FB 1927
||Churches, Paris, Private architecture
Consult in image mode
1 (books 1-6)
2 (books 7-13)
3 (books 14, etc.)
Transcribed version of the text
by Henri Sauval, who was born in Paris and died there (1623-1676), was
not published until 1724 by Claude-Bernard Rousseau, who had worked
with Sauval on this book and had a manuscript of it. Apparently Rousseau
modified only its style, corrected a few erroneous dates and eliminated
the “Chronique scandaleuse de Paris ou histoire des mauvais lieux”.
The aforementioned chronicle was filled with Sauval’s personal
experience. He had been the lover of two high-class prostitutes who
were well-known in “precious” society. Sauval was part of
that society and had adopted its turgid style. He is mentioned under
the name of Sidroaste in the Grand dictionnaire des Prétieuses
by Somaize (1660). As for the style, it earned him two lines by
Boileau: “Faut-il d’un sot parfait montrer l’original. Ma
plume au bout du vers d’abord trouve Sofal” (satire VII).
to the Parlement, was not stupid; he was remarkably erudite, with a
wide curiosity. He had traveled all over France, in Italy, Spain, England
and in the Netherlands. As a result he was qualified to proclaim Paris
“la merveille du monde” (I, p. 186). His work is a
source for the historians of Paris, for architectural historians and
even for writers. Victor Hugo reproduced entire passages of it, without
quoting him, in Notre-Dame de Paris and in Paris à
vol d’oiseau. Book VII, devoted to palaces and mansions,
is the main reference of the study on Parisian architecture of the first
half of the 17th century, brought to fruition by Jean-Pierre Babelon
1724 edition was criticized in the Bulletin du Bibliophile
(1868) by Le Roux de Lincy, who had a copy of the original manuscript.
For the 1974 facsimile, Michel Fleury wrote a remarkable introduction
to which we must continually refer. Nevertheless, according to Fleury,
except for corrections of style and dates, the 1724 edition is apparently
faithful to the manuscript left by Sauval at his death (March 21, 1676).
We cannot follow the eminent scholar on this point. The notice about
the church of the Invalides, begun the same year as Sauval’s death,
and a fortiori those on the place des Victoires and on the
place Vendôme are obviously not Sauval’s. Perhaps a critical
edition would bring to light other additions no doubt attributable to
Jean-Marie Pérouse de Montclos (Centre national
de la recherche scientifique, Paris) – 2007
J.-P. Babelon, Demeures parisiennes sous Henri IV et Louis XIII,
Paris, Hazan, 1991.
M. Fleury, "Notice sur la vie et l’oeuvre de Sauval", H.
Sauval, Histoire et Recherches des Antiquités de la ville
de Paris, facsimile edition, Paris/Geneva, Éditions du
Palais Royal/Minkoff, 1974, vol. 1.
S. Sauval, Histoire et Recherches des Antiquités de la ville de Paris, facsimile edition, Paris/Geneva, éd. du Palais/Minkoff, 1974. 3 vol.