Back - List of Pavilions

Persia - Expo Paris 1889

Persia at the Exhibition Expo Paris 1889

The Persian dwelling is of a style that immediately brings to mind the modern Arab style; this is not the fault of M. Charles Garnier, but of the Arab architects who took their domes and their jagged crenellations from the ancient Persians.

Here, the curved line is completely justified: and by the dome, which is heavy, crushed and not exactly recommended by its elegance; and by the ogival arch which constitutes the entrance bay, pierced in a façade of which it occupies about half the width, not because the door is disproportionately wide, but because the façade is narrow.

The pavilion covered by the dome does not constitute the whole of the dwelling; it also consists of another rectangular pavilion, covered by a flat roof bordered by the same crenellated balustrade, and very little light from the outside, since the openings consist of very small windows, pierced at the very top of the arcades formed by three engaged columns.

This entire construction is made of brick and it had to be, since the Persians did not know how to use cut stone. However, M. Charles Garnier did not push the accuracy of his rendering to the point of using sun-fired bricks, since in our country the sun is not hot enough to fire bricks.

But he has used glazed bricks, which the ancient Persians used so skilfully, one might even say so artistically, for the polychrome decorations of their buildings.

Here, as everywhere else, the specimen is successful, and if it is not absolutely beautiful in the sense that our modern taste gives to this word, it is because the model was not.

©Livre d'Or de l'Exposition - C. L. Huard