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Théories et histoires de l'art islamique

Julius Franz-Pasha’s Die Baukunst des Islam (Islamic architecture) of 1887 as part of the Manual of Architecture

Elke Pflugradt-Abdel Aziz
p. 297-310

Texte intégral

12010 saw the 130th anniversary of the Manual of architecture (Handbuch der Architektur), the most important encyclopedia of civil engineering. The first volume appeared as partial delivery in 1880, the last one in 1943. Over one hundred German, Swiss, and Austrian architects were involved in this fully comprehensive account of architectural knowledge available at the time of publication of each edition. This classical manual, until then essential in doctrine and practice, was no longer updated with the paradigm shift of modernism. Although the Manual still gives generally accepted descriptions, it met with a generalized historicist refusal lasting up to the seventies. The traditional continuity was therefore interrupted, but also the understanding of elder generations of architects as well as their educational concepts. The diversified implicit knowledge of the Manual’s authors means that what they assumed was known at the time of writing is today no longer known. This is due to the fact that the large-scale industrialization applied to the building industry replaced the tradition of crafted products and their materials and techniques after 1945. More than 60 years of ignorance are not easily overcome, particularly in relation to the Manual of architecture.1

2This study looks at how the Islamic architecture (ill. 1-2) came about in 1887 as part of the Manual of architecture and also at its historico-cultural intentions. For nearly half of a century, from the 1870s until the First World War, Julius Franz-Pasha played the role of a knowledge base between Western Europe and Cairo, which could no longer be the case in the modern world where professional expertise is changing fast and has to be adapted swiftly.

1. Julius Franz-Pasha, photograph.

1. Julius Franz-Pasha, photograph.

Source: Author's collection.

2. Front page of J. Franz-Pascha, Die Baukunst des Islam, Darmstadt, 1896, II, 3.2.

2. Front page of J. Franz-Pascha, Die Baukunst des Islam, Darmstadt, 1896, II, 3.2.

Source: Author's collection.

  • 2  Egyptian 19th century standard reference ‘Ali Mubarak, Al-Khitat al-Tawfiqiyya al-jadida li-Misr a (...)
  • 3  See for example the marriage registration of Julius Franz and his second wife Olga Lautner, mentio (...)
  • 4  See Julius Frantz, Régis de Curel, “Cirque du Caire,” Revue générale de l’Architecture et des Trav (...)
  • 5  Julius Frantz, op. cit.(note 4), p. 194.

3Julius Franz-Pasha (1831-1915) is often identified as an Austrian,2 although he was actually born in Nassau, Germany, a son of a forest ranger called Wilhelm Franz.3 Presumably, he was thought to be of this nationality because he studied architecture in Vienna at the Academy of Fine Arts. But it was not the missing perspective of a career as an architect in Austria that made him search his fortune overseas: due to illness he left for Egypt as a patient of doctor Bilharz. In 1859 Franz joined Egypt’s public services as an engineer. As court architect of Ismail Pasha, Khedive of Egypt and Sudan, he designed, constructed, and supervised many buildings for completion on the occasion of the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869. This included the most ambitious state commission at that time, the Palace and Kiosk on al-Gazira island (the Palace is today’s Marriott Hotel in Cairo (ill. 3-4), as well as theaters, a comedy building and circus on the south side of al-Azbakiyya4 and hippodrome. For his services Ismail Pasha awarded him the title of “bey” in 1868. Even though Franz as a public servant was involved in the most radical transformation of al-Azbakiyya, the hub from which all new streets radiated in Cairo, he already felt very critical towards this development in 1871. He describes his regretting the damage of traditional houses, including medieval monuments, in order to realize a modern urban concept after a French model. To his mind the new Cairo street net caused an irreplaceable loss in the arts.5 Afterwards, he worked in several different positions in Egypt such as professor, director of a spa, monument conservator, curator, until he retired in 1888.

3a. Palace of al-Gazira, photograph by Bonfils.

3a. Palace of al-Gazira, photograph by Bonfils.

Source: Paris (France), Bibliothèque nationale de France, département des Estampes et de la Photographie.

3b. Palace of al-Gazira, photograph by Bonfils.

3b. Palace of al-Gazira, photograph by Bonfils.

Source: Paris (France), Bibliothèque nationale de France, département des Estampes et de la Photographie.

3c. Kiosk of al-Gazira, photograph by Bonfils.

3c. Kiosk of al-Gazira, photograph by Bonfils.

Source: Paris (France), Bibliothèque nationale de France, département des Estampes et de la Photographie.

3d. Kiosk of al-Gazira, photograph by Bonfils.

3d. Kiosk of al-Gazira, photograph by Bonfils.

Source: Paris (France), Bibliothèque nationale de France, département des Estampes et de la Photographie.

4. Kiosk von Gezireh [Gazira], Cairo.

4. Kiosk von Gezireh [Gazira], Cairo.

Source: J. Frant-Bey (variation in Julius Franz spelling), “Cairo's Neubauten”, Zeitschrift für praktische Baukunst, 31, 1871, p. 193-198, p. 325-330, plate 22.

  • 6  Amin Sami, Taqwim al-Nil (al-Qahira: Matba’at al-Amiriyya 1936), vol. 3, part 2, 929 and vol. 3, p (...)
  • 7  ‘Abd al-Rahman Zaki, Mawsu'at madinat al-Qahira fi alf 'Amm. Concise Encyclopaedia of the city of (...)
  • 8  Amin Sāmi, op. cit. (note 6), vol. 3, part 2, p. 923.
  • 9  Elke Pflugradt-Abdel Aziz, “La Cité d’Helwan en Égypte et son fondateur Wilhelm Reil-bey,” Revue d (...)

4As professor he taught architecture in French language with Arabic translations according to a plan of lectures in Cairo’s Serails Darb al-Gamamiz in 18716. However, Franz’ efforts do not seem to have been as successful as he intended. Indeed, ‘Abd al-Rahman Zaki refers to the education of Egyptian architects who failed to contribute to Franz’ aim to support the preservation of Islamic monuments7 by local architects. Foreigners only, especially the Hungarian Max Herz, who took on the role of Franz in the waqf ministry and the Islamic Museum, followed Franz’ intentions. One could assume that Zaki’s note refers to the fact that Franz’ professorship was devoted to the preservation of monuments but it was not. The relevant Khedival Decree issues that students should be taught state-of-the-art architecture8. Probably, this document can be interpreted as the first one of modern Egyptian history referring to architecture as an autonomous discipline in an Egyptian institution. Franz as professor for architecture was closely involved in this development in Egypt, yet he had already left the Polytechnic Institute in 1875 becoming at first administrator and then director of the spa in Hilwan, southeast of Cairo9.

  • 10  Ludwig Borchardt, “Franz Pascha”, Zentralblatt der Bauverwaltung, no.35, 1915, p. 220.

5In his function as monument conservator, Franz was in charge of the preservation of very important Egyptian Islamic monuments as director of the Technical Waqf Department. The waqf administration was founded after 1850 to protect the waqf properties, although the Egyptian preservation of Islamic monuments (Comité de conservation des monuments de l’art arabe) was actually established in 1881 by a Khedival Decree and was consequently integrated in the Waqf Ministery. This was very possibly influenced by earlier European initiatives: according to Ludwig Borchardt, Franz played a major role in the founding history of the Comité10. His professor in Vienna, Eduard van der Nüll, was himself member of the Austrian Historical Heritage Preservation, which was constituted in 1851. Franz therefore met the necessary requirements and sensitivity for such a position. Already, during his building activities (1859-1869) he had become aware that the concept of a historic monument embraces not only the architectural work itself but also the urban setting in which the evidence of the architectural heritage is found. Furthermore, Borchardt acknowledges Franz’ high level achievements as a monument conservator:

  • 11 Ibid.

that he had stopped at the point where he could have applied his own work as an architect, and in this case moreover, that he had worked only in recourse to careful research of existing traditional settings.”11

6Borchardt explains how the conservator had to execute preservation work in 19th century Egypt: he had to teach himself every craftsman, even to execute simple work. In this way Franz found himself reviving old traditional craftsmanship. After some years of Egyptian preservation activities Franz recognized that it had been quite successful. He writes in one of his letters to the egyptologist Georg Ebers:

  • 12  Georg Ebers, Das Alte in Kairo und in der arabischen Kultur seiner Bewohner, Breslau: Schöttlander (...)
  • 13  Franz to Ebers, Wiesbaden, 11.9.1885; Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Staatsbibliothek, Manuscr (...)

“that the so glorified Islamic monuments beautifully executed in your publication12 are not anymore so deserted as you have seen them when you have been visiting Egypt.13

7As curator Franz founded the Islamic Museum in Cairo in 1880. Five years later he reflected on the current situation writing to Ebers as follows:

  • 14  Franz to Ebers, Wiesbaden, 11.09.1885.

also the Arabic Museum makes pleasingly progress which I had brought into being five years ago, and that the precious result has been achieved that the inhabitants were taught the relevance of their ancestor’s art creations, preventing them from vandalism.14

  • 15  Franz to Ebers, 28.11.1885.

8The head of another letter dated only two months later shows an Arabic inscription with “Franz Pasha.15” At that time, when he was awarded the title “Pasha”, he had reached the zenith of his career within the Egyptian services.

Background to Die Baukunst des Islam (The Islamic architecture)

9Letters of Franz to the egyptologist Georg Ebers describe the troublesome joint venture of Karl Baedeker’s first edition of Lower Egypt in 1877. The German 1906 edition of Baedeker’s Egypt still mentions posthumously Georg Ebers in its preface as the one who provided the manuscripts for the first published Egyptian guidebook (ill. 5). Obviously the Baedeker dynasty felt obliged to this testimony after all those years. The founder Karl Baedeker designates both the man “Karl Baedeker” and “Baedeker” for his corporate successors. Ebers and Franz already dealt with one of Karl Baedeker’s three sons who leaded the firm one after the other. Karl who succeeded his brother Ernst expanded the empire outward to Egypt.

10In September 1873 Franz wrote to Ebers:

  • 16  Franz to Ebers, Cairo, 20.09.1873.

today I send you the descriptions of the oldest monuments of Cairo and its surroundings in the south. In 8 days I hope to send the left ones. This work took much more effort than expected. For me as layman the writing is complicated, especially when you have collected all the material by yourself. Therefore I understand that you do not agree with my style of writing and that it is bad compared to your brilliant way of imagination. But I think, that the content is sufficiently scientific to provide a manual to the tourists... I take for granted that your changements of my paper may not lead to merge this large work into the general Baedeker. My efforts would not be rewarded at all like this. The honorarium which I am going to receive will not cover the fees for donkey, carriage, and translation. I hope B. (Baedeker) will pay for plans and sketches according to Egyptian taxes... Does B. own a map of Cairo? Otherwise I am going to highlight all the interesting spots on the photography of the water company and send it to him. The photography is not too bad perhaps a little bit pale. Please send me an answer. Such a map could be produced easily.”16

5. Book cover of Karl Baedeker, Ägypten und der Sudân. Handbuch für Reisende. 6. Auflage. Leipzig, Verlag von Karl Baedeker, 1906, including 38 maps, 59 floor plans, and 57 vignettes.

5. Book cover of Karl Baedeker, Ägypten und der Sudân. Handbuch für Reisende. 6. Auflage. Leipzig, Verlag von Karl Baedeker, 1906, including 38 maps, 59 floor plans, and 57 vignettes.

11One month later Franz refers to the second route that he had worked out for the guidebook, which consisted of a general part about history, customs, religions, language, and literature, and another larger part illustrating the routes through the country:

  • 17  Franz to Ebers, Cairo 17.10.1873.

My dear friend, today I send you 18 pages with text, all including the second excursion. There is no possibility now to copy it, because otherwise I would miss to mail it. I beg you to excuse the stains on the paper... I own the copies of all plans. It will be followed by: al-Muayyad, Mutani [?], Sultan Hassan Mosque, Citadel mosques of Muhammad Ali and Salah al-Din, fountain, Palace al Gazira, Shubra (Palace), Barrage.”17

12Reading these letters one gets the impression that Franz contributed much more to the publication than one would have expected after reading Baedeker’s guidebook. He delivers the excursions for the Baedeker, most of the plans besides his part of the Islamic history and architecture. Corresponding to the proportion of this work, his efforts are not valued in the preface of the guidebook. It is not surprising, that Franz complains one year later:

  • 18  Franz to Ebers, 01.06.1874.

I did not spare any time or any money in order to meet your or Baedeker’s wishes. But until today I have received neither the copy of my manuscript nor the printed sheets nor the honorarium for my works and plans.”18

13On the one hand, an explanation of Baedeker’s silence may have been that the firm was enlarging its territory: Baedeker sold the family’s book shop in Coblenz and moved to an editorial office in Leipzig, editing now almost every year a new complete guide book. On the other hand, there was also an organizational change in the 1870s, from the younger son Karl Baedeker to the youngest one, Fritz. Karl Baedeker jun. resigned for health reasons. This could explain, even more reasonable, why Franz mentions in his letters Baedeker’s lately strange and often inexplicable behaviour. However, the red bindings and gilt lettering became the familiar hallmark of Baedeker’s guides (ill. 5), and the content became famous for its detail and accuracy. Baedeker’s Palestine and Syria appeared in 1875, just in the time when Franz expected the appearance of Baedeker’s Egypt which preparation had begun in 1873. It would not be published until 1877. Franz answered a letter from Ebers, in which he had cleared up the misunderstandings dating back two years:

  • 19  Franz to Ebers, Cairo, 10.07.1875.

My dear friend, your letter from the 13th of May [1875] enjoyed me truly. It clarified what I felt before, and I understand now that the relationship between you and B. was the reason of our annoyance. According to B. he very urgently needed my work. I was a little overhasty... In this agonizing uncertainty I did not receive any letter, any answer or any notice of receipt. I thought that my work with all its mistakes would be send into the world. After B. delivered only one printed manuscript to me in Germany, I started to correct, what I have written, and I improved all incorrectnesses and changes that happened while time passed. I marked all details for the plans of Alexandria by myself and delivered new plans. I improved the article about the Nile, too. I did not touch your domain of history and hieroglyphics. I think B. is going to supply you with all of it. I did not get any news for month from him, and I don’t know how far his work has progressed. His Syria is beautifully equipped and seems to be excellent.”19

14Another two years later Franz comments on the published Aegypten, Theil 1. Unter-Aegypten (Lower Egypt) to Ebers:

  • 20  Franz to Ebers, 1877 (?).

I think it was about time that the book was published. Even though it seems to be perfect and completed in its first edition, experience will teach us about the left issues. It was an enormous work. In Europe such work is relatively easy, because there are so many books to get prepared, and civilization has established comfortable conditions. How much different is Egypt, where changes happen in short intervals, where books about Egypt provide little substance and offer false, but entertaining information, so that it is difficult to decide whether the information is right or wrong. I talked and wrote about it to Baedeker. However, the book is the last and by far best one ever written about Egypt and offers a lot of material. It pleased me that B. became agreeable. The whole thing would have suffered damages...20

  • 21  Franz to Ebers, 1873 (?): “… My work for Baedeker has made progress so far. I have to read and to (...)

15In the same letter he reassures Ebers that Egypt is still a rich country though England is lamenting about its currency, along with other European countries. He argues further on that they were the ones who exhausted Egypt. His attitude is therefore pro-Egyptian and not only in the context of this particular letter. From the beginning Franz knew that his manuscript for Baedeker would simply be his first publication to be followed by a more important one about Egypt and its Islamic architecture21. He comforted himself like this, knowing very well that Baedeker’s Egypt would subsume his large work. In 1879 he asked Ebers to write a letter of recommendation for a well-known Leipzig bookseller’s in order to buy new or antiquarian books about Islamic art. One can imagine what was written on his list: Prisse d’Avennes’ L’Art arabe (1869-77), Bourgoin’s Les Arts arabes... (1868-70), or later Le Bon’s La Civilisation des Arabes (1883), Stanley Lane-Poole’s The Art of the Saracenes in Egpyt (1886), and Gayet’s L’Art arabe (1894). These publications are some of the references he used in his Islamic architecture in 1887 or in1896, the 2nd updated edition.

The origin of Die Baukunst des Islam

16Franz comments on Gayet’s L’Art arabe in a letter to Ebers:

  • 22  Franz to Ebers, Cairo, 19.12.1894.

“[Albert] Gayet made a name for himself in our small local community. One considers him as an author who is generating many hypotheses. He had published some steles as Coptic sculptures which were, in fact, Egyptian ones with some Coptic inscriptions on the backside. He has made a miserable botch of his L’Art arabe. The development has been enriched by rhetorics but not by explanations. It does not originate from sentiments de melancolie profonde nor from a conception de la diletation morose (sic) but has a technical explanation as I tried to argue in my article published in Monatsschrift für den Orient, Wien, Monatsheft June, July of this year [1894].”22

  • 23  Oleg Grabar, “What does ‘Arab painting’ mean?,” in Anna Contadini (ed.), Arab Painting. Text and i (...)
  • 24  Julius Franz-Pascha, Die Baukunst des Islam, 2nd edition (Darmstadt: Handbuch der Architektur, 189 (...)

17Most of the book titles he refers to include the use of the adjective “Arab”. By this term presumably, one could understandingly specify the arts which were meant by the authors. This understanding seems to date to the first half of the nineteenth century considering Coste’s Architecture arabe ou Monuments du Kaire...(1824), or Girault des Prangey’s Essai sur l’architecture des Arabes...(1842), which are also mentioned references in Franz’ Islamic architecture. The term “Arab” was obviously related in the beginning to architecture, and then transferred to the arts, in general, in the second half of the 19th century. As Grabar stated, this term seemed “to have grown primarily among learned professionals associated with the community of Cairo.23 All the authors “shared more or less the same public in Egypt and in Europe”. They felt obliged to use a title consecrated by usage. Therefore they accepted it, but as Grabar continues “with reluctance”. Grabar sets Gayet as a good example to describe what he understands on Gayet’s intentions, for “if there ever was a title empty of meaning, even in total opposition to whatever it defines, it is assuredly this one.” Gayet elaborates his approach as follows: “The Arab has never been an artist”. In his Islamic Architecture Franz dissociates himself from such an approach. For him it seems to be too adventurous to declare this race as fully untalented for architecture as Prisse d’Avennes did24. If Franz would have ever shared this approach he would have not been able to teach architecture to local students in the Polytechnic Institute in Cairo as he did for some years. Due to his lifelong experiences in different positions in Egypt’s services he could draw other, very self-confident, conclusions, which differed radically from the generally accepted opinion represented by Prisse d’Avennes, Gayet and others.

  • 25  Julius Franz-Pascha, “Studie über Namen und Entstehung der Kunst der Völker des Islams”, Monatschr (...)

18In the above-mentioned article by Franz, which he wrote in 1894, he is already discussing the term “Arab”, in fact, in the same way as Grabar did a hundred years later. The title of this article speaks for itself: “Studie über Namen und Entstehung der Kunst der Völker des Islams (study of names and genesis of the art of the Islamic people)”. There he already points to his “high reluctance” to using the term “Arabic art”25, which resulted in the new heading of his article: “art of the Islamic people”. His awareness of this matter is also apparent from the title of his Islamic architecture in 1887, though not discussed yet in his manual. Franz began to use the term “Islamic” very consciously and continuously. Ernst Diez (1878-1961), Austrian historian of Iranian and Islamic art, scholar of Strzygowski, follows him in heading his general art history on Islamic art of 1915: Die Kunst der islamischen Volker (Art of Islamic people). In his preface he writes:

  • 26  Ernst Diez, Die Kunst der islamischen Völker, Berlin-Neubalelsberg: Akademische Verlagsgesellschaf (...)

We admire Franz Pascha as senior figure (Nestor) of the German Islamic art research who was employed many years as governmental architect in Cairo and caused first mental stimulation by his manual Die Baukunst des Islam (Islamic Architecture) which recapitulates the most important known monuments as building types.”26

  • 27  Translated by Oleg Grabar, op. cit. (note 23), p. 20.

19It is not surprising that Gayet remarks on the architectural disabilities of Arabs: “the study of forms and colours leaves him indifferent... and when he is obliged to become an architect, he merely borrows his material from Greek or Byzantine monuments.27” His understanding of Islamic art, fully shared by his contemporaries, appeared to be a static and linearly structured one, as an art adopted from ancient civilizations incapable of providing cultural autonomy. Franz displays a differentiated picture. He admits that the Islamic art developed otherwise but his statement is perhaps too cautiously verbalized at this early point of his study:

  • 28  Julius Franz-Pascha, Die Baukunst des Islam, op. cit. (note 24), p. 11.

Islamic architecture developed most beautifully and pure in Egypt. How much Arabs contributed to this development is not quite clear yet, because they were not so skilled craftsmen. But, on the contradictory, some solid achievements cannot be denied in very early times...”28

  • 29 Ibid., 11.
  • 30 Ibid., 76.
  • 31  Franz to Ebers, 20.09.1873.
  • 32  Julius Franz-Pascha, op. cit. (note 25), p. 74.
  • 33 Ibid., 74.

20Then Franz quotes an Eastern authority in relation to the turning point when one can talk about Arab architecture in history to support his scientific approach. He selects the 14th-century Tunisian philosopher Ibn Khaldun who linked the beginning of Islamic art to the fall of the caliphate29. It becomes apparent that Franz’ deep knowledge is based on both Western and Eastern sources. Sometimes he complains in his letters how much he has to pay for translation work, translating from Arabic into German. He undertook these efforts, he had to scrimp and save this amount of money from his comparatively small Egyptian officer’s salary, because he knew that such a work demanded competent knowledge of the most important Arabic writer30. For him the Eastern sources were as precious as the Western ones. He comments in general that the same principles for the Arab monuments have to be applied for other earlier artistic developments: existing art forms are taken over, either changed or kept unchanged, into a new artistic style31. His approach differs much from the more or less racially motivated explanations of a Gayet, for example. Later in his study, Franz refers to a “genuine Arab invention without any doubt”32: He describes in detail how different the transition from the cube to the dome constructed by the Arabs in opposition to the Romans and Greeks was, and notably the muqarnas in all its varieties used as a bridging element. He shows then impressive examples of a mausoleum and mosque in Cairo (ill. 7), which he drew himself. While focusing on the muqarnas as quintessentially Islamic he identified subsequently other Islamic structural designs, such as the mashrabiyya, a type of window or screen turned in wood. In relation to this, he published mashrabiyya images after his own drawings (ill. 6). Furthermore Gayet differentiates a new Arab art from Moorish, Turkish and Persian, whereas Franz affiliates emphatically with Le Bon’s classification who differs the Arab monuments according to their location or to their related earlier art epochs. Franz considers this approach modern and rational, though he suggests adding the Arab-Ottoman period to Le Bon’s classification33.

6a. Plate from J. Franz Pascha, Die Baukunst des Islam, Darmstadt, 1896, II, 3.2, fig. 48-49.

6a. Plate from J. Franz Pascha, Die Baukunst des Islam, Darmstadt, 1896, II, 3.2, fig. 48-49.

6b. Plate from J. Franz Pascha, Die Baukunst des Islam, Darmstadt, 1896, II, 3.2, fig. 104 à 107.

6b. Plate from J. Franz Pascha, Die Baukunst des Islam, Darmstadt, 1896, II, 3.2, fig. 104 à 107.
  • 34  Ernst Diez, op. cit. (note 26)
  • 35  Robert Hillenbrand, Islamic Architecture: form, function, and meaning, New York: Columbia Universi (...)

21Diez thought it worth mentioning that Franz differentiated the known Islamic monuments according to their building types34. Franz had already classified the buildings in Baedeker’s popular scientific guidebook into: mosques, tombs, and secular buildings. In Die Baukunst des Islam he extends his building types to more specific ones: sacred buildings, mausoleums, tombs for families and for single persons, tekke, sabil, madrasa, maristan, and finally secular buildings in general. Modern authors, for example Robert Hillenbrand in his Islamic architecture35, decided to classify the material according to building types as well as, rather than, to its chronology. Robert Hillenbrand proceeds in the same methodical approach more than one hundred years after Franz’ Die Baukunst des Islam.

7a. Plate from J. Franz Pascha; Die Baukunst des Islam, Darmstadt, 1896, II, 3.2, fig. 81.

7a. Plate from J. Franz Pascha; Die Baukunst des Islam, Darmstadt, 1896, II, 3.2, fig. 81.

Source: Author's collection.

7b. Plate from J. Franz Pascha; Die Baukunst des Islam, Darmstadt, 1896, II, 3.2, fig. 82.

7b. Plate from J. Franz Pascha; Die Baukunst des Islam, Darmstadt, 1896, II, 3.2, fig. 82.

The critical reception of Die Baukunst des Islam

  • 36  H., Deutsche Bauzeitung, no. 31, 1897, p. 271.
  • 37  Josef Strzygowski, Dt. Literaturzeitung, no. 21, 1897, p. 848-849.
  • 38  Gabriele Anna Reisenauer, Josef Strzygowski und die islamische Kunst, Master of Arts degree, Unive (...)

22A second edition of the Die Baukunst des Islam became necessary in 1896. The updated edition received two positive reviews. Only one objection was voiced that the author admitted a priority of the art of the ancient world compared to the Islamic architecture36. The other reviewer was Josef Strzygowski37. Firstly, he drew the picture of the desolate situation of Arab art research, even Japanese and Mexican art were better explored than the Arab art. And secondly, he thanked Franz for putting pen to paper speaking from his own experiences as architect in Egypt’s service for twenty-eight years. He adds that the fact that it had needed a second edition would show the great demand. The new edition was now much more extended, especially the chapters concerning building materials and techniques. Illustrations with photographs and measuring views played the major part of the publication and were unsurpassed (ill. 6-7). Strzygowski’s concern with Franz’ manual has to be regarded as a milestone in Islamic art history. At the time, Strzygowski started to include Islamic art history into his field of research presumably because he felt that its research was still a vast unknown field. In the summer term of 1899 he had given his first lecture about “Christian and Muhammedan art in Asia Minor” at Graz University, followed then by “Egypt (Christian and Arabic monuments)” in 1903/4, and “Islamic art” in 1907/838. Later Stryzgowski became the head of the Art History Institute of Vienna University. In 1911 Diez became an assistant of Strzygowski and shared the opinion of his teacher about Franz-Pasha being the senior figure of German Islamic art history. In this way Franz had a wide ranging and significant impact on the historians of the Vienna school of Islamic art over decades. In this context it does not astonish that Franz bequeathed his library to the Vienna institute. Franz left for Graz after having retired. In 1904 he became honorary doctor of its university. This university has given rise to new scholarship on Islamic history by an award dedicated to Dr. Julius Franz-Pascha from 1917 to 1944 in order to encourage studies in the field of Islamic art.

23Franz-Pasha is understood more as a practitioner than as a theoretician. He is to be regarded as German Islamic art “Nestor” as Diez refers to him. The term “Islamic” was used for the first time when he headed his most famous book Die Baukunst des Islam in 1887. Later “Islamic” was accepted in the Vienna school by Strzygowski, Diez, and others, either in their lectures or in their publications. In addition the Strzygowski scholar Diez participated in the preparations for the biggest exhibition for Islamic art ever organized in Munich in 1910. The exhibition was entitled: „Meisterwerke der Islamischen Kunst“ (Islamic masterpieces). Officially, Islamic art objects have been covered by a religious aspect rather than by a racial one. The term “Islamic” has been worldwide taken for granted and had more or less substituted “Arab”.

24The Manual’s influence on architects and monument conservators has been great as much as its influence on scientists and scholars. It was supposed to be a reference book for architects and engineers more than for librarians. Die Baukunst des Islam is indeed an architectural manual even making possible the creation of new and significant Islamic buildings. Franz himself was involved in creating modern Islamic buildings such as the celebrated Kiosk on al-Gazira island (ill. 3-4). The building theory of his publication is historical, scientific, and devoid of deliberate racism, based on historical materials and techniques. His methodical approach is a common one today but has to be considered pioneering in his time.

Notes

1  See www.gtg.tu-berlin.de. Accessed on November 17, 2015 (Society for Technical History): one volume of the Manual of Architecture was implemented in a Wiki moderation system: the digital implementation without comments/context was only useful for the already informed user; the uninformed user could misinterpret the data.

2  Egyptian 19th century standard reference ‘Ali Mubarak, Al-Khitat al-Tawfiqiyya al-jadida li-Misr al-Qahira wa Muduniha wa Biladiha al-qadima wal-Shahira,20 volumes (Bulaq 1304/06; quoted edition from al-Qahira: Dar al-Kutub, 1969) vol. 1, p. 212, records Franz as an Austrian. In secondary sources this information is often repeated, see for instance Mohamed Scharabi, Kairo. Stadt und Architektur im Zeitalter des europäischen Kolonialismus, Tübingen: E. Wasmuth, 1989, p. 83.

3  See for example the marriage registration of Julius Franz and his second wife Olga Lautner, mentioning that the architect was born in 25.08.1831 in Springen, Great Nassau, as son of the forest ranger Wilhelm Franz, Archive of the German Protestant church in Cairo.

4  See Julius Frantz, Régis de Curel, “Cirque du Caire,” Revue générale de l’Architecture et des Travaux publics, no.27, 1869, p. 276, plate 54; H. Frantz-Bey (variation in Julius Franz spelling), “Cairo’s Neubauten,” Zeitschrift fur praktische Baukunst, no.31, 1871, p. 193-198, 325-330, plates 21-22, 35-36: the author refers to himself as “Ober-Baudirektor des Khedive” reflecting his rank in the hierarchy of public servants in the field of civil engineering. Members of the architect Diebitsch’ staff describe him as court architect, compare C. Ohnesorge, Orientalische Skizzen. Unsers Vaters Erinnerungen an sein Arbeiten und Wandern im Orient 1863-65 zu seinem siebzigsten Geburtstag, dem 17.07.1908, without statement of place 1908, 66, and W. Rose, letter 10. 12. 1863. Rose’s letters are owned as copies by his daughter Elisabeth Reinbrecht, the mother of Dorothea v. Lübke. He was born in Gandersheim in 1842 and worked as engineering assistant for the Lauchhammer foundry.

5  Julius Frantz, op. cit.(note 4), p. 194.

6  Amin Sami, Taqwim al-Nil (al-Qahira: Matba’at al-Amiriyya 1936), vol. 3, part 2, 929 and vol. 3, part. 3, 1287, where Sami writes that only one German named Franz Bek (or Bey as title of honour) was able to take the educational burden among 321 foreign teachers refering to files of the Department of Education from 1292/1875 to 1936. Mercedes Volait, L’architecture moderne en Égypte et la revue Al-Imara 1939-1959, Le Caire : Cedej, 1988 (Dossier 4), p. 23 and footnote 9, identifies architecture as an autonomous discipline in Egypt with the 1886 reorganised Polytechnic Institute into the École d’irrigation et d’architecture in Cairo, but mentions also, that Franz gave architectural lectures there even before that date.

7  ‘Abd al-Rahman Zaki, Mawsu'at madinat al-Qahira fi alf 'Amm. Concise Encyclopaedia of the city of Cairo, al-Qahira, 1389 [1969], p. 170.

8  Amin Sāmi, op. cit. (note 6), vol. 3, part 2, p. 923.

9  Elke Pflugradt-Abdel Aziz, “La Cité d’Helwan en Égypte et son fondateur Wilhelm Reil-bey,” Revue du Monde Musulman et de la Méditerranée (REMMM), vol.73, no. 1; 1994, p. 259-279. URL: http://www.persee.fr/doc/remmm_0997-1327_1994_num_73_1_1681. Accessed on November 17, 2015.

10  Ludwig Borchardt, “Franz Pascha”, Zentralblatt der Bauverwaltung, no.35, 1915, p. 220.

11 Ibid.

12  Georg Ebers, Das Alte in Kairo und in der arabischen Kultur seiner Bewohner, Breslau: Schöttlander, 1882 (Deutsche Bücherei, 2, 11).

13  Franz to Ebers, Wiesbaden, 11.9.1885; Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Staatsbibliothek, Manuscript Department, Literary Estate of Georg Ebers 21, Franz Pascha.

14  Franz to Ebers, Wiesbaden, 11.09.1885.

15  Franz to Ebers, 28.11.1885.

16  Franz to Ebers, Cairo, 20.09.1873.

17  Franz to Ebers, Cairo 17.10.1873.

18  Franz to Ebers, 01.06.1874.

19  Franz to Ebers, Cairo, 10.07.1875.

20  Franz to Ebers, 1877 (?).

21  Franz to Ebers, 1873 (?): “… My work for Baedeker has made progress so far. I have to read and to study much more than I have expected before I start writing, One believes to know so many things, but in case of putting it down you must overcome and eliminate these insecurities and scruples related to your work, or issues of translations, or even field investigation. However, this work is going to be a preliminary study of a large work.

22  Franz to Ebers, Cairo, 19.12.1894.

23  Oleg Grabar, “What does ‘Arab painting’ mean?,” in Anna Contadini (ed.), Arab Painting. Text and image in illustrated Arabic manuscripts, Leiden: Brill, 2007 (Handbuch der Orientalistik, Erste Abteilung, Nahe und der Mittlere Osten, Bd. 90), p. 20.

24  Julius Franz-Pascha, Die Baukunst des Islam, 2nd edition (Darmstadt: Handbuch der Architektur, 1896), vol. II, 3.2, p. 8.

25  Julius Franz-Pascha, “Studie über Namen und Entstehung der Kunst der Völker des Islams”, Monatschrift für den Orient, Wien, 1894, p. 73.

26  Ernst Diez, Die Kunst der islamischen Völker, Berlin-Neubalelsberg: Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft Athenaion, 1915 (Handbuch der Kunstwissenschaft, 33) : “Als Nestor der deutschen Forschung auf dem Gebiet der islamischen Kunst verehren wir Franz Pascha, der viele Jahre als Regierungs-Architekt in Kairo tätig war und mit seinem Handbuch Die Baukunst des Islam, das die wichtigsten damals bekannten Denkmaler als Bautypen zusammenfasste, der weiteren Forschung erste Anregung gab.”

27  Translated by Oleg Grabar, op. cit. (note 23), p. 20.

28  Julius Franz-Pascha, Die Baukunst des Islam, op. cit. (note 24), p. 11.

29 Ibid., 11.

30 Ibid., 76.

31  Franz to Ebers, 20.09.1873.

32  Julius Franz-Pascha, op. cit. (note 25), p. 74.

33 Ibid., 74.

34  Ernst Diez, op. cit. (note 26)

35  Robert Hillenbrand, Islamic Architecture: form, function, and meaning, New York: Columbia University Press, 1994.

36  H., Deutsche Bauzeitung, no. 31, 1897, p. 271.

37  Josef Strzygowski, Dt. Literaturzeitung, no. 21, 1897, p. 848-849.

38  Gabriele Anna Reisenauer, Josef Strzygowski und die islamische Kunst, Master of Arts degree, Universität Wien, Wien, 2008, p. 82. URL: http://othes.univie.ac.at/917/1/2008-08-18_9105823.pdf. Accessed on November 17, 2015.

Table des illustrations

Titre 1. Julius Franz-Pasha, photograph.
Crédits Source: Author's collection.
URL http://inha.revues.org/docannexe/image/4897/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 108k
Titre 2. Front page of J. Franz-Pascha, Die Baukunst des Islam, Darmstadt, 1896, II, 3.2.
Crédits Source: Author's collection.
URL http://inha.revues.org/docannexe/image/4897/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 536k
Titre 3a. Palace of al-Gazira, photograph by Bonfils.
Crédits Source: Paris (France), Bibliothèque nationale de France, département des Estampes et de la Photographie.
URL http://inha.revues.org/docannexe/image/4897/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 336k
Titre 3b. Palace of al-Gazira, photograph by Bonfils.
Crédits Source: Paris (France), Bibliothèque nationale de France, département des Estampes et de la Photographie.
URL http://inha.revues.org/docannexe/image/4897/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 376k
Titre 3c. Kiosk of al-Gazira, photograph by Bonfils.
Crédits Source: Paris (France), Bibliothèque nationale de France, département des Estampes et de la Photographie.
URL http://inha.revues.org/docannexe/image/4897/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 348k
Titre 3d. Kiosk of al-Gazira, photograph by Bonfils.
Crédits Source: Paris (France), Bibliothèque nationale de France, département des Estampes et de la Photographie.
URL http://inha.revues.org/docannexe/image/4897/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 316k
Titre 4. Kiosk von Gezireh [Gazira], Cairo.
Crédits Source: J. Frant-Bey (variation in Julius Franz spelling), “Cairo's Neubauten”, Zeitschrift für praktische Baukunst, 31, 1871, p. 193-198, p. 325-330, plate 22.
URL http://inha.revues.org/docannexe/image/4897/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 564k
Titre 5. Book cover of Karl Baedeker, Ägypten und der Sudân. Handbuch für Reisende. 6. Auflage. Leipzig, Verlag von Karl Baedeker, 1906, including 38 maps, 59 floor plans, and 57 vignettes.
URL http://inha.revues.org/docannexe/image/4897/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 976k
Titre 6a. Plate from J. Franz Pascha, Die Baukunst des Islam, Darmstadt, 1896, II, 3.2, fig. 48-49.
URL http://inha.revues.org/docannexe/image/4897/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 728k
Titre 6b. Plate from J. Franz Pascha, Die Baukunst des Islam, Darmstadt, 1896, II, 3.2, fig. 104 à 107.
URL http://inha.revues.org/docannexe/image/4897/img-10.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 448k
Titre 7a. Plate from J. Franz Pascha; Die Baukunst des Islam, Darmstadt, 1896, II, 3.2, fig. 81.
Crédits Source: Author's collection.
URL http://inha.revues.org/docannexe/image/4897/img-11.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 908k
Titre 7b. Plate from J. Franz Pascha; Die Baukunst des Islam, Darmstadt, 1896, II, 3.2, fig. 82.
URL http://inha.revues.org/docannexe/image/4897/img-12.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 953k

Pour citer cet article

Référence papier

Elke Pflugradt-Abdel Aziz, « Julius Franz-Pasha’s Die Baukunst des Islam (Islamic architecture) of 1887 as part of the Manual of Architecture », in Le Caire dessiné et photographié au XIXe siècle, Paris, Picard (« Collection D'une rive l'autre »), 2013, p. 297-310.

Référence électronique

Elke Pflugradt-Abdel Aziz, « Julius Franz-Pasha’s Die Baukunst des Islam (Islamic architecture) of 1887 as part of the Manual of Architecture », in Le Caire dessiné et photographié au XIXe siècle, Paris, Picard (« Collection D'une rive l'autre »), 2013, [En ligne], mis en ligne le 02 février 2017, consulté le 24 avril 2017. URL : http://inha.revues.org/4897

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Elke Pflugradt-Abdel Aziz

Docteur ès lettres, spécialiste de l’architecture orientaliste.

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