Back to the menu
Back to the files menu
Debate and controversy surrounding the Eiffel Tower

In an interview in the newspaper Le Temps of February 14 1887, Eiffel gave a reply to the artists' protest, neatly summing up his artistic doctrine.

A Caricature of Gustave Eiffel

"For my part I believe that the Tower will possess its own beauty.

Are we to believe that because one is an engineer, one is not preoccupied by beauty in one's constructions, or that one does not seek to create elegance as well as solidity and durability ? Is it not true that the very conditions which give strength also conform to the hidden rules of harmony ? (...) Now to what phenomenon did I have to give primary concern in designing the Tower ? It was wind resistance. Well then ! I hold that the curvature of the monument's four outer edges, which is as mathematical calculation dictated it should be (...) will give a great impression of strength and beauty, for it will reveal to the eyes of the observer the boldness of the design as a whole. Likewise the many empty spaces built into the very elements of construction will clearly display the constant concern not to submit any unnecessary surfaces to the violent action of hurricanes, which could threaten the stability of the edifice. Moreover there is an attraction in the colossal, and a singular delight to which ordinary theories of art are scarcely applicable".


Home page - Français - Anglais