The centrality of cats—and the act of drawing cats—to the nineteenth-century architect Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc’s modus operandi as an architectural theorist and restorer is evident from the beginning to the very end of his career. He took great pleasure in interacting with cats, observing their habits, and learning from their supple, graceful movements. In Chatography, Aron Vinegar studies the Château de Pierrefonds, restored in the mid-nineteenth century by Viollet-le-Duc, and argues that the crucial issues at stake in Viollet-le-Duc’s understanding of restoration may be gleaned from his drawings of cats and war machines that demonstrate an interest in movement, unruly forces, and affect, rather than equilibrium and balance. This reading enables us to question the prevalent understanding of Viollet-le-Duc as a structural rationalist, and to appreciate the complex relation between architecture and representation.

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