The enigmatic term néo-grec, attached to the architecture and architectural thinking of mid-nineteenth-century France, seems to have been born in Germany. There, in the first years of the century, neugriechisch was used to describe the Byzantine-influenced Romanesque architecture of the Rhineland. Ludovic Vitet, soon to be named Inspecteur général des Monuments historiques, learned about this terminology in 1829, when he toured Germany and met with Sulpiz Boisserée, the antiquarian who had invented it. Vitet translated the term and took it home, along with the romantic view of history that it embodied.
- Copyright 1991 The Society of Architectural Historians