Louis-Théodore Liman
(Berlin 1788 – 1820 Alexandria)

Design for a secular basilica building.

c. 1812-14

verso numbered No. 53 and designated Liman (crossed), L.D. and C. De Paix.

Lead pencil and watercolor on paper; watermark: D.&.C.Blau IV; sheet: 431 x 237mm; image: 382 x 190mm

The numbering and the designation on the back identify the sheet as a competition design by Louis-Théodore Liman at the Ecole d’Architecture in Paris. Liman became pupil of Charles Percier (1764-1838) in 1812 and won several first-class prizes at the academy. The Museum Kassel owns 10 contemporary designs by him, which bear comparable designations. The monogram L.D. most probably stands for the architect Léon Dufourny (1754-1818), who was a professor at the Ecole d’Architecture.

Liman was the son of the Jewish merchant and banker Abraham Nathan Liebmann (1767-1837), who baptized himself and his family in 1809 and adopted the name Carl August Liman. Louis-Théodore attended the French Gymnasium in Berlin, then made there a education as a master builder. In 1814, after studying in Paris, he went on a Grand Tour trip to Italy. In 1819 he returned to Berlin, where he became a professor at the building academy. He was commissioned to accompany the expedition of Heinrich Menu von Minutoli (1772-1846) to Egypt as an architect and draftsman. Already at the beginning of the journey, on December 11, 1820, Liman died in Alexandria as a result of illness.

Bibliography: Nouvelle biographie générale. Vol. 31. Paris, 1860. (col. 235-236); Biographie universelle, ancienne et moderne ou histoire. Vol 72. Paris, 1843. (pp. 12-15); Journal des voyages, découvertes et navigations modernes. Vol 12. Paris, 1821. (pp. 117-119); E.A.Delaire – Les architectes élèves de l’Ecole des beaux-arts. Paris, 1907. (p. 330); G. Fenner, M.C. Härtel and U. Hanschke – Bestandskatalog der Architekturzeichnungen des 17.-20. Jahrhunderts. Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel, 2004ff. L GS 15216ff. (online)