Viollet, best known for his sometimes controversial restorations, was separately a highly influential architectural theorist, strongly informing the ideas of Gaudí, Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright. Sainte-Beuve knew him as a teenager, as did Stendhal, visitors to his mother’s salon. Viollet and Mérimée also first met this way. Mérimée put many commissions in Viollet’s hands; together they became responsible for saving significant parts of France’s architectural heritage. Bartholdi, one of Viollet’s former students, sought his advice on the structure of the Statue of Liberty (the repoussé copper skin was his suggestion).