Influences in Europe

The echo of Luther's theses and especially of his condemnation of monastic life was soon heard abroad. Denmark proclaimed 'freedom of conscience' in 1527, and the Ecclesiastical

Appointments Act of 1534 struck a final blow to the administrative and disciplinary links between the Danish church and the pope. In Sweden, ecclesiastical property and land that the king considered 'superfluous' was to be handed over to the Crown. In 1524, the Council of Zurich dissolved religious houses, setting their revenues apart for education or social improvement programmes. In France mediaeval buildings suffered damage, especially during the conflicts with the Huguenots in the early seventeenth century, and the Italian Renaissance had an effect on the treatment of mediaeval structures. Philibert de l'Orme, however, recommended transformation instead of destruction. On the other hand, as in other parts of Europe, mediaeval traditions survived under a classical appearance, and there were many cases where Gothic forms were still applied in religious buildings, as in the Cathedral of Sainte-Croix at Orleans, which was completed in Gothic form only in the eighteenth century. The Abbey of Saint-Maixent, destroyed by the Huguenots, was rebuilt by the Benedictines towards the end of the seventeenth century; the cloister was made in a classical style, while the church was rebuilt in its original mediaeval form. In Germanic countries, where building in the Gothic style survived long into the seventeenth century, the conflict with Classicism was felt only in the eighteenth century.

As a part of the reform of monasteries in England, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey ordered the suppression of religious houses, especially those under foreign administration. In conflict with the pope, who opposed his intended marriage, Henry VIII declared himself the supreme head of the Church of England in 1534. In the following year he appointed a commission under Thomas Cromwell to report on the state of the monasteries, and an act was passed for the suppression of all those with a revenue of less than £200 a year. This resulted in iconoclasm and the destruction of anything that savoured of monastic life. The monastery of Durham lost first its smaller cells, and then the king's commissioners confiscated all its riches accumulated during centuries. Although it was refounded in 1541 as the Cathedral Church of Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary, the destruction continued; carvings were defaced, brasses removed, stained glass smashed, water stoups and memorial stones destroyed as idolatry. Even the lead of the roof was sold by the dean for his own personal profit. Nevertheless Durham survived relatively well, while dozens of other abbeys, such as St Mary's in York, Rievaulx, Fountains, and Roche in Yorkshire, or Tintern in Wales, were either completely or partially demolished. Building materials were sold or stolen, and the ruins were abandoned until they were later rediscovered for their 'picturesque' and 'sublime' values.

An attempt to give some protection to churches was made in 1560 by Queen Elizabeth I, daughter of Henry VIII, who issued a proclamation 'Agaynst breakyng or defacing of Monumentes' set up in churches and other public buildings. The damage to ecclesiastical buildings continued, however, and was later even intensified, particularly during the civil war in the 1640s. Another reason for the transformation and destructive treatment of existing buildings was the introduction of Classicism into England. In 1613 Lord Arundel and the architect Inigo Jones left England for a tour in Italy - the first to collect antiquities, the second to study architecture and to advise him. With this tour the two Englishmen started a trend that was followed by others, especially in the eighteenth century. Inigo Jones described his ambitions: 'Being naturally inclined in my younger years to study the Arts of Designe, I passed into forrain parts to converse with the great Masters thereof in Italy; where I applied my self to search out the ruines of those ancient Buildings, which in despight of Time it self, and violence of Barbarians are yet remaining. Having satisfied my self in these, and returning to my native Country, I applied my minde more particularly to the study of Architecture' (Jones, 1655:1).

Through his projects, Jones introduced Palladianism into England, becoming the first major interpreter of classical architecture in his country. The results of his Italian studies were to be seen in his designs for masques, and, in a quite different way, in the study of Stone-henge, the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age monument in southern England from the second millennium BC. The study was commissioned by the king in 1620 due to Jones' experience as an architect and his knowledge of antiquities abroad. There was, however, no knowledge of monuments of this period, and Jones made an attempt to explain the rings of huge stones as the remains of a Roman temple

- said to have been originally built in the 'Tuscan order', which he illustrated with a reconstruction drawing.

In 1620, Inigo Jones took part in a commission for the old Norman Cathedral Church of St Paul's in London. He made proposals, which led to the building's transformation into classical form with Italianized windows and a much praised portico, 1632-42. During the Civil War, in 1643, the works were interrupted, and the church was converted into soldiers' barracks. Much damage was caused to the portico, and during the following Commonwealth (1649-60) the building was brought to a pitiable state: a considerable part of the roof collapsed and the vaults with it. The land around the church was sold to speculators who started erecting houses right up against its walls. Iconoclasm was again awakened in order to destroy the images of popery, and losses could be counted especially in stained glass windows. Similarly many castles were also destroyed for political reasons or converted to other purposes.

In 1663, three years after the Restoration, a commission was appointed to examine the situation of St Paul's. In the same year Christopher Wren (1632-1723) was engaged to survey the cathedral, and he proposed the construction of a massive Classical dome over the crossing. In 1666, in the Fire of London, St Paul's was so badly damaged that it was decided to build a new cathedral on the old site

- a task which resulted in the construction of Wren's great Baroque masterpiece. At the same time, he presented an ambitious plan for the rebuilding of London, and built or supervised the design of 52 new churches. These replaced former mediaeval churches, and were designed in a great variety; most were classical in manner, but still followed Gothic forms in their plans, towers and steeples. Although Wren was the major representative of Classicism in England and sometimes severely critical of mediaeval buildings for their inadequate foundations and structural deficiencies, he showed respect for mediaeval buildings. This had practical consequences in his work as the Surveyor of Westminster Abbey (1698-1722) as well as in reports and repairs on other mediaeval buildings in London, Chichester, Oxford and Salisbury. His report of 1668 on the survey of Salisbury Cathedral is an excellent example of this. Having described the structure and its problems, he continues:

The whole Church is vaulted with Chalk between Arches and Cross-springers only, after the ancien-ter Manner, without Orbs and Tracery, excepting under the Tower, where the Springers divide, and represent a wider Sort of Tracery; and this appears to me to have been a later Work, and to be done by some other Hand than that of the first Architect, whose Judgement I must justly commend for many Things, beyond what I find in divers Gothick Fabricks of later Date, which, tho' more elaborated with nice and small Works, yet want the natural Beauty which arises from the Proportion of the first Dimensions. For here the Breadth to the Height of the Navis, and both to the Shape of the Ailes bear a good Proportion. The Pillars and the Intercolumnations (or Spaces between Pillar and Pillar) are well suited to the Height of the Arches, the Mouldings and decently mixed with large Planes without an Affectation of filling every Corner with Ornaments, which, unless they are admirably good, glut the Eye, as much as in Musick, too much Division the Ears. The Windows are not made too great, nor yet the Light obstructed with many Mullions and Transomes of Tracery-work; which was the ill Fashion of the next following Age: our Artist knew better, that nothing could add Beauty to Light, he trusted to a stately and rich Plainness, that his Marble Shafts gave to his Work. (Wren, 1750/1965:304)

At Westminster Abbey, Wren proposed the completion of the interrupted western towers adhering to Gothic, like the rest of the building. After his death, the project was taken over by Nicholas Hawksmoor (1661-1736), his greatest pupil and colleague, and completed after 1734. Hawksmoor developed a personal version of the Baroque style in his churches and houses, but he also worked in a Gothic style on All Souls College at Oxford. Although aware of various problems in the old mediaeval fabric at All Souls College, he appreciated the good and solid workmanship of this architecture, and reported:

I must ask leave to say something in favour of ye Old Quadrangle, built by your most Revd.

Figure 2.10 A Representation of the North Front of the Great Cross Isle of Beverley Minster which over hung four feet beyond the Base & was brought back into its place by means of the Timber Framing here described' by John Yenn after N. Hawksmoor (1774). (In the collection of Derek Linstrum)

Figure 2.9 Westminster Abbey before its completion at the end of the seventeenth century. (The Dean and Chapter of Durham)

Figure 2.10 A Representation of the North Front of the Great Cross Isle of Beverley Minster which over hung four feet beyond the Base & was brought back into its place by means of the Timber Framing here described' by John Yenn after N. Hawksmoor (1774). (In the collection of Derek Linstrum)

founder, for altho it may have some faults yet it is not without virtues. This building is Strong and durable, much more Firm than any of your new buildings because they have not ye Substance nor Workmanship, and I am confident that much conveniency and beauty may be added to it, whereas utterly destroying or barbarously altering or mangleing it, wou'd be useing ye founder cruelly, and a loss to ye present possessours.16

He proposed to keep the old structures as complete as possible, and to do the necessary additions or alterations carefully, and he continued: 'What I am offering at in this article is for the preservation of Antient durable Publick Buildings, that are Strong and usfull, instead of erecting new fantasticall perishable Trash, or altering and Wounding ye Old by unskillful knavish Workmen.' Hawksmoor's contribution to the consolidation of Beverley Minster should be recorded as a highly significant work in the early eighteenth century. In order to conserve the leaning centre part of the north transept elevation, an ingenious machinery of timber structure was built to push it back to a vertical position. To make this possible, vertical cuts were made in the masonry, and rebuilt afterwards. For this work Hawksmoor also prepared an appeal for the collection of funds in 1716. Hawksmoor is an expression of English dualism, almost in a pre-Ruskinian sense; although an architect with a classical training, he accepted the survival of a Gothic manner of building.17

Since the times of Theodoric the Great, Scandinavia had been regarded as the place of origin of the Goths. But although they were thus given the blame for having destroyed Rome, the Scandinavians kept close contacts with the pope. Brigitta, later a saint, arrived in Rome for the Jubileum of 1350, and later founded the Brigittine Order in Sweden. In the sixteenth century, when Gustav Vasa declared Sweden Protestant, the Catholic Bishop Olaus

Magnus came to live in exile in Rome and wrote the first history of the northern people. A century later, architect Jean de la Vallée, who was trained in Rome, was the first to bring Roman architecture to Sweden, where he built a copy of the Arch of Constantine for the coronation of Queen Christina in succession to her father, Gustavus Adolphus, in 1650. Christina later came to live in Rome where she had a collection of antiquities; Bellori and after him Bartoli worked as her librarians.

The first antiquarian studies on old documents, objects, treasures, and 'rune stones' started in Sweden in the sixteenth century. Gustavus Adolphus (1594-1632) supported these studies, including inventory tours, and, in the 1630s, State Antiquaries were nominated for the country. On 18 December 1666, Hedewig Eleonora signed, on behalf of the young Charles XI (1655-97), an Antiquities Ordinance, the first of its kind outside Italy. (Schuck, 1932:268f).

This Ordinance provided protection for antiquities and monuments, however insignificant, if they contributed to the memory of a historic event, person, place or family of the country, and especially of kings and other nobles. The protected objects could be either movable, such as coins and rune stones, or immovable, such as churches, convents, castles, forts, ancient tombs, or man-made earthworks, even if only partially remaining. In case someone caused damage to such objects, he was ordered to restore it to its former state. Seeing Rome as an example, the Ordinance reflected Sweden's desire to be considered a 'great empire'. The effect of this antiquarian interest, however, was felt mainly in archaeological and academic research. A new institute was founded in 1668 for antiquarian studies related to Swedish history; this Collegium Antiquitatum became the Archives of Antiquities in 1692. In the eighteenth century, these activities declined, and the collected study material was deposited at the National Record Office and the Royal Library.

While the Italian Renaissance established the foundations for the modern world, it also anticipated modern conservation movements. One of the important issues from this period related to the new concept of history, which recognized the remains of the ancient Rome as an important heritage. However, this was not limited only to classical antiquity but the period also started sensitizing especially northern countries, such as England and Sweden, about their own national heritage. Another question was the emphasis on artistic value. While still referring to Platonic concepts, the work of art gained a new appreciation after the Middle Ages, and the work of Renaissance artists became a fundamental reference in the following centuries. This period initiated the restoration of ancient monuments and works of art; the practice was continued and the principles further defined, especially in the eighteenth century.

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