Joseph Addison

Close to the circle of Shaftesbury was the gifted essayist and poet Joseph Addison. Like Shaftesbury, Addison devoted much of his life to politics and political writings, but beginning in 1709 he became active with his friend and former classmate, Richard Steele, in founding the semipolitical journal Tatler. When this enterprise folded in 1711, Addison and Steele combined to start the daily journal The Spectator, which ran only from March 1711 to December 1712. Despites the brevity of its run,...

From An Attempt to Discriminate the Styles of English Architecture 1817

Almost simultaneous with the historical efforts of Moller was the work of the British architect Thomas Rickman. A man of many professional starts and fits, Rickman first worked as a chemist, physician, businessman, and insurance broker before turning his attention to architecture in 1812. Following the creation of the Church Building Commission in 1818, his talents as a designer of Gothic churches would be much in demand, but his essential historical contribution to the Gothic Revival lies...

From Architecture in the United States 1844

The Greek Revival in America began to experience a rather precipitous decline in the 1840s, as opposition formed along three main fronts (1) the Gothic revivalists influenced in particular by developments in England (2) the Rundbogen or ''rounded-arch'' architects who were emigrating from Germany and (3) those who simply insisted that America should develop its own style, suited to the uniquely American climate, culture, and democratic form of government. The New Englander Arthur Gilman, later...

Robert Morris

From Lectures on Architecture (1736) By the 1730s the new English garden movement was clearly taking shape. The first significant representative of the new trend was William Kent (1685-1748), a painter whom Lord Burlington had lured back from Italy in 1715. During the mid-1720s Kent was commissioned by Burlington to write a book on Inigo Jones, and by the end of this decade he was assisting Burlington in redesigning his own garden. Kent would also turn to architecture (as a classicist) in the...

David Hume

Least internal disorder, disturbs their motion, and confounds the operation of the whole machine. When we would make an experiment of this nature, and would try the force of any beauty or deformity, we must choose with care a proper time and place, and bring the fancy to a suitable situation and disposition. A perfect serenity of mind, a recollection of thought, a due attention to the object if any of these circumstances be wanting our experiment will be fallacious, and we shall be unable to...

From A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening 1841

Concomitant with the architectural discussions taking place within Emerson's Concord Circle were the not-unrelated ideas of Andrew Jackson Downing. Although his life was precipitously cut short by a drowning accident, Downing's influence on the American architectural profession was nothing less than momentous. Born to a niece of John Quincy Adams, the sixth President of the United States, Downing left school at the age of 16 to join the family nursery in the town of Newburgh, New York. In 1837...

From The Book of Suger Abbot of Saint Denis c1144

The onetime village of Saint-Denis (now a part of Paris) holds a particularly important place within architectural history because it is the birthplace of Gothic architecture. The rebuilding of this Carolingian pilgrimage church (originally founded in the late eighth century) is owed to the efforts of Abbot Suger (1081-1151). The church was a shrine to the spiritual apostle of France, and for this reason Charlemagne and his son Pepin, establishing a precedent, were crowned there as kings. It...

From The Four Elements of Architecture 1851

The earlier selections from the Semper essay on polychromy (see chapters 134 and 138 above) represented the architect at the very beginning of his career. By 1851 Semper's situation had transformed itself in every which way. In 1834, in part due to his essay on polychromy, he was appointed a professor of architecture at the Dresden Academy of Fine Art. Shortly thereafter he launched a very successful architectural career, beginning with his much-applauded design for the Dresden Royal Theater...

From The History of the Modern Taste in Gardening 1771

Another early theorist of the picturesque garden was Horace Walpole, who was certainly one of the more interesting figures of the eighteenth century. The fifth son of the first Earl of Oxford (Robert Walpole), he was blessed with education, inherited wealth, and a parliamentary career, but his true passions were his literary endeavors and the continual refurbishing of his country estate. In 1748 he purchased a small house in Twickenham, which he named Strawberry Hill, and began a series of...

From The Hunchback of Notre Dame 1832

An avid onlooker to the rebellious proceedings at the French Academy in Rome was the Romantic novelist Victor Hugo. The writer had long opposed the vestiges of classicism in France and he, like many of his generation, was an enthusiast for Gothic architecture. The outlet for his beliefs was his novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, which he started in 1828. After some delays and under a tight deadline, Hugo submitted the novel to the publisher in mid-January 1831, but with some missing chapters....

From The Nature of Gothic 18513

The Stones of Venice - whatever one's view of Ruskin's ideas - is without question one of the few great books in all of architectural literature. After completing the Seven Lamps in 1849, Ruskin traveled to Venice, a city that had just experienced a 16-month siege by Austrian forces. Martial law was in effect, cholera and starvation were prevalent. Ruskin arrived oblivious to the dangers and on a mission to record every detail of every Byzantine and Gothic building of the threatened city. Here...

From The Principles of Hellinic and Germanic Ways of Building 1846

Metzger's essay of the previous year was probably the stimulus for what was arguably the most important writing in German theory in the first half of the nineteenth century - a commemorative address delivered in Berlin in 1846. Its speaker was long associated with Schinkel and the Berlin educational system. In the 1820s he had studied at an industrial-arts school and his early interests lay with ornamentation and textiles. After teaching at various of these schools, Botticher was appointed by...

From The Ruins of the Most Beautiful Monuments of Greece 1758

After presenting his historical account and providing some general background on the founding of Athens and the Acropolis, Le Roy presents an engraving of the Parthenon, which he calls the Temple of Minerva - the last the Latin name for the Greek goddess Athena. The engraving shows this building from the side, lying amid debris and overgrown vegetation, with its center columns and cella walls destroyed by Venetian canons. What are still present, at least on the parts of the entablature still...

From The Seven Lamps of Architecture 1849

The British architectural debate of the early 1840s began to take on an entirely different character by the end of the decade, as the forces supporting classicism, the Gothic, the Renaissance, eclecticism, and the creation of an entirely new style now clashed in a highly spirited and for the most part quite sophisticated debate. Perhaps the most prominent figure to emerge during this decade was John Ruskin, a writer who would influence architectural theory in Britain and the United States like...

From Tract I on architecture mid1670s

Renaissance architecture in Britain in the second half of the seventeenth century is today synonymous with the name of Christopher Wren, who built upon the classicism of Jones. Wren was a man of commanding intelligence, having established his reputation in his early years as a classical scholar, mathematician, founding member of the Royal Society (of science), and as a professor of astronomy at Gresham College in London. His interest in architecture very much grew out of his scientific...

From Tracts II and IV on architecture mid1670s

Wren's classicism is clearly different from that of France and Italy. He opens ''Tract II,'' for instance, by warning against reducing architecture to ''too strick and pedantick'' rule-making, which (although essentially Vitruvian) opens the door to a cultural relativism that is similar to that allowed by Perrault. Also unclassical in Wren's thinking is his respect for the Gothic style, which may derive from his own use of this style in such works as Tom Tower, Christ Church, Oxford. Wren's...

General Principles of Architecture

It is the same in architecture as in all other arts its principles are founded on simple nature, and nature's process clearly indicates its rules. Let us look at man in his primitive state without any aid or guidance other than his natural instincts. He is in need of a place to rest. On the banks of a quietly flowing brook he notices a stretch of grass its fresh greenness is pleasing to his eyes, its tender down invites him he is drawn there and, stretched out at leisure on this sparkling...

George Berkeley

From the ''Third Dialogue'' of Alciphron (1732) The first sustained criticism of Hutcheson's position came from the pen of the Irishman George Berkeley, a Bishop in the Anglican Church of Ireland. Berkeley was a native of Kilkenny, a Fellow of Trinity College in Dublin, who first laid the ground for his idealist philosophical system (we know not the world but only our ideas of it) in Towards a New Theory of Vision (1709) and Principles of Human Knowledge (1710). While fully accepting Lockean...

Giovanni Battista Piranesi

From Opinions on Architecture (1765) The second part of Piranesi's published response of 1765 takes the form of a Socratic dialogue between the characters Protopiro (who represents the classical rigorists seeking to simplify and limit ornamentation) and Didascalo (the mouthpiece for Piranesi). It is a dialogue of the greatest importance to architectural theory because it opens up an entirely new line of theoretical development and reflects the crisis of academic theory in the 1760s a crisis...

Hl Edmund Burke

From A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757) As the title of Burke's book shows, the primary intention of his investigation is to elevate the notion of the ''sublime'' to an aesthetic category equal to the idea of the ''beautiful.'' This is, once again, an anticlassical approach to aesthetics from the start, in the sense that beauty is central to all classical conceptions of art. In Vitruvian theory, for instance, it was named as one of the three...

Humphry Repton

From Sketches and Hints on Landscape Gardening (1795) Shortly after Knight's Postscript had appeared, Repton responded to the attacks of Price and Knight with his Sketches and Hints on Landscape Gardening. The book, in fact, had been completed in manuscript form before the texts of the other two men had been published, but a delay by the artists who were preparing Repton's engravings had postponed the appearance of the book. Thus Repton had sat with manuscript in hand as he followed the attacks...

Natural Beauty

Good taste, which is becoming more prevalent throughout the world, had its origins under the skies of Greece. Every invention of foreign nations which was brought to Greece was, as it were, only a first seed that assumed new form and character here. We are told that Minerva chose this land, with its mild seasons, above all others for the Greeks in the knowledge that it would be productive of genius. The taste which the Greeks exhibited in their works of art was unique and has seldom been taken...

Noble Simplicity and Quiet Grandeur

The general and most distinctive characteristics of the Greek masterpieces are, finally, a noble simplicity and quiet grandeur, both in posture and expression. Just as the depths of the sea always remain calm however much the surface may rage, so does the expression of the figures of the Greeks reveal a great and composed soul even in the midst of passion. Such a soul is reflected in the face of Laocoon - and not in the face alone - despite his violent suffering. The pain is revealed in all the...

Jean Baptiste Du

From Critical Reflections on Poetry, Painting, and Music (1719) Although born in Beauvais and schooled in theology in Paris, the Abbe du Bos traveled widely within Europe and in fact met Locke while visiting England. He knew also the ideas of Shaftesbury and Addison, and like them he was a man of letters and critic of the arts. This book, first published in 1719 in France, was popular for a growing class of dilettanti for whom he attempted to serve as a guide to these matters. In his...

Juan Bautista Villalpando

Renaissance theory up to this point has been viewed largely as a secular phenomenon, but its biggest supporter in Italy had indeed been the Papacy, which quickly adopted the style as a mark of its universal ecclesiastical authority. What remained for sixteenth-century theory, then, was to forge a more compelling synthesis of classical theory with the biblical elements of the Christian religion. This was the task attempted by Juan Bautista Villalpando. This Spanish Jesuit was a native of...

Karl Von Schnaase

These few lines, drawn from a larger study, have an especial importance to German thought. They define the first - and quite precocious - attempt to analyze architecture through its spatial (hence perceptual) relationships. Hegel in his lectures, as we saw earlier (see chapter 160 above), made an allusion to the spatiality of Gothic architecture. Schnaase, quite independently, approaches the matter from a slightly different but crucial perspective. He sees medieval architecture as the...

Of the Antiquity and General Causes of the Decay of Architecture

As Architecture has no Limits nor Bounds to its Beauties, so likewise its Continuance hitherto has no Determination of Time affixed, from Records, to its Rise and Foundation. Should we trace it back to the suppos'd Time of its first Invention, should we search the greatest Writers of all Ages who have endeavour'd to clear this Point they so disagree in their Sentiments and Conjectures, that it will be impossible to discover the Certainty of the Time of its primitive Institution. But beyond...

Of the Disposition of Gardens in General

Batty Langley (1696-1751), from New Principles of Gardening (1728). Farnborough Gregg International Publishers, 1971 (facsimile edition), pp. 193-5. The End and Design of a good Garden, is to be both profitable and delightful wherein should be observed, that its Parts should be always presenting new Objects, which is a continual Entertainment to the Eye, and raises a Pleasure of Imagination. If the Gentlemen of England had formerly been better advised in the laying out their Gardens, we might...

Of the Doric Order

De Chambray, in his Parallel, gives three Profiles of the Doric Order one taken from the Theatre of Marcellus, and the others copied by Pietro Ligorio from various fragments of Antiquity, in and near Rome. Vignola's second Doric Profile bears a near resemblance to the most beautiful of these, and was not improbably collected from the same Antique which Ligorio copied though it must be owned that Vignola hath, in his composition, far exceeded the original having omitted the many trivial and...

P E T E R P A U L R U B E N S

From Preface to Palaces of Genoa (1622) As the Renaissance style and humanistic principles began to make their way northward in the sixteenth century, interpretations of its forms and meaning often differed from those in the south. The German Walther Ryff not only translated Vitruvius into German in 1548, but in a theoretical text of the preceding year he codified the formulas of Serlio and Cesariano. Hans Blum published the first of the northern column books'' in 1550, Von den funff Seulen (On...

The Battle of the Styles from The Builder 1860

By the end of the 1850s architects in Britain seem to have grown weary of the style debate. At least this can be inferred from this lecture given in London by Robert Kerr at an architectural exhibition of 1860, fittingly entitled ''The Battle of the Styles.'' The lecture itself was not published, but summary notes of the talk by one listener did appear in The Builder. Kerr was apparently very entertaining. He recounted, somewhat humorously, the stylistic revivals in Britain since ''English...

Third Earl of Shaftesbury from A Letter Concerning Design 1712

N 1711 Shaftesbury, who was dying of a respiratory illness, left England to spend the final months of his life in Naples. In a letter written to his friend Lord Somers, he made known in a more concrete way his views on the state of the arts and architecture. His negative reference to ''one single court-architect'' alludes to (the still-living) Wren, and it can be interpreted as Wren's dethronement within certain intellectual circles. Shaftesbury's equally negative reference to ''a new palace...

Third Earl of Shaftesbury from Characteristics of Men Manners Opinions Times 1711

Despite Wren's eclectic success in the second half of the seventeenth century, the stricter classicism of Jones did not entirely lose its following. Upon Jones's death in 1652 his drawings and library were passed on to his capable assistant John Webb (1611-72), who used them to carry out several Palladian designs in the 1650s and 1660s. Interest in Jones also remained high at Oxford, where Dr. Henry Aldrich (1648-1710), the Dean of Christ Church, and Dr. George Clarke (1661-1736), fellow at All...

Translators Preface to The Architecture of A Palladio 1715

Sometime in 1714 or early 1715 Leoni became aware of the project for Vitruvius Britannicus, and he feared that its focus on British architecture might hamper the sale of his own book. To strengthen his project, Leoni promised on the title page also to include annotations that Inigo Jones had made in his edition of Palladio's I quattro libri during his trip of 1613-14 - a promise he was unable to fulfill. Leoni was also interested is distancing his project from that of Campbell, and to this end...

From On Architecture Book 1 c25 bc

Vitruvius compiled his 10 books (actually scrolls) from a variety of sources, almost entirely Greek. We might therefore see him - like his contemporary Cicero - as a champion of a Greek revival that was prominent in the last years of the Roman Republic. This was a movement among the Roman intelligentsia, in all of the liberal arts, to assimilate and transpose concepts or terminology from Greek theory. The problem inherent in such a process of grafting, as Vitruvius's many interpreters have...

Prospectus for Morris Marshall Faulkner and Company 1861

F the style debate by 1860 had exhausted its possibilities, a new path of development was soon to open. In 1861 William Morris published his business Prospectus for ''Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Company, Fine Workmen in Painting, Carving, Furniture and the Metals.'' The Arts and Crafts movement was unofficially born. Morris was a charismatic figure. He was educated at Oxford in the first half of the 1850s and - inspired by Ruskin -contemplated a feudal brotherhood devoted to the arts. In...

From The Architecture of Country Houses 1850

By 1849 Downing was determined to become an architect, and in this capacity he approached Davis and proposed a partnership. The latter declined, and in July 1850 Downing - still the Anglophile - sailed to England specifically to find an architectural partner who would also immigrate to the United States. He found such a person in the young architect Calvert Vaux. Just before leaving for England, Downing completed the manuscript of The Architecture of Country Houses, his last and most...

Karl Botticher

The address of 1846 from which we cited passages earlier (chapter 169 above) was written within the context of the German style debate of the 1840s. But Botticher had earlier begun to devise a theoretical model that would have great significance for German architectural theory in the second half of the century. It was apparently during the late 1830s that Botticher - on the advice of Schinkel - began to explore the ornamental forms of Greek architecture with regard to their symbolic meaning,...

First Part

It is a grand and beautiful sight to see man emerge from obscurity somehow by his own efforts dissipate, by the light of his reason, the darkness in which nature had enveloped him rise above himself soar intellectually into celestial regions traverse with giant steps, like the sun, the vastness of the universe and - what is even grander and more difficult - come back to himself to study man and know his nature, his duties, and his end. All of these marvels have been revived in recent...

Edmund Burke

From A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757) The aesthetic development that can be traced through the writings of Addison, Hutcheson, and Hume comes to a head in this most important book of Edmund Burke, the Irish statesman, political writer, and essayist. This book appeared in 1757 only a few months after Hume's essay, and in fact Burke seems to have held back the introductory essay of his book, ''On Taste,'' until the second edition of 1759, in...

From Architecture Considered in Relation to Art Morals and Legislation 1804

Claude-Nicolas Ledoux was the most famous and indeed the most gifted architect of his generation. No one better represents the dynamic energy of this era, and no one more seriously challenged the boundaries of classicism in both built and visionary works. But his life and his career were not always filled with happy moments in fact he was arrested during the infamous Reign of Terror in 1793-4 and nearly lost his head on the guillotine. Forced into retirement after his release, he wrote this...

From The Symbolism of Churches and Church Ornaments 1286

Lattice Work Gothic Architecture

William Durandus was a prominent theorist of canon law in high Gothic times. Born in French Provence, he first studied law at Bologna before teaching canon law at Modena. He was next summoned to Rome by Clement IV, ordained, and given the titular canonries at Beauvais and Chartres. As the secretary to Gregory X, he accompanied him to the Second Council of Lyons in 1274 and later defended papal territories with armies against the Guelphs and Ghibellines. This defense led to his promotion as...

From Memoir on Architectural Proportions 1739

The first great architect of the Enlightenment in France was Jacques-Gabriel Soufflot. He was born near Auxerre, educated himself for the most part in Rome, and returned to Lyons to begin practice in 1738. During the 1740s his career prospered with commissions for several important buildings, among them the extension of the city's hospital, the Hotel Dieu 1739-48 . As a scholar, he also presented several papers to the Societe Royale des Beaux-Arts in Lyons. In general, Soufflot opposed the...

From Preliminary Discourse before the University College of London 1842

Donaldson was among the third contingent of British architects to visit Italy and Greece between 1818 and 1823, and he became a brilliant draftsman in recording his visions of the classical past. In 1834 he was the motivating force in the creation of the Institute of British Architects later Royal Institute of British Architects , which was committed to upgrading the profession of architecture. In his architectural practice - if we may judge from his competition design for the Royal...

Recommended Readings

Coldstream, Nicola, Medieval Architecture Oxford Oxford University Press, 2002 . Favro, Diane, The Urban Image of Augustan Rome New York Cambridge University Press, 1996 . Frankl, Paul revised by Paul Crossley , Gothic Architecture New Haven Yale University Press, 2001 . Hersey, George L., The Lost Meaning of Classical Architecture Cambridge, MA MIT Press, 1988 . Krautheimer, Richard, Early Christian and Byzantine Architecture Harmondsworth Penguin, 1979 . Kruft, Hanno-Walter, A History of...

From New Treatise on Architecture or the Art of Building 1706 1714

Jean-Louis de Cordemoy was the son of a Cartesian philosopher and historian, and a canon at the church of Saint Jean des Vignes in Soissons. He seems to have had no architectural training, which makes his architectural treatise the first one to be written by a layman. He admired Perrault's design for the Louvre, and was very Perraultian in his demand for the reform of church design - for using columns in church interiors instead of piers and arcades. In this first passage of the two passages...

From Preface to Parallel of the Ancients and the Moderns with Regard to the Arts and Sciences 1688

The first round of the quarrel of the ''Ancients'' and ''Moderns,'' exemplified by the dispute between Blondel and Perrault, ended in 1686 with the death of Blondel. Perrault would follow him into posterity in 1688 -like the conscientious scientist that he was - from a fatal infection incurred while dissecting a camel. He was thus still alive to witness the second and better known round of the quarrel that exploded on the afternoon of January 27, 1687, when his brother Charles had his poem,...