From Self Reliance 1841

Ralph Waldo Emerson was almost certainly the most influential American thinker of the nineteenth century -architecture included. The son of a Unitarian minister, he too prepared for the ministry by attending Harvard University and Harvard Divinity School. In 1829 he obtained a post of assistant pastor at Boston's Second Church, but he resigned this position in 1832 to embark on a trip to Europe. There he met Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Thomas Carlyle, and William Wordsworth, and when he returned...

Allan Ramsey

From ''Dialogue on Taste'' in The Investigator (1755) The translation of Hume's empirical skepticism into architectural terms did not take too many years. It was soon voiced by the Scottish painter Allan Ramsey, whom we saw earlier in the spirited dispute over the superiority of Greek art over Roman art in classical times. His ''Dialogue on Taste'' (1755), in fact, defines a landmark in architectural theory because it is the first clear articulation of relativist aesthetics. Ramsay and Hume, in...

Andrew Jackson Downing

N 1842 Downing followed his landscape study with Cottage Residences, a book devoted to architectural design and one that began his famous collaboration with the architect Alexander Jackson Davis (1803-92). It was a marriage of talents made in heaven. Davis had honed his architectural skills in New York City in the 1820s and in 1829 he formed a partnership with Ithiel Town, which would soon become one of the most prominent architectural offices in the country specializing in the classical style....

From An Historical Essay on Architecture 1835

Thomas Hope, over the long course of his architectural development, could serve as a symbol for the emergence of nineteenth-century eclecticism. While supporting Wilkins on the Greek ideal in 1804, he was renovating his London townhouse (originally designed by Robert Adam) in the French Empire style of Napoleon. In other building activities he later flirted with the picturesque, the German Rundbogen, and with the Italian Renaissance (which he calls the Cinque-centro style). Eventually he came...

Chapter

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away and there was no more sea. 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from...

From Royal Academy Lectures on Architecture V and XI 181215

Hat Ledoux's formal innovations represented for French architecture in the last years of the eighteenth century, John Soane's designs did for British architecture. Soane was in fact a close student of French theory. Born the son of a builder, he slowly worked his way up through the generally aristocratic nature of the British profession. After apprenticeships with George Dance and Henry Holland, he won the gold medal at the Royal Academy in 1776 and with this stipend he traveled to France and...

From Remarks on the Architecture of the Middle Ages 1835

N 1831 the German art historian Karl Friedrich Rumohr (1785-1843) published a little-known but remarkable essay ''Uber den gemeinschaftlichen Ursprung der Bauschulen des Mittelalters'' (On the common origin of the building schools of the Middle Ages). Its leading thesis was that the Gothic style had developed organically out of Greco-Roman techniques of vaulting, as practiced by the early Christian and Byzantine schools of the western (northern Italian) and eastern Roman empires. The novelty of...

From Notes on a Trip Through the Netherlands 1806

Among the best-known German Romantic writers to appear at around the turn of the nineteenth century was Friedrich Schlegel. Originally trained in law, Schlegel soon turned his attention to literary matters, and two of his early scholarly studies were devoted to Greece and Rome. But Schlegel also came to epitomize the German Romantic spirit. In 1799 he joined his brother August, a leading literary theorist and teacher, in Jena - a town that during this time counted among its faculty such great...

Introduction

The word ''classical'' in English, like its Latin counterpart classicus, carries with it rich connotations. The Latin word derives from the verb calare, ''to call,'' but this meaning in the Late Roman Republic gave way to referring to those ''of the first class,'' as opposed to those of the lower classes. Similar meanings accompanied it until its early English usage in the sixteenth century, when the word more generally came to refer to someone or something of the highest rank or importance, a...

A W N Pugin Edward Lacy Garbett and Robert Kerr from The Builder 1850

Only a few months after Ruskin threw his hat into the ring on the matter of style, a lively controversy erupted over the issue in the pages of Britain's weekly architectural journal, The Builder. This latter had been founded in 1842 by George Godwin (1815-88), an architect with keen social interests who seemed to enjoy fanning debate on a variety of issues. Here it is both the eloquence of the various writers and the intensity of the debate that make these articles so lively and rewarding. The...

From Discourses on Art 1786

This passage from the thirteenth discourse of the painter Joshua Reynolds is notable in two respects. First Reynolds - following Addison - elevates gardening to an art form, and one that plays specifically to the imagination. Second, in his architectural comments, Reynolds's high regard for the genius of John Vanbrugh helps to resurrect the reputation of this baroque architect and will prove enormously influential. Reynolds, who was the founding president of the very classical Royal Academy,...

From An Essay upon Harmony 1739

N this important explication of the classical notion of harmony, Morris - like Shaftesbury and Burlington before him - co-mingles two very distinct threads of eighteenth-century British aesthetic thought. On the one hand his definition of ''Ideal'' and ''Oral'' harmony coincides with conventional Renaissance aesthetics, and in particular with the Albertian notion of concinnity. On the other hand his description of inanimate ''Ocular'' harmony of nature echoes the relativist aesthetics of...

From Preface to The Antiquities of Athens

Stuart and Revett nevertheless came to the same conclusion with their view that the Athenians attained the highest excellence in sculpture and architecture, while the Romans never quite equaled their accomplishments. The ruined Edifices of Rome have for many years engaged the attention of those, who apply themselves to the study of Architecture and have generally been considered, as the Models and Standard of regular and ornamental Building. Many representations of them drawn and engraved by...

From Notes for a textbook on architecture c1830

After peace was reestablished in Europe following the exile of Napoleon, Schinkel returned to architectural practice with a high position in Prussian state service and began his illustrious career. His principal theoretical concern remained always style, or more specifically, how to create a new style in keeping with the ambitious ideals of an expanding Prussian statehood. The Romanticism of his early period, which initially inclined toward the Gothic style, gave way in the late 1810s to a...

From his journal 1852

Sometime early in 1852, Emerson showed to Henry David Thoreau a letter he had received from Greenough. Thoreau noted in his journal on January 11 how much Emerson liked its contents, but Thoreau himself was not convinced of its argument and in fact in his diary accused Greenough of being a dilettante. Notwithstanding this, Thoreau's views on architecture were not nearly as refined as those of Emerson or Greenough. He had apparently given architecture little thought up to this point within his...

From Essay on the Origin of Human Knowledge 1746

Boffrand's theory of character permitted architectural forms to be considered primarily for their expressive possibilities, rather than for some adherence to a stylistic canon. Another influence that would shortly come into play in this regard was the empiricism of John Locke, which bypassed the classical issue of proportions by giving primacy to the senses (see chapters 92 and 101 below). The translator of Lockean theory in France was Etienne Bonnot de Condillac, a friend of both Diderot and...

From History of German Aesthetics 1868

A slightly different interpretation to the problem of iron posed by Semper was given by the physician and philosopher Rudolf Hermann Lotze, who received a doctorate in medicine and philosophy at the tender age of 21 and subsequently pursued many paths focusing his multitude of published writings on pathology, psychology, philosophy, logic, and aesthetics. Lotze, like many of his generation, opposed the idealist schemes of Schelling and Hegel, while at the same time he did not fully accept the...

From Thoughts on Art 1841

Underlying Emerson's aesthetics is the belief that just as we are a part of nature's divine plan, so should we in our artistic endeavors emulate nature's way of creating. Nature contains a universal and spiritually creative element, and in nature everything works for the greater whole. Saying this another way, everything has fitness to purpose. Thus art and architecture should not strive to exhibit a shallow beauty but must display purpose and at the same time speak to the higher aspirations of...

From Supplementary Report on Design 1852

Richard Redgrave was not an architect, but a painter and royal academician, who for several years had been allied with Cole in the matter of reforming industrial-art education. His particular expertise was design, however, and in his official capacity as head juror for the Great Exhibition he distributed prizes and published the formal exhibition report, which was quite critical of many of the artistic wares displayed. Influential in Redgrave's thinking were the design principles of Pugin, who...

From Hints to Persons about Building in the Country 1847

During the 1840s both Davis and Downing had become successful in their own ways. Davis would emerge as one of the most sought-after residential architects in the country, and he was transforming the face of American practice with his original designs. Downing was intensifying the pace of writing, and in 1846 he sold his nursery to take over the editorship of the journal The Horticulturist. The next year he teamed up with the architect George Wightwick to co-publish two small books (Wightwick's...

Alexander Gerard

The winner of the Select Society's essay competition of 1755 was Alexander Gerard. A precocious child and professor of the classics, philosophy, and the sciences, Gerard was teaching at Marischal College in Aberdeen in 1756 when he wrote this essay. It is a highly structured and somewhat classically conceived work that draws upon many of the discussions of the previous 30 years. The faculties of the human mind for Gerard are four the external senses, memory, judgment, and imagination. Taste...

From The Cathedral in Cologne 1814

The combative journalist and writer Joseph Gorres was a man of many causes. As a youth he was a supporter of the French Revolution, but then became disenchanted with the French following their occupation of the west bank of the Rhine in 1794, even more so with Napoleon's creation of the Confederation of the Rhine in 1806 (incorporating much of western and southern Germany in France). The years 1813-15, however, changed everything. On the heels of the Emperor's crushing defeat at Leipzig in...

From The Art Idea 1864

James Jackson Jarves is one of the fascinating intellectual figures of nineteenth-century America. A native of Boston, he traveled widely in his youth, including Central America and the Hawaiian Islands, for which he wrote a historical study. In the 1850s he traveled throughout Europe, where he maintained his home base in Florence. He painted, wrote (often books on art for the public), and collected works of art, including Venetian glass. In 1876 he published the first book by an American on...

From Essays on the Picturesque 1794

The actual consolidation of picturesque theory took place in the 1790s and was tackled by three individuals a landscape architect and two exceptional writers. The gardener was Humphry Repton, a disciple of Brown the two promulgators of picturesque theory were Uvedale Price and Richard Payne Knight. Price was the first to put his ideas into print and his three-volume study is not only monumental in size but also in ambition, as he seeks to elevate the notion of the picturesque to an aesthetic...

From Letter to Washington Allston 1831

N his occasional remarks on architecture, Emerson once acknowledged that he was much indebted in these matters to Horatio Greenough, the American neoclassical sculptor. Greenough too had attended Harvard, but by the time of graduation in the mid-1820s he had decided on a career as a sculptor. In 1829 he set up a studio in Florence and in 1832 he received his first major commission a half-draped statue of George Washington in a Roman toga, which was intended to be placed in the rotunda of the...

From Observations on Modern Gardening 1770

The term ''picturesque'' originally came into the English language in the early eighteenth century through its Italian and French usage of ''like or having the elements of a picture.'' In 1768 the critic William Gilpin, in his An Essay on Prints, defined it as ''a term expressive of that peculiar kind of beauty, which is agreeable in a picture.'' Over the last 30 years of the century, however, the term became transformed and gained a new and somewhat different meaning. One of the books that...

From Proposals for publishing an accurate description of the Antiquities of Athens 1748

N book six of his On the Art of Building in Ten Books, Leon Battista Alberti began his historical remarks by noting that ''Building, so far as we can tell from ancient monuments, enjoyed her first gush of youth, as it were, in Asia, flowered in Greece, and later reached her glorious maturity in Italy.'' This scenario of ancient architecture achieving its glorious maturity in the Roman Empire became a cornerstone of academic theory between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries. The French...

From Preface to The Works in Architecture of Robert and James Adam 17738

The final member of the Edinburgh Select Society to be considered in this section is Robert Adam, who with his younger brother James, would go on to become one of Britain's most successful neoclassical architects of the third quarter of the eighteenth century. Robert Adam was very much a central figure within the artistic excitement of the 1750s in both Britain and Italy. He was a close friend of David Hume, and when he left Scotland for his grand tour of Italy in 1754 he was accepted into the...

From Postscript to The Landscape second edition 1795

Nothing establishes the parameters of a theoretical direction better than a timely debate, and this Postscript to a poem first published in 1794 defines an interesting split already apparent within the picturesque movement. The first direction had been set out by Price - first in his reliance on the philosophical structure of Burke in establishing the notion of the picturesque and second with his coupling of the picturesque with the passion of ''curiosity.'' Price's excoriation of the landscape...

From Structure and Organization 1852

By 1851 Greenough had resettled in the United States, although only for a brief period before his early death. In a letter written to Emerson in late December of that year, he now summarized his ''theory of structure'' as ''a scientific arrangement of spaces and forms to functions and to site - An emphasis of features proportioned to their graduated importance in function - Colour and ornament to be decided and arranged and varied by strictly organic laws - having a distinct reason for each...

From Contrasts 1836

Within the Gothic Revival movement in Britain, we have thus far seen two distinct phases. The first was a growing fascination with Gothic forms primarily as a novelty, an interest initially connected with the development of picturesque aesthetics. Second there was a focus on Gothic architecture as a historical phenomenon, as a resurrection of some important part of the European heritage. By the middle of the 1830s the Gothic Revival in Britain enters a third and well-defined phase, in which the...

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 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 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 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...

General Introduction

Architectural theory has its unique distinctions. It comprises a broad body of ideas and debates, which over many centuries has not only come to form a substantial literary edifice but also one ever more complex and refined in its details and issues. With the articulate engagement of one generation responding to the ideas of another, architectural theory is more often than not contentious and instructive. It is not born in isolation. It reflects the aspirations of emperors and the whims of...

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...

Germain Boffrand

The decade of the 1750s began a period of architectural experimentation in which many of the academic rules, canons, and forms established over the preceding century were openly reconsidered. For the idea of character, the starting point in terms of classical theory was the treatise of Germain Boffrand, perhaps the most important French architect of the first half of the eighteenth century. Born in the era of Perrault and Blondel, he was a student of Jules Hardouin Mansart in the 1690s, where...

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...

Johann Bernhard Fischer Von Erlach

From Preface to Outline for a Historical Architecture (1721) Fischer von Erlach was the greatest Austrian architect of the baroque period. Born in Graz and trained in Rome in the late-baroque era of Pietro da Cortona and Domenico Fontana, he returned to the Habsburg capital of Vienna in 1687 and almost immediately gained favor with the imperial crown. Among his many monumental commissions for Vienna were his designs for the Schonbrunn Palace (1696-1711) and the Karlskirche (1715-38) -the last a...

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...

Lord Kames

The innovative aspects of Burke's arguments for the beautiful and the sublime can also be judged by the contemporary account of beauty and sublimity by Lord Kames, who was born Henry Home. Kames was another figure of the Scottish Enlightenment and a member of the Select Society of Edinburgh. He labored over the writing of Elements of Criticism throughout the 1750s and thus was able to incorporate many of the insights put forth in this decade. The starting point for his system, however, was...

O W E N J O N E S

The fourth member of the Cole Circle was the Welshman Owen Jones. On his extensive tour of southern Europe in the early 1830s, he had been attracted to the polychromy of the Alhambra in Spain, for which he prepared a lavish chromolithographic folio between 1836 and 1845. By the latter date he was also practicing architecture in London, experimenting with a ''Saracenic'' or ''Moorish'' style, although this enthusiasm would not be lasting. For the Journal of Design in 1851, Jones wrote a regular...

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...

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...

Theory

The elements of a picturesque aesthetics had been bandied about for nearly a century, and it is in the last years of the eighteenth century that they were brought together into a coherent theory. It is in fact the first great success of relativist aesthetics. Picturesque theory is often considered exclusively in relation to landscape design, but in fact it has much broader aesthetic implications. For one thing, the relativist basis of picturesque theory will dovetail nicely not only with the...

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...

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

Gothic Architraves

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,...