1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Architecture

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ARCHITECTURE (Lat. architectura, from the Gr. ἀρχιτέκτων, a master-builder), the art of building in such a way as to accord with principles determined, not merely by the ends the edifice is intended to serve, but by high considerations of beauty and harmony (see Fine Arts). It cannot be defined as the art of building simply, or even of building well. So far as mere excellence of construction is concerned, see Building and its allied articles. The end of building as such is convenience, use, irrespective of appearance; and the employment of materials to this end is regulated by the mechanical principles of the constructive art. The end of architecture as an art, on the other hand, is so to arrange the plan, masses and enrichments of a structure as to impart to it interest, beauty, grandeur, unity, power. Architecture thus necessitates the possession by the builder of gifts of imagination as well as of technical skill, and in all works of architecture properly so called these elements must exist, and be harmoniously combined.

Like the other arts, architecture did not spring into existence at an early period of man’s history The ideas of symmetry and proportion which are afterwards embodied in material structures could not be evolved until at least a moderate degree of civilization had been attained, while the efforts of primitive man in the construction of dwellings must have been at first determined solely by his physical wants. Only after these had been provided for, and materials amassed on which his imagination might exercise itself, would he begin to plan and erect structures, possessing not only utility, but also grandeur and beauty. It may be well to enumerate briefly the elements which in combination form the architectural perfection of a building. These elements have been very variously determined by different authorities. Vitruvius, the only ancient writer on the art whose works have come down to us, lays down three qualities as indispensable in a fine building: Firmitas, Utilitas, Venustas, stability, utility, beauty. From an architectural point of view the last is the principal, though not the sole element; and, accordingly, the theory of architecture is occupied for the most part with aesthetic considerations, or the principles of beauty in designing. Of such principles or qualities the following appear to be the most important: size, harmony, proportion, symmetry, ornament and colour. All other elements may be reduced under one or other of these heads.

With regard to the first quality, it is clear that, as the feeling of power is a source of the keenest pleasure, size, or vastness of proportion, will not only excite in the mind of man the feelings of awe with which he regards the sublime in nature, but will impress him with a deep sense of the majesty of human power. It is, therefore, a double source of pleasure. The feelings with which we regard the Pyramids of Egypt, the great hall of columns at Karnak, the Pantheon, or the Basilica of Maxentius at Rome, the Trilithon at Baalbek, the choir of Beauvais cathedral, or the Arc de l’Étoile at Paris, sufficiently attest the truth of this quality, size, which is even better appreciated when the buildings are contemplated simply as masses, without being disturbed by the consideration of the details.

Proportion itself depends essentially upon the employment of mathematical ratios in the dimensions of a building. It is a curious but significant fact that such proportions as those of an exact cube, or of two cubes placed side by side—dimensions increasing by one-half (e.g., 20 ft. high, 30 wide and 45 long)—or the ratios of the base, perpendicular and hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle (e.g. 3, 4, 5, or their multiples)—please the eye more than dimensions taken at random. No defect is more glaring or more unpleasant than want of proportion. The Gothic architects appear to have been guided in their designs by proportions based on the equilateral triangle.

By harmony is meant the general balancing of the several parts of the design. It is proportion applied to the mutual relations of the details. Thus, supported parts should have an adequate ratio to their supports, and the same should be the case with solids and voids. Due attention to proportion and harmony gives the appearance of stability and repose which is indispensable to a really fine building. Symmetry is uniformity in plan, and, when not carried to excess, is undoubtedly effective. But a building too rigorously symmetrical is apt to appear cold and tasteless. Such symmetry of general plan, with diversity of detail, as is presented to us in leaves, animals, and other natural objects, is probably the just medium between the excesses of two opposing schools.

Next to general beauty or grandeur of form in a building comes architectural ornament. Ornament, of course, may be used to excess, and as a general rule it should be confined to the decoration of constructive parts of the fabric; but, on the other hand, a total absence or a paucity of ornament betokens an unpleasing poverty. Ornaments may be divided into two classes—mouldings and the sculptured representation of natural or fanciful objects. Mouldings, no doubt, originated, first, in simply taking off the edge of anything that might be in the way, as the edge of a square post, and then sinking the chamfer in hollows of various forms; and thence were developed the systems of mouldings we now find in all styles and periods. Each of these has its own system; and so well are their characteristics understood, that from an examination of them a skilful architect will not only tell the period in which any building has been erected, but will even give an estimate of its probable size, as professors of physiology will construct an animal from the examination of a single bone. Mouldings require to be carefully studied, for nothing offends an educated eye like a confusion of mouldings, such as Roman forms in Greek work, or Early English in that of the Tudor period. The same remark applies to sculptured ornaments. They should be neither too numerous nor too few, and above all, they should be consistent. The carved ox skulls, for instance, which are appropriate in a temple of Vesta or of Fortune would be very incongruous on a Christian church.

Colour must be regarded as a subsidiary element in architecture, and although it seems almost indispensable and has always been extensively employed in interiors, it is doubtful how far external colouring is desirable. Some contend that only local colouring, i.e. the colour of the materials, should be admitted; but there seems no reason why any colour should not be used, provided it be employed with discretion and kept subordinate to the form or outline.

Origin of the Art.—The origin of the art of architecture is to be found in the endeavours of man to provide for his physical wants; in the earliest days the cave, the hut and the tent may have given shelter to those who devoted themselves to hunting and fishing, to agriculture and to a pastoral and nomadic life, and in many cases still afford the only shelter from the weather. There can be no doubt, however, that climate and the materials at hand affect the forms of the primitive buildings; thus, in the two earliest settlements of mankind, in Chaldaea and Egypt, where wood was scarce, the heat in the day-time intense, and the only material which could be obtained was the alluvial clay, brought down by the rivers in both those countries, they shaped this into bricks, which, dried in the sun, enabled them to build rude huts, giving them the required shelter. These may have been circular or rectangular on plan, with the bricks laid in horizontal courses, one projecting over the other, till the walls met at the top. The next advance in Egypt was made by the employment of the trunks of the palm tree as a lintel over the doorway, to support the wall above, and to cover over the hut and carry the flat roof of earth which is found down to the present day in all hot countries. Evidence of this system of construction is found in some of the earliest rock-cut tombs at Giza, where the actual dwelling of the deceased was reproduced in the tomb, and from these reproductions we gather that the corners, or quoins of the hut were protected by stems of the douva plant, bound together in rolls by the leaves, which, in the form of torus rolls, were also carried across the top of the wall. Down to the present day the huts of the fellahs are built in the same way, and, surmounted as they are by pigeon-cots, bear so strong a resemblance to the pylons and the walls of the temples as at all events to suggest, if not to prove, that in their origin these stone erections were copies of unburnt brick structures. From long exposure in the sun, these bricks acquire a hardness and compactness not much inferior to some of the softer qualities of stone, but they are unable to sustain much pressure; consequently it is necessary to make the walls thicker at the bottom than at the top, and it is this which results in the batter or raking sides of all the unburnt brick walls. The same raking sides are found in all their mastabas, or tombs, sometimes built in unburnt brick and sometimes in stone, in the latter case being simple reproductions of the former. In some of the early mastabas, built in brick, either to vary the monotony of the mass and decorate the walls, or to ensure greater care in their construction, vertical brick pilasters are provided, forming sunk panels. These form the principal decoration, as reproduced in stone, of an endless number of tombs, some of which are in the British Museum. At the top of each panel they carve a portion of trunk necessary to support the walls of brick, and over the doorway a similar feature. In Chaldaea the same decorative features are found in the stage towers which constituted their temples, and broad projecting buttresses, indented panels and other features, originally constructive, form the decorations of the Assyrian palaces. There also, built in the same material, unburnt brick, the walls have a similar batter, though they were faced with burnt bricks. In later times in Greece and Asia Minor, where wood was plentiful, the stone architecture suggests its timber origin, and though unburnt brick was still employed for the mass of the walls, the remains in Crete and the representations in painting, &c., show that it was encased in timber framing, so that the raking walls were no longer a necessary element in their structure. The clearest proofs of original timber construction are shown in the rock-cut tombs of Lycia, where the ground sill, vertical posts, cross beams, purlins and roof joists are all direct imitations of structures originally erected in wood.

The numerous relics of structures left by primeval man have generally little or no architectural value; and the only interesting problem regarding them—the determination of their date and purpose and of the degree of civilization which they manifest—falls within the province of archaeology (see Archaeology; Barrow; Lake-Dwellings; Stone Monuments).

Technical terms in architecture will be found separately explained under their own headings in this work, and in this article a general acquaintance with them is assumed. A number of architectural subjects are also considered in detail in separate articles; see, for instance, Capital; Column; Design; Order; and such headings as Abbey; Aqueduct; Arch; Basilica; Baths; Bridges; Catacomb; Crypt; Dome; Mosque; Palace; Pyramid; Temple; Theatre; &c., &c. Also such general articles on national art as China: Art; Egypt: Art and Archaeology; Greek Art; Roman Art; &c., and the sections on architecture and buildings under the headings of countries and towns.

In the remainder of this article the general history of the evolution of the art of architecture will be considered in various sections, associated with the nations and periods from which the leading historic styles are chronologically derived, in so far as the dominant influences on the art, and not the purely local characteristics of countries outside the main current of its history, are concerned; but the opportunity is taken to treat with some attempt at comprehensiveness the leading features of the architectural history of those countries and peoples which are intimately connected with the development of modern architecture.

These consecutive sections are as follows:—

Egyptian
Assyrian
Persian
Greek
Parthian
Sassanian
Etruscan
Roman
Byzantine
Early Christian
Early Christian Work in Central Syria
Coptic Church in Egypt
Romanesque and Gothic in—
 Italy
 France
 Spain
 England
 Germany
 Belgium and Holland
Renaissance: Introduction
 Italy
 France
 Spain
 England
 Germany
 Belgium and Holland
Mahommedan

Finally, a section on what can only be collectively termed Modern architecture deals with the main lines of the later developments down to the present day in the architectural history of different countries.  (R. P. S.) 

Egyptian Architecture

Although structures discovered in Chaldaea, at Tello and Nippur, seeming to date back to the fifth millennium b.c., suggest that the earlier settlements of mankind were in the valley of the Tigris and Euphrates, north of the Persian Gulf, it is to Egypt that we must turn for the most ancient records of monumental architecture (see also Egypt: Art and Archaeology). The proximity of the ranges of hills (the Arabian and Libyan chains) to the Nile, and the facilities which that river afforded for the transport of the material quarried in them, enabled the Egyptians at a very early period to reproduce in stone those structures in unburnt brick to which we have already referred.

Although the great founder of the first Egyptian monarchy is reputed to be Menes, the Thinite who traditionally founded the capital at Memphis, he was preceded, according to Flinders Petrie, by an earlier invading race coming from the south, who established a monarchy at This near Abydos, having entered the country by the Kosseir road from the Red Sea; and this may account for the early tradition that it was the Ethiopians who founded the earliest dynastic race, “Ethiopians” being a wide term which may embrace several races.

Egyptian architecture is usually described under the principal periods in which it was developed. They are as follows[1]:—(A) the Memphite kingdom, whose capital was at Memphis, south-west of Cairo, the Royal Domain extending south some 30 to 40 m.; (B) the first Theban kingdom with Thebes as the capital; this covers three dynasties. Then follows an interregnum of five dynasties, when the invasion of the Hyksos took place; this was architecturally unproductive. On the expulsion of the Hyksos there followed (C) the second Theban kingdom, consisting of three dynasties, under whose reign the finest temples were erected throughout the country. After 1102 followed six dynasties (1102–525 b.c.), with capitals at Sais, Tanis and Bubastis, when the decadence of art and power took place. Then followed the Persian invasion, 525–331 b.c., which was destructive instead of being reproductive. On the defeat of the Persians by Alexander the Great, and after his death in 323 b.c., was founded (D) the Ptolemaic kingdom, with Alexandria as the capital. A great revival of art then took place, which to a certain extent was carried on under the Roman occupation from 27 b.c., and lasted about 300 years.

With the exception of a small temple, found by Petrie in front of the temple of Medum, and the so-called “Temple of the Sphinx,” the only monuments remaining of the Memphite kingdom are the Pyramids, which were built by the kings as their tombs, and the mastabas, in which the members of the royal family and of the priests and chiefs were buried. The mastaba (Arabic for “bench”) was a tomb, oblong in plan, with battering side and a flat roof, containing various chambers, of which the principal were (1) the Chapel for offerings, (2) the Serdab, in which the Ka or double of the deceased was deposited, and (3) the well, always excavated in the rock, in which the mummy was placed.

The three best-known pyramids are those situated about 7 m. south-west of Cairo, which were built by the second, third and fourth kings of the fourth dynasty,—Khufu (c. 3969–3908 b.c.), Khafra (c. 3908–3845 b.c.), and Menkaura (c. 3845–3784 b.c.), who are better known as Cheops, Cephren and Mycerinus. The first of these is the largest and most remarkable in its construction and setting out. The pyramid of Cephren was slightly smaller, and that of Mycerinus still more so, compensated for by a casing in granite. The dimensions and other details are given in the article Pyramids. From the purely architectural point of view they are the least impressive of masses, and their immense size is not realized until on a close approach.

The temple of the Sphinx, attributed to Cephren, is T-shaped in plan, with two rows of square piers down the vertical and one row down the cross portion. These carried a flat roof of stone. The temple is remarkable for the splendid finish given to the granite piers, and to the alabaster slabs which cased the rock in which it had been partially excavated (but see Egypt: History, I.).

The Serapeum at Sakkara, in which the sacred bulls were embalmed and buried, the tomb of Ti (a fifth dynasty courtier), and the tombs of the kings and queens of Thebes, have no special architectural features which call for description here.

We pass on to the first Theban kingdom, the eighth king of which, Nebheprē Menthotp III., built the temple lately discovered on the south side of the temple at Deir-el-Bahri, of which it is the prototype. It was a sepulchral temple, and being built on rising ground was approached by flights of steps. In the centre was a solid mass of masonry which, it is thought by some authorities, was crowned by a pyramid. This was surrounded by a double portico with square piers in the outer range, and octagonal piers in the inner range, there being a wall between the two ranges.

The earliest tombs in which the column (q.v.) appears, as an architectural feature, are those at Beni Hasan, attributed to the period of Senwosri (formerly read Usertesen) I., the second king of the twelfth dynasty. These are carved in the solid rock. There are two types, the Polygonal column, sometimes in error called the Protodoric, which was cut in the rock in imitation of a wooden column, and a second variety known as the Lotus column, which is employed inside, supporting the rock-cut roof, but having such slender proportions as to suggest that it was copied from the posts of a porch, round which the Lotus plant had been tied.

The culminating period of the Egyptian style begins with the kings of the eighteenth dynasty, their principal capital being Thebes, described by Herodotus as the “City with the Hundred Gates”; and although the execution of the masonry is inferior to that of the older dynasties, the grandeur of the conception of their temples, and the wealth displayed in their realization entitle Thebes to the most important position in the history of the Egyptian style, especially as the temples there grouped on both sides of the river exceed in number and dimensions the whole of the other temples throughout Egypt. This to a certain extent may possibly be due to the distance of Thebes from the Mediterranean, which has contributed to their preservation from invaders. We have already referred to the probable origin of the peculiar batter or raking side given to the walls of the pylons and temples, with the Torus moulding surrounding the same and crowned with the cavetto cornice. What, however, is more remarkable is the fact that, once accepted as an important and characteristic feature, it should never have been departed from, and that down to and during the Roman occupation the same batter is found in all the temples, though constructively there was no necessity for it. The strict adherence to tradition may possibly account for this, but it has resulted in a magnificent repose possessed by these structures, which seem built to last till eternity.

1911 Britannica-Architecture-Temple of Chons.png

Fig. 1.—Plan of the Temple of Chons.

A, Pylon.
B, Great court.
C, Hall of columns.
D, Priest’s hall.
E, Sanctuary.


An avenue with sphinxes on both sides forms the approach to the temple. These avenues were sometimes of considerable length, as in the case of that reaching from Karnak to Luxor, which is 1½ m. long. The leading features of the temple (see fig. 1) were:—(A) The pylon, consisting of two pyramidal masses of masonry crowned with a cavetto cornice, united in the centre by an immense doorway, in front of which on either side were seated figures of the king and obelisks. (B) A great open court surrounded by peristyles on two or three sides. (C) A great hall with a range of columns down the centre on either side, forming what in European architecture would be known as nave and aisles, with additional aisles on each side; these had columns of less height than those first mentioned, so as to allow of a clerestory, lighting the central avenue. (D) Smaller halls with their flat roofs carried by columns. And finally (E) the sanctuary, with passage round giving access to the halls occupied by the priest.

Broadly speaking, the temples bear considerable resemblance to one another (see Temple), except in dimensions. There is one important distinction, however, to be drawn between the Theban temples and those built under the Ptolemaic rule. In these latter the halls are not enclosed between pylons, but left open on the side of the entrance court with screens in between the columns, the hall being lighted from above the screens. The temples of Edfu, Esna and Dendera are thus arranged.

The great temple of Karnak (fig. 2) differs from the type just described, in that it was the work of many successive monarchs. Thus the sanctuary, built in granite, and the surrounding chambers, were erected by Senwosri (Usertesen) I. of the twelfth dynasty. In front of this, on the west side, pylons were added by Tethmosis (Thothmes, Tahutmes) I. (1541-1516), enclosing a hall, in the walls of which were Osirid figures. In front of this a third pylon was added, which Seti (Sethos) I. utilized as one of the enclosures of the great hall of columns (fig. 3), measuring 170 ft. deep by 329 ft. wide, having added a fourth pylon on the other side to enclose it. Again in front of this was the great open court with porticoes on two sides, and a great pylon, forming the entrance. In the rear of all these buildings, and some distance beyond the sanctuary, Tethmosis III. (1503-1449) built a great colonnaded hall with other halls round, considered to have been a palace. All these structures form a part only of the great temple, on the right and left of which (i.e. to the north-east and south-west) were other temples preceded by pylons and connected one with the other by avenues of sphinxes. Though of small size comparatively, one of the best preserved is the temple of Chons, built by Rameses III. It was from this temple that an avenue of sphinxes led to the temple of Luxor, which was begun by Amenophis III. (1414-1379 B.C.), and completed by Rameses II. (1300-1234).

On the opposite or west bank of the Nile are the temple of Medīnet Abū, the Ramesseum, the temples of Kurna and of Deir-el-Bahri; the last being a sepulchral temple, which, built on rising ground, had flights of steps leading to the higher level (fig. 4), and porticoes with square piers at the foot of each terrace. In the rear on the right-hand side was found an altar, the only example of its kind known in Egypt. The halls behind this and the portico of the right flank had polygonal columns.

1911 Britannica-Architecture-Plan of Karnak.png

Fig. 2.


In the palace of Tell el-Amarna, built shortly before 1350 B.C. by the heretic king Akhenaton (whose name was originally Amenophis IV.), and discovered by Petrie, there were no special architectural developments, but the painted decoration of the walls and pavements assumed a literal interpretation of natural forms of plants and foliage and of birds and animals, recalling to some extent that found at Cnossus in Crete.

Ascending the river from Cairo, the first temples of which important remains exist are the two at Abydos. One of these has an exceptional plan, with seven sanctuaries in the rear. It was built by Seti I., and consists of an outer portico with square piers, a hall with two rows of columns down to the centre, and a second hall with three rows of columns. These halls are placed longitudinally to give access to the seven sanctuaries. The second temple is of the ordinary type, with pylon, court with portico on all four sides, two halls of columns, and three sanctuaries in the rear. The next temple is that of Dendera, commenced under the second Ptolemy but not completed until the reign of Nero. It has been completely excavated, and retains the whole of its external walls. Above Thebes is the temple of Esna, of which the hall of columns only has been cleared out. The capitals of the front belong to the lotus-bud type, and those of the interior are carved with many varieties of river plant. The temple of Edfu is the best preserved in Egypt. Its plan (fig. 5) would seem to have been determined from the first, and it is singular to note that it presents the traditional type of plan, which in the Theban examples was evolved from additions made by successive monarchs. In dimensions it is but little inferior to these. Its pylon (fig. 6) is 250 ft. wide and 150 ft. high; the first court has porticoes on three sides. The great hall of columns, all of which here are of the same height, is lighted from above (fig. 7), the screen facing the court. Then follow the second hall of columns, two vestibules, and the sanctuary, surrounded by a passage giving access to the priest’s rooms round. The temple of Kōm Ombo, which comes next, was dedicated to two deities, and had therefore two sanctuaries.


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Fig. 3.—Section through Hall of Columns, Karnak. a, Clerestory window.


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Fig. 4.—Temple of Deir-el-Bahri, conjectural restoration by Prof. E. Brune.


The temples of Philae owe much of their beauty and picturesqueness to the island on which they are situated; their plans, and that of the long porticoes in front of the pylons of the great temple, being fitted to the irregularity of the site. In the first court is a well-preserved example of the Mammeisi temple (see Temple), the sanctuary and other rooms in which are entirely enclosed in a peristyle. It was built by Ptolemy Euergetes (247–222 B.C.). A second monarch of the same name (about 125 B.C.) built the pavilion on the north side of the island, known as “Pharaoh’s bed,” the roof of which was covered with stone slabs, resting on timber beams. In consequence of the building of the Assuan dam all these temples are submerged for the greater part of the year. The principal temples between Philae and the second cataract are:—Dabōd, of which little remains; Kartassi; Kalābsha, still preserving its pylon and great hall of columns; the Bēt el-Wāli, in which are two ancient polygonal columns; Gerf Husen, partially cut in the rock; Dakka; Wadi es-Sebū’a; and lastly Abū Simbel. Owing to the proximity of the ranges of hills to the Nile, there was no room for the ordinary type of temple at Abū Simbel, so that those founded here by Rameses the Great (c. 1300–1234 B.C.) were excavated in the rock. In the place of the pylon the side of the cliff was worked off, leaving in relief four immense seated figures, 66 ft. high. The first hall had three aisles, divided by four piers on each side, in front of which Osirid figures (18 ft. high) were carved; beyond was a second hall, vestibule and sanctuary. The long rectangular chambers on each side are provided with benches cut in the rock. The depth of the temple is 90 ft. There is a second temple of smaller size which faces the Nile.

1911 Britannica-Architecture-Temple of Edfu.png

Fig. 5.—Plan of the Temple of Edfu.

AA, Pylon.
B, Entrance door.
C, Great Court.
D, Hall of Columns.
E, Second Hall.
F, Hall of the Altar.
G, Hall of the Centre.
H, Sanctuary.
KK, Storerooms.

We have already referred to the lotus columns at Beni Hasan; these, when employed constructionally to carry stone roofs, assumed a far more solid appearance, and the stems of the lotus plant carved in the earlier examples were omitted in the later, in order to give more surface for intaglio carving. The capital and its neck still retain the lotus buds and the bands which tied them round the column. In the central avenues of the great halls the columns had bell capitals, the decoration of which was based on the flower of the papyrus. There are a few examples of the palm capital, often carved in granite, which date from an early period. Commencing with the Ptolemaic revival the capitals assume a much greater variety of form, their decoration being based on river plants; but here again the lotus plant, which seems still to be the favourite type, predominates, the buds in various degrees of their growth alternating one with the other. All these varieties of form are described in the article Capital, but two or three may be mentioned here, as they depart from the usual type. The Hathor-headed capital, with faces on all four sides, and surmounted with a miniature shrine, is found at Dendera, Philae and other temples of the Ptolemaic or Roman periods; one of the earliest examples, but without the shrine, dates back to Tethmosis III. (1503–1449 B.C.). As a distinct type of pier decoration, the Osirid figures at Medinet Abū, at Karnak, Gerf Husen, Abū Simbel and other temples, constitute important features: the figure is carved in front of the pier and does not serve any constructive function.

With the exception of the great building in the rear of the temple at Karnak, built by Tethmosis III., and the pavilion of Medinet Abū on the west bank of the Nile at Thebes, no palatial residences of any importance have yet been found, from which it might be inferred that the king, being the head of the Egyptian religion, occupied with his family the sacred precincts of the temple; but large as these temple enclosures are, there would have been no room for the immense army of attendants and servants required in an Oriental court. Moreover, the darkness of the halls and the rigid enclosures would have made a residence in them anything but cheerful. There are two instances where, in consequence of the subsequent desertion of the site, remains have been found of ancient towns. At Tell el-Amarna, built by the heretic king, Akhenaton, portions of the houses remain, and at Kahun, in the Fayum, Petrie discovered the walls of a town which, erected for the overseers and workmen employed in the construction of the pyramid of Illahun, built by Senwosri (Usertesen) II. (2684-2666 B.C.), was abandoned when the pyramid was completed. The houses were all built in unburnt brick, and in those cases where the rooms exceeded 8 or 9 ft. in width, columns in stone or wood were employed to assist in carrying the roof, which was constructed of beams carrying smaller timbers covered over with a flat roof of mud. The plans of the houses were not unlike those found in Pompeii, with open courts and porticoes and no external windows. The streets ran at right angles to one another, and the houses varied in size from the workman’s hut, of one room, to the overseer’s house with several rooms and courts; the principal residence, in the centre, occupied by the governor of the town, being of still larger dimensions.


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Fig. 6.—Exterior of the Pylon of the Temple of Edfu.


1911 Britannica-Architecture-Ptolemaic temple.png
Fig. 7.—Façade of the
Great Hall of Columns of
the Ptolemaic temple at
Edfu.

Further knowledge of the Egyptian dwellings is chiefly derived from the “soul-houses” recently discovered by Petrie, and from the paintings in the tombs, which suggest that they corresponded to that class of residence which in Rome was known as a villa, viz. a series of detached buildings built in immense enclosures, with porticoes round, groves of trees, artificial lakes, &c. The walls, gates and buildings were all built probably in unburnt brick, and the whole site, if on the borders of the river, raised on great mounds. In this respect they accord with the houses of the fellah at the present day, which are raised on the accumulation of centuries, for when, owing to the rise of the Nile, the houses succumb to the moisture creeping up, another house is built on the top. The representations in paintings show that the houses were chiefly built in unburnt brick, and they sometimes were of two or three storeys in height, with windows in the upper floors, and a flat roof with a kind of dormer known as the Mulhuf, turned towards the north-west to ventilate the house. The paintings frequently represent the store-rooms, or granaries; and the preservation of those built by Rameses the Great, in the rear of the Ramesseum at Thebes, as granaries to hold corn, enables us to follow their construction. These granaries consist of a series of long cellars, about 12 to 14 ft. wide, placed side by side, and roofed over with elliptical barrel vaults. The reason for the elliptical form and the method of their construction is given in the article Vault (q.v.).

The pavilion of Medinet Abū was built in stone, and consequently has been preserved more or less complete to our day. It consisted of three storeys with a flat roof and battlement round, said to be in imitation of those on a Syrian fortress, as they are quite unlike anything else in Egypt. The floors were in wood, but there are traces of a stone staircase. The windows, of large size, were filled with thin stone slabs pierced with vertical slits, like those of the hall of columns at Karnak.  (R. P. S.) 


Assyrian Architecture

About 3800 B.C. the earlier inhabitants of Chaldaea or Babylonia were invaded and absorbed by a Semitic race, whose first monarch was Sargon of Agade (Akkad). 1800 years later, emigrations took place northward, and founded Nineveh on the banks of the Tigris, about 250 m. north of Babylon. 1200 years later, the Assyrians began building the magnificent series of palaces from which were brought the winged man-headed bulls and the sculptured slabs now in the British Museum. The leading characteristics of the style, and the nature of the structures, temples and palaces, evolved by the Chaldaeans (or first Babylonian empire), the Assyrians, and the new Babylonian empire, are similar; they are best known by those which represent a culmination of the style in north Mesopotamia, and are therefore described here.

By a singular coincidence the remains of the oldest building found at Nippur (Niffar), in lower Mesopotamia, bear a close resemblance to the oldest pyramid in Egypt, Medum, before it received its final casing. The latter, however, is known to have been a tomb, whereas the structure at Nippur was a temple, which took the form of a ziggurat or stage tower. It consisted of several storeys built one over the other, the upper storey in each case being set back behind the lower, in order to leave a terrace all round. In some cases the terrace was wider in front, to give space for staircases ascending from storey to storey. In consequence of the extreme flatness of the country and its liability to sudden inundations, it became necessary, when erecting buildings of any kind, to raise them on mounds of earth. The more important the structure, the higher was it deemed necessary to raise it, so as to make it the most conspicuous feature in the landscape. The result is that from Abu Shahrain, the most southern town, to Akarkuf (Aqarquf), 220 m. north, there are a series of immense mounds, sometimes nearly a mile in diameter, and rising to a height of 200 ft., crowned with the remains of towns, which, notwithstanding the thirty centuries more or less during which they have been exposed to the torrential rains and the destructive agencies of man, form still the most prominent features in the country. The structures which were raised on the mound, i.e. the temples and palaces with their enclosure walls, were all built with bricks made of the alluvial clay of the country, shaped in wooden moulds and dried in the heat of the sun, a heat so intense that they acquired sometimes the hardness of the inferior qualities of stone. The walls of the temples, palaces and enclosures had the same batter as that already referred to in the preceding section on Egypt. In the latter country they were reproduced in stone, of which there were many quarries on either side of the Nile; in Chaldaea they were obliged to content themselves with the preservation of their ziggurats by outer casings of burnt brick and with pavements of tiles for their terraces. In order to vary the monotony of their temple walls, and perhaps to give them greater strength, they built vertical bands or buttresses at intervals, or they sank panels in the walls to two depths, a natural decoration to which brick work lends itself; and these two methods, which were employed in early times, were followed by the Assyrians in the palaces of Nimrud, Nineveh and Khorsabad.

The earlier settlements were those founded between the mouths of the Tigris and the Euphrates, on what was then the shore of the Persian Gulf, now some 140 m. farther south. The principal towns where the remains of ziggurats have been found, all on the borders of the Euphrates, beginning with the most southern, are:—Abu Shahrain (Eridu); Mugheir (Ur of the Chaldees); Senkera (? Ellasar or Larsa); Warka (Erech); Tello (Eninnu); Nippur; Birs Nimrūd (Borsippa); Babil (Babylon); El Ohemir (Kish); Abu Habba (Sippara); and Akarkuf (Durkurigalsu).

Although the ziggurats at Warka, Nippur and Tello are probably of older foundation, the great temple of Borsippa at Birs Nimrud is in better preservation, having been restored or rebuilt by Nebuchadrezzar, and may be taken as a typical example. The ground storey was 272 ft. square, and, according to Fergusson, 45 ft. high. The upper storeys or stages receded back, one behind the other, so as to leave a terrace all round. Although it is not possible to trace more than four storeys, it is known from the description on a cylinder found on the site that there were seven storeys, dedicated to the planets, each coloured with the special tint prescribed. The total height was about 160 ft., and on the top was a shrine dedicated to the god Nebo. An invaluable record of the researches which have been made during the last three centuries or more is given in H. V. Hilprecht’s Explorations in Bible Lands during the 19th Century. Two or three of them might be mentioned here. At Warka Mr Kenneth Loftus uncovered a wall, strengthened by buttresses 15 ft. wide and projecting 18 in., between which were panels filled with a series of semicircular shafts side by side, both buttresses and shafts being decorated with geometrical patterns consisting of small earthenware cones embedded in the wall, the ends of which were enamelled in various colours. The design of these patterns is so unlike anything found in Assyrian work, but bears so close a resemblance to the geometrical designs carved on the columns at Diarbekr ascribed to the Parthians, that this wall may have been built at a much later period; and this becomes the more probable in view of the discoveries made subsequently at Tello and Nippur, where Parthian palaces have been found, crowning the summits of the ancient Chaldaean mounds. In both these towns the researches made in later years have been carried out far more methodically than previously, and, following the example of Schliemann, excavations have been made to great depths, careful notes being taken of the strata shown by the platforms at different levels. At Tello, de Sarzac discovered the magnificent collection of statues of diorite now in the Louvre, one of them (unfortunately headless) of Gudea, priest-king and architect of Lagash, seated and carrying on his lap a tablet, on which is engraved the plan of a fortified enclosure, whilst a divided scale and a stylos are carved in relief near the upper and right-hand side. A silver inlaid vase of Entemena, also priest-king of Lagash (about 3950 B.C.), and other treasures, were found on the same site. At Nippur (the ancient Calneh) the research undertaken by the university of Pennsylvania resulted in the discovery, under a ziggurat dated from 4000-4500 B.C., of a barrel-vaulted tunnel, in the floor of which were found terra-cotta drain pipes with flanged mouths. At a later date (3750 B.C.) Naram-Sin, the son of Sargon, had built over the older ziggurat a loftier and larger temple, above which was a third built by Ur Gur (2500 B.C.), which still retained its burnt brick casing, 5 ft. thick. Crowning all these was the Parthian palace mentioned in the section on Parthian architecture below. The result of these researches has not only carried back the date of the earlier settlements to a prehistoric period quite unknown, but has suggested that if similar researches are carried out in other well-known mounds, among which the great city of Babylon should be counted as the most important, further revelations may still be made.


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From The History of Art in Chaldaea and Assyria, by permission of Chapman & Hill, Ltd.
Fig. 8.—Plan of the Palace at Khorsabad.


A, Principal courtyard.
B, The harem.
C, The offices.
DD, The halls of state.
E, Official residences.
F, The king’s residence.
G, The ziggurat or temple.


But we have now to pass to the principal cities of the Assyrian monarchy on the river Tigris. At Nineveh, the capital, which is about 250 m. north of Babylon, the remains of three palaces have been found, those of Sennacherib (705-681 B.C.), Esarhaddon (681-668 B.C.), and Assurbanipal (668-626 B.C.). At Nimrud (the ancient Calah, founded by Assur), 20 m. south of Nineveh, are also three palaces, one (the earliest known) built by Assurnazirpal (885-860 B.C.), the others by Shalmaneser II. (860-825 B.C.) and Esarhaddon. At Balawat, 10 m. east of Niniveh, was a second palace of Shalmaneser II., and at Khorsabad, 10 m. north-east of Nineveh, the palace (fig. 8) built by Sargon (722-705 B.C.), which was situated on the banks of the Khanser, a tributary of the Tigris. As this palace is one of the most extensive of those hitherto explored, its description will best give the general idea of the plan and conception of an Assyrian palace.

The palace was built on an immense platform, made of sun-dried bricks, enclosed in masonry, and covering an area of nearly one million square feet, raised 48 ft. above the town level. The principal front of the palace measured 900 ft., there being a terrace in front. The approach was probably by a double inclined ramp which chariots and horses could mount. A central and two side portals (fig. 9), flanked with winged human-headed bulls (now in the British Museum), led to the principal courtyard (A), measuring 300 ft. by 240 ft. The block (B) on the left of the court, containing smaller courts and rooms, constituted the harem; that on the right the offices (C); those in the rear the halls of state (DDD), the residences of the officers of the court (E), the king’s private apartments (F) being on the left, facing the ziggurat or temple (G). In the extreme rear were other state rooms with terraces probably laid out as gardens and commanding a view of the river and country beyond.


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Fig. 9.—Entrance gateway, Palace of Khorsabad.


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Fig. 10.—Bas-relief of group of buildings at Kuyunjik. (After Layard.)


As there must have been nearly 700 rooms in the palace, the destination of the greater number of which it would be difficult to determine, it will be sufficient to refer only to those state rooms in which the principal sculptured slabs were found, and which decorated the lower 9 ft. of the walls. The two chief factors to be noted are (1) the great length of the halls compared with their width, the chief hall being 150 ft. long and 30 ft. wide, and (2) the immense thickness of the walls, which measured 28 ft. The only reason for walls of this thickness would be to resist the thrust of a vault, and as La Place, the French explorer, found many blocks of earth of great size, the soffits of which were covered with stucco and had apparently fallen from a height, he was led to the conclusion, now generally accepted, that these halls were vaulted. These discoveries, and the fact that in none of the palaces excavated has a single foundation of the base of any column been found, quite dispose of Fergusson’s restoration, which was based on the palaces of Persepolis. Moreover, the two climates are entirely different. In the mountainous country of Persia the breezes might be welcomed, but in Mesopotamia the heat is so intense that every precaution has to be taken to protect the inmates of the house or palace. Thick walls and vaults were a necessity in Nineveh, and even the windows or openings must have been of small dimensions. No windows have been found, nor are any shown on the bas-reliefs, except on the upper parts of towers. It is possible therefore that the light was admitted through terra-cotta pipes or cylinders, of which many were found on the site, and this is the modern system of lighting the dome in the East. Although no remains have ever been found of domes in any of the Assyrian palaces, the representation of many domical forms is given in a bas-relief found at Kuyunjik (fig. 10), suggesting that the dome was often employed to roof over their halls.

Reference has already been made to the bas-reliefs which decorated the lower portion of the great halls; the less important rooms had their walls covered with stucco and painted. Externally the architectural decoration was of the simplest kind; the lower portion of the walls was faced with stone; and the monumental portals, in addition to the winged bulls which flanked them, had deep archivolts in coloured enamels on glazed brick, with figures and rosettes in bright colours. A similar decoration would seem to have been applied to the crenellated battlements, which crowned all the exterior walls, as also those of the courts. The buttresses inside the courts, and the towers which flanked the chief entrance, were decorated with vertical semicircular mouldings of brick. This system of decoration is also found in the ziggurats or observatories behind the harem, where the three lower storeys still exist. A winding ramp was carried round this tower, the storeys of which were set back one behind the other, the burnt brick paving of the ramp and the crenellated battlements forming a parapet, portions of which are still in situ.

Although not unknown in either Chaldaea or Assyria, the stone column, according to Perrot and Chipiez, found no place in those structures of crude brick of which the real architecture of Mesopotamia consisted. Only one example in stone, in which the shaft and capital together are 3 ft. 4 in. in height, has been found. Two bases of similar design to the capital are supposed to have supported wooden columns carrying an awning. There are representations in the bas-reliefs of kiosks in a garden, the columns in which, with volute capitals, are supposed to have been of wood sheathed in metal, and on the bronze bands of the Balawat gates in the British Museum are representations of the interior of a house with wood columns and bracket capitals, and several awnings carried by posts. Small windows are shown in some of the bas-reliefs, with balustrades of small columns, which were doubtless copied from the ivory plaques found at Nimrud and now in the British Museum.  (R. P. S.) 


Persian Architecture

The origin of Persian architecture must be sought for in that of the two earlier dynasties,—the Assyrian and Median, to whose empire the Persian monarchy succeeded by conquest in 560 B.C. From the former, it borrowed the raised platform on which their palaces were built, the broad flights of steps leading up to them and the winged human-headed bulls which flank the portals of the propylaea. From Media it would seem to have derived the great halls of columns and the porticoes of the palaces, so clearly described by Polybius (x. 24) as existing at Ecbatana; the principal difference being that the columns of the stoas and peristyle, which there consisted of cedar and cypress covered with silver plates, were in the Persian palaces built of stone. The ephemeral nature of the one material, and the intrinsic value of the other, are sufficient to account for their entire disappearance; but as Ecbatana was occupied by Darius and Xerxes as one of their principal cities, the stone column, bases and capitals, which still exist there, may be regarded as part of the restoration and rebuilding of the palace; and as they are similar to those found at Persepolis and Susa, it is fair to assume that the source of the first inspiration of Persian architecture came from the Medians, especially as Cyrus, the first king, was brought up at the court of Astyages, the last Median monarch.

The earliest Persian palace, of which but scanty remains have been found, was built at Pasargadae by Cyrus. There is sufficient, however, to show that it was of the simplest kind, and consisted of a central hall, the roof of which was carried by two rows of stone columns, 30 ft. high, and porticoes in antis on two if not on three sides.

The great platform, also at Pasargadae, known as the Takht-i-Suleiman, or throne of Solomon, covered an area of about 40,000 sq. ft., and is remarkable for the beauty of its masonry and the large stones of which it is built. These are all sunk round the edge, being the earliest example of what is known as “drafted masonry,” which at Jerusalem and Hebron gives so magnificent an effect to the great walls of the temple enclosures. No remains have ever been traced on this platform of the palace which it was probably built to support.


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Fig. 11.


We pass on therefore to Persepolis, the most important of the Persian cities, if we may judge by the remains still existing there. Here, as at Pasargadae, builders availed themselves of a natural rocky platform, at the foot of a range of hills, which they raised in parts and enclosed with a stone wall. Here the masonry is not drafted, and the stones are not always laid in horizontal courses, but they are shaped and fitted to one another with the greatest accuracy, and are secured by metal clamps. The plan (fig. 11) shows the general configuration of the platform on which the palaces of Persepolis are built, which covered an area of about 1,600,000 sq. ft. The principal approach to it was at the north-west end, up a magnificent flight of steps (A) with a double ramp, the steps being 22 ft. wide, with a tread of 15 in. and a rise of 4, so that they could be ascended by horses. The first building opposite this staircase was the entrance gateway or propylaea (B), a square hall, with four columns carrying the roof and with portals in the front and rear flanked by winged bulls. The earliest palace on the platform (D) is that which was built by Darius, 521 B.C. It was rectangular on plan, raised on a platform approached by two flights of steps, and consisted of an entrance portico of eight columns, in two rows of four placed in antis, between square chambers, in which were probably staircases leading to the roof. This portico led to the great hall, square on plan, whose roof was carried by sixteen columns in four rows. This hall was lighted by two windows on each side of the central doorway, all of which, being in stone, still exist, the lintels and jambs of both doors and windows being monolithic. The walls between these features, having been built in unburnt brick, or in rubble masonry with clay mortar, have long since disappeared. There were other rooms on each side of the hall and an open court in the rear. The bases of the columns of the portico still remain in situ, as also one of the antae in solid masonry; and as these in their relative position and height are in exact accordance with those represented on the tomb of Darius (fig. 12) and other tombs carved in the rock near Persepolis (q.v.), there is no difficulty in forming a fairly accurate conjectural restoration of the same. In the representation of this palace, as shown on the tomb, and above the portico, has been sculptured the great throne of Darius, on which he sat, rendering adoration to the Sun god.


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Fig. 12.—The Tomb of Darius, cut in the cliff at Nakshi Rustam, near Persepolis.


All the other palaces on the site, built or added to by various monarchs and at different periods, preserve very much the same plan, consisting always of a great square hall, the roof of which was carried by columns, with one or more porticoes round, and smaller rooms and courts in the rear. In one of the palaces (G) the roof was carried by 100 columns in ten rows of ten each. The most important building, however, and one which from its extent, height and magnificence, is one of the most stupendous works of antiquity, is the great palace of Xerxes (C), which, though it consists only of a great central hall and three porticoes, covered an area of over 100,000 sq. ft., greater than any European cathedral, those of Milan and St Peter’s at Rome alone excepted.

It was built on a platform raised 10 ft. above the terrace and approached by four flights of steps on the north side, the principal entrance. The columns of the porticoes and of the great hall were 65 ft. high, including base and capital. In the east and west porticoes the capitals consist only of the double bull or griffin; the cross corbels on their backs, similar to those shown on the tomb of Darius, have disappeared, being probably in wood. In the north or entrance portico, and in the great hall, the capitals are of a much more elaborated nature, as under the double capital was a composition of Ionic capitals set on end, and below that the calix and pendant leaves of the lotus plant. It can only be supposed that Xerxes, thinking the columns of the east portico required more decoration, instructed his architects to add some to those of the entrance portico and hall, and that they copied some of the spoils brought from Branchidae and others from Egypt.

Fig. 13 shows the plan of the palace according to the researches of Mr Weld Blundell, who found the traces of the walls surrounding the great hall and of the square chambers at the angles, and also proved that the lines of the drains as shown in Coste’s and Texier’s plans were incorrect. M. Dieulafoy also traced the existence of walls enclosing the Apadana at Susa from the paving of the hall and the portico which stopped on the lines of the wall. The plan of the palace at Susa was similar to that of the palace of Xerxes, except that on the side facing the garden facing south the apadana or throne room was left open. M. Dieulafoy’s discoveries at Susa of the frieze of archers, the frieze of the lions, and other decorations of the walls flanking the staircase, all executed in bright coloured enamels on concrete blocks, revealed the exceptional beauty of the decoration both externally and internally applied to the Persian palaces.


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From R. P. Spier’s Architecture, East and West.
Fig. 13.—Plan of the Hall of Xerxes.


The only other monumental works of Persian architecture are the tombs; to those cut in the solid rock, of which there are some examples, we have already referred. The most ancient tomb is that erected to Cyrus the Elder at Pasargadae, and consists of a small shrine or cella in masonry raised on a series of steps, inspired (according to Fergusson) by the ziggurat or terrace-temples of Assyria, but on a small scale. The tomb was surrounded on three sides by porticoes of columns. There are two other tombs, one at Persepolis and one at Pasargadae—small square towers with an entrance opening high up on one side, sunk panels in the stone, and a dentil cornice, copied from early Ionian buildings.  (R. P. S.) 


Greek Architecture

Prehistoric Period.—We have now to retrace our steps and go back to the prehistoric period of Greek architecture, to the origin and early development of that style which sowed the seed and determined the future form and growth of all subsequent European art.

The discoveries in Crete and Argolis have shown that Greek architecture owes much less than was at one time supposed to Egyptian and Chaldaean architecture; and although from very early times there may have been a commercial exchange between the several countries, the objects imported suggested only new and various schemes of decorative design, and exercised no influence on the development of architectural style. The remains of the palace at Cnossus in Crete, together with the representations in fresco painting and other decorative objects, show that whilst the lower part of the walls under the level of the ground and up to a height of 5 ft. above were all built in well-worked masonry, the upper portions were constructed in unburnt brick with timber framing, which not only gave strength and solidity to the walls, but carried the cross beams and timbers of intermediate floors and the roof, and further, that the walls were always vertical, which was not the case in Egypt or Chaldaea.

The principal remains discovered by Dr Arthur J. Evans (see Crete) are described by him as belonging to the later Minoan age, from which it may be inferred they are the result of same centuries of previous development. What, however, is most remarkable is the admirable planning of the whole palace, the bringing together, under one roof and in proper and regular intercommunication, of the numerous services, which in a palace are somewhat complicated. The palace measured about 400 ft. square, and was built round an open court, nearly 200 ft. long by 90 ft. wide; as the same arrangement was found at Phaestus, excavated by the Italian archaeologists, it may be assumed to have been the Cretan plan. It was built on the crest of a hill, and in the western or highest portion was the court entrance from the agora to the megaron or throne-room, and the halls of the officers of the state. In the lower portion facing the east (the rooms in which were two storeys below the level of the court on account of the slope of the hill) was the private suite of apartments of the king and queen. All the services of the palace were at the north end of the palace, where the entrance gateway to the central court was situated. This northern entrance, Dr Evans points out, “represents the main point of intercourse between the palace and the city on the one hand and the port on the other.” This is the only part of the palace in which there is evidence of some kind of fortification, as the road of access is dominated by a tower or bastion. Other provisions also in the plan of the western entrance suggest that its passage was guarded to some extent. In this respect the palace of Tiryns, excavated by Dr Schliemann, presents an entirely different aspect; the whole stronghold bears a singular resemblance to a fortified castle of the middle ages; a high wall from 24 to 50 ft. thick surrounded the acropolis, and the inclined paths of approach and the double gateways gave that protection at Tiryns which at Cnossus was assured, as Dr Evans remarks, by the bulwarks of the Minoan navy. The area on the spur of the hill, on which the citadel of Tiryns was placed, was very much smaller, but if we accept the forecourt at Tiryns as equivalent to the great central court at Cnossus, there are great similarities in the plans of the two palaces. The propylaea, the altar court, the portico, and the megaron are found in both, and those details which are missing in the one are found in the other. The discoveries at Cnossus have enabled Dr Evans to reconstitute the timber columns, of which the bases only were found at Tiryns, and the spur walls of the portico of the megaron and the sills of the doorways at Tiryns give some clue to the restoration of similar features at Cnossus; and if in the latter palace we find the origin of the Doric column, at Tiryns is found that of the antae and of the door linings, further substantiated by the careful analysis made by Dr Dörpfeld of the Heraeum at Olympia.

The reconstruction by Dr Evans of the timber columns at Cnossus, which tapered from the top downwards, the lower diameter being about six-sevenths of the upper, has little historical importance (see Order), so that we may now pass on to the next early monument of importance, the tomb of Agamemnon, the principal and the best preserved of the beehive tombs found at Mycenae and in other parts of Greece. This tomb consists of three parts, the dromos or open entrance passage, the tholos or circular portion domed over, and a smaller chamber excavated in the rock and entered from the larger one. The tomb was subterranean, the masonry being concealed beneath a large mound of earth. The domed part, 48 ft. 6 in. in diameter and 45 ft. high, is built in horizontal courses of stone, which project one over the other till they meet at the top. Subsequently the projecting edges were dressed down, so that the section through the dome is nearly that of an equilateral triangle. Notwithstanding the great thickness of the lintel (3 ft.) over the entrance doorway, the Mycenaeans left a triangular void over, to take off the superincumbent weight, subsequently (it is supposed) filled with sculpture, as in the Lions’ Gate at Mycenae. The doorway was flanked by semi-detached columns 20 ft. high, the shafts of which tapered downwards like those reconstituted at Cnossus; the shafts rested on a base of three steps, and carried a capital with echinus and abacus. These shafts carried a lintel which has now disappeared; the wall above was set back, and was at one time faced with stone slabs carved with spiral and other patterns, of which there are fragments in various museums, the most important remains being those of the shafts, of which the greater part, which was brought over to England in the beginning of the 19th century by the 2nd marquess of Sligo, was presented by the 5th marquess to the British Museum in 1905. These shafts, as also the echinus moulding of the capitals, are richly carved with the chevron and spirals, probably copied from the brass sheathing of wood columns and doorways referred to by Homer.

The Archaic Period.—The buildings just referred to belong to what is known as the prehistoric age in Greece; the dispersion of the tribes by invaders from the north about 1100 B.C. destroyed the Mycenaean civilization, and some centuries have to pass before we reach the results of the new development. Among the invaders the Dorians would seem to have been the chief leaders, who eventually became supreme. They brought with them from Olympus the worship of Apollo, so that henceforth the sanctuary of the god takes the place of the megaron of the king. From Greece the Dorians spread their colonies through the Greek islands and southern Italy. Later they passed on to Sicily and founded Syracuse, and subsequently Selinus and Agrigentum (Acragas). The prosperity of all these colonies is shown in the splendid temples which they built in stone, the remains of many of which have lasted to our day.

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From Curtius and Adler’s Olympia, by permission of Behrend & Co.
Fig. 14.—Plan of the Heraeum. A, Peristyle; B, Pronaos; C, Naos;
D, Opisthodomus; E, Base of statue of Hermes.

The earliest Greek temple of which remains have been discovered[2] is that of the Heraeum at Olympia, ascribed to about 1000 B.C. Its plan (fig. 14) shows that the enclosure of the sanctuary and its porticoes in a peristyle had already been found necessary, if only to protect the walls of the cella, built in unburnt brick on a stone plinth; further, that the antae of the portico and the dressings of the entrance were in wood; and, following Pausanias’ statement relative to the wood column in the opisthodomos, all the columns of the peristyle were in that material, gradually replaced by stone columns as they decayed, evidenced by the character of their capitals, which in style date from the 6th century B.C. to Roman times. The ephemeral nature of the materials employed in this and other early temples, and the risk of fire, must have naturally led to the desire to render the Greek sanctuaries more permanent by the employment of stone. But the Greeks were always timid as regards the bearing value of that material, and would seem to have imagined that unless the blocks were of megalithic dimensions it was impossible to build in stone. This may be gathered from the remains of the earliest example found, the temple of Apollo in the island of Ortygia, Syracuse, where the monolith columns had widely projecting capitals, the abaci of which were set so close together that the intercolumniation was less than one diameter of the column.

Following the temple of Apollo at Syracuse is the temple of Corinth, ascribed to 650 B.C., of which seven columns remain in situ, all monoliths, and the Olympieum at Syracuse. Nearly contemporary with the latter is one of the temples at Selinus in Sicily, 630 B.C., remarkable for the archaic nature of its sculptured metopes. Of later date there are five or six other temples in Selinus, all overthrown by earthquakes; the temple of Athena at Syracuse, which having been converted into a church is in fair preservation; an unfinished temple at Segesta; and six at Agrigentum, built on the brow of a hill facing the sea, one of which was so large that it was necessary to build in walls between the columns.

In Magna Graecia, in the acropolis at Tarentum, are the remains of a 7th century temple and three at Paestum about a century later in date. In one of these, the temple of Poseidon (figs. 15 and 16) the columns which carried the ceiling and roof over the cella are still standing; these are in two stages superimposed with an architrave between them, and although there are no traces in this instance of a gallery, they serve to render more intelligible Pausanias’ description of that which existed in the temple of Zeus at Olympia.

The temple of Assus in Asia Minor is an early example remarkable for its sculptured architrave, the only one known, and in the temple of Aphaea in Aegina (q.v.) we find the immediate predecessor of the Parthenon, if we may judge by its sculpture and the proportions of its columns.

So far we have only referred to the early temples of the Doric order; of the origin and development of those of the Ionic order far less is known. The earliest examples are those of the temple of Apollo at Naucratis in Egypt, and of the archaic temple of Diana at Ephesus, both about 560 B.C. The remains of the latter, discovered by Wood, are now in the British Museum; they consist of two capitals, one with a portion of a shaft in good preservation; the sculptured drum and the base of one of the columns, inscribed with the name of Croesus, who is known to have contributed to it; two other bases, and the cornice or cymatium. The treasury of the Cnidians at Delphi was Ionic, judging by the carved ornament enriching the cornice and architraves, and in the Naxian votive column we have another early example of an early voluted capital.

The tombs of Tantalais, near Smyrna, and of Alyattes, near Sardis, belong to the same date as those we shall find in Etruria. The Harpy tomb, now in the British Museum, built after 547 B.C., is the predecessor of many other Lycian tombs of the 5th and 4th centuries, to which we return.

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Fig. 15.—Plan of the Temple of
Poseidon at Paestum.

As already pointed out, in the temple of Hera at Olympia (10th century B.C.), we find the complete plan of an hexastyle peripteral Greek temple, where columns originally in wood supported a wood architrave and superstructure protected by terra-cotta plaques and roofed over with tiles. The temple of Apollo at Syracuse, and the temple at Corinth (7th century B.C.) represent the earliest examples in stone, and in the temple of Poseidon at Paestum (6th century) are preserved the columns of the cella which carried the ceiling and roof. The structural development therefore of the temple was completed, and no great constructional improvements reveal themselves after 550 B.C. The next century would seem to have been chiefly directed to the beautifying and refining of the features already prescribed, and it was the traditional respect for, and the conservative adherence to, the older type, which led the architects to the production of such masterpieces as the Parthenon and the Erechtheum, which would have been impossible but for the careful and logical progression of preceding centuries.

The Parthenon (q.v.) at Athens represents the highest type of perfection, not only in its conception but in its realization. It is only necessary here to give a general description. It was designed by Ictinus in collaboration with Callicrates, and built on the south side of the Acropolis on a foundation carried down to the solid rock. The temple, commenced in 454 B.C. and completed in 438 B.C., was of the Doric order and raised on a stylobate of three steps; it had eight columns in front and rear and was surrounded by a peristyle, there being twenty columns on the flanks. It contained two divisions; the eastern chamber was originally known as the Hekatompedos (temple of 100 ft.), that being the dimension of the cella of the ancient temple which it was built to replace. The chamber on the western side was called the Parthenon (i.e. chamber of the virgin). All the principal lines of the building had delicate curves. The entablature rose about 3 in. in the middle to correct an optical illusion caused by the sloping lines of the pediment, which gave to the horizontal cornice the appearance of having sunk in the centre. The stylobate had therefore to be similarly curved so that the columns should be all of the same height. The columns are not all equidistant, those nearer the angle being closer together than the others, which gave a greater appearance of strength to the temple; this was increased by a slight inclination inwards of all the columns. In order to correct another optical illusion, which causes the shaft of a column, when it diminishes as it rises, and is formed with absolute straight lines, to appear hollow or concave, an increment known as the entasis was given to the column, about one-third up the shaft. The columns were not monoliths, like those of the earliest stone temples mentioned above; they were built in several drums, so closely fitted together that the joint would be imperceptible but for the slight discoloration of the marble. The setting of the lowest drum of these columns on the curved stylobate, with the slight inclination of the column, must have been a work of an extraordinary nature, only possible with such a material as Pentelic marble. The cella or naos was built to enshrine the chryselephantine statue of Athena by Pheidias. In order to carry the ceiling and roof there was a range of columns on each side of the cella returning round the end. These columns probably carried an upper range as in the temple of Poseidon at Paestum. The tympana of the two pediments and all the metopes were enriched with the finest sculpture, and were realized, designed, and executed by Pheidias and his pupils. On the upper part of the cella wall and under the peristyle was the Panathenaic frieze, of which, as also of the other sculptures, the British Museum possesses the finest examples.

The Propylaea (q.v.), designed by Mnesicles and built 437-432 B.C., was the only entrance to the Acropolis. It was of the Doric order, and consisted of a portico of six columns, the two centre ones being wider apart, to allow of the road through, up which the chariots and beasts for sacrifices ascended. The columns carrying the marble ceiling of the vestibule were of the Ionic order; beyond them the wall was pierced by three doorways, and on the other side and facing east was another portico of six columns. The front entrance was flanked on the left hand by a chamber known as the Pinacotheca, and on the right by a chamber intended probably to be a replica but subsequently curtailed in size in consequence of the proximity of another temple.

The Erechtheum on the north side of the Acropolis occupied the site of three older shrines, which may account for its irregular plan. The eastern portion was the temple of Athena Polias, with a portico of six columns of the Ionic order. At a lower level on the north side was a portico of six columns (four in front and two at the sides) leading to the shrine of Erechtheus; the west front of this shrine had originally a frontispiece of four columns in antis raised on a podium; subsequently during the Roman occupation these columns were taken down and reproduced as semi-detached columns with windows between. On the west side was a court in which was the olive tree and the shrine of Pandrosus (Pandroseion). At the south-west angle was the well-known portico or tribune of the Caryatides. There was a small entrance through the podium at the side, and stairs leading down to the shrine of Erechtheus.


1911 Britannica-Architecture-Paestum.png

From a photo by Brogi.
Fig. 16.—Temple of Poseidon at Paestum.


The only other building remaining on the Acropolis is the temple of Niké Apteros, raised on a lofty substructure south-west of the propylaea. It also was of the Ionic order, and belonged to the type known as “amphiprostyle,” with a portico of four columns in the front and rear but no peristyle. The term “apteros” applied to the temple and not to the goddess of victory.

In 430 B.C., shortly after the completion of the Parthenon, Ictinus was employed to design the temple of Apollo Epicurius, at Bassae, in Arcadia. This temple externally was of the Doric order, but, being built in local stone, no attempt was made to introduce those refinements which are found in the Parthenon. In the rear of the cella is a second sanctuary with a doorway facing east; it was probably the site of an ancient temple which had to be preserved, and this may account for the fact that the temple runs north and south. The cella is flanked by five columns of the Ionic order which are conntected by spur walls to the cella wall. These columns carry an architrave, frieze richly sculptured with figure subjects, cornice and wall above rising to the roof. There was no ceiling therefore, and the interior was probably lighted through pierced Parian marble tiles, of which three examples were found. The Corinthian capital found on the site is supposed by Cockerell to have belonged to the shaft between the two cellas.

The same architect, Ictinus, was employed in 420 B.C. to rebuild the hall of the mysteries at Eleusis on a larger scale. The hall was 185 ft. square, and its ceiling and roof were carried by seven rows of columns with six in each row. The propylaea, which gave access to the sacred enclosure at Eleusis, was copied from the propylaea at Athens. The so-called lesser propylaea had some connexion with the mysteries.

The temple of Zeus at Olympia had much in common with the Parthenon, being nearly contemporaneous, built to enshrine a second chryselephantine statue by Pheidias, and in plan having a similar arrangement of columns inside the cella; the lower range of columns (according to Pausanias) supported a gallery round, so that privileged visitors could approach nearer to the statue. The temple, however, was built in the local conglomerate stone covered with a thin coat of stucco and painted.

Of circular temples there are two examples known, the Philippeion at Olympia and the Tholos at Epidaurus. The latter had, inside the cella, a peristyle of Corinthian columns, the capitals of which are of great beauty and represent in their design the transition between those of the monument of Lysicrates and the temple of Zeus Olympius at Athens.

In the sacred enclosures of the Greek sanctuaries were other smaller temples or shrines, altars, statues and treasuries, the latter being built by the various cities, from which pilgrimages were made, to contain their treasures. At Olympia there were ten or eleven, the remains of some of which are of great interest. Of the treasury of the Cnidians at Delphi, discovered by the French, so much has been found that it has been possible to evolve a complete conjectural restoration in plaster, now in the Louvre. Its sculpture and the rich carving of its architectural features show that it was Ionian in character. In front was a portico-in-antis, in which the caryatide figures standing on pedestals took the place of columns. These are the earliest examples known of caryatide figures, and they precede those of the Erechtheum by about a century.


1911 Britannica-Architecture-Telmessus.png

Fig. 17.—Lycian Tomb of Telmessus.


The most important temple in Asia Minor was the temple of Diana (Artemis) at Ephesus (356-334 B.C.). The archaic temple was burnt in 356, and was immediately rebuilt with greater splendour from the designs of Paeonius. The site of the temple was discovered by Wood in 1869, and the remains brought over to the British Museum in 1875. There were 100 columns, 36 of which (according to Pliny) were sculptured, and it was probably on account of the magnificence of the sculpture that this temple was included among the seven wonders of the world. The sculptured bases are of two kinds, square and circular, in the latter case being the lower drums of the columns. Examples of both are in the British Museum, and several conjectural restorations have been made, among which that of Dr A. S. Murray has been generally accepted, but recent researches (1905) suggest that it remains still an unsolved problem.

The temple of Apollo Didymaeus, near Miletus, was the largest temple in Asia Minor, and its erection followed that of the temple at Ephesus, Paeonius and Daphnis of Miletus being the architects. The temple was decastyle, dipteral, with pronaos and vestibule, but no opisthodomos. The cella was so wide (75 ft.) that it remained open to the sky. The bases of the columns were elaborately carved with ornament, as if in rivalry with the temple of Diana. Both these temples were of the Ionic order, as also were those of Athena Polias at Priene (340 B.C.), many of the capitals of which are in the British Museum, and the temples of Aphrodite at Aphrodisias and Cybele at Sardis.

The mausoleum at Halicarnassus, also of the Ionic order, built by Queen Artemisia in memory of her husband Mausolus, who died in 353 B.C., was, according to Pliny, recorded as one of the seven wonders of the world, probably on account of the eminence of the sculptors employed, Bryaxis, Leochares, Timotheus, Scopas and Pythius. Pliny’s description is somewhat vague, so that its actual design is a problem not yet solved. Professor Cockerell’s restoration is in accord with the description, but does not quite agree with the actual remains brought over by Newton and deposited in the British Museum. If the Nereid monument and the tombs at Cnidus and Mylasa be taken as suggesting the design, the peristyle (pteron) of thirty-six columns of the Ionic order with entablature stood on a lofty podium, richly decorated with bands of sculpture, and was crowned by a pyramid which, according to Pliny, “contracted itself by twenty-four steps into the summit of a meta.” The steps found are not high enough to constitute a meta, and it is possible therefore that, according to Mr J. J. Stevenson, these steps were over the peristyle only, and that the lofty steps which constituted the meta were in the centre, carried by the inner row of columns. The magnificent sculpture of the Macedonian period has in recent times been demonstrated by the discovery of the marble sarcophagi found at Sidon by Hamdi Bey and now in the museum at Constantinople.

The Lycian tombs, of which there are many hundreds carved in the rock in the south of Asia Minor, are copies of timber structures, based on the stone architecture of the neighbouring Greek cities (fig. 17). The Paiafa or Payava tomb (375-362 B.C.), found at Xanthus and now in the British Museum, is apparently a copy, cut in the solid rock, of a portable shrine, in which the wood construction is clearly defined.

Capitals of the Greek Corinthian order have been found at Bassae, Epidaurus, Olympia and Miletus, but the earliest example of the complete order is represented in the Choragic monument of Lysicrates at Athens.

The most important example of the Greek Corinthian order is that of the temple of Jupiter Olympius at Athens, begun in 174 B.C., but not completed till the time of Hadrian, A.D. 117. The temple was 135 ft. wide and 354 ft. long, built entirely in Pentelic marble, the columns being 56 ft. high. There were eight columns in front and a double peristyle round.

The two porches of the Tower of the Winds at Athens (c. 75 B.C.) had Corinthian capitals. The upper part of the tower, which was octagonal in plan, was sculptured with figures representing the winds.

The Greek houses discovered at Delos and Priene were very simple and unpretentious, but the palace near Palatitza in Macedonia, discovered by Messrs Heuzey and Daumet, would seem to have been of a very sumptuous character. The front of the palace measured 250 ft. In the centre was a vestibule flanked with Ionic columns on either side, leading to a throne room at one time richly decorated with marble, and with numerous other halls on either side. The date is ascribed to the middle of the 4th century B.C.

In selecting the sites for their theatres, the Greeks always utilized the slope of a hill, in which they could cut out the cavea, and thus save the expense of raising a structure to carry the seats, at the same time obtaining a beautiful prospect for the background. The theatre of Dionysus at Athens was discovered and excavated in 1864, and has fortunately preserved all the seats round the orchestra, sixty-seven in number, all in Pentelic marble, with the names inscribed thereon of the priests and dignitaries who occupied them. The largest theatre was at Megalopolis, with an auditorium 474 ft. in diameter. The most perfect, so far as the seats are concerned, is the theatre at Epidaurus, with a diameter of 415 ft. Other theatres are known at Dodona in Greece, Pergamum and Tralles in Asia Minor, and Syracuse and Segesta in Sicily.  (R. P. S.) 


Parthian Architecture

The architecture of the Parthian dynasty, who from 250 B.C. to A.D. 226 occupied the greater part of Mesopotamia, their empire in 160 B.C. extending over 480,000 sq. m., was quite unknown until Sir A. H. Layard, following in the steps of Ross and Ainsworth, visited and measured the plan of the palace at Hatra (el Hadr) about 30 m. south of Mosul; the architecture of this palace shows that, on the one hand, the Parthians carried on the traditions of the barrel vault of the Assyrian palace, and on the other, from their contact with Hellenistic methods of building, had acquired considerable knowledge in the working of ashlar masonry.

1911 Britannica-Architecture-Hatra.png

Fig. 18.—Plan of Palace of el Hadr.

A, Throne or reception room.
B, Large hall, or
C, Entrance hall of temple.
D, Temple.

El Hadr is first mentioned in history as having been unsuccessfully besieged by Trajan in A.D. 116, and it is recorded to have been a walled town containing a temple of the sun, celebrated for the value of its offerings. The temple referred to is probably the large square building at the back of the palace, as above the doorway is a rich frieze carved with griffins, similar to those found at Warka by Loftus, together with large quantities of Parthian coins. The remains (fig. 18) consist of a block of 380 ft. frontage, facing east, and 128 ft. deep, subdivided by walls of great thickness, running at right angles to the main front, and built in an immense court, divided down the centre by a wall, separating that portion on the south side, where the temple was situated, from that on the north side, which constituted the king’s palace. The seven subdivisions of the different widths were all covered with semi-circular barrel vaults which, being built side by side, mutually resisted the thrust, the outer walls being of greater thickness, with the same object. In the centre of the south block was an immense hall 49 ft. wide and 98 ft. deep, which formed the vestibule to the temple in the rear; this vestibule was flanked by a series of three smaller halls on either side, over which there was probably a second floor. On the palace or north side were two great aiwans or reception halls. The main front (fig. 19) was built in finely jointed ashlar masonry with semicircular attached shafts between the entrance doorways, which had semicircular heads, every third voussoir of the three larger doors being decorated by busts in strong relief with a headgear similar to that shown on Parthian coins; other carvings, with the acanthus leaf, belonged to that type of Syrio-Greek work, of which Loftus found so many examples at Warka (Loftus, Chaldaea, Susiana, p. 225). In the great mosque of Diarbekr are two wings at the north and south ends respectively, which are said to have been Parthian palaces built by Tigranes, 74 B.C.; they have evidently been rearranged or rebuilt at various times, the columns with their capitals and the entablature having been utilized again. The shafts of the columns of the upper storey are richly carved with geometrical patterns similar to those found by Loftus at Warka.


1911 Britannica-Architecture-Palace of el Hadr.png

Fig. 19.—Portion of front of Palace of el Hadr.


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From Prof H. V. Hilprecht’s Exploration in Bible Lands, by permission of A. J. Holman & Co. and T. & T. Clark.
Fig. 20.—Plan of the Parthian Palace at Nippur.


The American researches at Nippur have resulted in the discovery on the top of the mounds of the remains of a Parthian palace; and the disposition of its plan (fig. 20), and the style of the columns of the peristylar court, show so strong a resemblance to Greek work as to suggest the same Hellenistic influence as in the palace of el Hadr. Having no stone, however, they were obliged to build up these columns at Nippur with sections in brick, covered afterwards with stucco. The columns diminished at the top to about one-fifth of the lower diameter, and would seem to have had an entasis, as the lower portion up to one-third of the height is nearly vertical. A similar palace was discovered at Tello by the French archaeologists, and the bases of some of the brick columns are in the Louvre.  (R. P. S.) 


Sassanian Architecture


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Plan.



Palace of Serbistan.png

Section in lines BC, DE, FG of plan.

Fig. 21 and Fig. 22.—The Palace of Serbistan.


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Fig. 23.—Plan of the
Palace at Firuzabad.

Although, on the overthrow of the Parthian dynasty in A.D. 226, the monarchs of the Sassanian dynasty succeeded to the immense Parthian empire, the earliest building found, according to Fergusson, is that at Serbistan, to which he ascribes the date A.D. 380. The palace (fig. 21), which measures 130 ft. frontage and 143 ft. deep, with an internal court, shows so great an advance in the arrangements of its plan as to suggest considerable acquaintance with Roman work. The fine ashlar work of el-Hadr is no longer adhered to, and in its place we find rubble masonry with thick mortar joints, the walls being covered afterwards, both externally and internally, with stucco. While the barrel vault is still retained for the chief entrance porches, it is of elliptical section, and the central hall is covered with a dome, a feature probably handed down from the Assyrians, such as is shown in the bas-relief (fig. 10) from Kuyunjik, now in the British Museum. In order to carry a dome, circular on plan, over a square hall, it was necessary to arch across the angles, and here to a certain extent the Sassanians were at fault, as they did not know how to build pendentives, and the construction of these are of the most irregular kind. As, however, their mortar had excellent tenacious properties, these pendentives still remain in situ (fig. 22), and their defects were probably hidden under the stucco. In the halls which flank the building on either side, however, they displayed considerable knowledge of construction. Instead of having enormously thick walls to resist the thrust of their vaults, to which we have already drawn attention in the Assyrian work and at el Hadr, they built piers at intervals, covering over the spaces between them, with semi-domes on which the walls carrying the vaults are supported, so that they lessened the span of the vault and brought the thrust well within the wall. This, however, lessened the width of the hall, so they replaced the lower portions of the piers by the columns, leaving a passage round. It is possible that this idea was partly derived from the great Roman halls of the thermae (baths), where the vault is brought forward on columns; but it was an improvement to leave a passage behind. The elliptical sections given to all the barrel vaults may have been the traditional method derived from Assyria, of which, however, no remains exist. In the article Vault there will be found a reason why these elliptical sections were adopted (see also below in the description of the great hall at Ctesiphon). In the palace of Firuzabad, attributed by Fergusson to Perōz (Firuz) (A.D. 459-485), the plan (fig. 23) follows more closely the disposition of the Assyrian palaces, and we return again to the thick walls, which might incline us to give a later date to Serbistan, except that in the pendentives carrying the three great domes in the centre of the palace at Firuzabad they show greater knowledge in their construction. The angles of the square hall are vaulted, with a series of concentric arches, each ring as it rises being brought forward, the object being to save centreing, because each ring rested on the ring beneath it. The plan is a rectangular parallelogram with a frontage of 180 ft. and a depth of 333 ft., more than double, therefore, of the size of Serbistan. An immense entrance hall in the centre of the main front is flanked on each side by two halls placed at right angles to it, so as to resist the thrust of the elliptical barrel vaults of the entrance hall. This hall leads to a series of three square halls, side by side, each surmounted by a dome carried on pendentives. Beyond is an open court, the smaller rooms round all covered with barrel vaults. Here, as in Serbistan, the material employed is rubble masonry with thick joints of mortar, and fortunately portions of the stucco with which this Sassanian masonry was covered remain both externally and internally. As there are no windows of any sort, the wall surface of the exterior has been decorated with semi-circular attached shafts and panelling between, which recall the primitive decorations found in the early Chaldaean temples, except that arches are carried at the top across the sunk panels. Internally an attempt has been made to copy the decoration of the Persian doorway, which represents a kind of renaissance of the ancient style. But instead of the lintel the arch has been introduced, and the ornament in stucco representing the Persian cavetto cornice shows imperfect knowledge of the original and is clumsily worked. The niches also, in the main front, have been copied from the windows which flank the doorway in the Persian palace. But they are decorative only, and are too shallow to serve any purpose.


1911 Britannica-Architecture-Ctesiphon.png

From Dieulafoy’s L’Art Antique by permission of Morel et Cie.
Fig. 24.—The Great Hall at Ctesiphon.

If there has been some difficulty in determining the exact date of Firuzabad, that of the third great palace, at Ctesiphon, on the borders of the Tigris, is known to have been built by Chosroes I. in A.D. 550. Owing probably to its proximity to Bagdad, from which it lies about 25 m. distant, it is much better known than the other examples we have quoted; but while they are constructed in rubble masonry, Ctesiphon is built of brick, because we have now returned to the alluvial plain where no stone could be procured. The only portion of the palace which still exists is that which was built in burnt brick, and this far exceeds in dimensions Serbistan and Firuzabad. Its main front measured 312 ft.; its height was about 115 ft.; and its depth 175 ft. The plan is very simple, and consisted of an aiwan or immense hall, 86 ft. in width and 163 ft. long, covered with an elliptical barrel vault, the thrust of which is counteracted by five long halls on each side, also covered with barrel vaults and probably used as guard chambers or stores. The great hall was open in the front, and constituted an immense portal, 83 ft. wide and 95 ft. to the crown of the arch. The springing of the vault is 40 ft. from the ground, but up to about 26 ft. above the springing the walls are built in horizontal courses projecting inwards as they rise, so that the actual width of the vaulted portion (fig. 24) has been diminished one-sixth and measures only about 71 ft. The crown of the vault is 9 ft. thick, the walls at the base being 23 ft. The bricks or tiles of which the vault is built are, like those at Thebes, laid flat-wise, and there is also a similar inclination of the rings of brick-work, which are about 10° out of the vertical. This leads to the conclusion that this immense vault was built without centreing, as the tenacious quality of the mortar would probably be sufficient to hold each tile in its position until the ring was complete. In the building of the arch of the great portal other precautions were taken; bond timbers 23 ft. long and in five rows, one above the other, were carried through the wall from front to back. The lower portion of the arch (5 ft. in height) was built with bricks placed flat-wise; the upper portion (4 ft. in height) in the usual way, viz. right angles to the face. The reason for this change was probably that the upper portions might be carved, as they have been, with a series of semi-circular cusps.

The decoration of the flanks of this great central portal is of the most bewildering description. There has evidently been a desire to give a monumental character to the main front. With this idea in view they would seem to have attempted to reproduce Roman features, such as are found decorating the fronts of the various amphitheatres of the Empire. But the semi-circular shafts which form the decoration do not come one over the other on the several storeys, and there is a reckless employment of blank arcades distributed over the surface.

There are remains of two other palaces at Imamzade and Tag Iran, and in Moab a small example, the Hall of Rabboth Ammon, supposed to have been erected for Chosroes II. during the subjugation of Palestine, which is richly decorated with carving, probably by Syrio-Greek artists, with a mixture of Greek, Jewish and Sassanian details. At Takibostan and Behistun (Bisutun), some 200 m. north-east of Ctesiphon, are some remarkable Sassanian capitals and panels (published in Flandin and Coste’s Voyage en Perse, 1851, Paris).  (R. P. S.) 


Etruscan Architecture

Although our acquaintance with Etruscan architecture is confined chiefly to the entrance gateways and the walls of towns, and to tombs, it forms a very important link between the East and the West. Though little is known of the history of Etruria (q.v.), the influence which her people exerted on Roman architecture, lasting down to the period when Greece was overrun and plundered of her treasures, was so great that it would be difficult to follow the origin of Roman architecture without some inquiry into the work of its immediate predecessor. The theory put forward by Fergusson, as to the migration of the Etruscans from Asia Minor in the 12th or 11th century B.C., is substantiated by the resemblance of the tumuli in the latter country, such as those at Tantalais, on the northern shore of the gulf of Smyrna, and that of Alyattes near Sardis, as compared with the Regulini Galeassi tomb at Cervetri and the Cucumella tomb at Vulci, in all cases consisting of a sepulchral chamber buried under an immense mound surrounded by a podium in stone. The chamber was covered over with masonry, laid in horizontal courses, each stone projecting slightly over the one below. The same system of construction prevailed in the bee-hive tombs of Greece, except that the latter were always circular on plan, whilst these cited above were rectangular. Similar methods of construction are found at Tusculum and in a gateway at Arpino. In all these cases the projecting courses were worked off on the completion of the tomb, in Greece and at Tusculum and Arpino following a curve, and in the Regulini Galeassi tomb a raking line.

The earliest example known of the arched vault, with regular voussoirs in stone, is found in the canal of the Marta near Graviscae, ascribed to the 7th century. The vault is 14 ft. in span, with voussoirs from 5 to 6 ft. in depth. In the tomb of Pythagoras near Cortona, with a span of about 10 ft., only four voussoirs were employed. In the Cloaca Maxima at Rome the vault (now ascribed by Commendatore Boni to the 1st century B.C.) is built with three concentric rings of voussoirs. In all these cases the thrust of the arch was amply resisted as they were constructed under ground, and in the entrance gateways at Volterra, Perugia and Falerii a similar resistance was given by the immense walls in which they were built.

We have already referred to one class of tomb in which the sepulchral chamber, built above the ground, was covered over with a mound of earth; there is a second class, carved out of the solid rock, in which we find the same treatment as that described in connexion with Egypt. The tomb represents, in its internal arrangements and in its decorations, the earthly dwelling of the defunct (compare the Egyptian “soul-houses”). The ceilings are carved in imitation of the horizontal beams and slanting rafters of the roof, the former carried by square piers with capitals; one well-known tomb at Corneto (fig. 25) represents the atrium of an Etruscan house, which corresponds with the description given by Vitruvius of the cavaedia displuviata, in which there was a small opening at the top, known as the compluvium, the roof sloping down on all four sides.

The paintings which decorate these tombs have very much the same character as those which are found on what were thought to have been Etruscan, but are now generally considered as Greek vases, the principal difference being that instead of allegorical subjects, domestic scenes recalling the life of the deceased are represented. In a tomb at Cervetri the walls and piers were carved with representations of the helmets, swords and other accoutrements of a soldier, and also the mirrors and jewelry of his wife, even the kitchen utensils being included, so as to give the complete fittings of the house they occupied. In two examples at Castel D’Asso the rock has been cut away on all sides, leaving a rectangular block, crowned with reverse mouldings.

Scarcely any remains in situ of Etruscan temples have been found, and the description given by Vitruvius is very scanty. Of late years, however, in the British Museum and in the museums at Florence and Rome, a large amount of material has been brought together, from which it is possible to make some kind of conjectural restoration. This has been facilitated by the discoveries made at Olympia, Delphi and elsewhere in Greece, showing the important function which terra-cotta served in the protection and decoration of the timber roofs of the Greek temples and treasuries. The cornices, antefixae, pendant slabs and other decorative features in terra-cotta, found on the sites of the Etruscan temples, show that the timber construction of their roofs was protected in the same way; and although Vitruvius (bk. iii. ch. 2) considered the temple of Ceres at Rome to be clumsy and heavy, and its roofs low and wide, in comparison with the purer examples of Greek architecture, the remains of terra-cotta found at Civita Castellana (the ancient Falerii), at Luna, Telamon and Lanuvium (the latter in the British Museum), show that in their modelling and colour they must have possessed considerable decorative effect, and when raised on an eminence, as in the case of the temple of Jupiter on the Capitol, formed striking features of importance, enriched as they were with gilding. There is one feature in the Etruscan examples which seems to have been peculiar to their temples, viz. the pendant slabs hung round the eaves to protect the walls; these latter were probably covered with stucco and decorated with paintings. The lower portions of many of these slabs were decorated in relief and in colour at the back, showing that they were exposed to view below the soffit of the projecting eaves.


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Fig. 25.—The Corneto Tomb.


Owing to the ephemeral nature of the materials employed in the building of the walls of Etruscan temples, viz. unburned brick or rubble masonry with clay mortar, the roofs being in timber, little is known of their general design; the terra-cotta decorations are, however, fortunately in good preservation, and suggest that although the Etruscan temple, architecturally speaking, was not of a very monumental character, its external decoration and colour added considerably to its effect.  (R. P. S.) 


Roman Architecture

The rebuilding of Rome, which began in the reign of Augustus, and was carried on by his successors to a much greater extent, has caused the destruction of nearly all those examples of early work to which the student, working out the history of a style, would turn. There are, however, a few early buildings still existing, and these are of value as showing the extremely simple nature of their design. The temple of Fortuna Virilis (so-called) in the Forum Boarium, attributed to the beginning of the 1st century B.C., shows the great difference between Greek and Roman temples. Like the Etruscan temple, it is raised on a podium, and approached by a flight of steps. The Etruscan cella is dispensed with; and what may be looked upon as the semblance of a Greek peristyle is retained in the semi-detached columns which are carried round the walls of the cella. To the entrance portico, however, the Roman architect attached great importance, and we find here that one-third of the whole length of the temple is given up to the portico. The Tabularium built by Lutatius Catulas (78 B.C.) is a second example of early work. On a lofty substructure, built of peperino stone, was raised an arcade, which formed a passage from one side of the capitol to the other, and here we find the earliest example of the use of the Classic order, as a decorative feature only, applied to the face of a wall. The arcade consists of a series of arches with intermediate semi-detached Doric columns carrying an entablature. The architectural design of the substructure is of the simplest kind, depending for its effect only on the size of the stones employed and the finish given to the masonry. The same remark applies to the few remains left of the Forum Julium (47 B.C.), where an additional decorative effect was produced by the bevelled edge worked round all the stones, producing the effect of rusticated masonry.

If, however, the remains are few, the records of classical writers show that already before the beginning of the 1st century B.C. the influence of Greece had been shown in the transformation of the Forum, the embanking of the river Tiber, the erection of numerous porticoes throughout the Campus Martius, and of basilicas, one of which, rebuilt by Paulus Aemilius in 50 B.C., was remarkable for its monolithic columns of pavonazetto marble; and further that on the Palatine hill were various mansions, the courts and peristyles of which were richly decorated with marble.

The boast of Augustus that he found Reme built of brick and left it in marble is true in a sense, but not in the way it is usually interpreted. He greatly encouraged the use of marble—the temple of Venus in the forum of Julius Caesar is said to have been built entirely of that material—but as a rule marble was only used as a facing. This, however, led to the substitution of solid concrete for the core of walls, in place of the unburnt brick which up to that time had been employed. On this subject the writings of Vitruvius, the Roman architect, are of the greatest value, as they describe clearly not only the materials used at this time (about 30 B.C.), but the different methods of building walls (see Rome). The material which contributed more than any other to the magnificent conceptions of the Roman Imperial style was that known as pozzolana, a volcanic earth which, mixed with lime, formed an hydraulic cement of great cohesion and strength. Not only the walls but the vaults were built in this pozzolana concrete, and formed one solid mass. Bricks were employed in arches, on the quoins of walls, occasionally in bond courses, and in the constructional vaults as ribs, in order to relieve the centreing of the weight until the pozzolana concrete had been poured in and had consolidated. The bricks employed in these ribs, and for the voussoirs of arches, were of the kind we should describe as tiles, being about 2 ft. square and 2 in. thick. Bricks also of smaller size and triangular in shape were used for the facing of walls, the triangular portions being embedded into the concrete walls.

The Romans themselves do not seem to have realized the tenacious properties of this pozzolana cement which, when employed for the foundation of temples, formed a solid mass capable of bearing as much weight as the rock itself. They feared also the thrust of the immense vaults over their halls, and always provided crosswalls to counteract the same, as shown in the plan of all the thermae; when, however, they had discovered the secret of covering over large spaces with a permanent casing indestructible by fire, it not only gave an impetus to the great works in Rome, but led to a new type of plan, which spread all through the Empire, varied only by the difference in materials and in labour. In this respect the Romans always availed themselves of the resources of the country, which they turned to the best account. As pozzolana was not to be found in North Africa or Syria, they had to trust to the excellent qualities of the Roman mortar, but even in Syria, where stone was plentiful and could be obtained in great dimensions, when they attempted to erect vaults of great span similar to those in Rome, these probably collapsed before the building was finished, and were replaced by roofs in wood.

In the styles hitherto described the gradual development has been traced to their primitive, culminating and decadent periods. This is not called for in a description of the Roman style of architecture, which to a certain extent appeared phoenix-like in its highest development under Augustus. Roman orders in the Augustan age had reached their culminating development. The capitals of the portico of the Pantheon (27 B.C.), or of the temple of Mars Ultor (2 B.C.), constitute the finest examples of the Corinthian order, whilst those of later temples show a falling off in style. It was only in the application of the orders that new combinations presented themselves, and this can be better understood when we refer to the monuments themselves. The description of the Roman orders, with the subsequent modifications, is given in the article Order. It is necessary, however, here to draw attention to two very important developments which the Roman architect introduced as regards the orders: firstly, their employment as decorative features in combination with the arcade, known as composite arcades, and secondly, their superposition one above the other in storeys. The earliest example of the first class is that found in the Tabularium as it now exists; of the second class the Colosseum and the theatre of Marcellus are the best known examples. In principle the practice must be condemned, for the employment of the column and entablature, which was designed by the Greek architect as an independent constructive feature, in a purely decorative sense stuck on the face of a wall, is contrary to good taste, but it is impossible not to recognize in its application to the Colosseum the value of the scale which it has given to the whole structure, a scale which would have been entirely lost if the building had been treated as one storey. The superposition of the orders as exemplified in the Roman theatres and amphitheatres throughout the Empire constitutes the greatest development made in the style, and it is one which, from the Italian revivalists down to our time, has had more influence in the design of monumental work than any other Roman innovation.

In the preceding sections it has been necessary to confine our descriptions, in the case of Egypt and Greece, more or less to temples and tombs, and in that of Assyria to palaces, but in Roman architecture the monuments are not only of the most extensive and varied kinds, but in some parts of the Empire they become modified by the requirements of the country, so that a tabulated list alone would occupy a considerable space. The following are the principal subdivisions: The Roman forum (see Rome); the colonnaded streets in Syria and elsewhere, and temple enclosures; temples (q.v.), rectangular and circular; basilicas (q.v.); theatres (q.v.) and amphitheatres (q.v.); thermae or baths (q.v.); entrance gateways and triumph arches (see Triumphal Arch); memorial buildings and tombs, aqueducts (q.v.) and bridges (q.v.), palatial architecture (see Palace); domestic architecture (see House). The Forum Romanum under the Republic would seem to have served several purposes. The principal temples and important public buildings occupied sites round it, and up to the time of Julius Caesar there were shops on both sides: it was also used as a hippodrome and served for combats and other displays. Under the Empire, however, these were relegated to the amphitheatre and the theatre, markets were provided for elsewhere, and the forum became the chief centre for the temples, basilicas, courts of law and exchanges. But already in the time of Julius Caesar the Forum Romanum had become too small, and others were built by succeeding emperors. In order to find room for these, not only were numerous crowded sites cleared, but vast portions of the Quirinal hill were cut away to make place for them. The Fora added were those of Julius Caesar, Augustus, Trajan, Nerva and Vespasian. Outside Rome, in provincial towns and in Africa and Syria, the Forum was generally built on the intersection of the two main streets, and was surrounded by porticoes, temples and civic monuments.

Colonnaded Streets.—We gather from some Roman authors that in early days the Campus Martius was laid out with porticoes. All these features have disappeared, but there are still some existing in Syria, North Africa and Asia Minor, which are known as colonnaded streets. The most important of these are found in Palmyra, where the street was 70 ft. wide with a central avenue open to the sky and side avenues roofed over with stone. The columns employed were of the Corinthian order, 31 ft. high, and formed a peristyle on each side of the street, which was nearly a mile in length. The triple archway in this street is still one of the finest examples of Roman architecture. At Gerasa, the colonnaded streets had columns of the Ionic order, the street being 1800 ft. long, with other streets at right angles to it; similar streets are found at Amman, Bosra, Kanawat, &c. At Pompeiopolis, in Asia Minor, are still many streets of columns, and in North Africa the French archaeologists have traced numerous others.

Temple Enclosures.—In Rome the great cost, and the difficulty of obtaining large sites, restricted the size of the enclosures of the temples; this was to a certain extent compensated for by the magnificence of the porticoes surrounding them. The most important was that built by Hadrian, measuring 480 ft. by 330 ft., to enclose the double temples of Venus and Rome. The portico of Octavia measures 400 ft. by 370 ft., enclosing two temples, and the portico of the Argonauts, which enclosed the temple of Neptune, was about 300 ft. square. These dimensions, however, are far exceeded by those of the enclosures in Syria and Asia Minor. The court of the temple of the Sun at Palmyra was raised on an artificial platform 16 ft. high, and measured 735 ft. by 725 ft., with an enclosure wall of 74 ft. on the west and 67 ft. high on the other three sides.

At Baalbek the platform was raised 25 ft. above the ground, the dimensions being 400 ft. wide and 900 ft. deep. At Damascus the enclosure of the temple of the Sun has been traced, and it extended to about 1000 ft. square. Similar enclosures are found at Gerasa, Amman and other Syrian towns. In Asia Minor, at Aizani the platform was 520 by 480 ft., raised about 20 ft., and in Africa the French have found the remains of similar enclosures.

Roman Temples.—The Romans, following the Etruscan custom, invariably raised their temples on a podium with a flight of steps on the main front. Their temples were not orientated, and being regarded more as monuments than religious structures occupied prominent sites facing the Forum or some great avenue. Much importance was attached to the entrance portico, which was deeper than those in Greek temples, and the peristyle when it existed was rarely carried round the back. On the other hand the cella exceeded in span those of the Greek temples, as the Roman, being acquainted with the principle of trussing timbers, could roof over wider spaces. The principal temples in Rome, of which remains still exist, are those of Fortuna Virilis, Mars Ultor, Castor, Neptune, Antoninus and Faustina, Concord, Vespasian, Saturn and portions of the double temples of Venus and Rome. At Pompeii are the temples of Jupiter and Apollo, at Cora the temple of Mercury, and in France, the Maison Carrée at Nîmes and the temple at Vienne. In Syria are the temples of Jupiter at Baalbek, of the Sun at Palmyra and Gerasa, and in Spalato the temple of Aesculapius.

Of circular temples the chief are the Pantheon at Rome, the temple of Vesta on the Forum, of Mater Matuta, so-called, on the Forum Boarium, the temple of Vesta at Tivoli, of Jupiter at Spalato and of Venus at Baalbek.

Of the rectangular temples the Maison Carrée at Nîmes is the most perfect example existing (fig. 26). It was built by Antoninus Pius, and dedicated to his adopted sons Lucius and Martius. This temple, 59 ft. by 117 ft., is of the Corinthian order, hexastyle, pseudoperipteral, with a portico three columns deep, and is raised on a podium 12 ft. high. The next best preserved example is the temple of Jupiter at Baalbek, also of the Corinthian order, octastyle, peripteral, with a deep portico, and a cella richly decorated with three-quarter detached shafts of the Corinthian order.

Of the circular temples the Pantheon is the most remarkable. It was built by Hadrian, and consists of an immense rotunda 142 ft. in diameter, covered with a hemispherical dome 140 ft. high. Its walls are 20 ft. thick, and have alternately semicircular and rectangular recesses in them. In the centre of the dome is a circular opening 30 ft. in diameter open to the sky, the only source from which the light is obtained. The rotunda is preceded by a portico, originally built by Agrippa as the front of the rectangular temple erected by him, taken down and re-erected after the completion of the rotunda, with the omission of the two outer columns. In other words Agrippa’s portico was decastyle; the actual portico is octastyle.

Basilicas.—The earliest example of which remains exist is that of the Basilica Julia on the Forum, the complete plan of which is now exposed to view. It consisted of a central hall measuring 255 ft. by 60 ft., surrounded by a double aisle of arches carried on piers, which were covered with groined vaults. The Basilica Ulpia built by Trajan was similar in plan, but in the place of the piers were monolith columns, with Corinthian capitals carrying an entablature, with an upper storey forming a gallery round.


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Fig. 26.—Elevation and plan of the Maison Carrée, Nîmes.


The third great basilica, commenced by Maxentius and completed by Constantine, differs entirely from the two above mentioned. It followed the design and construction of the Tepidarium of the Roman thermae, and consisted of a hall 275 ft. long by 82 ft. wide and 114 ft. high, covered with an intersecting barrel vault with deep recesses on each side which communicated one with the other by arched openings and constituted the aisles.

Theatres.—The only example in Rome is the theatre of Marcellus, built by Augustus 13 B.C., and one of the purest examples of Roman architecture. Amongst the best preserved examples is the theatre of Orange in the south of France, the stage of which was 203 ft. long. In the theatre at Taormina in Sicily are still preserved some of the columns which decorated the rear wall of the stage. The theatre of Herodes Atticus at Athens (A.D. 160) retains portions of its enclosure walls and some of the marble seats. There are two theatres in Pompeii where the seats and the stage are in fair preservation. Other examples in Asia Minor are at Aizani, Side, Telmessus, Alinda, and in Syria at Amman, Gerasa, Shuhba and Beisan.

Amphitheatres.—The largest amphitheatre is that known as the Colosseum, commenced by Vespasian in A.D. 72, continued by Titus and dedicated by the latter in A.D. 80. This refers to the three lower storeys, for the topmost storey was not erected until the first part of the 3rd century, when it was completed by Severus Alexander and Gordianus. The building is elliptical in plan and measures 620 ft. for the major axis and 513 ft. for the minor axis. There were eighty entrances, two of which were reserved for the emperor and his suite. The Cavea (q.v.) was divided into four ranges of seats; the whole of the exterior and the principal corridors were built in travertine stone, and all other corridors, staircases and substructures in concrete. Externally the wall was divided into four storeys, the three lower ones with arcades divided by semi-detached columns of the Tuscan, the Ionic and the Corinthian orders respectively. The walls of the topmost storey were decorated with pilasters of the Corinthian order, the only openings there being small windows, to light the corridors and the upper range of seats. Among other amphitheatres the best preserved are those found at Capua, Verona, and Pompeii in Italy; at El Jem in North Africa; at Pola in Istria, and at Arles and Nîmes in France.

The Thermae or Imperial Baths.—The term thermae is given to the immense bathing establishments which were built by the emperors to ingratiate themselves with the people. Of the ordinary baths (Balneae) there were numerous examples not only in Rome but at Pompeii and throughout the Empire. The thermae were devoted not only to baths but to gymnastic pursuits of every kind, and being the resorts of the poets, philosophers and statesmen of the day, contained numerous halls where discussions and orations could take place. The plans of these thermae were measured by Palladio about 1560, at a time when they were in far better preservation and more extensive than they are to-day. They have, however, been measured since by some of the French Grand Prix students; and Blouet’s work on the Thermae of Caracalla(1828) and Paulin’s on the Thermae of Diocletian(1890) give accurate drawings as well as conjectural restorations which are of the greatest value. The earliest thermae were those built by Agrippa (20 B.C.) in the Campus Martius, and of others those of Titus and Trajan are the best preserved; plans can be found in Cameron’s Baths (1775).

Entrance Gateways and Arches of Triumph.—As the entrance gateways were sometimes erected to commemorate some important event, we have grouped these together, the real difference being that the arch of triumph was an isolated feature and served no utilitarian purpose, whereas the entrance gateway constituted part of the external walls of the city and could be opened and closed at will. Of the latter those at Verona, Susa, Perugia and Aosta in Italy, Autun in France, and the Porta Nigra at Trèves (Trier) are the best known, but there are also numerous examples throughout Syria and North Africa. The arches of triumph offered a fine scope for decoration with bas-reliefs setting forth the principal events of the campaign; the representation on coins also suggests that they were looked upon as pedestals to carry large groups of sculpture. The best known examples are those of Titus, Septimius Severus and Constantine at Rome, of Trajan at Ancona, and, in France, at Orange, St Remi and Reims. There were numerous examples throughout North Africa and Syria, of which the arch of Caracalla at Tebessa in the former and the great gateway of Palmyra in Syria are the best preserved.

Memorial Buildings and Tombs.—Columns of victory constituted another type of memorial, and the shafts of the columns of Trajan and Marcus Aurelius in Rome lent themselves to a better representation of the records of victory than those which could be obtained in the panels of a triumphal arch. Other columns erected are those of Antoninus Pius in Rome, a column at Alexandria, and others in France and Italy.

If the Romans derived from the Etruscans a custom of erecting tombs in memory of the dead, they did not follow on the same lines, for whilst the Etruscans always excavated the tomb in the solid rock, constituting a more lasting memorial, the Romans regarded them as monumental features and lined the routes of the via sacra of their towns with them. The earliest example remaining is that of Caecilia Metella (58 B.C.), of which the upper portion, consisting of a circular drum 93 ft. in diameter, remains. Of the tomb of Hadrian the core only exists in the castle of Sant’ Angelo. From the descriptions given it must have been a work of great magnificence. The tombs known as Columbaria (q.v.) were always below ground, but in some cases an upper storey was built above them consisting of a small temple, and these flanked the Via Appia in large numbers. At Pompeii outside the Herculaneum Gate the Via Appia was lined on both sides with tombs of varied design, and with exedrae or circular seats in marble, provided for the use of those visiting the tombs. The tombs in Syria form a very large and important series, the earliest perhaps being those in Palmyra, where they took the form of lofty towers, from 70 to 90 ft. high, externally simple as regards their design, but in the several storeys inside profusely decorated with Corinthian pilasters and coffered ceilings in stone. The tombs in Jerusalem built in the 1st century of our era are partly excavated in the rock and partly erected. The most important were those known as the tomb of Absalom, the tomb of St James, and the tombs of the judges and the kings, all cut in the solid rock. In central Syria some of the tombs are excavated in the rock, and over them are built a group of two or more columns held together by their entablatures. The most important series are the tombs at Petra, all cut in the side of cliffs and of elaborate design. The sculptor, being free from the restriction of construction, realized his conception much in the same way as a scene-painter produces a theatrical background.

Aqueducts and Bridges.—Although at the present day aqueducts and bridges would be classed under the head of engineering works, those built by the Romans are so fine in their conception and design that they take their place as monuments. The Pont-du-Gard near Nîmes, and the aqueducts of Segovia, Tarragona and Merida in Spain, and some of those in or near Rome, are of the simplest design, depending for their effect on their magnificent construction, their dimensions both in length and height, and the scale given in the ranges of arches one above the other. Few of the Roman bridges have lasted to our day; the bridges of Augustus at Rimini and of Alcantara in Spain may be taken as types of the design, in which we note that there are no architectural superfluities; the quality of the design depends on the graceful proportion of the arches and the fine masonry in which they are built.

Palatial Architecture.—By far the most magnificent group of palaces are those which were erected by the Caesars on the Palatine hill at Rome. Commenced by Augustus and added to by his successors down to the reign of Severus, they cover an area considerably over 1,000,000 sq. ft., and comprise an immense series of great halls, throne room, banqueting hall, basilicas, peristylar courts, temple, libraries, schools, barracks, a stadium and separate suites for princes and courtiers. The service of the palace would seem to have been carried on in vaulted corridors in several storeys, some of which on the north side, overlooking the Circus Maximus, must have been over 100 ft. in height. Except under the Villa Mills, the greater part of the plan has been traced; and large remains of mosaic pavements have been found in situ, and in the approaches, vaulted halls, some still retaining their stucco decoration.

A similar variety of groups of every description of structure is found at Tivoli, but spread over a very much larger area. The villa of Hadrian extended over 7 m.; the works there were probably begun about A.D. 123, the first portion being his own residential palace. In addition to the numerous halls, courts, libraries, &c., Hadrian attempted to reproduce some of the most remarkable monuments which he had seen during his long travels; the Stadium, Palaestra, Odeum, the two theatres, the artificial lake, Canopus and other features were, however, constructed in the Roman style. Built on a ridge between two valleys, the several buildings occupied various levels, so that immense terraces and flights of stairs existed throughout the site and, combined with the natural scenery, must have been of extraordinary beauty.

The palace of Diocletian at Spalato, to which he retired after his abdication, constituted a fortress, three of its walls being protected by towers, the fourth on the south by the sea. For an account of its well-preserved remains see Spalato. The emperor’s own residence was on the south side, and had a gallery 520 ft. long overlooking the sea. The two main streets, with arcades on each side and crossing one another, divided the whole palace into four sections. One of these streets crossed from gate to gate, the other from the north gate led to the entrance into the palace of the emperor.

Private Houses.—The entire absence of the remains of the private houses of Rome, with the single exception of the house of Livia on the Palatine, would have left us with a very poor insight into their design were it not for the discovery of Pompeii (q.v.) and Herculaneum (q.v.). The descriptions given by Pliny of the lavish extravagance in the Roman houses, and the employment of various Greek marbles in the shape of monolith columns and panelling of walls, are substantiated by those which are found in the Pantheon, in the palaces on the Palatine, and in Hadrian’s villa at Tivoli; and these compared with what is found at Pompeii show that the latter was only a provincial town of second or third-rate importance, where painted imitations took the place of real marbles, and where the wall paintings were very inferior to those which have been discovered in Rome.  (R. P. S.) 


Byzantine Architecture

The term “Byzantine” is applied to the style of architecture which was developed in Byzantium after Constantine had transferred the capital of the Roman empire to that city in A.D. 324.

It is not possible, in the early ages of any style which is based on preceding or contemporaneous styles, to draw any hard and fast line of demarcation; and already before the Peace of the Church, a gradual transformation in the Roman style had been taking place, even in Rome itself. Thus the arch had gradually been taking the place of the lintel, either frankly as a relieving arch above it (portico of Pantheon), or introduced in the frieze just above the architrave (San Lorenzo), or by the conversion of the architrave into a flat arch by dividing it into voussoirs, as in the Forum Julium at Rome or in the temple of Jupiter at Baalbek. In the palace built by Diocletian at Spalato, the architrave or lintel of the Golden Gate is built with several voussoirs, and the pressure is further relieved by an arch thrown across above it. Long before this, however, and already in the 2nd century A.D. in Syria, this relieving arch had been moulded and decorated, with the result of emphasizing it as a new architectural feature. In this same palace at Spalato, in order to obtain a wider opening in the centre of the portico, leading to the throne room, it was spanned by an arch, round which were carried the mouldings of the whole entablature, viz. architrave, frieze and cornice. At a still earlier date in Syria the same had been done in the Propylaea of the temple at Damascus (A.D. 151) and other examples are found in North Africa.

Now when Constantine transferred the capital to Byzantium, he is said to have imported immense quantities of monolith columns from Rome, and also workmen to carry out the embellishments of the new capital; for his work there was not confined to churches, but included amphitheatres, palaces, thermae and other public buildings. Owing to the haste with which these were built, and in some cases probably to the ephemeral materials employed, for the roofs of the churches were only in timber, all these early works have been swept away; but there remain two structures at least, which are said to date from Constantine’s time, viz. the Binbirderek or cistern of a thousand columns, and the Yeri-Batan-Serai, both in Constantinople. As one of the first tasks a Roman emperor set himself to perform was the provision of an ample supply of water, of which Byzantium was much in need, there is every reason to suppose that they are correctly attributed to Constantine’s time. If so, as the construction of their vaults is quite different from that employed by the Romans, it suggests that there already existed in the East a traditional method of building vaults of which the emperor availed himself; and, although it is not possible to trace all the earlier developments, the traditional art of the East, found throughout Syria and Asia Minor, must from the first have wrought great changes in the architectural style, and in some measure this would account for the comparatively short period of two centuries which elapsed between the foundation of the new empire and the culminating period of the style under Justinian in A.D. 532-558.

Constantine is said to have built three churches in Palestine, but these have either disappeared or have been reconstructed since; an early basilican church is that of St John Studius (the Baptist) in Constantinople, dating from A.D. 463, and though it shows but little deviation from classic examples, in the design and vigorous execution of the carving in the capitals and the entablature we find the germ of the new style. The next typical example is that found in the church of St Demetrius at Salonica, a basilican church with atrium in front, a narthex, nave and double aisles, with capacious galleries on the first floor for women, and an apsidal termination to the nave. Instead of the classic entablature, the monolithic columns of the nave carry arches both on the ground and upper storeys; above the capitals, however, we find a new feature known as the dosseret, already employed in the two cisterns referred to, a cubical block projecting beyond the capital on each side and enabling it to carry a thicker wall above. In later examples, when the aisles were vaulted, the dosseret served a still more important purpose, in carrying the springing of the vaults. The nave and aisles of this church of St Demetrius were covered with timber roofs, as the architects had neither the knowledge, the skill, nor perhaps the materials to build vaults, so as to render the whole church indestructible by fire.

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Fig. 27.—Plan of SS. Sergius and Bacchus.

One of the first attempts at this (though the early date given is disputed) would seem to have been made at Hierapolis, on the borders of Phrygia in Asia Minor, where there are two churches covered with barrel vaults carried on transverse ribs across the nave, the thrust of which was met by carrying up solid walls on each side, these walls being pierced with openings so as to form aisles on the ground floor and galleries above. The same system was carried out a century earlier in central Syria, where, in consequence of the absence of timber, the buildings had to be roofed with slabs of stone carried on arches across the nave. It is probable that in course of time other examples will be found in Asia Minor, giving a more definite clue to the next development, which we find in the work of Justinian, who would seem to have recognized that the employment of timber or combustible materials was fatal to the long duration of such buildings. Accordingly in the first church which he built (fig. 27), that of SS. Sergius and Bacchus (A.D. 527), the whole building is vaulted; the church is about 100 ft. square, with a narthex on one side. The central portion of the church is octagonal (52 ft. wide), and is covered by a dome, carried on arches across the eight sides, which are filled in with columns on two storeys. These are recessed on the diagonal lines, forming apses. The vault is divided into thirty-two zones, the zones being alternately flat and concave.

We now pass to Justinian’s greatest work, the church of St Sophia (fig. 28), begun in 532 and dedicated in 537, which marks the highest development of the Byzantine style and became the model on which all Greek churches, and even the mosques built by the Mahommedans in Constantinople, from the 15th century onwards, were based. The architects employed were Anthemius of Tralles and Isidorus of Miletus, and the problem they had to solve was that of carrying a dome 107 ft. in diameter on four arches. The four arches formed a square on plan, and between them were built spherical pendentives, which, overhanging the angles, reduced the centre to a circle on which the dome was built. This dome fell down in 555, and when rebuilt was raised higher and pierced round its lower part with forty circular-headed windows, which give an extraordinary lightness to the structure. At the east and west ends are immense apses, the full width of the dome, which are again subdivided into three smaller apses. The north and south arches are filled with lofty columns carrying arches opening into the aisle on the ground storey and a gallery on the upper storey, the walls above being pierced with windows of immense size. The church was built in brick, and internally the walls were encased with thin slabs of precious marble up to a great height (fig. 29). The walls and vault above were covered with mosaics on a gold ground, which, as they represented Christian subjects, were all covered over with stucco by the Turks after the taking of Constantinople. During the restoration in the middle of the 19th century, when it became necessary to strip off the stucco, these mosaics were all drawn and published by Salzenburg, and they were covered again with plaster to prevent their destruction by the Turks. The columns of the whole church on the ground floor are of porphyry, and on the upper storey of verd antique. The length of the church from entrance door to eastern apse is 260 ft.; in width, including the aisles, it measures 238 ft., and it measures 175 ft. to the apex of the dome. The columns and arches give scale to the small apses, the small apses to the larger ones, and the latter to the dome, so that its immense size is grasped from the first. The lighting is admirably distributed, and the rich decoration of the marble slabs, the monolith columns, the elaborate carving of the capitals, the beautiful marble inlays of the spandrils above the arches, and the glimpse here and there of some of the mosaic, which shows through the stucco, give to this church an effect which is unparalleled by any other interior in the world. The narthex or entrance vestibule forms a magnificent hall 240 ft. in length, equally richly decorated. Externally the building has little pretensions to architectural beauty, but its dimensions and varied outline, with the groups of smaller and larger apses and domes, make it an impressive structure, to which the Turkish minarets, though ungainly, add picturesqueness.


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Fig. 28.—Plan of St Sophia.


In A.D. 536 a second important church was begun by Theodora, the church of the Holy Apostles, which was destroyed in 1454 by order of Mahommed II. to build his mosque. The design of this church is known only from the clear description given by Procopius, the historian who has transmitted to us the record of Justinian’s work, and its chief interest to us now is that it forms the model on which the church of St Mark at Venice was based, when it was restored, added to, and almost rebuilt about 1063.

The church of St Sophia was not only the finest of its kind at the time of its erection, but no building approaching it has ever been built since in the Byzantine style, nor does much seem to have been done for two or three centuries afterwards. At the same time the erection of new churches must have been going on, because there are certain changes in design, the results probably of many trials. The difficulty of obtaining sufficient light in domes of small diameter led to the windows being placed in vertical drums, of which the earliest example is that of the western dome of St Irene at Constantinople, rebuilt A.D. 718-740. This simplified the construction and externally added to the effect of the church. The greatest change, however, which took place, arose in consequence of the comparatively small dimensions given to the central dome, which rendered it necessary to provide more space in another way, by increasing the area on each side, so that the plan developed into what is known as the Greek cross, in which the four arms are almost equal in dimensions to the central dome, and were covered with barrel vaults which amply resisted its thrust. In front of the church a narthex and sometimes an exonarthex was added, which was of greater width than the church itself, as in the churches (both in Constantinople) of the Theotokos and of Chora (A.D. 1080). The latter, better known as the “mosaic mosque,” on account of its splendid decoration in that material, is of special interest, because in the five arches of its façade we find the same design as that which originally constituted the front of the lower part of St Mark’s at Venice, before it was encrusted with the marble casing and the plethora of marble columns and capitals brought over from Constantinople.


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Fig. 29.—Cross section of the interior of St Sophia.


Sometimes an additional church was built adjoining the first church and dedicated to the immaculate Virgin, as in the church of St Mary Panachrantos, Constantinople, the church of St Luke of Stiris, Phocis, and the church in the island of Paros. In the last-named church the apse still retains its marble seats, rising one above the other, with the bishop’s throne in the centre. In addition to the churches already mentioned in Constantinople, there are still some which have been appropriated by the Turks and utilized as mosques. At Mount Athos there are a large number of Greek churches, ranging from the 10th to the 16th centuries, which are attached to the monasteries. At Athens one of the most beautiful examples is preserved in the Catholicon or cathedral, the materials of which were taken from older classical buildings. This cathedral measures only 40 ft. by 25 ft., and is now overpowered by the new cathedral erected close by.

The external design of the Byzantine churches, as a rule, is extremely simple, but it owes its quality to the fact that its features are those which arise out of the natural construction of the church. The domes, the semi-domes over the apses, and the barrel vaults over other parts of the church, appear externally as well as internally, and as they are all covered with lead or with tiles, laid direct on the vaults, they give character to the design and an extremely picturesque effect. The same principle is observed in the doorways and windows, to which importance is given by accentuating their constructive features. The arches, always in brick, are of two orders or rings of arches set one behind the other, and the voussoirs, alternately in brick and stone, have the most pleasing effect. The same simple treatment is given to the walls by the horizontal courses of bricks or tiles, alternating with the stone courses. In the apse of the church of the Apostles at Salonica, variety is given by the interlacing of brick patterns. This elaboration of the surface decoration is carried still further in the palace of Hebdomon at Blachernae, in Constantinople, built by Constantine Porphyrogenitus (913-949), where the spandrils of the arches are inlaid with a mosaic of bricks in various colours arranged in various patterns.

There would seem to have been a revival in the 11th century, possibly a reflex of that which was taking place in Europe, and it is to this period we owe the churches of St Luke in Phocis, the church at Daphne, and the churches of St Nicodemus and St Theodore in Athens. The finest example of brick patterns is that which is found in the church of St Luke of Stiris, attached to the monastery in the province of Phocis, north of the Gulf of Corinth, of which an admirable monograph was published in 1901 by the committee of the British School at Athens, illustrated by measured drawings of the plans, elevations, sections and mosaics by Messrs Schultz and Barnsley, with a detailed description. The church of St Luke of Stiris is one of those already referred to, where a second church dedicated to the Holy Virgin has been added, but in this case, according to Messrs Schultz and Barnsley, on the site of a more ancient church of which the narthex alone was retained. The plan of the great church differs from the ordinary Greek cross in that the arms of the cross are of much less width than the central domed square, and arches being thrown across the angles carry eight pendentives instead of four. On the east side the Diaconicon and Prothesis are included in the width of the domed portion instead of forming the eastern termination of the aisles. The churches at Daphne in Attica and of St Nicodemus at Athens have a similar plan.

The decoration of the smaller church of St Luke of Stiris is of the most elaborate character, bright patterns of infinite variety alternating with the brick courses, and as blocks of marble, removed from the site of the old city near, were available, they have been utilized in various parts of the structure and richly carved. The church at Mistra in the Peloponnesus, 13th century, built in the side of a hill, is one of the most picturesque examples, and is almost the only example in which a tower is to be found.

Armenia.—One other phase of the Byzantine style has still to be mentioned, the development of church architecture in Armenia, which follows very much on the same lines as that of the Greek church, with a central dome on the crossing, a narthex at the west end and a triapsal east end. In two churches at Echmiadzin and Kutais there are transeptal apses in addition to those at the east end. One of the differences to be noted is that the domes and roofs are generally in stone externally, and this has led to another change; the domes, though hemispherical inside, have conical roofs over them. There is also a greater admixture of styles, the Persian, Byzantine and Romanesque phases entering into the design; the last was probably derived from the churches of central Syria, as the Armenians were the only race who seem to have penetrated there, and the finest example, at Kalat Seman, was at one time in their possession. The church at Dighur near Ani, of the 7th century, also probably owes its classical details to the work in central Syria. The most important example of the Armenian style is found in the cathedral at Ani, the capital of Armenia, dating from A.D. 1010. In this church pointed arches and coupled piers are found, with all the characteristics of a complete pointed-arch style, which, as Fergusson remarks, “might be found in Italy or Sicily in the 12th or 14th century.” Externally the walls are decorated with lofty blind arcades similar to those in the cathedral at Pisa and other churches in the same town, which are probably fifty years later. The elaborate fret carving of the window dressings and hood moulds are probably borrowed from the tile decoration found in Persia.

Russia.—The architecture of Russia is only a somewhat degraded version of the style of the Byzantine empire. The earliest buildings of importance are the cathedrals of Kiev and Novgorod, 1019-1054. The original church of Kiev consisted of nave, with triple aisles each side, the piers in which are of enormous size, a transept and square bays of the choir beyond, each with deep apsidal chapels. Externally the chief features are the bulbous domes adopted from the Tatars, which sometimes assume great dimensions. Internally, the chief feature is the Iconostasis, which corresponds to the English rood screen, except that in Russia it forms a complete separation between the church and the sanctuary with its altar.

One of the most remarkable churches is that of St Basil at Moscow (1534-1584), which in plan looks like a central hall, surrounded by eight other halls of smaller dimensions, all separated one from the other by vaulted corridors; this arrangement is not intelligible until one sees the exterior view, which accounts for the plan; each one of these halls is crowned by lofty towers with bulbous domes, the centre one rising above all the others and terminated with an octagonal roof, probably derived from the Armenian conical roof. The oldest and most interesting church in Moscow is the church of the Assumption (1479), where the tsars are always crowned; but as it measures only 74 ft. by 50 ft., it is virtually little more than a chapel; the plan is that of a Greek cross with central dome and four others over the angles. One other church deserves mention—at Curtea de Argesh, in Rumania. It was built in 1517-1526, and though small (90 by 50 ft.), is built entirely of stone, instead of brick covered with stucco, as is the case with the churches in Moscow. The interior has been entirely sacrificed to the exterior, the domes being raised to an extravagant height. The relative proportion of width of nave to height of dome in St Sophia at Constantinople is about one to two; in the church at Curtea de Argesh it is about one to five; and yet there can be little doubt the design was made by one of those Armenian architects who seem to have been always employed at Constantinople, and who presumably based their designs there on St Sophia as regards its principal features. Here, however, he was working for Tatar employers who attached more importance to display than to good proportion. In general design the church is based on Armenian work. The elaborately carved panels and disks are copied from the inlays in the mosques in Damascus and of Sultan Hassan at Cairo, and the stalactite cornices and capitals of the columns are transcripts of the Mahommedan style of Constantinople, which was derived from the style developed by the Seljuks.

We were only able to point to a single example of a tower in the Byzantine style, but in Russia the towers not only constitute the principal accessory to the church but were necessary adjuncts, in order to provide accommodation for bells, the casting of which has at all times formed one of the most important crafts in Russia. The chief examples, all in Moscow, are the tower attached to the church of the Assumption; the tower of Boris, inside the Kremlin; and that erected over the sacred gate of the same. But they abound throughout Russia and in some cases form important features in the principal elevations on either side of the narthex.  (R. P. S.) 


Early Christian Architecture

Of the earliest examples of the housing of the Christian church few remains exist, owing partly to their destruction from time to time by imperial edicts, and partly to the fact that in most cases they were only oratories of a small and unpretending nature, which, immediately after the Peace of the Church, were rebuilt of greater size and with increased magnificence. In Rome itself, the principal religious centre was that which was found in the catacombs (q.v.), almost the only resort in times of persecution. In the houses of the wealthy Romans who had been converted, rooms were set apart for the reception of the faithful, and these may have been increased in size by the addition of side aisles. At all events, either in Rome or in the East, where greater freedom of worship was observed, the requirements of the religious had already resulted in a traditional type of plan, which may account for the similarity of all the great churches built by Constantine. It has often been assumed that the great Roman basilicas, if not actually utilized by the Christians, were copied so far as their design is concerned. This, however, is not borne out by the facts, there being very little similarity between the first churches built and the two great Roman basilicas, the Ulpian basilica and that built by Constantine; the latter was roofed with an immense vault, an imperishable covering, not attempted till two centuries later in Byzantium, and the former had its entrance in the centre of the longer side, and the tribunes at either end were divided off from the basilica by a double aisle of columns. The basilica plan was adopted because it was the simplest and most economical building of large size which could be erected, having an immense central area or nave well lighted by clerestory windows, and single or double aisles to divide the two sexes, and further because the immense supply of columns which could be taken from existing temples or porticoes enabled the architect to provide at small cost the colonnades or arcades between the nave and the aisles. On the other hand, there is no doubt that the temples, for which there was no further use, were largely appropriated, not only in Italy but in Greece, Sicily and elsewhere, and it is to this appropriation that we owe the preservation of the Parthenon, the Erechtheum and the temple of Theseus at Athens. There are some cases in which it is interesting to note the changes which were made to convert the temple into a church. In the temple of Athena at Syracuse, walls were built in between the columns of the peristyle, the cella was appropriated for the nave, and arcades were cut through the cella walls to communicate with the peristyle, so as to constitute the aisles. In the temple of Aphrodisias, in Asia Minor, a further development occurred. The walls of the cella were taken down, a wall was built outside the columns of the peristyle to form aisles, and the columns of the east and west end were taken down and placed in line with the others, in order to increase the length of the church.

The earliest Christian basilica built in Rome was the Lateran, which has, however, been so completely transformed in subsequent rebuildings as to have lost its original character. The next in date was that of the old St Peter’s, which was taken down in 1506, in consequence of its ruinous condition, in order to make way for the present cathedral, begun by Pope Julius II. It was of considerable size, covering an area of 73,000 ft. Its plan consisted of an atrium, or open court, having a fountain in the centre, and arcades round; a nave, 275 ft. long and 77 ft. wide, with double aisles on each side; a transept, 270 ft. long by 54 ft. wide; and a semi-circular apse or tribune with a radius of 27 ft.; the high altar being in the centre of its choir, and ranges of marble seats and the papal throne in the middle, corresponding to the benches and the judge’s seat of the Roman tribune. The nave, therefore, with its double aisles, was similar to that of the Ulpian basilica, but the aisles were not returned across the east end, and at the west end, in their place, was the great triumphal arch opening into the transept. The monolith columns of the nave and their capitals (together 40 ft. high) were all taken from ancient buildings, as also were those of the aisle arcades and in the atrium.

The basilica of St Paul, outside the walls, was originally of comparatively small dimensions, with its apse at the west end; in A.D. 386 the church was rebuilt on a plan similar to St Peter’s, with nave and double aisles, divided by columns carrying arches, transept and apse. In the Lateran basilica, St Peter’s, Santa Maria Maggiore, and St Lawrence (outside the walls), the columns of the nave were close-set (i.e. with narrow intercolumniations) and supported architraves, but in St Paul (outside the walls) the columns of the second church (A.D. 386) were wider apart and carried arches. The same feature is found in the church of St Agnes, founded A.D. 324, but rebuilt 620-640; here the arcade is carried across the west end and there are galleries above, the arches being carried on dosseret blocks above the capitals; these are also found in the galleries over the western end of St Lawrence, added by Honorius (A.D. 620-640); the dosseret, a Byzantine feature, being derived either from Ravenna or from the East. In the church of Santa Maria-in-Cosmedin (A.D. 772-795) another Byzantine feature appears in the triple apse at the east end, the earliest example in Europe. In this church, as also in those of San Clemente and San Prassede, piers are built at intervals to carry the arcades separating the nave and aisles. Those in the latter, however, were probably added when the great arches were thrown across the nave. The church of San Clemente was built in 1108, above a much older church dating from 385 and restored later; it is almost the only church in Rome which has preserved its atrium intact; the internal arrangement of the church also is different from that found elsewhere, the choir, enclosed with marble piers and screens removed from the lower church and erected in front of the tribune, dating from A.D. 514-523. The mosaics executed in 1112 are in fine preservation.

Other early churches in Rome are those of Santa Pudenziana (335); San Pietro-in-Vincoli (442), with Doric columns in the nave; SS. Quattro Coronati (450); Santa Sabina (450), an interesting church on account of the marble inlaid decoration in the arch spandrils of the nave, which date from 824; San Prassede (817), with arches thrown across the nave later; San Vincenzo ed Anastasio alle Tre Fontane (626); and Santa Maria in Domnica, where there are galleries over the aisles and across the east end as in St Agnes.

Hitherto we have said little about the architectural design, the fact being that externally these churches had the appearance of barns; it is only in a few cases, notably in St Peter’s, that the principal fronts were decorated with mosaics. The magnificent materials employed internally, the monolith marble columns, the enrichment of the apse and the triumphal arch with mosaics, and probably the painting and gilding of the ceiling or roof, gave to the early basilican churches in Rome that splendour which characterizes those in Byzantium and in Ravenna.

With the exception of the baptistery attached to St John Lateran, and the so-called tomb of Santa Constantia, both erected by Constantine, the circular form of church was not adopted in Rome; there is one remarkable circular building of great size, San Stefano Rotondo, at one time thought to have been a Roman market, but now known to have been erected by Pope Simplicius (468-482). It consisted of a central circular nave, 44 ft. in diameter, and double aisles round. In the arcade dividing the aisles the arches are carried on dosserets, the earliest known example of this feature in Rome.

Although inferior in size, the two churches of S. Appollinare Nuovo, built by Theodoric (493-525) and Sant’ Apollinare-in-Classe (538-549), both in Ravenna, have the special advantage that they were constructed in new materials, there being no ancient Roman temples there to pull down. The ordinary basilican plan was adhered to, but as the architects and workmen came from Constantinople, they incorporated in the building various details of the Byzantine style, with which they were best acquainted. Thus the contour of the mouldings, the carrying of the capitals and imposts, the dosseret above the capital, and the scheme of decoration of the interior with marble casing on the lower portion of the walls and mosaic above, are all Byzantine. Externally the churches are extremely plain, the wall surfaces of the nave and aisle walls being varied by blind arcades.

The earliest building in Ravenna is the tomb of Galla Placidia, built 450, a small cruciform structure with a dome on pendentives over the centre, perhaps the earliest example known. The baptistery of St John, which was attached to the cathedral built by Archbishop Ursus (380), now destroyed, is a plain octagonal building, 40 ft. in diameter, originally with a timber roof; when in 451 it was determined to replace this by a vault, in order to resist the thrust, the upper part of the walls was brought forward on arches and corbels, and the interior richly decorated with paintings, stucco reliefs and mosaics in the dome. The most interesting building in Ravenna, however, from many points of view, is the church of San Vitale (fig. 30), built 539-547, its plan and design being based on the church of SS. Sergius and Bacchus at Constantinople. The proportions of the interior of St Sergius are much finer than those in San Vitale, where the dome is raised too high; the timber roofs also of San Vitale have deprived the church externally of that fine architectural effect found in Byzantine churches. In order to lighten the dome, its shell was built with hollow pots, the end of one fitted into the mouth of the other. The interior of the church is of great beauty, owing to the alternating of the piers carrying the eight arches with the columns set back in apsidal recesses. Unfortunately the church has been much restored, but the magnificent mosaics in the choir and the variety of design shown in the capitals and dosserets render this church, though small, one of the most attractive in Italy. One other Ravenna building must be mentioned, though it would be difficult to know under what style to class it. The tomb of Theodoric, having a decagonal plan in two storeys, the lower one vaulted at the upper storey, set back to allow of a “terrace” round, once sheltered by a small arcade, and covered by a single stone 35 ft. in diameter, belongs to no definite style; the mouldings of the upper portion have some resemblance to the mouldings of some of the Etruscan tombs at Castel d’Asso, which was probably known to Theodoric.


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Fig. 30.—Plan of S. Vitale, Ravenna.


As Dalmatia and Istria both formed part of Theodoric’s kingdom, we find there the same Byzantine influence as that which was asserted in Ravenna, in both cases the work being done by artists and masons from Constantinople. There is not much left in Dalmatia, but in Istria are two important examples,—the churches at Parenzo (535-543) and Grado (571-586). Like the two churches in Ravenna, they are basilican in plan, with apses, semi-circular internally and polygonal externally, the latter being a characteristic found in all the churches in Europe which were influenced directly by Byzantine custom. Although the monolith columns were derived from ancient Roman buildings, all the capitals were specially carved for the two churches, and they have the same variety of design and in many cases are identical with those in San Vitale, Sant’ Apollinare Nuovo, Sant’ Apollinare-in-Classe, and those brought over from Constantinople, which now decorate St Mark’s at Venice internally as well as externally. The decoration of the lower part of the walls internally with marble slabs, and the upper portion and apsidal vaults with mosaic, follows on the same lines as those at Ravenna and Constantinople. The church at Parenzo still retains its baptistery and atrium, from which fragments of the mosaics which originally decorated the west front can be seen. The church at Aquileia was rebuilt in the 11th century, and the Duomo of Trieste has been so altered as to lose its original Byzantine character.  (R. P. S.) 


Early Christian Work in Central Syria

Contemporaneously with the early developments of the Christian churches just described, another line of treatment was being evolved in central Syria, which would seem to have been quite independent of the others, though at first sight it bears considerable resemblance to the Byzantine style, and for that reason was probably classed and described under that head by Fergusson. But the leading characteristic of the Byzantine style is the dome over the centre of the church round which all other features are grouped, whereas in central Syria, with the exception of two examples—one a circular, the other a polygonal church—there are no domes. There is considerable Greek feeling in the mouldings and carvings of the capitals, but that is probably due to the fact that the masons were originally of Greek extraction. A comparison, for instance, of the design and carving of the largest church in central Syria, the famous building erected round the column of St Simeon Stylites at Kalat-Seman, dating from the 6th century, with any Byzantine church of the same date, shows very little resemblance, because the former was inspired more or less directly by the Roman remains in the country. A similar inspiration is found in the churches of St Trophime at Arles and St Gilles in the south of France, and at Autun and Langres in Burgundy. Both were founded on Roman work, and the mouldings of the pediments and archivolts and the fluting of the pilasters at Kalat-Seman, of the 6th century, are identical with what is found, quite independently, in Provence and Burgundy in the 11th and 12th centuries. There is, however, another special characteristic found in the masonry of the churches in central Syria, which is peculiar to the whole of Palestine, and is found in the earliest remains there, as also in Roman work, and to a certain extent in much of the Mahommedan construction and in that of the Crusaders, viz. its megalithic qualities. Instead of building an arch in several voussoirs, they preferred to do it in three or five only, and sometimes would cut the whole arch out of a single vertical slab. If they employed voussoirs, they were not content with ordinary depth, shown by the archivolt mouldings, but made them three or four times as deep.

The masons, in fact, would seem to have retained the traditional Phoenician custom of the country to employ the largest stones they were able to quarry, transport and raise on the building. Subsequently, in working down the masonry, they reproduced the architectural features they found in Roman buildings; this was done, however, without any knowledge as to their constructional origin or meaning; thus, in copying a Roman pilaster, the capital and part of the shaft would be worked out of one stone, and the lower part of the shaft and the base out of another. It is only from this point of view that we can account for the peculiar development given to the decoration of their later work, where archivolts, wood mouldings and window dressings are looked upon as simply surface decoration to be applied round doorways and windows, without any reference to the jointing of the masonry.

The immense series of monuments, civil as well as religious existing throughout central Syria, were almost entirely unknown before the publication of the marquis of Vogüé’s work, La Syrie centrale, in 1865-1867. This work, illustrated with measured plans, sections and elevations, with perspective views, and accompanied by detailed descriptions of the various buildings, forms an invaluable record of an architectural style, more or less completely developed, which flourished from the 3rd to the beginning of the 7th century. An American archaeological expedition made further investigations in 1899-1900, and its report, written by Mr H. C. Butler, contains additional plans and a large number of photogravures, which bear testimony to the truth and accuracy of the engraved plates of the marquis de Vogüé. The preservation of these central Syrian remains, more or less intact, is considered to have been due either to the desertion of all the towns in which they were situated by the inhabitants at the time of the Mahommedan invasion, or, according to Mr H. C. Butler, to the deforesting of the whole country about the commencement of the 7th century.

The monuments and buildings illustrated may be divided into three classes,—ecclesiastical, including monasteries; civil and domestic; and tombs. It is in the two first that the principal interest is centred.

1911 Britannica-Architecture-Kalb-Lauzeh.png

Fig. 31.—Plan of Church
of Kalb-Lauzeh.

Churches.—The earliest of these date from the end of the 4th century, and the latest inscription on a church is 609, so that a little over 200 years includes the whole series. With one or two small exceptions all the churches follow the basilican plan, with nave and aisles separated by arcades, the arches of which are carried by columns, four arches on each side in the smaller churches, ten in the largest. The churches are all orientated, and have generally a semi-circular apse, and occasionally a square or rectangular sanctuary at the east end, on either side of which are square chambers,—the diaconicon, reserved for the priests, on the south side, and the prothesis, on the north side, in which the offerings of the faithful were deposited. Except in the earliest churches, the entrance was generally at the west end, and was sometimes preceded by a porch. In addition to the west entrance, there were sometimes doorways leading direct into the north and south aisles, with projecting porticoes. About the middle of the 6th century a change was made in the design of the arcades in the nave, and rectangular piers with arches of wide span were substituted for the ordinary arcade with columns. The effect as shown in the engravings and photogravures is so fine that it is strange that the scheme was never adopted in the earlier Romanesque churches of Europe. The two more important examples are at Kalb-Lauzeh (fig. 31) and Ruweiha, but three or four others are known, and this plan was adopted in the basilica erected in the great court of the temple at Baalbek. All the churches are built in fine ashlar masonry, with moulded archivolts and architraves to doorways and windows, and moulded string courses and cornices of simple design. The principal decoration externally is found in the hood-mould or label round the windows, continued as a string-course and carried round other windows, and sometimes terminating in a disk with cross in centre. These hood-moulds are occasionally richly carved. All the churches in central Syria had open timber roofs which have now disappeared; this is proved by the sinkings in the end walls to receive the purlins, and the corbels provided to carry the tie beams. The apses were always covered with semi-domes. The three most important churches were those of Turmanin, Kalb-Lauzeh and Kalat-Seman. The plans of the two first are similar, except that in Turmanin the nave arcade is of the ordinary type, with seven arches carried on columns, while in Kalb-Lauzeh (fig. 32) there are three wide arches on each side carried on two rectangular piers and responds. Both have entrance porches (fig. 33), which are flanked by angle buildings carried up as towers in three storeys; these probably contained wooden staircases to ascend to an open gallery, which consisted of four columns in-antis between the angle towers above the porch. The north and south walls were quite plain, except for window and door dressings and string courses; the apse was richly decorated, with wall shafts superimposed between the windows, and carrying a projecting cornice with alternate corbels. The church at Ruweiha has a similar plan to that at Kalb-Lauzeh, but two transverse arches in stone are thrown across the nave, resting on abutments attached to the nave piers.


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Fig. 32.—Interior of the Church of Kalb-Lauzeh.


The most remarkable example and by far the largest is the great basilica at Kalat-Seman (fig. 34), which was erected round the pillar on which St. Simeon Stylites spent thirty years of his life. The base of the pillar stands in the centre of an immense octagonal court open to the sky. The plan consists of nave, transept and choir, all with side aisles, separated in the centre by the octagonal court which constitutes the crossing. The nave built on the side of a hill is raised on a crypt, and the principal entrance would seem to have been through the porch of the north transept, which occupies the full width of transept and aisles. There were, however, in addition two doorways with porches to each aisle, as well as portico and doors to the north transept. At the eastern end were three apses, the two outer ones, facing the aisles, being additions in the second half of the 6th centurv. St. Simeon died in 459, and the church was probably begun shortly afterwards, but not completed till the 6th century. The archivolts of the great arches on each side of the octagonal court consist of architrave, frieze and cornice, copied from the arch of the propylaca at Baalbek or other Roman work. Here, as in the great southern porch, the classic nature of the details is remarkable, the pilasters are all fluted, and the modillion and dentil, derived from Roman models, exist throughout. On the other hand, the carving of the foliage was certainly executed by Greek artists, and the well-known Byzantine capital, with the leaves bending under the influence of the wind, is here reproduced. The great apse externally retains its decoration with superimposed shafts and cornice, as in Turmanin and Kalb-Lauzeh.


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Fig. 33.—Church of Turmanin.


The monastery of Kalat-Seman was built on the south side of the great church, and many of the rooms had roofs of slabs of stone carried on arches across the room, a method of construction universally found in the Hauran, where the absence of timber necessitated this more permanent method of construction. The monasteries differ from the domestic work in being much plainer, and, instead of columns in the porticoes, having invariably square piers of stone.


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Fig. 34.—Plan of Church of Kalat-Seman.


Among circular churches, the walls of the cathedral at Bozra are gone, so that the conjectural restoration shown in de Vogüé’s work is purely speculative, but in the church at Ezra (510) the central octagon is covered by a high dome of elliptical section. An aisle is carried round the octagon with similar recesses on the diagonal lines, the whole being enclosed in a square; in the apse at the east end the seats of the tribune are still preserved.

Domestic Work.—The domestic work in central Syria is, in a way, even more remarkable than the ecclesiastical. Broadly speaking, there are two types of plan—those found in the towns and grouped together, and those which, with increased area, constituted a villa. At El Barah the average house occupied a site of about 80 ft. by 60 ft., of which about 30 ft. in width was occupied by an open court; facing this court, which was enclosed with high walls, is an open colonnade on two floors, which always faces south, occupies the whole front (80 ft.) of the house, and is the only means of approach to the rooms in the rear, three on each floor, side by side. In the centre of these rooms, 14 ft. wide each, an arch is thrown across on each floor, which carries slabs of stone covering the first floor and the roof; the upper storey was reached probably by a timber staircase, now gone, but in poorer dwellings an external flight of steps in stone led to an upper floor. All the houses face the same way. The colonnade of the house consisted of about fifteen columns on each storey. Each column, including its capital and base, was cut out of a single stone; on the upper storey, between the columns, are stone vertical slabs forming a balustrade; the houses are all built in fine ashlar masonry with architraves and cornices to doors and windows, a luxury which in England could rarely be indulged in for ordinary houses. At El Barah, in an area of about 250 ft. by 150 ft. as shown by de Vogüé, there are about 100 monolith columns, 12 ft. high, on the ground storey alone. In a villa at El Barah the open court is surrounded on three sides by buildings, those at the east end of considerable extent and in three storeys. A smaller example at Mujeleia has two courts, one of them being for stables and other services; otherwise the residence of the proprietor is similar to the one above described. Here and there the fantasy of the artist has been allowed to revel in the carving of the balustrades, door lintels, &c. The capitals are of endless design, and show interpretations of Ionic and Corinthian capitals, in some cases not dissimilar to the Byzantine versions in St Mark’s at Venice.

Hostelries and public baths are amongst other civil buildings which are recognizable, the hostelries in some cases being attached to the monasteries.

Tombs.—The principal tombs are either excavated in the rock, with an open court in front and an entrance portico, like the tombs of the kings at Jerusalem, and sometimes a superstructure of columns or a podium raised above them; or again they are built in masonry, and take the form of sepulchral chapels; in the latter case, if many sarcophagi have to be deposited, and the chapel is of great length, arches are thrown across, about 6 ft. centre to centre, to support the slabs of stone with which they are covered. This carries on the traditional custom of the Roman temples in Syria, the roofs of which, in stone, were similarly supported. Sometimes there will be two storeys, the upper one covered with a dome. Those which are peculiar to the country are square tombs, with a pyramidal stone roof all built in horizontal courses, and either enclosed with a peristyle all round, on one or two storeys, or having a portico in front with flat stone roof. The cornices, string courses and lintels of the doors of these tombs of the 4th and 5th centuries, are enriched with carving, showing strong Byzantine influence, though probably due to the employment of Greek artists.  (R. P. S.) 


The Coptic Church in Egypt

The earliest places of Christian worship in Egypt were probably only chapels or oratories of small dimensions attached to the monasteries, which were spread throughout the country; a wholesale destruction of these took place at various times, more especially by the order of Severus, about 200 B.C., so that no remains have come down to us. The most ancient examples known are those which are attributed to the empress Helena, of which there are important portions preserved in the churches of the White and Red monasteries at the foot of the Libyan hills near Suhag.

Although the plan of the Coptic church is generally basilican, i.e. consists of nave and aisles, it is probable that they were not copied from Roman examples, but were based on expansions of the first oratories built, to which aisles had afterwards been added. There are no long transepts, as in the early Christian basilicas of St Peter’s at Rome, and of St Paul outside the walls, and there is only one example of a cruciform church with a dome in the centre following the Byzantine plan. Even at an early period the nave and aisles were covered sometimes with barrel vaults, either semicircular or elliptical. The Coptic church was always orientated with the sanctuaries at the east end. The aisles were returned round the west end and had galleries above for women. Sometimes the western aisle has been walled up to form a narthex; in many cases a narthex was built, but, in consequence of the persecution to which the Copts were subject at the hands of the Moslems, its three doors have been blocked up and a separate small entrance provided. The narthex was the place for penitents, but was sometimes used for baptism by total immersion, there being epiphany tanks sunk in the floor of the churches at Old Cairo, known as Abu Serga, Abu-s-Sifain (Abu Sefen) and El Adra; these are now boarded over, as total immersion is no longer practised.

There are a few exceptions to the basilican plan; and in four examples (two in Cairo and two at Deir-Mar-Antonios in the eastern desert by the Gulf of Suez) there are three aisles of equal widths, divided one from the other by two rows of columns with three in each row, thus dividing the roof into twelve square compartments, each of which is covered with a dome.

The sanctuaries at the east end, as developed in the Coptic church, differ in some particulars from those of any other religious structures. There are always three chapels or sanctuaries, with an altar in each, the central chapel being known as the Haikal. The chapels are more often square than apsidal, and are always surmounted by a complete dome, a peculiarity not found out of Egypt. The seats of the tribune are still preserved in a large number of the sanctuaries, and there are probably more examples in Egypt than in all Europe, if Russia and Mount Athos be excepted. Those of Abu-Serga, El Adra and Abu-s-Sifain, with three concentric rows of seats and a throne in the centre, are the most important; but even in the square sanctuaries the tradition is retained, and seats are ranged against the east wall, and in one case (at Anba-Bishôi) three steps are carried across, and behind them is a segmental tribune of three steps, with throne in the centre.

The most remarkable Coptic churches in Egypt are those of the Deir-el-Abiad (the White monastery) and the Deir-el-Akhmar (the Red monastery) at Suhag. These were of great size, measuring about 240 ft. by 130 ft. with vaulted narthex, nave and aisles separated by two rows of monolith columns taken from ancient buildings, twelve in each row and probably roofed over in timber, and three apses, directed respectively towards the east, north and south. These apses are unusually deep and have five niches in each, in two storeys separated by superimposed columns. In the church of St John at Antinoe there are seven niches. A similar arrangement is found in the three apses, placed side by side, in the more ancient portion of St Mark’s, Venice, built A.D. 820, and said to have been copied from St Mark’s at Alexandria. There is no external architecture in the Coptic churches; they are all masked with immense enclosure walls, so as to escape attention. The walls of the interior still preserve a great portion of the paintings of scriptural subjects; the screens dividing off the Haikal and other chapels from the choir are of great beauty, and evidently formed the models from which the panelled woodwork, doors and pulpits of the Mahommedan mosques have been copied and reproduced by Copts.

Illustrations are given in A. J. Butler’s Ancient Coptic Churches of Egypt (1884); Wladimir de Bock’s Matériaux archéologiques de l’Égypte chrétienne (1901); and A. Gayet’s L’art coptique.  (R. P. S.) 


Romanesque and Gothic Architecture in Italy

“Romanesque” is the broad generic term adopted about the beginning of the 19th century by French archaeologists in order to bring under one head all the various phases of the round-arched Christian style, hitherto known as Lombard and Byzantine Romanesque in Italy, Rhenish in Germany, “Romane” and Norman in France, Saxon and Norman in England, &c. In character, as well as in time, the Romanesque lies between the Roman and the Gothic or Pointed style, but its first manifestation in Italy has already been described in the section on “Early Christian Architecture,” and it only remains to deal with the subsequent development from the age of Charlemagne, which marks an epoch in the history of architecture, and from which period examples are to be found in every country.

In consequence of the lack of homogeneousness in the Romanesque style as developed in Italy, owing to the mixture of styles, and the difficulty of tracing the precise influence of any one race in buildings frequently added to, restored or rebuilt, their description will be more easily followed if a geographical subdivision be made, the simplest being Northern or Lombard Romanesque, Central Romanesque and Southern Romanesque; after the latter would follow the Sicilian Romanesque, which, owing to the Saracenic craftsman, constitutes a type by itself. This leaves still one other phase to be noted, the influence recognized in northern Italy of the architectural style of the Eastern Empire at Byzantium, either direct or through Istria and Dalmatia. In the churches at Ravenna, this influence has already been referred to in the section on “Early Christian Architecture,” but it appears again in the church of St. Mark at Venice, and in much of its domestic architecture, so that it is necessary to recognize another term,, that of “Byzantine Romanesque.”

Northern or Lombard Romanesque.—Although the materials for forming an adequate notion of the earlier work of the Lombards are very scanty, after their conversion to the Catholic faith the Church probably exercised a powerful influence in their architectural work. Under Liutprand, towards the close of the 8th century, an order known as the Magistri Commacini was established, to whom were given the privileges of freemen in the Lombard State. These Commacini, so named from the island in the lake of Como whence they sprang, were trained masons and builders, who in the 9th and 10th century would seem to have carried the Lombard style through north and south Italy, Germany and portions of France. It was at one time assumed that they had influenced the church architecture throughout Europe, but this is not borne out by the evidence of the buildings themselves, except in the Rhenish provinces and in the districts on the slope of the Harz Mountains, where in sculpture a strange mixture is found of monstrous animals with Scandinavian interlaced patterns and Byzantine foliage, bearing a close resemblance to the early sculpture in Sant' Ambrogio at Milan and San Michele at Pavia (Plate V, fig. 72). Although the earliest Lombard buildings in Italy (such as those of San Salvatore in Brescia, San Vincenzo-in-Prato at Milan the church of Agliate and Santa Maria delle Caccie at Pavia) were basilican in plan with nave and aisles, there are some instances in which the adoption of a transept has produced the Latin cross plan (e.g. San Michele at Pavia, Sant’ Antonino at Piacenza, San Nazaro-Grande at Milan, and the cathedrals of Parma and Modena), though to what extent this is due to subsequent rebuilding is not known. In the early basilicas above mentioned the columns, carrying the arcades between nave and aisles, were taken from earlier buildings, while the capitals, where not Roman, were either rude imitations of Roman, or Byzantine in style. The roofs were always in wood, and the exteriors of the simplest description. In the external decoration, however, of the apses of the churches of San Vincenzo-in-Prato, Santa Maria delle Caccie, the church at Agliate and the ancient portion of S. Ambrogio at Milan, we find the germ of that decorative feature which (afterwards developed into the eaves-gallery) became throughout Italy and on the Rhine the most beautiful and characteristic element of the Lombard style. In order to lighten the wall above the hemispherical vault of the apse, a series of niches was sunk within the arches of the corbel table, which gave to the cornice that deep shadow where it was most wanted for effect. In addition to the churches above named, similar niches are found in the baptisteries of Novara and Arsago, the Duomo Vecchio at Brescia and the church of San Nazaro Grande at Milan. Towards the close of the 11th century, the imposts of these niches take the form of isolated piers, with a narrow gallery behind, and eventually small shafts with capitals are substituted for the piers, producing the eaves-galleries of the apses, which in Santa Maria Maggiore at Bergamo (1137) and the cathedral of Piacenza are the forerunners of numerous others in Italy, and in the churches of Cologne, Bonn, Bacharach and other examples on the Rhine, constitute their most important external decoration.

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Fig. 35.—Plan of S. Ambrogio.

In the apses of San Vincenzo-in-Prato and of the church at Agliate (both of the 9th century) there is another decorative feature, destined afterwards to become one of the most important methods of breaking up or subdividing the wall surface, i.e. the thin pilaster strips, which, at regular intervals, rise from the lower part of the wall to the corbel table of the cornice.

The two most important churches of the Lombard Romanesque style are those of Sant’ Ambrogio at Milan and S. Michele at Pavia, their importance being increased by the fact that they probably represent the earliest examples of the solution of the great problem which was exercising the minds of the church builders towards the end of the 11th century, the vaulting of the nave. In the original church, of the 9th century, the nave and aisles of Sant’ Ambrogio were divided in the usual way with arcades, and were covered with open timber roofs. In the rebuilding of the church (fig. 35) the nave (38 ft. wide) was divided into four square bays, and compound piers of large dimensions were built, to carry the transverse and diagonal ribs of the new vault. To resist the thrust, the walls across the aisles were built up to the roof, and had external buttresses, the diagonal ribs instead of following the elliptical curve which the intersection of the Roman semicircular barrel-vault gave to the groin, were made semicircular, so that the web or vaulting surface which rested on these ribs rose upwards towards the centre of the bay, giving a distinct domical form to the vault. The aisles, being half the width of the nave, were divided into eight compartments, two to each bay of the nave, and were covered both in the ground storey and the triforium with intersecting groin vaults. When this rebuilding took place, the front of the church was brought forward, bearing a narthex, and the arcades of the atrium were rebuilt in the first years of the 12th century. The triple apse, to the external decoration of which we have called attention, the crypt underneath, and the south campanile, are the only remains of the 9th century church. The campanile on the north side was built 1125-1149, and the decoration with pilaster strips, semi-detached shafts, and arched corbel table, is repeated on the façade of the church and on the arcade round the atrium. In the rebuilding, portions of the sculptural decoration of the 9th century church were utilized; this would appear to have been a Lombard custom, as in the church of San Michele the lower part of the main front is encrusted with sculptured decoration taken from the earlier churches built on the site. These ancient sculptures are of special interest, as they constitute the best records of the rude Lombard work of the 8th and 9th centuries, and are intermingled with Byzantine scroll work and interlaced patterns. If the plan of Sant’ Ambrogio, with its comparatively thin enclosure walls suggests its original construction as an ordinary basilica, this is not the case with San Michele (fig. 36), where all the external walls are of great thickness, showing that from the first it was intended to vault the whole structure The church is much smaller than Sant' Ambrogio, there being originally only two square bays to the nave (in the 15th century the vaults were rebuilt with four bays); the transept, however, projects widely beyond the aisles, and as there is another bay given to the choir in front of the apse, the area of the two churches is about the same. The existing church was probably begun shortly after the destructive earthquake of 1117, and was consecrated in 1132. In Sant’ Ambrogio the transverse and diagonal arches spring from just above the triforium floor, so that there was no room for clerestory windows, and consequently the interior is dark. In San Michele the ribs rise from the level of the top of the triforium arcades and two clerestory windows are provided to each bay. The crossing of the nave and transept is covered with a dome carried on squinches, which dates from the first building. The dome over the fourth bay of Sant’ Ambrogio replaced the original vault about the beginning of the 13th century.


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Fig. 36.—Plan of San Michele, Pavia.


The cathedral of Novara, originally of the ordinary basilica type of the 10th century with timber roofs, was reconstructed in the 11th century, compound piers being built to carry the transverse and diagonal ribs and walls built across the outer aisles to resist the thrust; on the other hand SS. Pietro and Paolo at Bologna is a 12th century church which was designed from the first to be vaulted. To these, and still belonging to the basilican plan, must be added San Pietro in Cielo d’oro (1136) and San Teodoro, both in Pavia; S. Evasio at Casale-Monferrato, having a comparatively narrow nave with double aisles on either side and a very remarkable narthex or porch. S. Lorenzo at Verona (lately restored), which in the 12th century was rebuilt with compound piers to carry a vault (the apse and the two remarkable circular towers in the west front belong to the ancient church); and Sant’ Abbondio at Como, often restored and partly rebuilt, retaining, however, some of the original sculpture of the early Lombard period.

Of churches built on the plan of the Latin cross, examples are Sant’ Antonino at Piacenza, with an octagonal lantern tower over the crossing, Parma cathedral (c. 1175), with an octagonal pointed dome over the crossing; Modena cathedral, rebuilt and consecrated in 1184; San Nazaro-Grande at Milan; and San Lanfranco at Pavia, the two latter without aisles.

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Fig. 62.—PISA.


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Photo Anderson.

Fig. 63.—ST MARK'S, VENICE.

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Photo, Neurdein.


Fig. 64.—AMIENS CATHEDRAL.



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Photo, F. Frith & Co.


Fig. 66.—ST PAUL'S, LONDON.

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Photo, F. Frith & Co.


Fig. 65.—BURGOS CATHEDRAL.



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Photo, F. Frith & Co.


Fig. 67.—ELY CATHEDRAL.

Reference has already been made to the eaves-galleries of the apses of the Lombard churches. A similar gallery was carried across the main front, rising with the slope of the roof, as in San Michele, Pavia; also on the west fronts of San Pietro in Cielo d’oro and San Lanfranco, at Pavia; and in the cathedrals of Parma and Piacenza. In all these cases the galleries are not quite continuous, vertical buttresses or groups of shafts or single shafts being carried up through them to the corbel tables. In S. Ambrogio at Milan the central original lantern is surrounded with two tiers of galleries. The finest example of their employment, however, is in the magnificent central tower of the Cistercian church at Chiaravalle, near Milan, where the two lower storeys form the drum of the internal dome, the two storeys above are set back, and the upper storey consists of a lofty octagonal tower with conical spire.

One of the serious defects in the front of the church of San Michele at Pavia is that it forms a mask, and takes no cognizance of the aisle roofs, which are at a lower level, and the same is found in San Pietro-in-Cielo d’oro at Pavia. This mask is carried to an absurd extent in the church of Santa Maria della Pieve at Arezzo, in which, above the ground storey of the arcades, are three galleries forming strong horizontal lines, which suggest the numerous floors of a civic building instead of the vertical subdivisions of a church. This defect is not found in the church of San Zeno at Verona, which is one of the finest of the Lombard churches; the church is basilican in plan, the nave being divided into five bays with compound piers, as in Sant’ Ambrogio, as if it were intended to vault it; this, however, was never done, but stone arches are thrown across the two westernmost bays of the nave as if to carry the roof (now concealed by a wooden ceiling). The façade is of marble and sandstone, with pilaster-strips rising from the base to the arched corbel table, and the outline of the nave and aisles is preserved in the front, in which all the mouldings and carving are of the utmost delicacy. Both here and in the cathedral are fine examples of those projecting porches, the columns of which are carried on the backs of lions or other beasts. At Piacenza, Parma, Mantua, Bergamo and Modena are porches of a similar kind, and in the cathedral of Modena the columns which support the balcony on the entrance to the crypt are all carried on the backs of lions. The cathedral of Verona has suffered so much from rebuilding and restoration that little remains of the earlier structure, but the apse of the choir, decorated with a close set range of pilaster-strips, with bases and Corinthian capitals and crowned with a highly enriched entablature, is quite unique in its design.

Among circular buildings, the Rotonda at Brescia was at one time considered to date from the 8th century, owing to its massive construction and the simplicity and plainness of its external design. Later discoveries, however, have shown that the early date can only be given to the crypt of San Filasterio situated to the eastward of the Rotonda. The church of Santo Sepolcro at Bologna, as its name implies, is one of those reproductions of the church of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem which were built by the Templars during the crusades. Of much earlier date is the circular church of San Tommaso-in-Limine, an early Lombard work of the 9th century, to which period belong also the baptisteries of Albenga, Arsago, Biella, Galliano and Asti. One of the most beautiful examples is the baptistery of Santa Maria at Gravedona, at the northern end of the lake of Como, built in black and white marble. The plan is unusual, and consists of a square with circular apses on three sides.

Byzantine Romanesque.—Although in the first basilican church of St Mark at Venice, erected in 929 to receive the relics of the saint recovered from St Mark’s in Alexandria, the capitals of the columns and other decorative accessories showed Greek influence, its transformation into a five-domed Byzantine structure was not begun till about the middle of the 11th century. The date given by Cattanco is 1063, the same year in which the cathedral of Pisa was begun; it is probable, however, that the scheme had already been in contemplation for some years, as the problem was not an easy one to solve, owing to the restrictions of the site, and to the desire to reproduce in some way the leading features of the church of the Holy Apostles at Constantinople. This church was destroyed in 1464, but its description by Procopius is so clear, and corresponds so closely with St Mark’s, completed towards the end of the 11th century, as to leave little doubt about the source of its inspiration. From what has already been said with reference to the great changes made when it was proposed to vault the early Lombard basilican churches, those of equal importance which were carried out in St Mark’s will be better understood. The nave was divided into three square bays (fig. 37), with additional bays on the north and south to form transepts; the five square bays thus obtained were covered with domes carried on pendentives, as in St Sophia at Constantinople, and on wide transverse barrel vaults; the domes over the north and south transepts and the choir were of slightly less dimensions than those over the nave and crossing, in consequence of the limitations in area caused by the chapel of St Theodore on the north, the ducal palace on the south, and the ancient apse of the original basilica which it was desired to retain. In the reconstruction, many of the old columns, capitals and parapets were utilized again in the arcades carrying the galleries and in the balustrades over them. Externally the brick walls were decorated with blind arcades and niches of Lombard style, and all the roof vaults were covered with lead as in Constantinople. The subsequent decoration of the exterior took two centuries to carry out, not including the florid work of later date. There is no precedent in the East for the superimposed columns and capitals exported from Constantinople and Syria which now decorate the north, south and west fronts (Plate I., fig. 63), though the materials were all of the finest Byzantine type. Internally, the mosaic decoration of the domes, vaults and the upper part of the walls, was carried out by Greek artists from Constantinople, who probably also were employed for the marble panelling of the lower part of the walls. The marble casing of the front was certainly executed by Constantinopolitan artists, since the moulded string known as the “Venetian dentil” is a direct reproduction of that in St Sophia. At a later date the domes were all surmounted by lanterns in wood, covered with lead, and the roofs were all raised. So far, therefore, the building departs from its prototype, the church of the Apostles. A similar transformation took place in the church of Santa Fosca at Torcello, where a single large dome was contemplated over the centre of the original basilican church, but was never built. The cathedral of Torcello and the church at Murano are richly decorated with carved panels, capitals, choir screens and other features, either imported from the East or reproduced by Greek artists or Italians trained in the style. The influence of St Mark’s in this respect extended far and wide on the east coast of Italy; and at Pomposa, Ancona, and as far south as Brindisi, Byzantine details can be traced everywhere. The designs of the churches of San Ciriaco at Ancona and of Sant’ Antonio at Padua were both based on St Mark’s. Sant’ Antonio’s had six domes, there being two over the nave; and in all cases the domes were surmounted by domes in timber like those of St Mark’s.


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From R. P. Spiers’s Architecture, East and West.
Fig. 37.—Plan of St Mark’s, Venice.


In domestic work, Venice is richer in Byzantine architecture than Constantinople, for with the exception of the Hebdomon palace the continual fires there have destroyed all the earlier palaces and houses. The Fondaco-dei-Turchi, built probably in the 11th century, is one of the most remarkable; the front on the great canal is 160 ft. long, having a lofty arcade with ten stilted arches on the ground storey and an arcade of eighteen arches above; the pavilion wings at the east end are in three storeys, with blind arcades and windows pierced in the central arcade. The whole was built in brick encased with marble, with panels or disks enriched with bas-reliefs or coloured marbles. A second example is found in the Palazzo Loredan, having similar arcades, stilted arches and marble panelling; and there are two others, one on the Grand Canal and the other on the Rio-Cà-Foscari. Throughout Venice the decoration of these Byzantine palaces would seem to have influenced those of later date; for the Venetian dentil, interlaced scroll-work and string courses, with the Byzantine pendant leaf, are found intermingled with Gothic work, even down to the 15th century, and the same to a certain extent is found at Padua, Verona and Vicenza.

Central Romanesque.—The builders in the centre of Italy would seem to have followed more closely the Roman basilican plan, for in two of the earliest churches, Santa Maria Fuorcivitas at Lucca and San Paolo a Ripa d’Arno at Pisa, the T-shaped plan of St Peter’s and St Paul’s, with widely projecting transepts, was adopted; the difference also between the north and central developments is very marked, as in the place of the massive stone walls, compound piers, and internal and external buttresses deemed necessary to resist the thrusts of the great vaults, and the low clerestory of the northern churches, those in the south retain the light arcades with classic columns, the wooden roofs, and the high clerestory of the Roman basilicas. Instead of the vigorous sculpture of the Lombards in the Tuscan churches, marbles of various colours take its place, the carving being more refined in character and much quieter in effect.

The earliest church now existing is that of San Frediano at Lucca, dating from the end of the 7th century. Originally it was a five-aisled basilica, with an eastern apse, but when it was included within the walls in the 11th century the apse and the entrance doorway changed places, and a fine eaves-gallery was carried round the new apse; the outer aisles were also transformed into chapels. So many of the churches in Pisa and Lucca had new fronts given to them in the 11th or 12th century, that it is interesting to find, in the church of San Pietro-in-Grado at Pisa, an example in which the external decoration with pilaster strips and arched corbel tables is retained, showing that in the 9th century, when that church was built, the Lombard style prevailed there. Other early churches are those of San Casciano (9th century), San Nicola and San Frediano (1007), all in Pisa.

Of early foundation, but probably rebuilt in the 11th century, are two interesting churches in Toscanella, Santa Maria and San Pietro; they are both basilican on plan, but the easternmost bay is twice the width of the other arches of the arcade, and is divided from the nave by a triumphal arch. In both churches the floor of the transept is raised some feet above the nave, and a crypt occupies the whole space below it.

One of the earliest and most perfect examples of this subdivision is the church of San Miniato, on a hill overlooking Florence. The church was rebuilt in 1013, and some of the Roman capitals of the earlier building are incorporated in the new one. It is divided into nave and aisles by an arcade of nine arches, and every third support consists of a compound pier with four semi-detached shafts, one of which, on each side of the nave, rises to the level of the summit of the arcade and carries a massive transverse arch to support the roof. The east end of the church, occupying the last three bays of the arcade, is raised 11 ft. above the floor of the nave, over a vaulted crypt extending the whole width of the church and carried under the eastern apse. The interior of the church, which is covered over with an open timber roof, painted in colour and gilded, is decorated with inlaid patterns of black and white marble of conventional design, and the same scheme is adopted in the main façade, enriching the panels of the blind arcade on the lower storey, and above an extremely classic design of Corinthian pilasters, entablature and pediment.

As none of the façades of the Pisan churches was built before the middle of the 11th century, it is possible that Buschetto, the architect of the cathedral of Pisa, may have profited by the scheme suggested in the lower storey of San Miniato; if so he departed from its classic proportions. There are seven blind arcades in the lower storey of the Pisan cathedral, the arcades are loftier, and the position of the side doors which open into the inner aisle on each side is of much better effect. The cathedral was begun in 1063, the year following the brilliant capture of Palermo by the Pisans, when they returned in triumph with immense spoils. In plan it consists of a Latin cross, with double aisles on either side of the nave extending to the east end, a central apse, transepts with single aisles on each side, and north and south transepted apses (fig. 38). The nave arcade, with its Corinthian capitals and monolith stone columns, is of exceptional boldness, and as it is carried across the transept up to the east end (a length of 320 ft.) it forms a continuous line greater than that in any other cathedral. The crossing is covered by a dome, elliptical on plan, being from east to west the length of the transept and aisles. The result is unfortunate, and detracts both externally and internally from its beauty; otherwise the exterior decoration, which must have been schemed out in its entirety from the beginning (with the exception of the dome, which is of later design), has the most satisfactory and pleasing effect. The lofty blind arcade of the lower storey and the open gallery above on the façade (the latter represented by a blind arcade), are carried round the whole building, and the horizontal lines of the galleries of the upper storeys accord with the roofs of the aisles and nave respectively and the blind arcade of the clerestory. The walls are faced within and without with white and grey marble, and the combination of sculpture and inlay which enriches the arcades of the façades gives an additional attraction to the building. The cathedral is sometimes quoted as Byzantine in style, but its plan and design are of widely different character from those of any building found in the East, and the mosaics, which constitute the finest decorative element in that style, were not added till the 14th century, and formed no part of the architect Buschetto’s scheme.

The Baptistery, begun in 1153, was not completed till towards the close of the 13th century, when important alterations were made in the design to bring it into accordance with the new Gothic style. The crocketed gables, and the upper gallery, substituted for the arcades, which followed on the lines of those in the cathedral, have taken away the quiet repose found in the latter; the lower storey, however, with its lofty blind arcades, similar to those of the cathedral, and the principal doorway, are of great beauty. The central area of the baptistery, which is surrounded by aisles and triforium gallery, is covered by a conical dome; internally as well as externally this can never have been a beautiful feature, and the additions of the 13th century have made it one of the ugliest roofs in existence.


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Fig. 38.


The Campanile or leaning tower was begun in 1174. Owing, however, to the treacherous nature of the ground, the piles driven in to support the tower gave way on the south side, so that, when only 35 ft. above the ground, a settlement was noticed, and slight additions in height were made from time to time in order to obtain a horizontal level for the stone courses; but this was without avail, and on the completion of the third gallery above the ground storey the work was suspended for many years. In 1350 it was recommenced, three more gallery storeys were added, and the upper or belfry stage was set back in the inner wall. The tower is now 178 ft. high, and overhangs nearly 14 ft. on the south side; its design is made to harmonize with the cathedral, but shows much less refinement and grace. The Campo Santo, an immense rectangular court 350 ft. long by 70 ft. wide, surrounded by a cloister 35 ft. wide, was begun in 1280; the details are refined, but the poverty in the design of the tracery with which the arcades were fitted in at a much later date detracts from its interest, which is now mainly concerned with the beautiful frescoes which decorate its walls.

As might have been expected, the cathedral of Pisa set the model not only for the restoration of existing churches but also for new ones, in Pisa itself and also at Lucca, Pistoia and Prato. In Pisa, the church of San Paolo a Ripa d’Arno was rebuilt about 1060, possibly by the architect of the cathedral; San Pietro-in-Vincoli and San Nicola date from the early years of the 12th century. At Lucca the churches of Santa Giulia, San Giusto, San Martino, San Michele, and the restored front of Santa Maria Fuorcivitas, are the principal examples in which the Pisan cathedral has suggested the design, and at Pistoia we can point to the cathedral, Sant’ Andrea, San Pietro and San Giovanni Fuorcivitas, the latter with a south wall decorated with three stages of blind arcades of great richness. The cathedral of Lucca was either restored or rebuilt at the beginning of the 14th century, and has a distinctly Gothic effect. The lower storey of the façade presents the unusual feature of an open porch across the whole front with three great archways. This porch with the three galleries above was added to the cathedral at the beginning of the 13th century.

Southern Romanesque.—The influences exerted in the early development of the Romanesque style in the south of Italy are much more complicated than in the north, since two new elements come into the field, the Norman and Saracenic. Of early work very little remains, owing to the general rebuilding in the 11th century; what is more remarkable, there is scarcely any trace of the result of the Byzantine occupation for so many centuries; the only exception being the church of San Gregorio at Bari, a small basilican structure in which the arches of the arcades separating the nave from the aisles are stilted like those of the Fondaco-dei-Turchi at Venice.

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Fig. 39.—Plan of S. Nicola at Bari.

One of the chief characteristics noticeable in the plan is the almost universal adoption of a transept projecting north and south slightly beyond the aisle walls, and in some cases raised over a crypt, as in the churches at Toscanella. Since, however, there is no choir bay, and the central apse opens direct into the transept, the plan is not that of the Latin cross. The most complete development of this arrangement is found in the cathedral and in the church of San Nicola at Bari (fig. 39); both being basilican churches with a triumphal arch opening into the transept,—in this respect similar to the churches of St Peter and St Paul at Rome, except that the transepts project only slightly, beyond the aisles. There is one peculiarity in both these churches, as also in that of the cathedral at Molfetta. East of the transept, and at the north and south sides, are towers, between which is carried a wall which hides the apse, the only indication of its existence being the round arched window which lights it. A similar arrangement exists in the cathedrals of Giovenazzo, Bitetto and Bitonto. The central bay of the transept of the cathedral at Bari is surmounted by an octagonal drum, the dome within which is carried on squinches; a similar dome was projected in San Nicola, but never built. In the cathedral at Bari, as also in San Nicola, the lofty nave is covered with a timber roof, and has an arcade on the ground storey and a fine triforium and clerestory windows above.

Externally these churches depend for their effect more on their fine masonry than on any decorative treatment; the blind arcades of the lower storey have very little projection, and the pilaster strips which in the Lombard churches break up the wall surface are not found here; the arched corbel table is freely employed but rarely the open gallery. There is one remarkable example in Bitonto cathedral; above the aisle chapels, and approached from the triforium, is an open gallery, the arches of which rest on widely projecting capitals sculptured with animals and foliage, half Lombardic and half Byzantine in style. The small shafts supporting these capitals are of infinite variety of design, with spirals, chevrons, fluting and vertical mouldings of many kinds.

The cathedral at Molfetta is in plan quite different from those already described, and consists of square bays with aisles, transept and apse, having domes over the nave and crossing. The Byzantine influence here comes in, but it is much more pronounced in La Cattolica at Stilo, a small church square on plan with four columns carrying the superstructure, which consists of a central and four domes on the angles. Other domed churches are those of the Immaculata at Trani; San Sabino, Canosa; and San Marco, Rossano. The lower part of the cathedral at Troja shows the direct influence of the cathedral at Pisa. The cathedral at Trani has the same plan as the churches at Bari, except that the earlier apses are not enclosed. The cathedral of Salerno retains still the fine atrium by Robert Guiscard in 1077. In the cathedrals of Acerenza, Aversa and Venosa, the French chevet was introduced towards the end of the 12th century.

In the magnificent octagonal tower which encloses the dome on the crossing in the cathedral of Caserta-Vecchia, we find the interlacing blind arcades of the Norman architecture in Sicily, as also in the cathedral at Amalfi. The porches, entrance doorways and windows being the chief decorative feature of the south Italian churches, were enriched with splendid sculptures. So were the pulpits of the cathedrals of Sessa, Ravello, Salerno and Troja, the rich mosaic inlays at Sessa, Ravello and Salerno according in design with the Cosmati work in Rome, though they possibly had an earlier origin in Sicily.

Sicilian Romanesque.—Although the earliest remains in Sicily date from the Norman occupation of the island, they are so permeated with Saracenic detail as to leave no doubt that the conqueror employed the native workmen, who for two centuries at all events had been building for the Mahommedans, and therefore, whether Arab or Greek, had been reproducing the same style as that found in Egypt or North Africa.

It is possible that, so far as the Norman palaces of the 12th century are concerned, they were based on those built under the Saracenic rule, but the requirements of a mosque and of a church are entirely different, and therefore in the earliest church existing (San Giovanni-dei-Leprosi, at Palermo, built by Robert Guiscard in A.D. 1071) we find a completely developed Christian structure, having nave, aisles and transepts, with a dome over the crossing and three apses. The next church, at Troina (1078), was similar on plan, but had three square wings at the east end instead of apses. The next two churches, La Martorana and San Cataldo (1129), at Palermo, followed the plan of the Greek church, with four columns carrying the superstructure and three domes over the nave bays carried on Saracenic squinches, similar to those in San Giovanni-dei-Leprosi. San Giovanni-degli-Eremiti (T-shaped on plan) has no aisles, but carries domes over the nave and three smaller domes on the transept. The most important feature found in all these churches is the pointed arch, of Saracenic origin imported from the East, which was employed for the nave, arcades, the crossing, and in the squinches carrying the domes. The blind arcades which decorate the walls of San Cataldo and of the Norman palaces—La Favara, the Torre della Ninfa, La Ziza and La Cuba (all in or near Palermo),—in two or three orders, and sometimes (as in the Favara palace) of great height, have all pointed arches and no impost mouldings or capitals. The distinguishing characteristic of these blind arcades (and the same is found in the open arcades) is the very slight projection of the outer order of arch.

The finest early example of Norman architecture in Sicily is the Cappella Palatina, at Palermo, consecrated in 1140, and attached to the palace. The plan consists of nave, aisles, transept and triple apse, the arches, all pointed and stilted, being carried on monolith columns of granite and marble alternately. The nave is covered over with a timber roof with stalactitic coves and coffered ceiling, richly decorated in colour and gilded, the borders of the panels bearing Arabic inscriptions in Cufic characters. Similar inscriptions exist on the upper part of the walls of the Cuba and Ziza palaces, proving that they were built by Saracenic workmen. The plans of the cathedrals of Palermo, Messina (destroyed 1908), Cefalu and Monreale are all similar, with nave and aisles separated by arcades, in which the arches are all pointed and stilted, transepts projecting north and south beyond the aisle walls, and square bays beyond, with apsidal terminations. That of Palermo has much suffered from restorations, but the cathedral of Monreale is in perfect condition. It was begun in 1176 and consecrated in 1182. The proportions of the arcade are much finer than in the Cappella Palatina, where the stilted arch was of the same height as the shaft of the columns, whereas here it is only half the height. The columns are all of granite with extremely fine capitals, some of which were taken from ancient buildings. All the roofs are in wood, with coffered ceilings richly decorated in gold and colour. The walls to a height of 22 ft. are all lined with slabs of marble with mosaic friezes, and all the surfaces of walls and arches are covered above with mosaics representing scenes from the Old and New Testaments, while in the apse at the east end a gigantic figure of Christ dominates the whole church. The same is found at Cefalu, where the mosaic decorations, however, are confined to the apses. Externally the walls are comparatively plain, the decoration being confined to the east end, where the three apses are covered with a series of blind intersecting arcades of pointed arches. This class of enrichment prevails throughout the great Sicilian churches, and extends sometimes to the smaller churches, as that of the Chiesa-dei-Vespri. Of the conventual buildings attached to the cathedral of Monreale, which occupied an immense site, there remain only the cloisters, about 140 ft. square, enclosed by an arcade with pointed arches carried on coupled columns, the shafts of which are elaborately carved and inlaid with mosaic; the capitals are of the most varied design and of exquisite execution.

Italian Gothic.—Italy is poorer than any other country in examples of the transition from round arched to pointed arched buildings. The use of the pointed arch was accepted at last as a necessity, and cannot be said ever to have been welcomed. The first buildings in which it is seen worked out fully in detail are those of Niccola Pisano, and but few examples exist of good Gothic work earlier than his time. The elaborately arcaded and sculptured west front of Ferrara cathedral is a screen to an early building. The cathedral and other churches at Genoa are certainly exquisite works, but they appear to owe their internal design rather to the influence of (perhaps) Sicilian taste than north Italian, and the exquisite beauty of the west front owes a good deal, at any rate, to French influence, softened, refined and decorated by the extreme taste of an Italian architect. The feature which most marks all Italian Gothic is the indifference to the true use of the pointed arch. Everywhere arches were constructed which could not have stood for a day had they not been held together by iron rods. There was none of that sense of the unities of art which made a northerner so jealous to maintain the proper relations of all parts of his structure. In Niccola Pisano’s works the arch mould rarely fits the capital on which it rests. The proportions of buttresses to the apparent work to be done by them are bad and clumsy. The window traceries look like bad copies of some northern tracery, only once seen in a hurry by an indifferent workman. There is no life, or development, or progress in the work. If we look at the ground-plans of Italian Gothic churches, we shall find nothing whatever to delight us. The columns are widely spaced, so as to diminish the number of vaulting bays, and to make the proportions of the oblong aisle vaulting bay very ungainly. Clustered shafts are almost unknown, the columns being plain cylinders with poorly sculptured capitals. There are no triforium galleries, and the clerestory is generally very insignificant. In short, a comparison of the best Gothic works in Italy with the most moderate French or English work would show at once how vast its inferiority must be allowed to be. Still there were beauties which ought not to be forgotten or passed over. Such were the beautiful cloisters, whose arcades are carried on delicate coupled shafts,—e.g. in St John Lateran and St Paul’s at Rome. Such also were the porches and monuments at Verona and elsewhere; and the campaniles,—both those in Rome, divided by a number of string-courses into a number of storeys, and those of the north, where there are hardly any horizontal divisions, and the whole effort is to give an unbroken vertical effect; or that unequalled campanile, the tower of the cathedral at Florence by Giotto, where one sees in ordered proportion, accurately adjusted, line upon line, and storey upon storey, perhaps the most carefully wrought-out work in all Europe.

The Italian architects were before all others devoted to the display of colour in their works. St Mark’s had led the way in this, but, throughout the peninsula, the bountiful plenty of nature in the provision of materials was seconded by the zeal of the artist. They were also distinguished for their use of brick. Just as in parts of Germany, France, Spain and England, there were large districts in which no stone could be had without the greatest labour and trouble; and here the reality and readiness which always marked the medieval workman led to his at once availing himself of the natural material, and making a feature of his brickwork.

The Gothic of Italy has, it must be admitted, no such grand works to show as more northern countries have. Allowance has to be made at every turn for some incompleteness or awkwardness of plan, design or construction. There is no attempt to emulate the beauties of the best French plans. Milan cathedral, magnificent as its scale and material make it, is clumsy and awkward both in plan and section, though its vast size makes it impressive internally. San Francesco, Assisi, is only a moderately good early German Gothic church, converted into splendour by its painted decorations. At Orvieto a splendid west front is put, without any proper adjustment, against a church whose merit is mainly that it is large and in parts beautifully coloured.

The finest Gothic interiors are of the class of which the Frari at Venice and Sant’ Anastasia at Verona are examples. They are simple vaulted cruciform churches, with aisles and chapels on the east side of the transepts. But even in these the designs of the various parts in detail are poor and meagre, and only redeemed from failure by the picturesque monuments built against their walls, by the work of the painter, and by their furniture. In fine, Gothic art was never really understood in Italy, and, consequently, never reached to perfection.

Whilst the Pointed style was almost exclusively known and practised in northern Europe, the Italians were but slowly improving in their Gothic style; and the improvement was more evinced in their secular than in their ecclesiastical structures. Florence, Bologna, Vicenza, Udine, Genoa, and, above all, Venice, contain palaces and mansions of the 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th centuries, which for simplicity, utility and beauty far excel most of those in the same and other places of the three following centuries. The contemporary churches do not exhibit the same degree of improvement in style that is conspicuous in these domestic works, for there are no works in Europe more worthy of study and admiration than the Ducal Palace at Venice, and some of the older works of the same class, and even of earlier date. The town halls of Perugia, Piacenza and Siena, and many houses in these cities, and at Corneto, Amalfi, Asti, Orvieto and Lucca, the fountains of Perugia and Viterbo, and the monuments at Bologna, Verona and Arezzo, may be named as evidence of the interest which the national art affords to the architectural student even in Italy, as late as the end of the 14th century; but after this it gradually gave way to the new style, though in some instances its influence may be traced even when it had been overborne by it.  (R. P. S.) 


Romanesque and Gothic Architecture in France

Most generally, Romanesque art is thought of as that period of art which followed and partook of the nature of Roman art and yet was too far removed from it to be classed as Roman. The difference, however, was not merely one of decay; it is rather in positive factors that we shall find the true characteristics of the style. Its formation was parallel to the development of the Romance languages, and like them it acquired barbaric elements.

In Rome itself hardly any, if any, contributions were made to its growth, and there as late as the 12th century the early Christian form of basilican church continued to be built. It may, perhaps, best be conceived as a Germano-Roman product, for even in Spain and north Italy, which became such strong centres of the art, the Visigoths and Lombards provided the Teutonic element. Besides this change of “blood” in the style, there is another element of change in the influences obtained from the more rapidly developed art of the East. This influence indeed was so strong and constant that, having it in view, we might almost describe the Romanesque style as Germano-Byzantine.

In the 6th and 7th centuries we have, on the one hand, the almost pure traditional early Christian art of Rome and indeed of western Europe, and on the other the direct establishment of matured Byzantine art at Ravenna, Parenzo, Naples and even in Rome. Then followed the mixture of these and of barbaric elements in the formation of several pre-Romanesque varieties, one of which has been named Italo-Byzantine. It was not until the age of Charlemagne that a centre was established strong enough for the formation of a new western school which should persist. From this time a progressive style was developed which led straight forward to the Gothic, and it is this movement which is best called Romanesque. This art was a perfect ferment of striving and experiment, of gathering and even of research; Roman, Byzantine and Saxon elements entered into its composition. It is probable also, as a result of Saracenic pressure on Syria, Asia Minor, North Africa and Spain, that artists, “bringing their crafts with them,” drew together from still remoter parts to gain the protection of the great ruler of the West and to help in the formation of Carolingian art. With the disintegration of the empire of Charlemagne many local schools arose in Germany, France and Lombardy, which—especially after the year 1000, when there appears to have been a renewed burst of building energy—resulted in considerable differentiation of styles. The centre of energy seems to have been now here, now there, yet with all the differences there was a general resemblance over the whole field. Until the exact date of a very large number of monuments is more perfectly established, it will be impossible to trace out exactly the intricate windings of the line of advance. In fact there are two conflicting sides to the question presented by Romanesque art. In the first place we have to consider the several schools in regard to a standard of absolute attainment, and in the second as relative to the line of persistence and to the formation of Gothic, which was so largely the culmination, and then the decay, of the forces present in Romanesque art. Some of the most beautiful and complete of the Romanesque schools contributed least, some of the most inchoate gave the most, to that which was to be.

The most important existing monument of the age of Charlemagne is the cathedral of Aix-la-Chapelle (see fig. 44), which was being built in the year 800. It has an octagonal central area, covered by a dome and surrounded with two storeys of aisles both completely vaulted. The interior surface of the dome was encrusted with mosaic. Another important work of about the same time is the church of Germigny-des-Prés near Orleans, which also is of the “central type,” having a square tower above four piers surrounded by an aisle with semicircular apses in the centre of each external wall, the apse to the east having a mosaic.

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Photo, Brogi.

Fig. 68.—ST PETER'S, ROME.



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Photo, Alinari.

Fig. 69.—INTERIOR OF ST PETER'S, ROME.

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Photo, Koch.

Fig. 70.—TOWN HALL, BREMEN.



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Photo, Brogi.

Fig. 71.—VENDRAMINI PALACE. VENICE.

From the 9th to the 11th century the great problem worked out was that of perfecting the standard plans of large churches. In the MS. plan of the monastic church of St Gall, drawn about 820, we find a great nave with aisles, apsidal terminations both to the east and the west, transepts and probably a central tower (cf. the abbey church of Saint-Riquier near Abbeville, built c. 800, of which a slight representation has been preserved). In St Martin at Tours was probably evolved the most perfect type of plan, that with an ambulatory and radiating chapels surrounding the eastern apse. A magnificent church of this form was built here at the beginning of the 11th century, but not for the first time. Excavations have shown that the plan was probably suggested by a still earlier church in which five tomb-niches surrounded the central apse and tomb of St Martin. At Jumièges (begun 1040) it has recently been found that the plan terminated to the east with parallel apses, as at St Albans in England; this is a second important type. A third type is that in which the transepts as well as the east end are finished with apses, like St Mary-in-the-Capitol at Cologne.

When we come to the developed Romanesque of the end of the 11th century, we find not only several French varieties, but strong schools in Lombardy and on the Rhine. Without distinguishing too minutely, four broad types representing schools of the east and west, north and south (or rather north-east, north-west, south-east and south-west) of France, may be spoken of, and all of these were engaged in the task of completely covering with vaults large churches of basilican plan—the typical problem of this period. In the east of France we have a school represented by the monastic church of Tournus, where the nave was vaulted by a series of compartments placed transversely to the axis of the church. This church, which has a plan of the type of St Martin’s at Tours, was begun in 1019, but the nave vaults were not reached until after 1066. This style of vaulting persisted in Burgundy, and from thence it spread to Fountains Abbey in England, where it is found over the aisles. The most beautiful class of buildings in eastern France is that of which the church at Issoire is the most perfect example. The external walls are here ornamented with patterns countercharged in light and dark stone. The wonderful church at Le Puy also belongs to this group, but here strong Moorish influence is to be traced. The inlays were probably derived from a late Gallo-Roman source. Countercharging of stones of two colours was a favourite method of building in Romanesque churches erected between 1100 and 1150. We find it at Vézelay, a magnificent abbey church of Burgundy, at Le Mans cathedral, and as far north-west as Exeter and Worcester. In the west (south-west) the most prominent school was that of Perigord, of which the church of St Front, Périgueux, may be taken as the example. St Front was rebuilt after a fire in 1120, but there are many earlier specimens, two of the most important being at Angoulême (1105-1128) and Fontevrault. This school applied a series of domes of eastern fashion not only at the centre but over the whole extent of the church. St Front so closely resembles St Mark’s, Venice, that it must be derived from it or from some similar eastern church. The method largely influenced the Angevin school of vaulting, but it does not seem to have been effective as a protection from the weather. Some examples were covered by external roofs, as was St Front itself at a late time. St Ours at Loches, originally a small church covered by domes, had spire-like pyramids substituted for them when the church was enlarged about 1168.

The third class of vaulting we may for symmetry’s sake associate with the south, though it is found widely distributed. The chapel in the Tower of London is an example, and its true centre seems to be the Auvergne. The vaults of this type run along with the axis of the space to be covered. In the case of large churches the central span is frequently supported by quadrant vaults leaning against it on either side. One of the most noble churches in which the central span is covered by such a barrel vault is that of St Savin near Poitiers, where very much has been preserved of the complete series of paintings which once adorned it and the walls beneath.

The most characteristic buildings of the south are the churches of Moissac, St Trophime at Arles, St Gilles near Nîmes and St James of Compostella, where there is much sculpture of a Lombardic type. There was a great revival of sculpture, going together with a study of the antique, in Lombardy at the end of the 11th century. Wiligelmus, who later worked at San Zeno, Verona, signed some sculptures at Modena in 1099.

Of the schools of the north, Normandy took the lead. It was adventurous, if somewhat barbaric. It derived much from Germany and gave much to the Gothic style. About the middle of the 11th century the Normans began to experiment with cross-groined vaults and their application to the church problem. This from the first contained an important possibility of future development, in that it allowed of windows of considerable height being placed in the lunettes of these vaults. Soon a very great step in advance was made by the invention or application of diagonal ribs under the intersection of the plain groined vault. This association of strengthening ribs in a cross form to each bay of the structure forms the ogive, the characteristic form from which the alternative name to Gothic, “ogival,” has been derived. The first instance we know of the use of this system is at Durham cathedral, where the aisles of the east end were so covered about 1093, and where the high vault erected about 1104 was almost certainly of the same kind. Another outcome of the genius of Norman builders seems to have been the donjon or keep type of castle.

The word “Gothic” was applied by Italian writers of the Renaissance to buildings later than Roman, which in some cases (e.g. Theodoric’s works at Ravenna) might be properly so named. What we now call Gothic the same writers called Modern. Later the word came to mean the art which filled the whole interval between the Roman period and the Renaissance, and then last of all, when the Byzantine and Romanesque forms of art were defined, Gothic became the art which intervened between the Romanesque era and the Renaissance.

As remarked above, Gothic architecture is to a large extent the crown of Romanesque. It is agreed that its chief element of construction was the ogival vaulting which was being widely used by Romanesque builders in the first half of the 12th century; and pointed arches appeared as early.

The eminent architect, G. E. Street, writing[3] of what we have called the standard plan of great 12th-century churches, says, “In whatever way the early chevets (as the French term them) grew up there is no doubt that they contain the germ of the magnificent chevets in the complete Gothic churches of the north of France.” Architecture of the middle ages having been continuously developed, it is necessarily somewhat arbitrary to mark off any given period; all are agreed, however, that about the year 1150 there was a time of rapid change towards a slenderer and more energetic type of building, and the forms which followed for about four centuries we now call Gothic. The special character which the architecture of this period took was partially conditioned by the fact that the expanding power of the French kingdom, with its centre at Paris, was situated in a particular artistic environment. The body of ideas on which it for the most part worked was furnished by the Romanesque art of north France, the German borderland and Burgundy. A great contributory cause was the immense monastic activity of the time, and the need of accomplishing large results with limited means resulted in a casting aside of old ornamental commonplaces and in innovations of planning and structure. This was especially the case with the Cistercian order, which carried certain transitional Gothic forms of building into England, Germany, Italy and Spain. If, however, we make the transition to Gothic date from the first use of “ogival” vaults in north-west Europe, then Durham cathedral is, so far as we now know, the earliest example of the transitional style. The next step, the appearance of Gothic itself, may best be held to date from the systematic but not exclusive use of pointed arches in association with ogival vaults about the middle of the 12th century.

At this time was waged a war of domination amongst the styles, a war which resulted not necessarily in the victory of the most beautiful nor even of the strongest, but one in which political and geographical considerations had much to do with the decision. When the French kingdom took the lead in western civilization, it was settled that a northern form of art, one which had perforce to make a chief element of the window, should be followed out. The consequent development of the window is, after all, as the first observers thought, the great mark of the mature style. As to the position of France in the movement, Mr Street may again be quoted:—“When once the Gothic style was well established, the zeal with which the work of building was pursued in France was almost incredibly great. A series of churches exists there within short distances of each other, so superb in all their features that it is impossible to contest their superiority to any corresponding group of buildings. The old Domaine Royale is that in which French art is seen in its perfection. Notre Dame, Paris, is a monument second to nothing in the world; but for completeness in all its parts it would be better to cite the cathedral of Chartres, a short description of which must suffice as an explanation of what French art at its zenith was. The plan has a nave with aisles, transepts with aisles on each side, a choir with two aisles all round it, and chapels beyond them. There are two immense steeples at the west end, two towers to each transept and two towers at the junction of the choir with its apse. The doorways are triple at the west end, whilst to each transept is a vast triple porch in front of the three doorways. The whole of these doorways are covered with sculpture, much of it refined, spirited and interesting in the highest degree. You enter and find the interior surpassing even the exterior. The order of the columns and arches, and of all the details, is so noble and simple that no fault can be found with it. The whole is admirably executed; and, finally, every window throughout its vast interior is full of the richest glass coeval with the fabric. As compared with English churches of the same class, there are striking differences. The French architects aimed at greater height, greater size, but much less effect of length. Their roofs were so lofty that it was almost impossible for them to build steeples which should have the sort of effect that ours have. The turret on Amiens cathedral is nearly as lofty as Salisbury spire, but is only a turret; and so throughout. Few French churches afford the exquisite complete views of the exterior which English churches do; but, on the other hand, their interiors are more majestic, and man feels himself smaller and more insignificant in them than in ours. The palm must certainly be given to them above all others. There is no country richer in examples of architecture than France. The student who wishes to understand what it was possible for a country to do in the way of creating monuments of its grandeur, would find in almost every part of the country, at every turn and in great profusion, works of the rarest interest and beauty. The 19th century may be the consummation of all, but the evidences of its existence to posterity will not be one-tenth in number of those which such a reign as that of Philip Augustus has left us, whilst none of them will come up to the high standard which in his time was invariably reached.”

The remarks which have been made as to the variation in style visible in various parts of the same country, apply with more force, perhaps, in what we now call France than to any other part of Europe. For the purposes of complete study it would be necessary to keep distinct from each other in the mind the following important divisions:—(1) Provence and Auvergne; (2) Aquitaine; (3) Burgundy; (4) Anjou and Poitou, (5) Brittany; (6) Normandy; (7) the Île-de-France and Picardy; (8) Champagne; and, finally, (9) the eastern border-land (neither quite German nor quite French in its character), the meeting-point of the two very different developments of French and German art. Speaking generally, it is safe to say that Gothic architecture was never brought to its highest perfection in any portion of the south of France. Aquitaine, Auvergne and Provence were too wedded to classic traditions to excel in an art which seems to have required for its perfection no sort of looking back to such a past. Hence there is no Gothic work in the south for which it is possible to feel the same admiration and enthusiasm as must be felt by every artist in presence of the great works of the north. In Anjou this is less the case; but even there the art is extremely inferior to that which is seen in Normandy and the Île-de-France. Brittany may be dismissed from consideration, as being, like Cornwall, so provincial and so cut off from neighbours, that its art could not fail to be very local, and without much influence outside its own borders.

There are examples of true Gothic outside its proper habitat, almost pure French works being found as far south as Laon and Burgos, as far east as Strassburg and Lausanne and as far north as Canterbury and Cologne. Westminister Abbey was profoundly influenced by direct study of French work. Normandy, Burgundy, and the land as far north as Tournay seem to have shared in the work of transition; but the Gothic area proper is the Île-de-France with Picardy and Champagne, then Burgundy, Normandy and England.

Four remarkable buildings best represent the early phase of the Gothic style, the abbey church of St Denis, and the cathedrals of Noyon, Senlis and Sens. The first was begun in 1137, and the choir was consecrated in 1143. The few parts of this work which remain are sufficient to show how stately and yet fresh the whole work must have been. Noyon cathedral, begun after a fire which occurred in 1131, had its choir consecrated in 1157. The cathedral of Senlis was begun in 1155. Sens cathedral, begun about the same time, or even earlier, is the first of the great cathedrals. Many other buildings belong to the first years of the style; such are the abbey churches of St Remi at Reims, Notre Dame at Châlons and St Germain-des-Prés, Paris. The choir of this last was consecrated in 1163, and in the same year Notre Dame, Paris, was begun. This mighty building, although very complete, was altered as to its effect by the substitution, early in the 13th century, of large two-light windows for the earlier lancets of the clerestory. The sculptures of the west front are exquisite. Laon cathedral, another of the great churches, is of about the same age as Notre Dame. It also has beautiful sculpture in its western porches, but its most marked characteristic is the group of six great and romantic towers which flank the fronts to the west, the north and the south. In the 13th century, the church was extended to the east and the original chevet was destroyed. From the evidence furnished by fine double-staged chapels to the transepts, it is most probable that three similar chapels were set about the ambulatory of the apse, the upper chapels opening from the fine vaulted triforium. Such an arrangement existed at the noble church of Valenciennes, now destroyed, but well recorded. At the end of the 12th century Chartres cathedral was begun, perhaps its most notable constructive feature being the high development that the flying buttresses have here attained. It was followed in the early years of the 13th century by Rouen cathedral, which derived much from its prototype. St Omer, a fine early church, in turn, followed Rouen.

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Fig. 40.—Plan of Cathedral at Amiens.

The second stage of Gothic, introducing the traceried window, was opened by the building of the cathedral of Reims, begun in 1211. This is in every way one of the most perfect of cathedrals, as well for its sculpture and glass as for its structure. Reims was followed by the still greater cathedral at Amiens (fig. 40), which was begun in 1220 at the west front, so that the superb sculpture (Plate II., fig. 64) of the porches is earlier than that of Reims. Beauvais cathedral was begun in 1247 on a still vaster scale, and with an ambition that o’erleaped itself. Auxerre cathedral, and the very beautiful collegiate churches of St Quentin and Semur, also followed Reims. Two other cathedrals of the first rank which must be mentioned are those of Bourges and Le Mans, each of these having double aisles about the apse, with a large clerestory to the inner one of the two, above which rises the great clerestory. This scheme is one of the great feats of Gothic construction. Le Mans again furnished the most highly developed form of chevet planning (fig. 41). On this point Mr Street may again be cited. “It was in the planning of the apse, with its surrounding aisles and chapels, that all their ingenuity and science were displayed. A simple apse is easy enough of construction, but directly it is surrounded by an aisle or aisles, with chapels again beyond them, the difficulties are great. The bays of the circular aisle, instead of being square, are very much wider on one side than the other, and it is most difficult to fit the vaulting to the unequal space. In order to get over this, various plans were tried. At Notre Dame, Paris, the vaulting bays were all triangular on plan, so that the points of support might be twice as many on the outside line of the circle as on the inside. But this was rather an unsightly contrivance, and was not often repeated, though at Bourges there is something of the same sort. At Le Mans the aisle vaulting bays are alternately triangular and square; and this is, perhaps, the best arrangement of all, as the latter are true and square, and none of the lines of the vault are twisted or distorted in the slightest degree. The arrangement of the chapels round the apse was equally varied. Usually they are too crowded in effect; and, perhaps, the most beautiful plan is that of Rouen cathedral, where there are only three chapels with unoccupied bays between, affording much greater relief and variety of lighting than the commoner plan which provided a chapel to every bay. The planning and design of the chevet is the great glory of the French medieval school. When the same thing was attempted, as at Westminster, or by the Germans at Cologne, it was evidently a copy, and usually an inferior copy, of French work. No English works led up to Westminster Abbey, and no German works to the cathedral at Cologne.” The variety in the planning of the chevets must be remarked. There might be only one chapel opening from the semicircular ambulatory, as at Langres, Sens, Auxerre, Bayeux and Lausanne. Canterbury cathedral, designed by William of Sens, is perhaps the most perfect example. There were three separated chapels, as at Rouen, St Omer, Semur, &c., or there might be five filling the whole space, which became the general later scheme. Chartres furnishes an intermediate plan, in having the alternate chapels much shallower than the others. The chapels might be circular or polygonal or alternately square and round. Of the last the cathedral of Toledo is a wonderful example. The plan with parallel apses also continued in use, as at the beautiful abbey church at Dijon and St Urbain at Troyes. Apsidal transepts were built at Noyon, Soissons and Valenciennes.

Another stage of development was reached with the building of the Sainte Chapelle in Paris, begun in 1244. With this work the Gothic system reached complete maturity. Here for the first time large traceried windows seem to have been perfected, and, moreover, the structure was so organized into a series of wide window spaces, only divided by strong far-projecting buttress piers, that the stained glass ideal found full expression and the building became a lantern for its display.


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Fig. 41.—Cathedral of Le Mans. East end and Chevet.


During the next half-century the influence of the Sainte Chapelle is to be traced everywhere, and its system of construction was developed to the furthest possible point in St Urbain at Troyes, begun in 1260. Exploration of the Gothic theory of structure could be carried no further. From this point the style turned in on itself, becoming more unreasonably intricate, artificial and mannerized. One of the finest examples of the style of the early 14th century is the eastern limb of St Ouen, Rouen; Troyes cathedral is also an important example of later work. As Mr Street says: “Later French architecture ran a very similar course to that in England. The 13th century was that in which it was seen at its best. In the 14th the same sort of change took place as elsewhere; and art was beautiful, but it was too much an evidence of skilfulness and adroitness. It was harder and colder also than English work of the same age; and when it fell, it did so before the inroads of a taste for what has been called Flamboyant architecture,—a gay and meretricious style which trusted to ornament for all its effect, and, in spite of many beauties, had none of the sturdy magnificence of much of our English Perpendicular style.”

M. Enlart has recently accepted the view that the germs of flamboyancy in the later French Gothic are to be found in the flowing curvilinear forms of early 14th-century work in England.

Up to the middle of the 16th century, magnificent works in the national style were still being executed. St Vulfran at Abbeville, St Maclou in Rouen, and the façade of the cathedral of Rouen, may be mentioned; some of the last works were the immense transepts of Beauvais cathedral and the façade of Tours.

We have necessarily spoken most of churches, but the palaces, castles and civic buildings form another great class hardly less interesting. The castles of Coucy and Château Gaillard may rival any cathedral. Among civic buildings may be mentioned the palais de justice at Rouen and the hôtel de ville at Compiègne, both late but beautiful and impressive types. The royal palace of Paris is now represented by the Sainte Chapelle, but accounts of its splendid hall and general arrangements have been preserved. At Poitiers is still extant the hall of the palace of the counts of Poitou; at Laon the episcopal palace is almost entire; there are considerable remains of the bishops’ palaces of Beauvais, Evreux, Rouen, Reims: and the pope’s palace at Avignon must also be mentioned in this connexion. The most perfect existing great houses of the middle ages are those of Jacques Coeur at Bourges and of the abbot of Cluny in Paris. A large number of fine houses on a small scale, dating from the 12th and 13th centuries, are still preserved at Beauvais, Auxerre, Chartres, Cordes, &c. The house of the musicians at Reims, c. 1280, is adorned by a series of seated life-sized figures playing instruments, in sculpture of a very high order. A good and concise account of the smaller houses in France is given in Hudson Turner’s Some Account of Domestic Architecture, and in C. Enlart’s Manuel d’archéologie, the best and most recent survey of the whole field of medieval antiquities in France.  (W. R. L.) 


Romanesque and Gothic Architecture in Spain

What strikes the architectural student most forcibly in Spain is the concurrent existence of two schools of art during the best part of the middle ages. The Moors invaded Spain in 711, and were not finally expelled from Granada until 1492. During the whole of this period they were engaged, with more or less success, in contests for superiority with the Christian natives. In those portions of the country which they held longest, and with the firmest hand, they enforced their own customs and taste in art almost to the exclusion of all other work. Where their rule was not permanent their artistic influence was still felt, and even beyond what were ever the boundaries of their dominion, there are still to be seen in Gothic buildings some traces of acquaintance with Arabic art not seen elsewhere in Europe, with the exception, perhaps, of the southern part of the Italian peninsula, and there differing much in its development. The mosque of Cordova in the 9th century, the Alcazar and Giralda at Seville in the 13th, the Court of Lions in the Alhambra in the 14th, several houses in Toledo in the 15th century, are examples of what the Moors were building during the period of the middle ages in which the best Gothic buildings were being erected. Some portions of Spain were never conquered by the Moors. These were the greater part of Aragon, Navarre, Asturias, Biscay and the northern portion of Galicia. Toledo was retaken by the Christians in 1085, Tarragona in 1089, Saragossa in 1118, Lerida in 1149, Valencia in 1238 and Seville in 1248. In the districts occupied by the Moors Gothic architecture had no natural growth, whilst even in those which were not held by them the arts of war were of necessity so much more thought of than those of peace, that the services of foreign architects were made use of to an extent unequalled in any other part of Europe.

Of early Christian buildings erected from the 9th to the 11th century remains of some twenty to thirty are known, and there are probably others which will be found when the communications in the country become more extended. The most interesting of these is Santa Maria de Naranco near Oviedo, originally built in 848 as part of a palace. It consisted of a rectangular hall, 42 ft. long and 16 ft. wide, with entrance doorways in the centre of each side, and at each end an arcade of three arches, carried on piers and coupled columns, which led to an open loggia from which the hall was lighted. Fifty to sixty years later it was converted into a church by blocking up the end of the east loggia. The church is remarkable for its barrel vault, built in fine masonry, and for the knowledge that is displayed in meeting its thrust. Internally, in order to lessen the span, the upper part of the walls is brought forward and carried on a series of arches on each side, which are supported on piers consisting of four coupled columns, virtually constituting an interior abutment. Externally, the thrust is met by buttresses, features not found in France until about a century and a half later. All the columns are spiral-fluted, and a twisted-cord torus-moulding decorates the capitals and other features in the church. The transverse ribs of the hall, which are of slight projection, are carried on broad bands with disks in the spandrils of the arches, the disks having badges in the centre, and being bordered, as well as the bands, with twisted cords. Underneath the church is a spacious vaulted crypt, which was built as a cellar or basement storey, to raise and give more importance to the palace. The twisted cord seems to have been a favourite device in all the early churches, and is extensively employed in the decoration of San Miguel de Lino, a small church about a quarter of a mile from Santa Maria de Naranco and coeval with that church. Externally the church of San Miguel has all the character of a Byzantine church; the windows in the front are pierced with Moorish tracery, probably brought there by those Christians who were flying to the sanctuaries of Asturias from the incursions of the Moors. In another church, about 15 m. south of Oviedo, Santa Christina de Leon, all the attached staffs are decorated with spiral fluting. The choir is raised, and approached by steps on either side through a screen of three arches, of the type known as Transennae in the earlier Christian of Rome. Here, as in Santa Maria de Naranco, the church is covered with a barrel vault with similar constructive and decorative features. Externally the buttresses are in great profusion, there being two to each bay. The screen, the pierced marble slabs between the columns carrying it, and the decoration of the capitals, all show Byzantine influence. Other early churches are those of San Pablo del Campo (930) and San Pedro de las Puellas, both in Barcelona, the fine church at the village of Priesca near Villaviciosa (915), the monastery of Valdedios (893) and that of San Salvador (1218), in which, notwithstanding its late date, there is a distinct Moorish influence. This influence is also to be noticed in the north of Spain, although it was never occupied by the Moors. Thus in the earliest church known, at Baños de Cerrato near Palencia (founded in 662, but restored in 711), there is a horse-shoe barrel vault over the square apse. Again in San Miguel de Escalada (913) near Leon, there are horse-shoe arches in the nave, and the three apses are horse-shoe on plan. San Pedro at Zamora is a vaulted church with horse-shoe arches in the nave, but otherwise Byzantine in style. In the church of Corpus Christi at Segovia the nave is Moorish in style, and the octagonal columns of the nave have capitals with fir cones, as in the well-known Santa Maria la Blanca at Toledo, originally a synagogue. The most remarkable church of all, so far as Moorish style is concerned, is the church of the monastery of Santiago de Peñalva, near Villafranca del Vierzo, built between 931 and 951, and therefore coeval with Cordova. The church is 40 ft. long by 20 ft. wide, covered by a barrel vault with transverse horse-shoe arch in the centre carrying the same. At each end is an apse with horse-shoe arches carried on marble shafts with Byzantine capitals. Though of later date, there is another interesting Romanesque example in the Templars’ church of La Vera Cruz at Segovia (1204), which is twelve-sided with three apses, and in the centre has a chapel built in imitation of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem.

The buildings which come next in point of date are all evidently derived from or erected by the architects of those which were at the time being built in the south of France. These churches are uniform in plan, with central lanterns and three eastern apses. The nave has usually a waggon or barrel vault, supported by quadrant vaults in the aisles, and the steeples are frequently polygonal in plan. If these churches are compared with examples like that of the cathedral at Carcassonne on the other side of the Pyrenees, their identity in style will at once be seen. A still more remarkable evidence of similarity has been pointed out between the church of St Sernin, Toulouse, and the cathedral of Santiago. The plan, proportions and general design of the two churches are identical. Here we see a noble ground-plan, consisting of nave with aisles, transepts, central lantern and chevet, consisting of an apsidal choir, with a surrounding aisle and chapels opening into it at intervals. This example is the more remarkable, inasmuch as the early Spanish architects very rarely built a regular chevel, and almost always preferred the simpler plan of apsidal chapels on either side of the choir. And its magnificent scale and perfect preservation to the present day combine to make it one of the most interesting architectural relics in the country.

Among the more remarkable buildings of the 12th and the beginning in the 13th century are San Isidoro, Leon; San Vicente, Avila; several churches in Segovia; and the old cathedral at Lerida. They are much more uniform in character than are the churches of the same period in the various provinces of France, and the developments in style, where they are seen at all, seldom have much appearance of being natural local developments. This, indeed, is the most marked feature of Spanish architecture in all periods of its history. In such a country it might have been expected that many interesting local developments would have been seen; but of these there are but one or two that deserve notice. One of them is illustrated admirably in the church of San Millan, Segovia, where beyond the aisles of the nave are open cloisters or aisles arcaded on the outside, and opening by doors into the aisles of the nave. A similar external south portico exists in San Miguel de Escalada, already referred to, Santo Domingo, Burgos, and San Estéban at Segovia. It would be difficult to devise a more charming arrangement for buildings in a hot country, whilst at the same time the architectural effect is in the highest degree beautiful. The universality of the central tower and lantern has been already mentioned. This was often polygonal, and its use led to the erection of some lanterns or domes of almost unique beauty and interest. The old cathedral at Salamanca, the church at Toro and the cathedral of Zamora, all deserve most careful study on this score. Their lanterns are almost too lofty in proportion to be properly called domes, and yet their treatment inside and outside suggests a very beautiful form of raised dome. They are carried on pointed arches, and are circular in plan internally and octagonal on the exterior, the angles of the octagon being filled with large turrets, which add much to the beauty of the design, and greatly also to its strength. Between the supporting arches and the vault there are, at Salamanca, two tiers of arcades continued all round the lantern, the lower one pierced with four, and the upper with twelve lights, and the vault or dome is decorated with ribs radiating from the centre. On the exterior the effect is rather that of a low steeple covered with a stone roof with spherical sides than of a dome, but the design is so novel and so suggestive, that it is well worth detailed description. Nothing can be more happy than the way in which the light is admitted, whilst it is also to be noted that the whole work is of stone, and that there is nothing in the design but what is essentially permanent and monumental in construction. The only other Spanish development is the introduction, to a very moderate extent, of features derived from the practice of the Moorish architects. This is, however, much less seen than might have been expected, and is usually confined to some small feature of detail, such, e.g. as the carving of a boss, or the filling in of small tracery in circular windows, where it would in no way clash with the generally Christian character of the art.

The debateable period of transition which is usually so interesting is very sterile in Spain. A good model once adopted from the French was adhered to with but little modification, and it was not till the 13th-century style was well established in France and England that any introduction of its features is seen here; and then, again, it is the work of foreign architects imported for the work and occasion, bringing with them a fully developed style to which nothing whatever in Spain itself led up by a natural or evident development. The three great Spanish churches of this period are the cathedrals of Toledo, Leon and Burgos (Plate II., fig. 65). Those of Siguënza, Lerida and Tarragona, fine as they are, illustrate the art of the 12th rather than of the 13th century, but these three great churches are perfect Early Pointed works, and most complete in all their parts. The cathedral of Toledo is one of the most nobly designed churches in Europe. In dimensions it is surpassed only by the cathedrals of Milan and Seville, whilst in beauty of plan it leaves both those great churches far behind. The chevet, in which two broad aisles are carried round the apse with chapels alternately square and apsidal opening out of them, is perhaps the most perfect of all the schemes we know. It is as if the French chevets, all of which were more or less tentative in their plan, had culminated in this grand work to which they had led the way. The architectural detail of this great church is generally on a par with the beauty and grandeur of its plan, but is perhaps surpassed by the somewhat later church at Leon. Here we have a church built by architects whose sole idea was the erection of a building with as few and small points of support as possible, and with the largest possible amount of window opening. It was the work of men whose art had been formed in a country where as much sun and light as possible were necessary, and is quite unsuited for such a country as Spain. Nevertheless it is a building of rare beauty and delicacy of design. Burgos, better known than either of the others, is inferior in scale and interest, and its character has been much altered by added works more or less Rococo in character, so that it is only by analysis and investigation that the 13th-century church is still seen under and behind the more modern excrescences.

The next period is again marked by work which seems to be that of foreigners. The fully developed Middle Pointed or Geometrical Gothic is indeed very uniform all over Europe. Here, however, its efforts were neither grand in scale nor interesting. Some of the church furniture, as, e.g. the choir screens at Toledo, and some of the cloisters, are among the best features. The work is all correct, tame and academical, and has none of the dignity, power and interest which marked the earlier Spanish buildings. Towards the end of the 14th century the work of Spanish architects becomes infinitely more interesting. The country was free from trouble with the Moors; it was rich and prosperous, and certainly its buildings at this period were so numerous, so grand and so original, that they cannot be too much praised. Moreover, they were carefully designed to suit the requirements of the climate, and also with a sole view to the accommodation conveniently of enormous congregations, all within sight of the preacher or the altar. This last development seems to have been very much the work of a great architect of Majorca, Jayme Fabre by name. The grandest works of his school are still to be seen in Catalonia. Their churches are so vast in their dimensions that the largest French and English buildings seem to be small by comparison, and being invariably covered with stone vaults, they cannot be compared to the great wooden-roofed churches of the preaching orders in Italy and elsewhere, in which the only approach is made to their magnificent dimensions. The cathedral of Gerona is the most remarkable example. Here the choir is planned like the French chevet with an aisle and chapels round it, and opens with three lofty arches into the east wall of a nave which measures no less than 73 ft. in the clear, and is covered with a stone vaulted ceiling. In Barcelona there are several churches of very similar description; at Manresa another, but with aisles to its nave; and at Palma in Majorca one of the same plan as the last, but of even much larger dimensions. Perhaps there is no effort of any local school of architects more worthy of study and respect than this Catalonian work of the 14th and 15th centuries. Such a happy combination of noble design and proportions with entirely practical objects places its author among the very greatest architects of any time. It is one thing to develop patiently step by step from the work of one’s fathers in art, quite another to strike out an entirely new form by a new combination of the old elements. In comparison with the works just mentioned the other great Spanish churches of the 15th century are uninteresting. But still their scale is grand and though their detail is over-elaborated and not beautiful, it is impossible to deny the superb effect of the interior of such churches as those of Seville, Segovia and Salamanca (new cathedral). They are very similar in their character, their columns are formed by the prolongation of the reedy mouldings of the arches, their window traceries are poorly designed, and their roofs are covered with a complex multitude of lierne ribs. Yet the scale is fine, the admission of light, generally high up and in sparing quantity, is artistic, and much of the furniture is either picturesque or interesting. The tout ensemble is generally very striking, even where the architectural purist is apt to grumble at the shortcomings of most of the detail.

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Photo, Alinari.

Fig. 72.—DOOR OF SAN MICHELE, PAVIA.

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Photo, Lacoste.

Fig. 73.—UNIVERSITY, SALAMANCA.



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Photo, Lacoste.

Fig. 74.—TOWN HALL, SEVILLE.

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Photo, F. Frith & Co.

Fig. 75.—BANQUETING HOUSE, WHITEHALL.



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Photo, F. Frith & Co.

Fig. 76.—WOLLATON HALL.



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Photo, Stuart.

Fig. 77.—HAMPTON COURT.

The remarks which have been made so far have been confined to the fabrics of the churches of Spain. It would be easy to add largely to them by reference to the furniture which still so often adorns them, unaltered even if uncared for; to the monuments of the mighty dead; to the sculpture which frequently adorns the doorways and screens; and to the cloisters, chapter-houses and other dependent buildings, which add so much charm in every way to them. Besides this, there are very numerous castles, often planned on the grandest scale, and some, if not very many, interesting remains of domestic houses and palaces; and most of these, being to some extent flavoured by the neighbourhood of Moorish architects, have more character of their own than has been accorded to the churches. Finally, there are considerable tracts of country in which brick was the only material used; and it is curious that this is almost always more or less Moorish in the character of its detail. The Moors were great brickmakers. Their elaborate reticulated enrichments were easily executed in it, and the example set by them was, of course, more likely to be followed by Spaniards than that of the nearest French brick building district in the region of Toulouse. The brick towers are often very picturesque; several are to be seen at Toledo, others at Saragossa, and, perhaps the most graceful of all, in the old city of Tarazona in Aragon, where the proportions are extremely lofty, the face of the walls everywhere adorned with sunk panels, arcading, or ornamental brickwork, and at the base there is a bold battered slope which gives a great air of strength and stability to the whole. On the whole, it must be concluded that the medieval architecture of Spain from the 12th century is of less interest than that of most other countries, because its development was hardly ever a national one. The architects were imported at one time from France, at another from the Low Countries, and they brought with them all their own local fashions, and carried them into execution in the strictest manner; and it was not till the end of the 14th century, and even then only in Catalonia, that any buildings which could be called really Spanish in their character were erected.  (R. P. S.) 


Romanesque and Gothic Architecture in England

Pre-Conquest.—The history of English architecture before the Norman Conquest is still only imperfectly known. Its parentage is triple: Roman, Celtic and Teutonic. To the first belongs the general building tradition of the Romanized West, and the influence of the mission of Augustine at the end of the 6th century, and of such men as Wilfrid in the 7th. The Celtic element is due to the Scottish (Irish) church, which never gained much hold on the south of England, while the Teutonic influence shows itself in the later developments, which are allied to the early buildings of kindred peoples in Germany. Fragments of existing early churches have been attributed to the time of the Roman occupation, but all are doubtful, with the exception of the remains of what is believed to have been a Christian church excavated at Silchester in 1892. This was a basilica of ordinary form, comprising an apse with western orientation, nave and aisles, transepts of slight projection, and narthex. Augustine’s cathedral church of Canterbury, which he had learned was originally constructed by the labours of Roman believers (Bede), was also a basilica with western apse; its eastern apse and confessio beneath were probably a later addition. Remains of early churches are found on several sites where churches are recorded to have been built during the missionary period. Of these, Reculver (c. 670) and Brixworth (c. 680) have aisled naves and eastern apses. At Brixworth a square bay intervenes between the apse and the nave. St Pancras, Canterbury, of the time of Augustine, Rochester (604), and Lyminge (founded 633), show unaisled naves of relatively wide proportion, with eastern apses of stilted curve. In some of these churches there was a triple arcade in front of the sanctuary, in place of the usual “triumphal arch.” The technique shows Roman influence, and Roman materials are largely used. The existing crypts of Hexham and Ripon were built by Wilfrid, c. 675. The description of Wilfrid’s church at Hexham gives the impression of an elaborate structure (columnis variis et porticibus multis suffultam). Wilfrid also built at Hexham a church of central plan, with projections (porticus) on the four sides, a type of which no example has survived in England. Escomb (Durham) and parts of Monkwearmouth and Jarrow, which are attributed to the same period, have plans of an entirely different type—a relatively long and narrow nave, with small square-ended chancel—a plan, usually attributed to Celtic influence, which is most extensively represented in churches recognized as Saxon.

The evolution of the characteristic features of pre-Conquest architecture was slow, and was doubtless greatly hindered by the invasions of the Northmen from the end of the 8th century onward, but germs of the fully developed style are to be found in the earliest buildings. The western tower, usually of tall and slender proportion, was developed from the western porch found at St Pancras, Canterbury, and Monkwearmouth; sometimes, as in the latter church, actually raised over the older porch. The lateral chapels of St Pancras, which existed also in the Saxon cathedral of Canterbury, were developed into a transept, culminating in the cruciform plan with central tower. The characteristic “long-and-short” work, which consists of tall upright stones alternating with stones bedded flat bonding into the rubble work of the wall, has its prototype in the western arch of the porch of Monkwearmouth, and in the jambs of the chancel arch at Escomb. Sometimes the flat stones are cut back on the face, so that the plaster which covered the rubble extended up to the line of the upright stones, thus giving the quoin the appearance of a narrow pilaster. The repetition of these pilasters on the face of the walling constitutes rib-work, and these ribs are frequently connected by semicircular or so-called “triangular” arches, forming a land of rude arcading (Earls Barton, Barton-on-Humber.) Windows in the earliest Saxon work are generally wide in proportion, and splayed on the inside only; in the later work they commonly have splays both on the inside and outside. Doorways have square jambs, without splay or rebate; sometimes the jambs of doorways and windows are inclined, as in early buildings in Ireland. Imposts to doorways, tower arches or chancel arches are often square projecting blocks, sometimes chamfered on the lower edge. The mid-wall shaft is a characteristic feature in the belfry openings of Saxon towers; it supports an impost or through-stone, of the full thickness of the wall, which receives the semicircular arches over the openings. The method is analogous to that commonly found in northern Italy and the Rhineland. Sometimes the mid-wall shaft is a baluster, turned in a lathe. In some of the later belfry openings, a capital intervenes between the mid-wall shaft and the impost. The dating of buildings of this style is at present a matter of considerable difficulty, but certain points, such as the development of the cruciform plan, are useful for comparison. A fully developed cross church was built at Romsey in 969, having also a single axial western tower, and this seems to have been the normal type of a large church in the later years of the style. Cruciform plans, not yet fully developed, are found at Deerhurst, Breamore and St Mary in the castle at Dover, and fully developed at Norton (Durham) and Stow (Lincolnshire). The most advanced detail which occurs in pre-Conquest buildings is the recessing of arches in orders. But for the Conquest, English architecture might have developed somewhat on the lines of contemporary work in Germany. It must be remembered, however, that, although the Norman Conquest marks the beginning of a new epoch in English architecture, the Norman manner had already been introduced into England under Edward the Confessor, as is proved by the considerable remains of that king’s work at Westminster Abbey.

The succeeding periods of English architecture have been divided into so-called “styles” or “periods,” though it should be recognized that all such hard and fast divisions are purely artificial, and that, apart from the objection that they exaggerate the importance of mere details, they tend to obscure the fact that the history of Gothic architecture is a history of continuous development. The following classifications, those of Thomas Rickman and Edmund Sharpe, are in most general use for the present by such students as are not content with a nomenclature based on simple chronology:—


Rickman. Sharpe.
1066-1189 Norman. 1066-1145 Norman.
1145-1190 Transitional.
1189-1307 Early English.                     1190-1245 Lancet.
1245-1315 Geometrical.
1307-1377 Decorated. 1315-1360 Curvilinear.
1377-1546 Perpendicular. 1360-1550 Rectilinear.


Norman Conquest to c. 1150.—At the time of the Conquest of England, the Norman school was already one of the most advanced Romanesque schools of western Europe. Its marked individuality and logical character are clearly expressed in the abbey churches of Jumièges and St Étienne and Sainte-Trinité at Caen, and it quickly supplanted the less advanced Romanesque manner of the conquered English. As soon as the conqueror had made himself master in his new kingdom, cathedral and abbey churches were rebuilt on a scale hitherto unknown either in Normandy or England. As the effect of the Norman Conquest was to incorporate the church in England more closely with western Christendom, so its effect on architecture was to bring it into line with the best continental achievement of its time. The immense energy of the Norman bishops and abbots gave such a stimulus to architecture that by the close of the 11th century, England, rather than Normandy, had become the real foyer of the Norman school.

The plans of the larger churches show greater development in the length of choir, transept and nave than was usual in Normandy. Many follow the type of choir plan generally represented in the contemporary churches of Normandy which have survived—a central apse, flanked by an apse terminating each aisle, but the two bays usual in the Norman churches frequently became four in England. The Confessor’s church of Westminster seems to have had an ambulatory with radiating chapels, a plan which, although rare in the surviving churches of Normandy, was adopted in several of the more important English churches (St Augustine’s, Canterbury; Winchester; Worcester; Gloucester; Bury St Edmunds; Norwich; Tewkesbury). Some of these have great vaulted crypts extending under the choir and its aisles. The transept, generally of considerable length, has one or more apsidal chapels on the east side of each arm, or an eastern aisle, or even (as at Winchester and Ely) both eastern and western aisles. The lantern-tower over the crossing was a characteristic feature in England, as in Normandy. Frequently the nave was of great length, extending to twelve bays at Winchester, thirteen at Ely, and fourteen at Norwich. Some churches, as Ely, Bury St Edmunds, and later Peterborough (Plate VIII., fig. 81), show a western transept, with corresponding development of the west front. Two western towers are most usual, but Ely (Plate II., fig. 67), and originally Winchester, had the single western tower, a survival from pre-Conquest times, which is found also in numberless parish churches. In their general design, the Norman churches show great skill in composition, and in the logical expression of structure, and sure grasp of the problems to be solved. The subordination of arches (arches built in rings, or orders, recessed one within the other) was carried further than in other Romanesque schools, and with this went the subordination of the pier, planned with a shaft to receive each order of the semicircular arch. Sometimes the shafted piers of the great arcades alternate with cylindrical (or later with octagonal) pillars; sometimes, as at Gloucester and Tewkesbury, all the pillars are cylindrical. The triforium usually has a single wide semicircular arched opening, enclosing two or more minor semicircular arches springing from detached shafts. Usually the aisle wall is carried up to form a complete triforium storey, unvaulted, and lighted by windows in the outer wall. The clerestory has a single window in each bay, with a wall passage between the window and an internal arcade, usually of three semicircular arches on shafts, the central arch being wider than the side arches. Most frequently naves and transepts were unvaulted, and finished with wood ceilings, while the aisles were covered with groined vaults of rubble, on transverse arches. The general design of the greater churches indicates, however, that the Norman builders were aiming at a completely vaulted structure. The half-barrel vault over the triforium of Gloucester, and the transverse arches over the triforium of Chichester, seem to be constructed to afford the necessary abutment to vaults over the choir, such indeed as still exist over some choirs in Normandy built before the end of the 11th century. The problem was only successfully solved by the introduction of the diagonal rib, which completed the structural membering of the vault. Durham, begun in 1093 (fig. 42), is the earliest example in England of this important innovation, and it precedes by some quarter of a century the earliest ribbed vaults of the Île-de-France. The abutting arches under the roof of its triforium are actually rudimentary flying-buttresses, and we have here all the essential elements of Gothic architecture, except the pointed arch, which is only systematically used in English vaulted construction from about the middle of the 12th century. The decorative forms of the earlier buildings of the Norman school are severely simple. Arches, which at first were usually unmoulded, soon received effective mouldings of rolls and hollows, continuing a tradition of the latest pre-Conquest architecture. Two types of capitals are found in the earlier buildings after the Conquest; the volute capital, descended from the Corinthian, which was the normal type in Normandy; and the cubic or cushion capital, formed by the penetration of a segment of a sphere, or segments of cones, with a cube, a type which, appearing earlier in England than in Normandy, was doubtless derived from pre-Conquest models, and in the 12th century developed into the scalloped capital. The decoration of wall-surfaces by arcades, frequently of intersecting semicircular arches, is characteristic of the Norman school. Windows are splayed in the interior, and in the more important buildings are enriched with shafts and moulded arches. Ornamentation is frequently concentrated on the doorways, which are often of many orders, with a shaft under each order. Based chiefly on geometric forms, such as the chevron or zigzag, star, fret and cable, the decoration becomes richer and more refined as the 12th century advances, though in sculpture the Norman was less advanced than some other Romanesque schools.


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From Rickman’s Styles of Architecture, by permission of Parker & Co.

Fig. 42.—Plan of Durham Cathedral.


The foregoing generalization applies more particularly to the greater churches, but numberless parish churches present similar characteristics. Chancels are sometimes apsidal, but by far the most prevalent type of plan is the aisleless oblong nave and square-ended chancel, with or without a western tower. Other types of aisleless plans are the cruciform church with central tower, or simply nave and chancel with central tower. Even where subsequent alterations and rebuildings have destroyed almost everything, the influence of these plans on the later work is the key to a right understanding of the history of the greater number of English medieval churches.

12th Century (second half).—The second half of the 12th century is the period of transition par excellence—of transition from Romanesque to Gothic. The school of the Île-de-France, which up to c. 1120 was one of the most backward of the Romanesque schools, had made enormous progress when the ambulatory of Suger’s church of Saint-Denis was built (1140-1144), and thenceforth it continued to lead the way. There is no doubt that, from the middle of the 12th century, English architecture was continuously influenced by the Île-de-France, for the most part through Normandy, but it must be considered to be a development on parallel lines, with strongly marked characteristics of its own, and not merely as an importation of forms already developed elsewhere. At the same time, the influence of the Cistercian revival was considerable, not so much in the introduction of foreign forms as in the direction of simplicity and severity, which acted as a valuable check to the prevalent tendency to exaggerate the importance of surface decoration.

The substitution of the square east-end for the apse in the plans of the greater churches, already effected at Romsey, was furthered by the simple plans of the Cistercian churches. The altar spaces provided by the radiating chapels of the French chevet were in England obtained by returning the aisles across the square east-end of the choir, or by an eastern transept. The latter occurs first here in “the glorious choir of Conrad” of the beginning of the 12th century at Canterbury which affords also the first example of the eastward extension of the choir which became so characteristic a feature of English planning. The reconstruction of Conrad’s choir after the fire of 1174 led to a further extension eastward with the eastern chapel which was adopted in many of the greater churches, either in the form of a lower building, sometimes of three spans eastward of the east gable or of an extension of the choir itself to its full height. The work of William of Sens at Canterbury (1175-1178) was naturally more French in character than other contemporary works in England, but the work of his successor, William the Englishman (1179-1184) shows the beginnings of what became the characteristically English manner of the 13th century.

The second half of the 12th century was a period of rapid development of architectural forms in the direction of increased elegance and refinement. The pointed arch employed at first for the arches of construction entirely superseded the semicircular arch in doorways, windows and arcades by the end of the century and its adoption finally solved the problem of vaulted construction. The abutting arches under the triforium roofs of the earlier churches were developed into flying buttresses above the roofs springing from buttresses of increased projection and weighted by pinnacles. Mouldings became more graceful and subtle in their profiles. Capitals reverted to the volute type, transformed and refined. The massive Romanesque pier was gradually developed into the lighter Gothic pier in which detached shafts were extensively adopted. The use of Purbeck marble for these shafts must be considered in relation to the painted decoration of the wall-surfaces which although now almost entirely lost, was an important factor in the internal effect.

13th Century (first half).—The last decade of the 12th century marks the achievement of a fully developed Gothic style, with strongly marked national individuality. During the 13th century, English Gothic follows the same general course of evolution as that of northern France, but the parallelism is less close than in the preceding century.

St Hugh’s choir at Lincoln (begun 1192) had indeed an apse, with ambulatory and radiating chapels though its plan does not appear to have been controlled by the vaulting as in the French chevets and what there is of French influence seems to have come rather through Canterbury than by a more direct route. This choir has the eastern transept which characterizes several of the greater churches of the first half of the 13th century—Salisbury (fig. 43), Beverley, Worcester, Rochester, Southwell. The square eastern termination, the less ambitious height, and the comparatively simple buttress-system combine to give the English Gothic cathedral an air of greater repose than is found in the magnificent triumphs of French Gothic art. In its structural system, too, English Gothic retained something of the Romanesque treatment of wall-surface; the suppression of the wall and the concentration of the masonry in the pier, was never carried so far as in the complete Gothic of France. The general tendency during the 13th century, as in the 12th, was in the direction of increased lightness and elegance. The employment of detached shafts, and the extensive use of marble (generally Purbeck) for these shafts, is a distinguishing feature of the first half of the century. The vaulting system is fully developed; the most usual form is the simple quadripartite, but the tendency to introduce additional ribs (tiercerons) and ridge-ribs already makes its appearance in the nave of Lincoln and the presbytery of Ely (Plate VIII., fig. 82) to be yet further developed in the second half of the century. Capitals are either simply moulded an elaboration of the plain bell capitals of the latter part of the 12th century, or finely sculptured, with conventional, or “stiff-leaved,” foliage of the crocket type. The use of the circular abacus, begun in the preceding century, entirely supersedes the square abacus, which was retained in France. Mouldings are profiled with great refinement, the alternation of rounds and hollows producing effective contrasts of light and shade, and the far more complicated profiles of arch mouldings provide another feature which distinguishes English work of this period from French. Windows of single pointed lights, the so-called “lancet,” though frequently by no means sharply pointed, are the prevalent type, grouped in pairs triplets &c., and arranged in tiers in the large gables, or sometimes with only a single group of tall lights, like the “five sisters” of the north transept of York. Few works are more admirably designed than some of the towers of this period. Probably the greatest excellence ever attained in English art of the 13th century was reached in the great Yorkshire abbeys; for purity of general design, excellence of construction, and beauty of detail, they are unsurpassed by the work of any other period.

13th Century (second half).—The grouping together of “lancet” windows, the piercing of the wall above them with foiled circles, and the combination of the whole under an enclosing arch, soon led to the introduction of tracery, for which the design of earlier triforium arcades had also afforded a suggestion.


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Fig. 43.—Plan of Salisbury Cathedral.


Bar-tracery appears just before the middle of the 13th century, and the great tracery window filling the whole width of a bay, or the entire gable-end, soon becomes a most characteristic feature. The earlier tracery windows show only simple geometrical forms, foiled arches to the heads of the lights and foiled circles above, of which the abbey-church and the chapter-houses of Westminster and Salisbury afford most beautiful examples. In some particulars, such as its chevet plan and its comparatively great height, Westminster approaches more nearly to the French type than other English churches of the 13th century, but its details are characteristically English and of great beauty. In the last quarter of the century, pointed trefoils or quatrefoils are largely used in tracery, and the foliations frequently form the lines of the tracery, without enclosing circles. Contemporary with this change is the gradual absorption of the triforium into the clerestory, of which Southwell and Pershore are precocious examples. Contemporary also was the adoption of an excessively naturalistic type of foliage. The art of masonry and stone-cutting was rapidly developed. The detached shaft, always structurally weak, was abandoned for the pier with engaged shafts separated by mouldings. The mouldings of arches become less deeply undercut, and the greater use of the fillet tends to give a more liney effect. The whole practice of art was growing more scholarly, perhaps, but at the same time it was more conscious, and the cleverness of the mason was almost as often suggested as the noble character of his work.

14th Century (first half).—The juxtaposition of the foliations without enclosing circles in tracery windows produced curves of contraflexure, which led insensibly to the complete substitution of flowing lines for geometrical forms in tracery.

Flowing tracery makes its appearance in England about 1310, and lasts some fifty years. Up to the end of the 13th century, window tracery had developed in France and England on parallel lines, though the English work was always slightly behind France in point of date. All this is changed with the adoption of flowing tracery in England; its development was purely national, and owed nothing to France. Indeed, the French flamboyant only makes its appearance at the time when flowing tracery was being abandoned in England. Not only window traceries, but mouldings, carvings and other details are changed in character. The ogee form is used in arches, in wall-arcades of great beauty and elaboration, as in the Lady-chapel at Ely, and in the canopies of tombs, such as the magnificent Percy tomb at Beverley. Niches and arcades are richly ornamented, and small decorative buttresses are used in the jambs of doorways, windows and niches. The moulded capital is still used, along with the capital with a continuous convex band of wavy foliage. Many of the most beautiful English towers and spires date from this period, the work of which is perhaps seen at its best in the parish churches of south Lincolnshire. From Middle of 14th Century.—The over-elaboration of flowing tracery inevitably led to a reaction. The beauty of the lines of the tracery had controlled everything, and the resulting forms of the openings, which presented serious difficulties for the glass painter, had been a secondary consideration. Hence an endeavour to return to a simpler and more dignified, if more mechanical, style of building. The splendid exuberance of the earlier 14th century style gave way to the introduction of vigorous, straight, vertical and horizontal lines.

The beginnings of the new manner are to be seen in the south transept of Gloucester before 1337. After the great interruption of building works caused by the Black Death of 1349 and its recurrence in following years, the so-called “Perpendicular” style became general all over the country. The preference for straight in place of flowing lines became more and more developed. Doorways and arches were enclosed within well-defined square outlines; walls were decorated by panelling in rectangular divisions; vertical lines were emphasized by the addition of pinnacles, and buttresses were used as mere decorations, while horizontal lines were multiplied in string-courses, parapets and window transoms. Capitals were frequently omitted, and the mouldings of arches were continued down the piers. The use of the depressed “four-centred” arch became common. Vaulting, which had already been enriched by the multiplication of ribs, was further complicated by cross-ribs (liernes), subdividing the simple spaces naturally produced by the intersection of necessary ribs into panels; these, again, were filled with tracery. The fan-vault was developed by giving to all the ribs the same curvature; the outline of the fan is bounded by a horizontal circular rib, and its effect is that of a solid of revolution upon whose surface panels are sunk. The cloister of Gloucester presents the earliest and perhaps the most beautiful example. Finally, the builders displayed their mechanical skill by introducing pendants, as in Henry VII.’s chapel at Westminster. This latest period of English Gothic was a purely national development of which it has been too much the fashion to speak disparagingly; for it is futile to call such works as the nave of Winchester or the choir and Lady-chapel of Gloucester “debased.” Perhaps the worst that can be said of this period is that there was too great a love of display, and too much mechanical repetition, but it is none the less true that it is to the 15th century that a very large number of English parish churches owe their fine effect. East Anglia and Somersetshire possess some of the choicest examples, and few things can be more beautiful than the central towers of Gloucester and Canterbury, and the towers of the Somersetshire churches. The open timber roofs, as, for instance, those of the East Anglian churches, are superb, while many of the churches of this period are still full of interesting furniture and decoration. Finally, a word must be said of the wealth of interesting examples of domestic architecture, which yet count among the ornaments of the country.

After the middle of the 16th century the practice of Gothic architecture virtually died out, though traces of its influence, especially in rural districts, were hardly lost until the end of the 17th century. Good, sound, solid and simple forms, well constructed by men who respected themselves and their work, and did not build only for the passing hour, were still popular and general, so that the vernacular architecture to a late period was often good and never absolutely uninteresting.

Scotland.mdash;A few words will suffice for Scottish and Irish architecture, since the development in these countries followed much the same course of change as in England.

The earliest ecclesiastical structures which still survive in Scotland follow the same general type as those of Ireland. The monastic foundations of Queen Margaret and her sons introduced into Scotland the Norman manner then universal in England. The best examples, such as the nave of Dunfermline, which is an obvious inspiration from Durham, Kelso of the later 12th century, and the parish churches of Dalmeny and Leuchars, present the same characteristics as are found in English churches of somewhat earlier dates than the buildings in question, and some Romanesque forms survive to a later period than in England. In the 13th century, too, the style of the Scottish churches corresponds very closely with that of England, though the details are generally simpler, and the structures are smaller. It is naturally allied most closely with the north of England, where Cistercian influence in the direction of simplicity and severity had been exercised with the best results. The transept of Dryburgh, the choir and crypt of Glasgow cathedral, the nave of Dunblane, the choir of Brechin, and later Elgin cathedral, exhibit the style at its purest and best. The disturbed condition of the country during the 14th century was unfavourable to architecture, and when building revived at the beginning of the 15th century its style became more national. During the first half of the 15th century, it shows a certain borrowing from English architecture of the flowing-tracery period. Later, many features are borrowed both from England and France, and architecture develops in picturesque and interesting fashion. Melrose is one of the most characteristic, as it certainly is one of the most charming of Scottish buildings; its earlier parts bear a close resemblance to the earlier 14th-century work at York, while its later parts show more similarity to English “Perpendicular” than is common in Scotland. One of the most characteristic features of Scottish architecture in the 15th century is the pointed barrel vault, which directly supports the stone flagged roof. French influence is seen in the employment of the polygonal apse for the termination of choirs, and in some approaches to Flamboyant tracery. The details of the later Gothic churches have but slight connexion either with France or England, and show a curious revival of earlier motives. The semicircular arch is in frequent use, and the “nail-head” and “dog-tooth” ornament, as well as the use of detached shafts, are revived. One of the most remarkable buildings of the 15th century in Scotland is the collegiate church of Roslin, which has a pointed barrel vault over its choir, with transverse barrel vaults over the aisles, and is distinguished by the extreme richness of its decoration.

The domestic remains in Scotland are full of picturesque beauty and magnificence. They are a distinctly national class of buildings of great solidity, and much was sacrificed by their builders to the genius of the picturesque. They can only be classed with the latest Gothic buildings of other countries, but the mode of design shown in them lasted much later than the late Gothic style did in England. The vast height to which their walls were carried, the picturesque use made of circular towers, the freedom with which buildings were planned at various angles of contact to each other, and the general simplicity of the ordinary wall, are their most distinct characteristics.

Ireland.—The chief interest of the medieval architecture of Ireland belongs to the buildings which were erected before the English conquest of the 12th century. The early monastic settlements seem to have resembled the primitive Celtic fortresses, and consisted of a series of huts or cells, surrounded by an enclosing wall. The so-called “bee-hive” cell, which goes back to pre-Christian times, was built of rough stone rubble without mortar, and roofed in the same manner by corbelling over the courses of masonry. Some of these were certainly dwellings, but others were oratories. The largest of those in Skellig Michael is four-sided, and from this type the stone-roofed church of oblong plan was developed. The later type, with oblong nave and small square-ended chancel, retained much of the character of these primitive structures, and their barrel vaults were sometimes independent of the stone roof-covering, a system which lasted into the 12th and 13th centuries. A certain megalithic character, and the inclined jambs of doorway openings, are marked features of these early churches. The round towers so frequently associated with them are believed to be not earlier than the 9th century. Before the introduction of Norman forms, Ireland possessed a Romanesque style of her own, characterized by the survival of horizontal forms and their incorporation into the round-arched style, the retention of the inclined jambs of doorways, rich surface decoration, and the use of certain ornamental motives of earlier Celtic origin. King Cormac’s chapel at Cashel is one of the best examples of the imported Norman manner of the 12th century, and here we find much of the influence of the earlier native style. The English conquest may be said to have been the introduction to Ireland of Gothic art, and it was the local variety of western England and south Wales which the conquerors introduced. Among the buildings erected by the English in Ireland, Kilkenny cathedral and the two 13th-century cathedrals of Dublin—Christ Church and St Patrick’s—are the most remarkable, but there are many others. Their style is most plainly that of the English conqueror, with no concession to, or consideration of, earlier Irish forms of art. The result of the conquest was that the native style of construction was never applied to large buildings, though it did not at once disappear, as is witnessed by the church St Doulough near Malahide, which appears to be a 14th-century building. The characteristic features of later medieval Irish buildings, such as the stepped battlements, the retention of flowing lines in the tracery, and the peculiar treatment of crockets, are matters of no great importance in the history of architecture, and indeed it is hardly to be expected that a country with so stormy a history could have given rise to any systematic developments. Of the monastic remains those of the friaries are the most numerous, Ireland having many more friars’ churches to show than England, but such peculiarities as they possess belong rather to the order than to any local influences.  (J. Bn.) 


Romanesque and Gothic Architecture in Germany

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Fig. 44.—Plan of Cathedral at Aix-la-Chapelle.

With the exception of the church built at Trèves (Trier) by the empress Helena, of which small portions can still be traced in the cathedral, there are no remains of earlier date than the tomb-house built by Charlemagne at Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle), which, though much restored in the 19th century, is still in good preservation. It consists (fig. 44) of an octagonal domed hall surrounded by aisles in two storeys, both vaulted; externally the structure is a polygon of sixteen sides, about 105 ft. in diameter, and it was preceded by a porch flanked by turrets. It is thought to have been copied from S. Vitale at Ravenna, but there are many essential differences. The same design was repeated at Ottmarsheim and Essen, and a simpler version exists at Nijmwegen in the Netherlands, also built by Charlemagne. Although no remains exist of the monastery of St Gall in Switzerland (see Abbey), built in the beginning of the 9th century, a valuable manuscript plan was found in the 17th century, in its library, which would seem to have been a design for a complete monastery. It contains features which are peculiar to the early German churches and are rarely found elsewhere, and is therefore of considerable interest, suggesting that some of the accessories of a monastery, supposed to have been the result of subsequent development, were all clearly set forth at this early period. The plan shows an eastern apse with a crypt, and a choir in front; a western apse, nave and aisles, with a series of altars down the latter; and on the west side, but detached from the apse, two circular towers with staircases in them. Unfortunately there are no churches remaining of the same date from which we might judge how far these arrangements were followed; but there are three early churches in the island of Reichenau on the Lake of Constance, in one of which, Mittelzell, is a western apse with staircases (here built up into a central tower), nave, and aisles with altars at the side between every window. The eastern portion has been rebuilt. At Oberzell, at the south end of the island, is a vaulted crypt, which dates from the end of the 10th century. In the third and much smaller church, Unterzell, there was no crypt, but three eastern apses and a western apse, which was destroyed when the present nave was built. At Gernrode in the Harz is a church with western and eastern apses with vaulted crypts underneath (one of which dates from 960 when the church was founded), and circular towers with staircases in them on either side of the western apse. The church was completed about a century later. In the arcade between the nave and aisles piers alternate with the columns. Alternating piers are found also in Quedlinburg (the crypt of which dates from 936 and the church above about 1030) and many other early churches. Western apses exist at Drübeck, Ilbenstadt, Trèves, Huyseberg, St Michael and St Godehard at Hildesheim, Mainz, the Obermünster at Regensburg, Laach, Worms, and at a later date at Naumberg and Bamberg, showing that it was a feature generally accepted in early and late periods. It has, however, one great defect, that of depriving the west end of the church of those magnificent porches which are the glory of the churches of France; the cathedral of Spires (Speyer), the church at Limburg near Dürkheim, the cathedrals of Erfurt and Regensburg, being the few examples where a dignified entrance is given; and further, that on entering the church from the side, one is distracted by the rivalry of the two apses, and it is only when turning the back on one or the other that one is able to judge of the monumental effect of the interior.


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Fig. 45.—Plan of Cathedral at Mainz.Fig. 46.—Plan of Cathedral at Worms.


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Fig. 47.—Plan of Cathedral in Spires.

The greater number of the churches above mentioned were covered over with open timber roofs or flat ceilings; but the problem to be solved in Germany, as well as in Italy, was that of vaulting over the nave, and the cathedrals of Spires, Worms and Mainz (fig. 45) are the three most important churches in which this was accomplished. The dates of their vaults have never been quite settled; that of Spires would seem to have been the earliest built, probably after 1162, when the church was seriously damaged by a conflagration, and the vault is groined only. In Worms (fig. 46) and Mainz there are diagonal moulded ribs, which suggest a later date. Although of great height and width, the absence of a triforium gallery in these cathedrals is a serious defect, as it deprives the interior of that scale which the smaller arcades in such a gallery give to the nave arcade below and the clerestory above, and of those horizontal lines given by string courses which are entirely wanting in these churches. Seeing that in some of the earlier churches, as at Gernrode, St Ursula (Cologne), and Nieder-Lahnstein, the triforium had already been introduced, and that it was repeated in the later examples at Limburg on the Lahn, Bacharach, Andernach, Bonn, Sinzig, and St Gereon (Cologne), it is difficult to understand why, in the three great typical German Romanesque churches, they should have been omitted. Externally the design is extremely fine, owing to the grouping of the many towers at the west and on either side of the transept or choir. In this respect the cathedral of Mainz is the most superb structure in Germany, and to the cathedral of Spires with its fine entrance porch (fig. 47) must be given the second place.

One of the most perfect examples of the Rhenish-Romanesque styles is the church of the abbey of Laach, completed shortly after the middle of the 12th century. The eastern part of the church resembles the ordinary type, but at the west end there is a narrow transept flanked by circular towers, and a western apse enclosed in an atrium with cloisters round, which forms the entrance to the church. The sculptures in the capitals of the atrium are of the finest description and represent the perfected type of the German Romanesque style. In addition to the two circular towers flanking the west transept, a square tower rises in the centre of the west front, two square towers flank the choir and a crystal lantern crowns the crossing of the main transept, and the grouping of all these features is very fine and picturesque in effect. A small church at Rosheim in Alsace is quite Lombardic in its exterior design, the pilaster strips and arched corbel tables being almost identical. The same applies to the church at Marmoutier, but the towers flanking the main front and the square tower on the crossing of the western transept produce a composition which one looks for in vain in the greater number of the churches in Italy.

In describing the Lombardic churches of North Italy, reference has been made to the probable origin of the eaves-gallery, best represented in the eastern apse of Santa Maria Maggiore, Bergamo. This feature was largely adopted throughout the Rhine churches, and in the Apostles’ church and St Martin’s at Cologne receives its fullest development, being in addition to the eastern apse carried round the apses of the north and south transepts, which in these two churches and in St-Mary-in-the-Capitol, also in Cologne, constitute a special treatment. In the Apostles’ church, where round towers are built at the junction of the three apses, the effect is extremely pleasing. In the church at Bonn, the single apse is flanked by two lofty towers which give great importance to the east front.

The steeples of the same period have a character of their own. They are either square or octangular in plan, arcaded or pierced with windows, and roofed with gables or with spires rising out of the gables.

One peculiarity found in some of the German churches, and specially those in the north-east, is that the nave and aisles are of the same height. To these the term Hallenkirchen is given. This type of design is very grand internally, owing to the vast height of the piers and arches. It also dispenses with the necessity for flying buttresses, as the aisles, which are only half the width of the nave, carry the thrust of the vault direct to the external buttresses. The nave, however, is not so well lighted, though the aisle windows are sometimes of stupendous height. The principal examples are those of the church of St Stephen, Vienna, where both nave and aisles are carried over with one vast roof; at Münster, the Wiesenkirche at Soest; St Lawrence, Nuremberg; St Martin’s, Landshut; Munich cathedral, and others.

St Gereon (1200-1227) and St Cunibert (1205-1248), in Cologne, besides churches at Naumburg, Limburg and Gelnhausen, in which the pointed arch is employed, are almost the only transitional examples in Germany, and respond to work of a century earlier in France. Toward the end of the 13th century the Romanesque style was supplanted by a style which in no way grew out of it, but was rather an imitation of a foreign style, the earliest examples being in the Liebfrauenkirche at Trèves (1227-1243), and the churches at Marburg (1235—1283) and Altenberg (1255-1301). In the latter church is a French chevet with seven apsidal chapels. This brings us to the great typical cathedral of Germany at Cologne (fig. 48), which had the advantages of having been designed at the best age and completed on the original design, so that with small exceptions a uniformity of style reigns throughout it. It was begun in 1270 and apparently based on the plan of Amiens, the transepts however having an additional bay each, and the two first bays of the nave having thicker piers so as to carry the enormous towers and spires which flank the chief façade. The principal defect of the building is its relative shortness, owing to its disproportionate height. This has always been felt in the interior, and now that the lofty buildings all round have been taken down, isolating the cathedral on all sides, it has the appearance of an overgrown monster. The length of the cathedral is 468 ft., 17 ft. less than the cathedral at Ulm, the longest in Germany. The height of the nave vault is 155 ft., and as the width is only 41.6 (about one in four) the proportion is very unpleasing. There is also a certain mechanical finish throughout the design, which renders it far less poetical than the great French cathedrals. Where, however, it excels is in the extraordinary vigour of its execution, the depth of the mouldings, and the projection given to the leading architectural features; and in this respect, when compared with St Ouen at Rouen, about fifty years later, the latter (which is even more mechanical in its setting out) looks wire-drawn and poor. The twin spires of the façade rise to the height of 510 ft.; they were completed only in the latter part of the 19th century, and would have gained in breadth of effect if there had been some plain surfaces left. In this respect the spire of Freiburg cathedral, which is simple in outline and detail, is finer, and gains in contrast on account of the simpler masonry of the lower part of the tower. The spire at Ulm cathedral, only recently terminated, rises to the height of 530 ft. In both these cases the single tower is preferable to the double towers of Cologne, when elaborated to the same extent, as they are in all these examples; and perhaps that is one of the reasons why the spires of Strassburg and Antwerp cathedrals are more satisfactory, as the twin towers were never built. The front of Strassburg cathedral (1277-1318), by Erwin von Steinbach, is too much cut up by vertical lines of masonry, owing to the tours-de-force in tracery of which the German mason was so fond. On the whole the most beautiful of German spires is that of St Stephen’s at Vienna, and one of its advantages would seem to be that its transition from the square base to the octagon is so well marked in the design that it is difficult to say where the tower ends and the spire begins. The strong horizontal courses under the spires of Strassburg or Freiburg are defects from this point of view.


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Fig. 48.—Plan of Cathedral at Cologne.


In domestic architecture nothing remains of the palace at Aix-la-Chapelle, but at Lorsch near Mannheim is the entrance gateway of the convent which was dedicated by Charlemagne in 774. It is in two storeys, in the lower one three semicircular arches flanked by columns with extremely classic capitals. The upper storey is decorated with what might have been described as a blind arcade, except that instead of arches are triangular spaces similar to some windows found in Saxon architecture; the whole gateway being crowned with a classic cornice. The palaces at Goslar (1050) and Dankwarderode in Brunswick (1150-1170) still preserve their great halls, and in the palace built (1130-1150) by the emperor Frederick I. at Gelnhausen there remain portions extremely fine and vigorous in style, and showing a strong Byzantine influence. The largest and most important castle is that of the Wartburg at Eisenach, which is in complete preservation.

To sum up, the German Complete Gothic is essentially national in its complete character. It has many and obvious defects. From the first there is conspicuous in it that love of lines, and that desire to play with geometrical figures, which in time degenerated into work more full of conceit and triviality than that of any school of medieval artists. These conceits are worked out most elaborately in the traceries of windows and panelling. The finest early examples are in the cathedral at Minden; a little later, perhaps, the best series is in the cloister of Constance cathedral; and of the latest description the examples are innumerable. But it is worth observing that they rarely at any time have any ogee lines. They are severely geometrical and regular in their form, and quite unlike our own late Middle Pointed, or the French Flamboyant. In sculpture the Germans did not shine. They, like the English, did not introduce it with profusion, though they were very prone to the representations of effigies of the deceased as monuments.

In one or two respects, however, Germany is still possessed of a wealth of medieval examples, such as is hardly to be paralleled in Europe. The vast collection of brick buildings, for instance, is unequalled. If a line be drawn due east and west, and passing through Berlin, the whole of the plain lying to the north, and extending from Russia to Holland, is destitute of stone, and the medieval architects, who always availed themselves of the material which was most natural in the district, built all over this vast extent of country almost entirely in brick. The examples of their works in this humble material are not at all confined to ecclesiastical works; houses, castles, town-halls, town walls and gateways, are so plentiful and so invariably picturesque and striking in their character, that it is impossible to pass a harsh verdict on the architects who left behind them such extraordinary examples of their skill and fertility of resource.

This development is largely due to the fact that all these countries in north-east Germany were connected and very much influenced by the confederation of the Hanse towns, and hence the similarity in the design of all their buildings. Although some of the earliest buildings date from the 12th century, the chief development took place in the 14th and 15th centuries, and in the 16th century formed the basis of the transitional works of the Renaissance. The principal Hanse towns are Hamburg, Lübeck and Danzig. The chief buildings in Hamburg were destroyed by the fire in 1842, and it is in Lübeck that the most important churches are to be found. The church of St Mary (Marienkirche), 1304, is the most striking on account of its dimensions, 346 ft. in length, the nave being 123 ft. high, with two western towers 407 ft. high. Great scale is given to the building in consequence of the small material (brick) used, and some of the windows in this or other churches are nearly 100 ft. in height, with lofty mullions, all in moulded brick. The Dom or cathedral of Lübeck, though slightly larger, is not so good in design, but has a remarkable north porch in richly moulded brick, with marble shafts and carved capitals. In the church of St Catherine the choir is raised above a lofty vaulted crypt, similar to examples in some of the Italian churches. The Marienkirche at Danzig (1345-1503), built by a grand master of the Teutonic knights, to whom the chief development of the architecture of north-east Germany is largely due, is one of those examples already mentioned as Hallenkircken. The nave, aisles, side chapels, transept and aisles, and choir with square east end, are all of the same height; as the church is 280 ft. long and 125 ft. wide, with a transept 200 ft. long, the effect is that of one stupendous hall, but as the light is only obtained through the windows of the side chapels, the interior, though impressive, is somewhat gloomy. The same is found in the choir of the Franciscan church at Salzburg, where five slender piers, 70 ft. in height and 4 ft. in diameter, carry the vault over an area 160 ft. long by 66 ft. wide. Right up in the north of Germany, in Pomerania, are many fine examples in brick and sometimes of great size, such as those at Stralsund, Stettin, Stargard, Pasewalk, and in the island of Rügen. The Marienkirche at Stralsund, owing to its massive construction and picturesque grouping, is an interesting example. Its western transept or narthex with tower in centre is a common type of the churches in Pomerania, and though very inferior in design is a version of those which in England are seen in Ely and Peterborough cathedrals.

In the entrance gateways to the towns and in domestic architecture north Germany is very rich; the palace of the grand master of the Teutonic Order at Marienburg is a vast and imposing structure in brick (1276-1335), in which the chapter house of the grand master, with its fan-vaulted roof, resting on a single pillar of granite in the centre, and the entrance porch of the church richly carved in brick, are among the finest examples executed in that material.  (R. P. S.) 


Romanesque and Gothic in Belgium and Holland

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Fig. 49.—Plan of Cathedral at Tournai.

Of early Romanesque work neither Belgium nor Holland retains any examples; for with the exception of the small building at Nijmwegen built by Charlemagne, there are no churches prior to the 11th century, and at first the influence in Belgium would seem to have come from Lombardy, through the Rhine Provinces. As all her large churches are built in the centres of her most important towns, it is probable that the older examples were pulled down to make way for others more in accordance with the increasing wealth and population. In the 13th century they came under the influence of the great Gothic movement in France, and two or three of their cathedrals compare favourably with the French cathedrals. The finest example of earlier date is that of the cathedral of Tournai (fig. 49), the nave of which was built in the second half of the 11th century, to which a transept with north and south apses and aisles round them was added about the middle of the 12th century. These latter features are contemporaneous with similar examples at Cologne, and the idea of the plan may have been taken from them; externally, however, they differ so widely that the design may be looked upon as an original conception, though the nave arcades, triforium storey, and clerestory resemble the contemporaneous work in Normandy. The original choir was pulled down in the 14th century, and a magnificent chevet of the French type erected in its place. The grouping of the towers which flank the transept, with the central lantern, the apses, and lofty choir, is extremely fine (fig. 50). The sculptures on the west front, dating from the 12th to the 16th century, protected by a portico of the late 15th century, are of remarkable interest and in good preservation. They are in three tiers, the two lowest consisting of bas-reliefs, the upper tier with life-size figures in niches, resting on corbels. The Romanesque tower of the church of St Jacques in the same town, with angle turrets, is a picturesque and well-designed structure.

Other early examples are those of St Bartholomew at Liége (A.D. 1015) and the churches at Roermonde and St Servais at Maastricht, both belonging to Holland. The latter is an extremely fine example, which recalls the work at Cologne, and in its great western narthex follows on the lines of the German churches at Gernrode, Corvey and Brunswick.

Among other churches of later date are St Gudule at Brussels, with Gothic 13th century choir and a 14th century nave with great circular pillars, the west front of later date, approached by a lofty flight of steps, having a very fine effect; Ste Croix at Liége, with a western apse; St Martin at Ypres and St Bavon at Ghent, both with 13th-century choir and 14th-century nave; Tongres, 13th century with great circular pillars and an early Romanesque cloister; Notre Dame de Pamele at Oudenarde; and Notre Dame at Bruges, 14th century. Of 15th and 16th century work (for the Gothic style lasted without any trace of the Renaissance till the middle of the 16th century) are St Gommaire at Lierre (1425-1557); St Martin, Alost (1498), St Jacques, Antwerp; and St Martin and St Jacques, both at Liége. The largest in area, and in that sense the most important church in Belgium, is Notre Dame at Antwerp (misnamed the cathedral). It was begun in 1352, but not completed till the 16th century, so that it possesses many transitional features. It is one of the few churches with three aisles on each side of the nave, the outer aisle being nearly as wide as the nave, which is too narrow to have a fine effect. Only one of the two spires of the west front is built, perhaps to its advantage; the upper portion presents in its pierced stone spires one of those remarkable tours-de-force of which masons are so proud, and having a simple substructure it gains by contrast with and is much superior to the spires of Cologne, Vienna and Ulm.


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Fig. 50.—Tournai Cathedral.


Among the most remarkable features in these Belgian churches are the rood screens, the earliest of which is in the church of St Peter at Louvain, dating from 1400, in rich Flamboyant Gothic, retaining all its statues. In the church at Dixmuiden, St Gommaire at Lierre (1534), and in Notre Dame, Walcourt (1531), are other examples all in perfect preservation; the last is said to have been given by the emperor Charles V., and in the same church is a lofty tabernacle in Flamboyant Gothic.

Owing to the comparatively late date of many of the Belgian churches, they are all more or less unfinished, as the religious fervour of the citizens who built them would seem to have changed in favour of their town halls and civic buildings immediately connected with trade. The Cloth Hall at Ypres (1200-1334) with a frontage of 460 ft., three storeys high with a lofty central tower and a hall on the upper storey 435 ft. long, one of the finest buildings of the period in Europe; Les Halles at Bruges, originally built as a cloth hall, also with a lofty central tower; and a simple example at Malines, are the earliest buildings of this type.

There follow a series of magnificent town halls, of which that at Brussels is the largest, but the tower not being quite in the centre of its façade gives it a lopsided appearance. There is no tower to the town hall at Louvain (1448-1469), but this is compensated for by the angle turrets, and the design is far bolder. In both these examples the vertical lines are too strongly accentuated, and seeing that they are in two or three storeys, the latter should have been maintained in the design of the façades. In this respect the town hall of Oudenarde (1527-1535) is more truthful, and as a result is far superior to them; the tower also is in the centre of the principal front, which at all events is better than at Brussels, though as a matter of composition it would have been more effective and picturesque if it had been placed at one end of the façade. In the town hall at Mons there is no tower, but a fine upper storey with ten windows filled with good tracery. Of the town hall at Ghent only one half is Gothic (1480-1482), as it was not completed till a century later, and though overladen with Flamboyant ornament it has fine qualities in its design. Although but few examples still exist of the Gothic structures belonging to the various gilds, owing to their having been rebuilt in the Renaissance style, those of the Bateliers at Ghent (1531), and of the Fishmongers at Malines (1519), bear witness in the rich decoration to the wealth of these corporations.

Holland is extremely poor in church architecture, but there are two examples which should be noted, at Utrecht and Bois-le-Duc (’s Hertogenbosch). Of the former only the choir exists. It is of great height (115 ft.), and belongs to the finest period of Gothic architecture (1251-1267). The nave was destroyed by a hurricane in 1674, and so seriously damaged that it was all taken down (a wall being built to enclose the choir) and an open square left between it and the lofty west tower. The cathedral of St John at Bois-le-Duc, though founded in 1300, was rebuilt in the Flamboyant period (1419-1497). It is of great length (400 ft.) with a fine chevet, and possessed originally a magnificent rood screen in the early Renaissance style (1625); this seemed to the burghers to be out of keeping with the Gothic church, so it was taken down and sold to the South Kensington Museum, being replaced by a very poor example in Modern Gothic.

There is only one Gothic town hall of importance in Holland, that at Middleburg (1468), a fine example, and quite equal to those in Belgium. The ground and upper floors are kept distinct, and as the wall surface of these lower storeys is in plain masonry, the traceried windows and the canopied niches (all of which retain their statues) gain by the contrast. There is a small picturesque specimen at Gouda, and at Leeuwarden in the house of correction (Kanselary) a rich example in brick and stone, with a remarkable stepped gable in the centre having statues on its steps.

Both in Belgium and Holland there are numerous examples of domestic architecture in brick with quoins and tracery in stone, in both cases alternating with brick courses and arch voussoirs and with infinite variety of design.  (R. P. S.) 


The Renaissance Style: Introduction

The causes which led to the evolution of the Renaissance style in Italy in the 15th century were many and diverse. The principal impulse was that derived from the revival of classical literature. Already in the 14th century the coming movement was showing itself in the works of the painters and sculptors, especially the latter, owing to the influence of the classic sculpture which abounded throughout Italy. Thus in the tomb of St Dominic (1221) at Bologna, the pulpits of Pisa (1260) and Siena (1268), and in the fountain of Perugia (1277-1280) by Niccola Pisano and his son Giovanni, all the figures would seem to have been inspired in their character by those found in Roman sarcophagi. A classic treatment is noticeable in the doorway of the Baptistery of Florence by Andrea Pisano (1330), probably influenced by Giotto, in whose paintings are found the representation of imaginary buildings in which Gothic and Classic details are mixed up together. The time for its full development, however, did not come till the following century, when, with the papal throne again firmly established under Martin V., the amelioration of the city of Rome was commenced, and discoveries were made which awakened an archaeological interest fostered by the Medici at Florence, who not only became enthusiastic collectors of ancient works of art, but promoted the study of the antique figure. In addition to the acquisition of marbles and bronzes, ancient manuscripts of classic writers were sought for and supplied by Greek exiles who seemed to have foreseen the breaking up of the eastern empire; everything, therefore, at the beginning of the 15th century fostered the spread of the new movement. Accordingly, when a great architect like Brunelleschi, who for fifteen years had been making a special study of the ancient monuments in Rome and who possessed in addition great scientific knowledge, brought forward his proposals for the completion of the cathedral built by Arnolfo di Lapo, and showed how the existing substructure could be covered over with a dome like the Pantheon at Rome, his designs were accepted by the town council of Florence, and in 1420 he was entrusted with the work. Subsequently he carried out other works, in which pure classic architectural forms are the chief characteristics. There were, however, other causes which not only promoted the encouragement of the revival, but extended it to other countries, though at a later period; the most important of these was the invention of printing (1453), which in a sense revolutionized art, not so much in its enabling classical literature to be more extensively studied and known, as in its taking away to a certain extent from the painter and sculptor and indirectly the architect one of their principal missions, so far as ecclesiastical architecture is concerned. Henceforth these who had hitherto taught their lessons in sculpture, painting, stained glass and fresco, could, through the printed book, bring them more immediately before and directly to mankind. Victor Hugo’s pithy saying, “ceci tuera cela; le livre tuera l’église,” expressed not only the fall of architecture from the position it occupied as the principal teacher, but to a certain extent the change in the channel by which religious teachers and the writers of the day, the poets and philosophers, could best make their works known.

With the invention of printing came the partial cessation of fresco painting, stained glass and sculpture, which subsequently came to be regarded more as decorative adjuncts than as having educational functions. But this transfer from the Church to the Book, the extinction of the one by the other, led to another important change. Henceforth the architect or master-mason, as he was then known, could no longer count on the co-operation of the various craftsmen, men often of greater culture than himself; and the individuality of the man, which has sometimes been put forward as a gain to humanity, was a loss so far as architecture is concerned, since it was scarcely possible that the imagination and conceptions of a single individual, however brilliant they might be, could ever reach to the high level of the joint product of many minds, or that there could be the same natural expression in what had hitherto been the traditional work of centuries.

In France the introduction of the Revival resulted at first in a transitional period during which classic details gradually crept in, displacing the Gothic. In Italy this does not seem to have been the case to the same extent. It is true that in Florence and Venice, where an independent style existed, the new buildings in their general principles of design were, copied from the old, but with no mixture of details as in France; in Brunelleschi’s church, Santo Spirito at Florence, the capitals and details are all pure Italian, as pure as if they had been carried out in the 3rd or 4th century, the fact being that already before the 15th century the craftsman’s work was approaching the new movement, and this was facilitated by the numerous remains still existing of Roman architecture. In the four or five years Brunelleschi spent in Rome, he had the opportunity of studying a far larger number of Roman buildings than are preserved at the present day, so that the purity of style in the work which he carried out in Florence was due to his previous training; the same is found in Alberti’s work, and with these two great men leading the way it is not surprising that throughout the earlier Renaissance period in Italy we find a classic perfection of detail which it took half a century to develop in other countries.

It is difficult to say what might have been its ultimate development if another discovery had not been made about 1452, that of the manuscript of Vitruvius, a Roman architect who lived in the time of the emperor Augustus; his work on architecture gives an admirable description of the building materials employed in his day (c. 25 B.C.), and among other subjects, a series of rules regulating the employment of the various orders and their correct proportions. These rules were based on the descriptions which Vitruvius had studied of Greek temples, but as he was not acquainted with the examples quoted, never having been in Greece or even in south Italy at Paestum, his knowledge was confined to the architectural monuments then existing in Rome. Vitruvius’s manuscript, entitled De re aedificatoria, was illustrated by drawings, none of which have however been preserved; when therefore in subsequent years translations of the architectural portion of the manuscript were printed and published by various Italian architects, among whom Vignola and Palladio were the more important, they were accompanied by woodcuts representing their interpretation of the lost illustrations, and thus copybooks of the orders were published, with more or less fidelity to those of existing Roman monuments, in which attempts were made to adhere to the rules laid down by Vitruvius. In Rome and other parts of Italy, where ancient monuments or portions of them still remained in situ, architects could study their details and base their designs on them, but in other countries they were bound to follow the copybook, and thus they lost that originality and freedom of design which characterizes the earlier work of the Renaissance.

On the other hand, there is no doubt that the publications of Vignola and Palladio, based as they were on the remains of ancient Rome, then much better preserved than at the present day, tended to maintain a high standard in the employment of the Classic orders, with correct proportions and details; so much so, that in referring to the influence which those works exerted from the middle of the 16th century in France and Spain, and during the 17th and 18th centuries in England and to a certain extent in Spain, Germany and the Netherlands, it is generally spoken of as the introduction of the pure Italian style. The tendency, however, of such hard and fast rules leads eventually to an excess in the opposite direction, and the works of Borromini in Italy and Churriguera in Spain in the middle of the 17th century resulted in the production of what is generally referred to as the Rococo style. This style was fostered in France by the attempts to reproduce, externally and in stone, ornamental decoration of a type which is only fitted for internal work in stucco, and in Germany and the Netherlands by reproductions of fantastic designs published in copybooks, which led to the bastard style of the Zwinger palace in Dresden and the Dutch architecture of the 18th century. Vignola’s work on the five orders was published in 1563, and Palladio’s in 1570; they were preceded by a publication of Serlio’s in 1540, giving examples of various architectural compositions, and to him is probably due the introduction of the pure Italian style in the Louvre in 1546. They were followed by other authors, as Scamozzi in Italy, Philibert de l’Orme in France, and, at a later date, Sir William Chambers in England.

The term given to the earlier Renaissance or transition work in Italy is the Cinque-cento style, though sometimes that title is given to buildings erected in the 16th century; in France it is known as the François I. style, in Spain as the Plateresque or Silversmiths’ style, and in England as the Elizabethan and Jacobean styles.

There is still another and very important difference to be noted between the styles of the middle ages and those of the Renaissance. Although the names of the designers in the former are occasionally known and have been handed down to us, they were only partially responsible, as the works were carried out by other craftsmen working on traditional lines, whereas in the latter they are of much more importance because of the independent thought and study of the individual; and though to a certain extent the development of each man’s work may have been influenced by others working in the same direction, his special object was to acquire personal fame and by his own fancy or predilection to produce what he conceived to be an original work peculiar to himself. Consequently in our description the name of the architect who designed a particular building, as well as the date of its erection, are necessarily given to show the progress made In his studies or otherwise.  (R. P. S.) 


Renaissance Architecture in Italy

In the styles hitherto described a chronological order has been followed, as far as possible, in order to show the gradual development of the style; that course is adopted here to a certain extent, when dealing with the Renaissance, though the introduction of the personal element, to which reference has been made, brings in a change of some importance. Henceforth the career of the individual has to be taken into consideration, and at times it may be an advantage when describing a building by an architect of eminence to mention other works by him, and so depart from the chronological sequence.

Ecclesiastical.—The classic revival in Italy, though foreshadowed in other branches of art, as in painting and sculpture, and also to a marked degree in literature, was virtually introduced by one great man, Filippo Brunelleschi of Florence, who, trained as a sculptor, and disappointed with his want of success in the competition held in 1403 for the bronze gates of the baptistery at Florence, determined to devote himself to architecture, possibly in the hope that he might some day be able to solve the great problem of erecting over the crossing of Arnolfo di Lapo’s great cathedral the dome projected by the latter but never executed. Having spent some years in Rome, Brunelleschi returned to his native town about 1410, with a profound knowledge of classic architecture and of Roman construction, as shown in the Pantheon, the thermae, Colosseum and other remains, then in much better preservation than at the present day. Some years passed in the production of various schemes and in deliberations with the council of Florence, but eventually in 1420 the completion of the cathedral was entrusted to him, and he undertook to construct the dome without centreing, and to raise it on a drum so as to give it greater importance than Arnolfo had contemplated, as shown in the fresco of the Spanish chapel of Santa Maria Novella, Florence. The dome as projected by Brunelleschi was of considerable size, being 130 ft. in diameter and 135 ft. from the cornice to the eye of the dome, including the drum on which it was raised; it was octagonal in plan, and built with an inner and outer casing partly in brick, with angle and two intermediate ribs on each face, which were in stone. The construction of the dome was completed in 1434; but the lantern, built on the basis of the model he had made, was not carried out till 1462, some years after his death. Brunelleschi’s other works in Florence consisted of the church of San Lorenzo, which he rebuilt in 1425 after a fire, and the church of Santo Spirito (1433), a very remarkable building, the design of which was based on the medieval basilicas of Rome, with such modifications in plan and section as his knowledge of ancient Roman work suggested. This church consists of nave, transept and choir, with aisles all round, the centre or crossing being covered with a dome on pendentives, which henceforth became the chief characteristic in all the Renaissance churches. Brunelleschi’s earliest work was the Pazzi chapel, an original conception which is more remarkable for the pure classic feeling and refinement in all its details than for the design. The weakness of the archivolt round the central archway, and the mass of panelled wall carried on columns (far too slight in their dimensions), detract seriously from the effect of the façade; internally the structural function of the pilasters is not sufficiently maintained, and instead of a simple hemispherical dome, as in the cathedral, a quasi-Gothic type was built, with twelve ribs and scalloped cells, which destroys its dignity.

Brunelleschi was followed by another great Florentine architect, Leon Battista Alberti, who was also a great mathematician and a scholar, and further promoted the study of classic architecture by writing a treatise in Latin, Opus praestantissimum de re aedificatoria, which was based partly on that of Vitruvius and was published in 1485, after his death, accompanied by illustrations. The first building with which he was connected was the church of San Francesco at Rimini, to which in 1440 he added the front. In this he was evidently inspired by the Roman triumphal arch in that city, and his interpretation of it, to meet the requirements in its façade which were imposed upon him by the existing nave, was admirable. Unfortunately the principal front was never completed, but on the south side he designed a series of recesses to hold the sarcophagi containing the remains of the friends of his client, Sigismondo Malatesta, the effect of which is simple and grand. Alberti’s largest work, the church of Sant’ Andrea at Mantua (1472), in which the nave, transept and choir are all covered with barrel vaults, recalls the vaulted corridors of the Colosseum. There are no aisles, but a series of rectangular chapels on each side, the division walls of which act as buttresses to resist the thrust of the great vault. The lofty arched openings to the chapels, separated by Corinthian pilasters with entablature supporting the coffered vault and a central dome (since rebuilt), complete the structure, which has served since as the model for all the Renaissance churches of the same type. The principal front is not satisfactory, as it takes no cognizance of the width of the nave, and the side doors have no use or meaning; here Alberti seems to have been led astray in his triumphal arch treatment, which is inferior to his scheme for the church at Rimini.

In 1462 Michelozzo, another Florentine architect, built the chapel of St Peter at the east end of the church of Sant’ Eustorgio, Milan. Externally it has little attraction, but internally the dome, with its magnificent frieze of winged angels in relief with a painted background of arcades and other accessories, is the most beautiful composition of the Renaissance. Michelozzo’s first work was the Dominican monastery and church of San Marco at Florence (1439—1452), but he is better known for his secular work, to which we shall return.

The next great architect chronologically is Bramante d’ Urbino, to whom was entrusted the commencement of the church of St Peter at Rome. His first important work was the church of Santa Maria della Consolazione at Todi (1472), which consists of a square nave with immense semicircular apses, one on each side. The nave is covered with a dome raised on a drum, and carried on pendentives, and the apses with hemispherical vaults butt against the nave walls and form externally a very fine group. Bramante was the architect of the chapel in the cloisters of San Pietro-in-Montorio, Rome (1472), a small circular building covered with a dome and surrounded with a peristyle of columns of the Doric order; and of the dome of the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, as also of the three apses, which are decorated with pilasters and baluster shafts with circular medallions enclosing busts, all in terra cotta. Before passing to his work at St Peter’s there are some other early churches we must notice. The Certosa, near Pavia, was begun in 1396, and in one sense suggests the revival of classic architecture, in that all its arches have semicircular heads. The magnificent façade of the church was commenced in 1473 from the designs of Borgognone, a Milanese architect: it is one of the few examples in Italy of large size in which the transition is noticeable, for although there are no Gothic details the design follows that of the middle ages, and instead of great pilasters of the Corinthian order, buttresses with niches containing statues divide the façade and accentuate the internal divisions of the church; the open galleries above the entrance doorway crossing the upper storey of the central portion are all derived from well-known Lombardic features. The upper part of the façade is inferior to the lower, Borgognone’s design having been departed from. The enrichment of the whole front, from the lower plinth to the string course under the first gallery, with bas-reliefs, panelled pilasters, niches, medallions and other decorative accessories, all in white marble, so completely covers the whole surface that scarcely any portion is left plain, which to a certain extent detracts from its effect as a whole; but there is an endless variety of design, and the baluster or candelabrum shafts dividing the windows and the friezes and cresting above their cornices, are of great beauty. The circular rose window above, with its enclosing frontispiece of later date, shows the coming influence of the later Italian style. The cloisters adjoining are surrounded with a light arcade, with enrichments in the spandrils and frieze, all in terra cotta.

The cathedral of Como is also a transitional example, where buttresses are employed all round the church, and it is only in the finials which surmount them, the great projecting cornice which crowns the structure, and the doorways and windows, that we find classical details; the doorways recall the porches of the Lombard churches, and are of great beauty in design, the south doorway being said to be by Bramante. Another example, remarkable for its elaborately carved front and porch, is the church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli at Brescia (1487-1490) by Ludovici Beretta, which both externally and internally is one of the richest specimens of the early Italian Renaissance. The church dedicated to Santa Maria dei Miracoli in Venice (1481-1489), by Pietro Lombardo, is another transitional example in which the Byzantine influence of St Mark’s is recognizable in the semicircular pediments of its façade and of the exterior of the chancel, and Lombardic influence in its external decorations with pilaster strips and blind arcades. The interior is one of the gems of the Renaissance, on account of its splendid decoration with marble linings and fine cinque-cento carving. Similar semicircular pediments are found in the façade of the church of San Zaccharia at Venice (1515), but are purely decorative because the roof behind is not semicircular like that of the Miracoli. The decoration of the main front, here all in marble, is of an entirely different design, and is subdivided into a series of storeys, the lower panelled, the first storey with arcades and the upper ones with pilasters. An earlier example (1461) in San Bernardino at Perugia is of a far higher standard, and its enrichment with bas-reliefs by the Florentine sculptor Agostino di Duccio (c. 1418-c. 1490) gives it the first place for its conception and execution. Among others, the church of Spirito Santo, Bologna, in terra cotta; the church of Santa Giustina, Padua (1532); the sacristy of San Satiro, Milan (1479), by Bramante; and the sacristy of the church of Santo Spirito, Florence (1489-1496), by Sangallo, are all interesting examples of the early Renaissance in Italy.


1911 Britannica-Architecture-St Peter’s.png

Fig. 51.—Plan of St Peter’s at Rome.


In 1505, on the advice of Michelangelo, Bramante was instructed to prepare designs for a new church in Rome dedicated to St Peter, to take the place of the early basilica, which, built in haste, began to show serious signs of failure. Already, fifty years earlier, Pope Nicholas V. had commenced a new building, the erection of which was stopped by his death in 1454. The scheme was revived by Julius II., and the foundation stone of the new structure was laid in 1506. On Bramante’s death in 1514, Raphael, Peruzzi and Sangallo were successively appointed, and the last named prepared a new design, which, however, was not carried out, as he found it necessary first to strengthen the piers of the dome provided by Bramante and to remedy the defects of his successors. In 1546 Michelangelo, then seventy-two years of age, was entrusted with the continuance of the work, and he made radical changes, chiefly in the design of the dome. Comparison of the plans of Bramante and Sangallo with that actually carried out by Michelangelo shows that he not only increased the size of the piers to carry his dome, but the outer walls of the north, south and west apses, and omitted the aisles which surrounded the latter (fig. 51). He would seem to have availed himself of the foundation walls already built and of Bramante’s piers to carry the dome, which had been raised up to the cornice, but otherwise the architectural features of the whole building externally and internally were carried out from Michelangelo’s own designs. Sangallo had suggested for the exterior a series of superimposed orders with three storeys; Michelangelo elected to have one order only with an attic storey. The building gained thereby in dignity, but it lost in scale, for the huge pilasters of the Corinthian order (87 ft. high) look considerably smaller, in spite of the two storeys of windows between them. These windows also, which from their design are apparently about 10 to 12 ft. high, actually measure 20 ft. in height. The same defect exists in the interior, where the Corinthian order, over 100 ft. in height to the top of the cornice (Plate III., fig. 69), calls for a similar increase in the dimensions of all the sculptured decorations; the figures in the spandrils being 20 ft. high, and the cherubs supporting the holy water spouts 10 ft. Otherwise the scheme realizes the conception which Bramante proposed from the first, viz. to raise the dome of the Pantheon on the top of the basilica of Constantine; the latter being represented by the magnificent barrel vault (75 ft. in span) of the nave, transepts and choir; the former by the great hemispherical dome, 140 ft. in diameter, which, including the drum, is 162 ft. from the top of the cornice above the pendentives to the soffit of the dome. The dome is built in two shells with connecting ribs on the same principle as Brunelleschi’s dome in Florence, and was nearly completed before Michelangelo’s death in 1563, and the lantern in 1590 from the model which he had made. In 1605 the east end of the old basilica was taken down, and three more bays were added, thus converting the Greek cross of Michelangelo’s design into the Latin cross originally conceived by Bramante. The nave and the eastern vestibule were completed in 1620, and the great semicircular portico was added by Bernini in 1667. The immense height of the east façade, and its prolongation in front of Michelangelo’s chief feature, the dome, hides the design of a great portion of the latter, so that it can only be seen either from a great distance (Plate III., fig. 68), or from behind the western apse, where the relative grouping with the great apses can be properly appreciated. A second well-known work by Michelangelo is the new sacristy of the church of San Lorenzo, Florence (1523-1529), designed to contain the monuments of Giuliano and Lorenzo de’ Medici, the architectural design of which is poor.

Antonio di Sangallo was the architect of the church of San Biagio at Montepulciano (1518), with a cruciform plan, and dome in the centre, and a campanile at the south-west angle somewhat similar to those of Wren in London.

The church of Santa Maria-di-Carignano (1552) at Genoa, by Galeazzo Alessi, is finely situated but unsatisfactory in its design, the lower part being stunted in its proportions and its order to a different scale from that in the campanile towers and the dome. The most beautiful interior is that of the Annunziata in the same town, by Giacomo della Porta (1587); the arches of its nave arcade are carried on Corinthian columns of marble, of fine proportion, and the nave is covered with a barrel vault with penetrations admitting the light from clerestory windows. The churches of San Giorgio Maggiore (1556-1579), San Francesco della Vigna (1562), and Il Redentore (1577), all in Venice, were designed by Palladio, the interior of the latter being the finest; the façade of the first named is the best-proportioned, but whether its design is due to Palladio, or to Scamozzi, who built it in 1610, is not known. A far finer church in its picturesque grouping and the originality of its design is that of Santa Maria della Salute on the Grand Canal (1631), by Baldassare Longhena; the church is octagonal on plan, with aisles round, giving access to six recesses with altars and to an important eastern chapel with central dome. The central octagon is covered with a lofty dome with immense corbel buttresses of vigorous and fine design. The entrance portal of the west front is perhaps the best example of the period in Italy. Longhena also designed the Santa Maria degli Scalzi (1680), completed by Sardi in 1689, the latter being responsible for the heavy front of San Salvatore (1663), as also of the rich but somewhat debased church, in the Jesuit style, Santa Maria Zobenigo (1680-1683).

Secular Architecture.—In the application of the leading features of classical architectural design to palaces and mansions, the Italians had a much easier field on which to exercise their originality, as the requirements were very different from those which obtained in the middle ages. Moreover, the classic style lent itself more readily to the horizontal lines given by string courses, cornices and ranges of windows, which naturally exist in dwelling-houses on account of the various storeys. As in ecclesiastical, so in secular architecture, the first introduction of the Revival takes place in Florence, which was then the principal art centre of Italy, and the earliest examples are in a sense transitional, in that they are based on the earlier medieval work. As in the Palazzo Vecchio (1298) in Florence, and the Ricciarelli palace at Volterra (c. 1320), the rusticated masonry which gives them so fine a character forms the chief characteristic of the Riccardi and Strozzi palaces, the only changes being the substitution of a classic cornice of considerable projection in the place of the machicolations of the Palazzo Vecchio, and the employment of circular arches in the windows in the place of the pointed and curved arches.

The earliest example, the Riccardi palace (1430), by Michelozzo (fig. 52), built for Cosimo de’ Medici, is certainly the finest, owing partly to its size but more especially to the magnificent bossed and rusticated masonry of the ground storey and the bold projecting cornice, which crowns so admirably the whole structure. The lower two storeys of the main front of the Pitti palace were built by Brunelleschi in 1435, the return wings and court not being carried out till after 1550 from the designs of Ammanati; compared with the other Tuscan palaces the cornice is extremely poor and the whole front too monotonous. The beautiful court of the Palazzo Vecchio was reconstructed and decorated by Michelozzo in 1434. The Strozzi palace (1489), by Benedetto da Maiano and S. Pollajuolo, (Cronaca), comes next to the Riccardi as regards general design, but in comparison with it the windows are too small, and the want of a much bolder rustication, as provided in the latter, is much felt. Other examples of the same type are the Gondi (1481) and the Antinori palaces, by G. di Sangallo, and the Casa Larderel, all in Florence; the Spanochi (1470) and the Piccolomini (1460) palaces in Siena, and the Piccolomini palace (1490) in Pienza. In the Guadagni palace at Florence, by S. Pollajuolo, there is a third storey, consisting of an open gallery, which gives the depth of shadow otherwise afforded by the projecting cornice. In the Ruccellai palace (1460), by Alberti, the design is spoilt by the introduction of the classic pilasters at regular intervals on each storey, which suggest no structural object and have too little projection to give any effect of light and shade, so that it is only on account of the purity of their details that they are worth notice. The Pandolphini palace, the design of which is attributed to Raphael, carried out after his death by Sangallo, is a simple and unpretentious building of fine proportions: the Pall Mall façade of Sir Charles Barry’s Travellers’ Club in London is a reproduction of this palace. The Bartolini palace (1520), by Baccio d’ Agnolo, is said to have been the first astylar example in which the Classic orders were employed only to decorate the entrance door and windows, but this had already been done in 1488 in the Scuola di San Marco in Venice.

Throughout the greater part of the 15th century, the Venetian Gothic style still held its own in the palaces of Venice, so that it is only towards the close of the century we find the first actual results of the Classic Revival. The earlier palaces may be looked upon as transitional work, in which Gothic principles rule the design while the details are borrowed from classic sources. The intimate acquaintance with the proportions of the Classic orders and their ornamental detail shows that the designers of the earliest Renaissance palaces must have acquired their knowledge outside Venice. Among these designers we find the names of members of the Lombardi family (which, as the name suggests, come from Lombardy), who for three or four generations, either as architects or sculptors, would seem to have been the chief founders of the Renaissance style in Venice. One of these, Pietro Lombardo, has already been referred to as the designer of the church of the Miracoli, and to him is due the Vendramini-Calerghi palace on the Grand Canal (Plate IV., fig. 71), built in 1481, which in some respects is the finest example in Venice. It should be observed that all these palaces on the Grand Canal have an architectural frontage only, the flanks being built in plain masonry or brick stuccoed over, and with very poor, if any, dressings to the windows. This is well exemplified in the Vendramini palace, where there are gardens on each side, showing the total want of correlation between the rich architectural front and the poverty of the flanks.


1911 Britannica-Architecture-Riccardi.png
From a photo by Alinari.

Fig. 52.—Riccardi Palace, Florence.


In a still earlier example, the Dario palace, one of the flanks borders on a side canal, so that its brick construction, partly covered with stucco, contrasts strangely with the rich marbles encrusting the main front. In the Dario palace the transition from Gothic to Renaissance is more clearly seen, as the only changes made are the substitution of circular window-heads for the Ogee Venetian arch, the projecting cornice with modillions, and more or less pure classic details. In the Vendramini palace the employment of the orders, to break up or subdivide the wall surface, has become a recognized treatment, based on the theatre of Marcellus and the Colosseum at Rome. On the ground storey there are panelled pilasters only, but on the first and second storeys three-quarter detached columns of the Corinthian order are employed, and the entablature is doubled in height with a bold projecting cornice, so as to crown properly the whole building. The semicircular-headed windows of the palace are filled with moulded tracery carried on columns in the centre of each, which must be looked upon as the classic version of the arcade of the Ducal palace. This feature is found in other early Renaissance work in Venice, as in the Scuola de San Rocco (1517), and the Cornaro Spinelli palace (1480). In the latter, probably also by Pietro Lombardo, there are pilasters only on the groins of the main front, and the window-heads are enclosed in square-headed frames. In the Scuola de San Marco (1488), by Lombardo, we find another type of window, single and lofty, with pilaster strips each side carrying an entablature with pediment. The same window decoration is found on the south and west fronts of the court of the Ducal palace and the external south front, and also in the Camerlenghi palace (1525), by Bergamasco and in other examples of early 16th-century work. In the Scuola de San Rocco the columnar decoration assumes much greater importance, and, in imitation of the triumphal arches of Septimus Severus and Constantine in Rome, the column is completely detached, with a wall-respond behind. Among other examples to be noted are the Cornaro-della-Grande palace (1532), by Sansovino, which is very inferior to his other work in Venice; the Grimani palace (1554), by San Michele (who also designed the fortifications of the Lido); the Zecca or mint (1537), the small loggetta (1540) at the foot of the campanile of St Mark’s and now destroyed, and the Procuratie Nuove (completed by Scamozzi in 1584), all by Sansovino; the Balbi palace (1582), by Vittoria; and the Ponte Rialto (1588), by Antonio da Ponte. Sansovino’s greatest work in Venice was the library of St Mark’s, which was commenced in 1531; in this he has shown not only remarkable powers of design but great boldness in the projection of his columns, cornices and other architectural features. The upper frieze has been increased in height, so as to admit of the introduction of small windows to light an upper storey, and this gives much greater importance and dignity to the entablature crowning the whole structure. Two of the most imposing palaces on the Grand Canal, but of later date, are the Pesaro (1679) and the Rezzonico (1680), both by Longhena, the architect of the Salute church. The former is too much overcharged with ornament, but it has one advantage, the classic superimposed orders of the main front being repeated on the flank overlooking the side canal, with pilasters substituted for the detached columns of the main front. The Rezzonico palace is much quieter in design, and finer in its proportions, but even there the cherubs in the spandrils are too pronounced in their relief.

In Rome there are no important examples of the 15th century, with the exception of the so-called “Venetian palace,” which still retains externally the features of the feudal castle, such as machicolations, small windows and rusticated masonry. This was owing probably to the comparative poverty of the city, which had to recover from the disasters of the 14th century. The earliest example of the Renaissance is that of the Cancellaria palace (1495-1505), by Bramante, the architect of the church at Todi; this was followed by a second and less important example, the Giraud or Torlonia palace (1506). The former is an immense block, 300 ft. long and 76 ft. high, in three storeys, with coursed masonry and slightly bevelled joints, the upper two storeys decorated with Corinthian pilasters of slight projection and crowned with a poor cornice, so that its general effect is very monotonous, and the design is only relieved by the purity of its details, such as those of the window and balcony on the return flank. In 1506 Bramante was instructed to carry out the court of the Vatican, of which the great hemicycle at one end, designed in imitation of similar features in the Roman thermae, is an extremely fine example; to what extent he was responsible for the court of the Loggie, decorated by Raphael, is not known. The Villa Farnesina (1506), best known for its fresco decorations by Raphael and his pupils; the Ossoli palace (1525); and the Massimi palace (1532-1536), with magnificent interiors, were all built by Baldassare Peruzzi. The finest example in Rome is the Farnese palace, commenced in 1530 from the designs of Antonio di Sangallo; the design is astylar, as the employment of the orders is confined to the window dressings, the angles of the front having rusticated quoins; the upper storey, with the magnificent cornice which crowns the whole building, was designed by Michelangelo, and in the upper storey he introduced a feature borrowed from the Roman thermae, brackets supporting the three-quarter detached columns flanking the windows. The brilliance of the design is not confined to the exterior, and the entrance vestibule and the great central court are the finest examples in Rome. Here the upper storey added by Michelangelo is inferior to the two lower storeys by Sangallo.

The museum in the Capitol at Rome, by Michelangelo (1546), is one of those examples in which the principles of design are violated by the suppression of the horizontal divisions of the storeys which it should have been an object to emphasize. By carrying immense Corinthian pilasters, through the ground and first storeys, Michelangelo, it is true, obtained the entablature of the order as the chief crowning feature, and so far the result is a success, but in other hands it led to the decadence of the style. Among other examples in Rome which should be mentioned are the Villa Madama by Giulio Romano (1524); the Nicolini palace (1526) by Giacomo Sansovino; the Villa Medici (1540) by Annibale Lippi; the Chigi palace (1562) by G. de la Porta; the Spada palace (1564) by Mazzoni; the Quirinal palace (1574) by Fontana (the architect who raised the obelisk in the Piazza di San Pietro); and the Borghese palace (1590) by Martino Lunghi.

We now return to about the middle of the 16th century, to the period when the great architects Barozzi da Vignola and Andrea Palladio of Vicenza commenced their career, and by their works and publications exercised a great and important influence on European architecture.

The villa of Pope Julius (1550), and the Costa palace, Rome, are good examples of Vignola’s style, always very pure and of good proportions, but his principal work was that of the Caprarola palace (1555-1559), about 30 m. from Rome, which he built for the cardinal Alessandro Farnese. The plan is pentagonal with a central circular court, and it is raised on a lofty terrace; the palace is in two storeys with rusticated quoins to the angle wings, and the Doric and Ionic orders, superimposed, separating arcades on the lower storeys and windows on the upper. The arcade of the central court is of admirable proportions and detail, second only to that of the Farnese palace.

Palladio in his earlier career measured and drew many of the remains of ancient Rome, and more particularly the thermae (the drawings of which are in the Burlington-Devonshire Collection), but he does not seem to have carried out any buildings there. His most important work, and the one which established his reputation, is that known as the basilica at Vicenza (1545-1549), which he enclosed with an arcaded loggia in two storeys of fine design and proportion, and extremely vigorous in its details. He built a large number of palaces in his native town, among which the Tiene (1550) and the Colleone Porto are the simplest and best, the latter being the model on which the front of Old Burlington House (London) was rebuilt in 1716. In the Valmarana, the Consiglio and the Casa del Diavolo he departed from his principles, in carrying the Corinthian pilasters through two floors, and by returning the cornice round the order he destroyed its value as a crowning feature. Among other works of his are the Chiericate (1560), Trissino (1582) and Barbarano (1570) palaces; the Olympic theatre (1580), which was completed after his death; and the Rotonda Capra near Vicenza, reproduced by Lord Burlington at Chiswick.

Though he laid down no rules for the guidance of others, the works of San Michele are superior to those of Palladio, with the exception, perhaps, of the basilica at Vicenza and the library at Venice. In the Bevilacqua palace (1527), at Verona, there is far greater variety of design than in Palladio’s work, and the Pompei palace (1530) and the two gateways at Verona (1533 and 1552) are all bold and simple designs. In the same town is an extremely beautiful example of the early Renaissance, the Loggia del Consiglio (1476) by Fra Giocondo; a similar example with open gallery on the ground storey exists at Padua, where there is also the Giustiniani palace (1524) by Falconetto, an interesting example of a master not much known. The town hall of Brescia (1492) was built from the designs of Tommaso Formentone, who employed for the carving of the medallions on the lower storey, and the pilasters with their capitals and the friezes, various artists of high merit, so that the building takes its rank as one of the finest in north Italy, but independently of their collaboration the design of the first floor is in design and execution equal to Greek work. The upper storey and its circular windows are said to have been added by Palladio, and they are so commonplace and out of scale that by contrast they increase the artistic value of Formentone’s work.

The so-called Palazzo de’ Diamanti at Ferrara, built in 1493 for Sigismondo d’Este, is decorated externally with a peculiar kind of rustication, in which the square face of the stones is bevelled towards the centre in imitation of diamond facets: the quoins of the palace have panelled pilasters richly carved, and similar pilasters flank the entrance door; the windows, with simple architrave mouldings and cornices on ground storey and pediments on the first storey, constitute the only architectural features of a novel treatment.

At Bologna there are two or three palaces of interest,—the Bevilacqua by Nardi (1484), chiefly remarkable for its central court surrounded with arcades, there being two arches on the upper storey to one on the lower, which presents a pleasant contrast and gives scale to the latter; the Fava palace (1484), in which on one side of the court are elaborately carved corbels carrying arches supporting an upper wall; and the Albergati palace (1521), by Peruzzi, in which the architectural decoration is confined to the entrance doorway windows flanked with pilasters and cornices in pediments and the entablatures of the ground and upper storeys, all the features being in stone on a background of simple brick construction. The Casa Tacconi is similarly treated. Many of the streets in Bologna have arcades on which the upper part of the house is built, and there is an endless variety in the capitals of these arcades.

If the palaces of Genoa are disappointing as regards their external design, this is in some measure compensated for by the magnificence of their entrance vestibules, which (with the staircases and the arcades in the courts beyond) are built in white marble, and have probably suggested the title of the “marble palaces of Genoa.” Many of these palaces are situated in narrow streets, so that no general view can be obtained of them, which may account for their exterior being erected in inferior materials with stucco facing. The ground storey of the palaces is almost always raised about 6 to 8 ft. above the street level, so that the first flight of steps leading up to the court forms a prominent feature in every palace; the ceilings of the entrance vestibule are also mostly decorated with arabesque work in stucco, or with painted devices, &c. The palaces in the town are lofty, and as a rule crowned with fine cornices, and there are no examples of pilasters being carried through the floors; the palaces and villas in the vicinity of Genoa are of less height, and owe much of their magnificence to the terraces on which they are erected. They have no special qualities except in slight variations of the external wall surface decoration, consisting of the applied orders on the several storeys. Among the best examples are the Palazzo Cataldi, formerly Palazzo Carega (1560), in which there are no pilasters, but rusticated quoins at the angles and windows with moulded dressings and pediments. The entrance vestibules of the Durazzo-Pallavicini, Rosso (1558) and Balbi (1610) palaces are in each case their finest features. The Pallavicini palace, and the Pallavicini, Spinola, Giustiniani and Durazzo villas, are all fairly well designed and in good proportions, but with no original treatment. Two of the palaces are flanked by open loggias with arcades, from which fine views are obtained, giving them a special character; that of the Durazzo palace being on the first floor, and of the Doria Tursi on the ground storey. The University (1623) and the Ducal palaces have very magnificent entrance vestibules, the former with lions on the lower ramp of the staircase.

Many of the finest palaces at Genoa are by Galeazzo Alessi, but in none of them has he approached the design of the Marino or municipal palace at Milan, in which he produced a remarkable work; the internal courtyard surrounded with arcades carried on coupled columns is an original combination which is not excelled in any other court in Italy, and the exterior façades are very fine.

The internal courtyard of the hospital at Milan (243 ft. by 220 ft.), with an arcade in two storeys, was designed by Bramante and begun in 1457; only one side was completed by him, but in 1621, in consequence of a large benefaction, the remainder was completed by Ricchini according to the original design; the proportions of the arcade are extremely pleasing, and it forms now one of the chief monuments of the town. Ricchini was the architect of the Litta palace, one of the largest in Milan.

There still remains to be mentioned one of the early examples of the Renaissance, the triumphal arch which was erected in 1470 at Naples to commemorate the entry of Alphonso of Aragon into the town. It is built against the walls of the old castle in four storeys, and connected with bas-reliefs and statues. The largest palace in Italy, that of the Caserta at Naples, with a frontage of 766 ft., built in 1752 by Vanvitelli, is one of the most monotonous designs, rivalled in that respect only by the Escurial in Spain.  (R. P. S.) 


Renaissance Architecture in France

The classical revival of the 15th century in Italy was too important a movement to have remained long without its influence extending to other countries. In France this was accelerated by the campaigns of Charles VIII., Louis XII. and Francis I., which led to the revelation of the artistic treasures in Italy; the result being the importation of great numbers of Italian craftsmen, who would seem to have been employed in the carving of decorative architectural accessories, such as the panels and capitals of pilasters, niches and canopies, corbels, friezes, &c., either in tombs, as for instance in those of Charles of Anjou at Le Mans (1472) and at Solesmes (1498), of Francis, duke of Brittany (1501), and of the children of Charles VIII. (1506) at Tours, and of Cardinal d’Amboise in Rouen cathedral, the figures in all these cases being carved by French sculptors. They were also employed in architectural buildings, where the design and execution were by French master-masons, and the Italians were called in to carve the details, as in the choir screens of Chartres, Albi and Limoges cathedrals, the portal of St. Michel at Dijon, the eastern chapels of St Pierre at Caen, and numerous other churches throughout France; or for mansions like the Hôtel d’Alluye at Blois, the Hôtel d’Allemand at Bourges, and the châteaux of Meillant (1503), Châteaudun and Nantouillet (1519). The great centre of the artistic regeneration was at first at Tours, so that in Touraine, and generally on the borders of the Loire and the Cher at Amboise, Blois, Gaillon, Chenonceaux, Azay-le-Rideau and Chambord, are found the principal examples; later, Francis I. transferred the court to Paris, and the château of Madrid, and the palaces of Fontainebleau, St Germain-en-Laye, and the Louvre, follow the change. In all these châteaux the Italian craftsman would seem to have been under the direction of the master-mason or architect, because the whole scheme of the design and its execution is French, and only the decoration Italian. In cases where the Italian was not called in, the Gothic flamboyant style flourishes in full vigour with no suggestion of foreign influence, as in the palais de justice at Rouen, the church of Brou (Ain), 1505-1532, the Hôtel de Cluny, Paris, and the rood-screen of the church of the Madeleine at Troyes (1531).

Between the last phase of Flamboyant Gothic and the introduction of the pure Italian Revival there existed a transitional period, known generally as the “Francis I. style,” which may be subdivided under three heads:—the Valois period, comprising the reigns of Charles VIII. and Louis XII. (1483-1515); the Francis I. period (1515-1547); and the Henry II. and Catherine de’ Medici period (1547-1589). The first two are characterized by the lofty roofs, dormers and chimneys, by circular or square towers at the angles of the main building with decorative machicolations and hourds, by buttresses set anglewise, which run up into the cornice, and square-headed windows with mullions and transoms. In the second period the machicolations are converted into corbels carrying semicircular arcaded niches in which shells are carved; the buttresses become pilasters with Renaissance capitals; and the Gothic detail, which in the first period is mixed up with the Renaissance, disappears altogether. In the third period Italian design begins to exert its influence in the regular interspacing of the pilasters or columns with due proportion of height to diameter, in the completion of the order with the regular entablature, and its employment generally in a more structural manner than in the earlier work.

The two first periods are well represented in the château of Blois, where, in the east wing built by Louis XII., square-headed windows alternate with three central arches, the buttresses are set anglewise running into the cornice, and pillars and angle shafts are carved with chevrons, spiral flutings, or cinque-cento arabesque; the cornices of the towers containing staircases project and are carried on arched niches supported on corbels (the new interpretation of the machicolations of the feudal castle); above the cornice is a balustrade with pierced flamboyant tracery, and the dormer windows retain their Gothic detail. In the north wing of Francis I. all these Gothic ornamental details disappear, and are replaced by the Renaissance. Panels and pilasters take the place of the buttresses—the panels sometimes enriched with cinque-cento arabesque; shells are carved in the arched niches of the cornice, and modillions and dentil courses are introduced; the balustrade is pierced with flowing Renaissance foliage interspersed with the salamanders and coronets; the same high roofs are maintained, but the dormer windows and chimneys, still Gothic in design, are entirely clothed with Renaissance detail.

The finest feature of the façade of this north wing, facing the court, is the magnificent polygonal staircase tower in its centre (Plate VIII., fig. 84); four great piers rise from ground to cornice, between which the rising balustrade is fitted; the whole feature Gothic in design, but Renaissance in all its details. The splendid carving of the panels of the piers and the niches with their canopies was probably done by Italian artists. The figures in these niches are said to be by Jean Goujon. The great dormers and chimneys have not the refinement in their design which characterizes the lower portion, and may be of later date. The north front of the château is raised on the foundation walls of the old castle, part of which is encased in it, and this may account for the slight irregularities in the widths of the bays. The design differs from that of the south front, the windows all being recessed behind three-centre arched openings; the open loggia at the top, which is admirable in effect, is a subsequent alteration.

Before passing to the Louvre and Tuileries, representing the third period, we must refer to some other important early châteaux and buildings. Some of these, such as the châteaux of Madrid and Gaillon, are known chiefly from du Cerceau’s work, as they were destroyed at the Revolution. Of the latter building, the entrance gateway is still in situ; there are some portions in the court of the École des Beaux-Arts at Paris, consisting of a second entrance gateway, a portico and some large panels. The gateway shows a singular mixture of Gothic and Renaissance; the centre portion, with the gateway and great niche over, is debased classic, the side portions retaining the buttresses, mouldings, panels and other features belonging to the latest phase of Flamboyant Gothic.

Of buildings still existing, the hôtel de ville of Orleans (1497) is a good example of early transition work, in which Gothic and Renaissance work is intermingled, and it is interesting to compare it with the hôtel de ville at Beaugency, built by the same architect, Viart, some twenty-five years later. There is the same principle in design, much improved in the later example, but all the Gothic details have disappeared.

In the château of Chenonceaux (1515-1524) we find a compromise between the two styles; Gothic corbels, piers and three-centre arches are employed, varied with debased classic mouldings, shells and capitals; here, as at Azay-le-Rideau (1520), the château was not transformed like those at Langeais and Rochefoucauld, where what was externally a 14th-century castle developed internally into a 16th-century mansion; both Chenonceaux and Azay-le-Rideau were built as residences, and yet in both are displayed those features which belong to the fortified castle; at the angles of the main structure in both cases are circular towers, in the latter case crowned with machicolations and hourds, which, however, are purely decorative, pierced with windows, and broken at intervals with dormer windows, a feature which gives it the aspect of an attic storey. The lofty roofs and conical terminations to these angle towers, with dormer and chimney, give the same picturesque aspect to the grouping as that which was afforded in the fortified castle, where, however, they originated in the necessity for defence. The entrance portals of both châteaux are beautiful features, absolutely Gothic in design, and only transformed by cinque-cento detail.

In the château of Chambord (1526) we find the same defensive features introduced, in the shape of great circular towers at the angles, but here with more reason, as the château was intended more for display than habitation. The château itself, about 200 ft. square, has circular towers at the angles, and in the centre a spiral staircase with double flight, leading to great halls on each side, which give access to the comparatively small rooms in the angles of the square and the towers beyond, and to the roof, which would seem to have been the chief attraction, as there is a fine view therefrom; and the elaborate octagonal lantern over the staircase, the dormer windows, chimneys and lanterns on the conical roofs of the towers, are all elaborately carved. There are three storeys to the building, subdivided horizontally by string courses, and terminated with a fine cornice carrying a balustrade, and vertically by a series of pilasters of the Corinthian order. The varied outline of this building, with the alternation of blank panels and windows between the pilasters, relieves what might otherwise have been its monotony. The château is situated on the east side of a great court measuring about 500 ft. by 370 ft., with a moat all round. To the right and left of the central block the walls are carved up three storeys, and an attic, with open arcades inside, leading to the angle towers of the enclosure. At a later period Louis XIV. continued the unfinished structure by a one-storey building round. The carving of the capitals, corbels and other decorative work was all done by Italian artists, under the direction of some architect whose name is not known.

One of the gems of Francis I.’s work is the small hunting lodge originally built at Moret near Fontainebleau, to which at one time the king thought of adding, before he began his great palace there. This was taken down in 1826, and re-erected in the Cours-la-Reine at Paris. Though small, it is the purest example of the first Renaissance. Other examples are the hôtel de ville of Paray-le-Monial (1526); the Hôtel d’Anjou at Angers (1530), built by Pierre de Pincé; the Hôtel Bernuy at Toulouse (1530); the Hôtel d’Ecoville at Caen (1532); the Manoir of Francis I. at Orleans; the Hôtel Bourgthéroulde at Rouen (1520-1532) and other buildings opposite Rouen cathedral, and what remains of the château known as the Manoir d’Ango (1525) at Varengeville, near Dieppe. The château of St Germain-en-Laye (1539-1544), the upper half of which is built in brick, belongs also to the early period, as also the hôtel de ville at Paris, built in 1533 by Domenico da Cortona, an Italian, who after spending some thirty years in France would seem to have caught the spirit of the French Renaissance so well as to be able to produce one of the most remarkable examples of the Francis I. style. In the existing building the original design has been copied from the building burnt down by the Communists in 1871.

From this we pass to the palace at Fontainebleau, begun by Francis I. in 1526, to which there have been so many subsequent additions and alterations that it is difficult to differentiate between them. The building owes its picturesque effect more to its irregular plan (as portions of an earlier structure were enclosed in it) than to any brilliant conceptions on the part of its architect. There is an endless variety of charming detail in the capitals, corbels and other decorative features, but the employment of pilaster strips purely as decorative features (without any such structural property as that in the Porte Dorée at the Cour Ovale) suggests that the Italian architect Serlio, to whom sometimes the work is ascribed, certainly had nothing to do with it.

On the other hand, there is every reason to believe that the designs made by Pierre Lescot for the Louvre, begun in 1546, were, as regards their style, largely based on the principles set forth in Serlio’s work on architecture, published in 1540. The south-west angle of the court of the Louvre is the earliest example of the third period of the Renaissance, in which the orders are employed in correct proportions with columns or pedestals carrying entablatures with mouldings based on classic precedent. The portion built from Lescot’s designs (Plate VIII., fig. 83) consists of the nine bays on the east and north sides, the latter not being completed till 1574, as the workmen would seem to have been transferred to the building of the Tuileries, begun in 1564.

The Corinthian order is employed for the ground and first storeys and an attic storey above, in which the pilaster capitals run into the bedmold of the upper cornice. Of the nine bays, the central and side bays are twice the width of the others, and project slightly with the cornices breaking round them; this feature, and the crowning of the western bays with a segmental pediment, give a variety to the design, which otherwise might have become monotonous by its repetition of similar features. The balustrade also is replaced by the chêneau, a cresting in stone, which hereafter is found in nearly all French buildings. The sculptor, Jean Goujon, would seem to have worked in complete harmony with the architect, thus producing what will always be considered as one of the chef-d’œuvres of French architecture.

The architect employed by Catherine de’ Medici for the Tuileries was Philibert de l’Orme, who combined the taste of the architect with the scientific knowledge of the engineer. Only a portion of his design was carried out, and of that much disappeared in the 17th century, when his dormer windows were taken down and replaced by a second storey and an attic. Bullant and du Cerceau also added buildings on each side.

The Tuileries were built about 500 yds. from the Louvre, and Catherine de’ Medici conceived the idea of connecting the two. The work, which began with the “Petite Galerie,” with the south wing, as far as the Pavillon Lesdiguieres, was started in 1566, being of one storey only. The mezzanine and upper storey were not completed till the beginning of the 17th century. In 1603 the remainder of the south front and the Pavillon-de-Flore were completed by Jacques Androuet du Cerceau.

Of Philibert de l’Orme’s work at Anet (1549), only the entrance gateway, the left-hand side of court, and the chapel remain, sufficient, however, to show that he had already at that early date mastered the principles of the Italian Revivalists. The chapel is in its way a remarkable design, but the hemispherical dome, pierced by elliptical winding arches inside, is not happy in its effect. The frontispiece which he created opposite the entrance, now in the court of the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, shows great refinement in its details, but proportionally errs in many points. De l’Orme built also the bridge and gallery on the river Cher, forming an addition to the château of Chenonceaux.

Amongst other work of this period are the additions made by Bullant to the château de Chantilly, where he traversed the principles of classic design by running Corinthian pilasters through two storeys and cutting through the cornice of his dormer windows. At Écouen (1550) he destroyed the scale of the earlier buildings of 1532 by raising in front of the left wing of the court four lofty Corinthian columns with entablature complete, which he copied from the temple of Castor in Rome.

Among the early Renaissance work are the château of Ancy le Franc (Yonne), Italian in character, which may be by Serlio (1546); the Hôtel d’Assézat at Toulouse (1555), in which there is a strong resemblance to the court of the Louvre; the houses at Orleans, known as those of Agnes Sorel, Jeanne d’Arc and Diane de Poitiers (1552); and there is other work at Caen, Rouen, Toulouse, Dijon, Chinon, Périgueux, Cahors, Rodez, Beauvais and Amiens, dating up to the close of the 16th century. In this list might also be included the fine town hall of La Rochelle, the Hôtel Lamoignon in the rue des Francs-Bourgeois, Paris (1580), and the Hôtel de Vogüé at Dijon, which retained the Renaissance character, though built in the first year of the 17th century.

In the reigns of Henry IV. and Louis XIII. the first work of importance in Paris is that of the Place Royale, now the Place des Vosges; in this brick was largely employed, and the conjunction of brick and stone gave a decorative effect which dispensed with the necessity of employing the Classic orders. At Fontainebleau, where Henry IV. made large additions, the same mixture of brick and stone is found in the Galerie des Cerfs, and in the great service court (cour des cuisines). The example set was followed largely through the country, and numerous mansions and private houses in brick and stone still exist. Henry IV.’s most important work at Fontainebleau is the Porte Dauphine, of which the lower part, with rusticated columns and courses of masonry, does not quite accord in scale or character with the superstructure, in which is put some of the best work of the century.

Except perhaps for the monotony of the rusticated masonry which is spread all over the building, the palace of the Luxembourg, by Salomon de Brosse (1615), is an important work, in which he was probably instructed by Marie de’ Medici to reproduce the general effect of the Pitti palace at Florence. The three storeys of the main block are well proportioned, but the absence of a boldly projecting cornice, such as is found in the Riccardi and Strozzi palaces, is a defect; the same architect reconstructed the great hall of the palace of justice at Paris, burnt in 1871 but now rebuilt to the same design.

In 1629 the building subsequently known as the Palais Royal was begun from the designs of Lemercier; but it has been so materially altered since that scarcely anything remains of his design, though the works carried out from his designs at the Louvre were of the greatest possible importance. The court of the latter, as begun by Pierre Lescot, was of small dimensions, corresponding with that of the palace of Philip Augustus, but Lemercier proposed to quadruple its dimensions. It is not certain whether he built the lower portion of the Pavillon d’Horloge, but he designed the upper part, with the caryatid figures sculptured by Jacques Sarrazin. On the north side of this pavilion he built a wing similar in length and design to that of Pierre Lescot, and continued the wing along the north side to the centre pavilion; this was continued by Levau, the architect of Louis XIV., round the other sides of the court. His design for the east front, however, did not recommend itself to the king or to his minister Colbert, and a competition was held, the first place being given to the design by a physician, Dr Perrault. Prior to its being begun, however, Bernini was sent for, and he submitted other designs, fortunately not carried out, as they would have destroyed the court of the Louvre. In 1665 the works were begun on the design of Perrault, a grandiose frontispiece which appealed to Louis XIV., but in which no cognizance had been taken of the various rooms against which it was built; consequently no windows could be opened, and it forms now a useless peristyle. Moreover it was so much wider than the original building that on the north side it became necessary to add a new front. Fortunately the example set by Perrault of coupling columns together has rarely been followed since in France, so that in the Garde-Meuble on the south side of the Place de la Concorde, by Gabriel, we return again to the original classic peristyle. The works undertaken at the Louvre progressed but slowly, in consequence of the greater interest taken by Louis XIV. in the palace he was building at Versailles, an extension of the hunting-box built by his father Louis XIII., which he insisted should be maintained and incorporated as the central feature in the new building. But as it was comparatively small in dimensions, of simple design, and in brick and stone, it was quite unfit to become the central feature of the main front of the largest palace in Europe. To make it worse, the new wings built on either side were lofty and of more importance architecturally, and as they projected some 300 ft. in advance of the earlier building, they reduced it to still greater insignificance. But even then the architect, Jules Hardouin Mansart, might have redeemed his reputation by buildings of greater interest than those which now exist. The back elevation of the central block is 330 ft. wide, the returns 280 ft., and the length of the wings on each side 500 ft.; in other words he had nearly 1900 ft. run of façade, and it is simply a repetition of the same bays from one end to the other, in three storeys all of the same height, the lower one with semicircular arched openings, the first floor decorated with pilasters on columns of the Ionic order, and an attic storey above with balustrade. The slight projection given to the central and side bays of each block, just sufficient to allow of columns in the first floor as decorative features instead of pilasters, is of no value in fronts of such great dimensions. The great galleries inside have the same monotonous design as in the façades, relieved only by the rich decoration in the first case and the splendid masonry in the latter. There is one saving clause in the main front, the chapel by R. de Cotte on the right-hand side being externally and internally a fine structure, and the best ecclesiastical example of the period.

Among other buildings of the 17th century are those begun by Cardinal Mazarin in the rue de Richelieu, which now constitute the National library; the Hôtel de Toulouse (1626), now the Bank of France; the Hôtel de Sully (1630), by du Cerceau; the Hôtel de Beauvais (1654), by le Pautre; the Hôtel Lambert (also by le Pautre), in the Île St Louis; the château at Maisons, near St Germain-en-Laye, by François Mansart (1656); the Institute of France (1662), by Levau; two triumphal arches, of St Denis (1672), by Blondel, and St Martin (1674) by Bullet; the Hôtel des Invalides (1670), by Bruant; the Place des Victoires and the Place Vendôme (1695-1699), by Jules Hardouin Mansart, in which a series of large houses are grouped together in one design; the Trianon at Versailles (1676), and the château of Marly (1682), both by J. H. Mansart; and important monumental buildings in the principal provincial cities, such as Lyons, Bordeaux, Nantes and Tours.

In the 18th century those which are worthy of note are the Hôtel Soubise (1706), now the “Archives Nationales”; the fountain in the rue de Grenelle, a fine composition; the École Militaire (1752), by Gabriel; the École de Médecine (1769), by Gondouin; the mint (1772), by Antoine; the Place de la Concorde, with the Garde-Meuble, by Gabriel (1765); the Hôtel de Salm, now the Legion of Honour; the Place Stanislas at Nancy (1738-1766), in which are grouped the town hall, archbishop’s palace, theatre and other public buildings, with triumphal arch and avenues leading to the palace of the duke Stanislaus (with magnificent wrought-iron enclosures and gates by Jean Lamour, the greatest craftsman of the century); the theatre at Bordeaux by Louis; and the Odéon, Paris (1789).

The ecclesiastical architecture of the French Renaissance comes at the end of our description owing to the far greater importance of the palaces, mansions and public monuments, and also because in the beginning of the 16th century France found herself in possession of a much larger number of cathedrals and large churches than she could maintain. Some of these are still unfinished, so that her first efforts would seem to have been directed to the completion of those already begun rather than to the erection of new ones, St Eustache in Paris being nearly the only exception of importance prior to the 17th century.

We have from time to time dwelt upon the important consideration which must not be lost sight of, viz. that nearly all the buildings erected in France up to the accession of Henry IV. were conceived and carried out in the spirit of the Flamboyant Gothic style, cinque-cento details mixed up with Gothic at first, then superseding them, and even when the influence of the Italian revivalists began to exert itself, still retaining much of her traditional methods of design. If this was the case in civil architecture, it was naturally more pronounced in the additions made to ecclesiastical structures, and the gradual development of the style may be more easily followed in the latter. These are, however, so numerous, and they are so universally spread throughout France, that only a few of the most interesting examples can be here given; for instance, the porch of St Michel at Dijon; the upper part of the western towers of the cathedrals of Orleans and Tours; the three eastern chapels of St Jacques, Dieppe, built at the cost of Jean Ango, a celebrated merchant-prince of Dieppe, to whose château at Varengeville we have already referred; the eastern chapels of St Peter’s, Caen, from the designs of Hector Sohier (1521), both internally and externally of great interest; the west end of the church at Vétheuil (Seine-et-Oise); the magnificent work of the west front and tower of the church at Gisors; the upper part of the west front of the cathedral at Angers; the portals of the church at Auxonne (Fichot); the choir at Tillières; the lantern of the church of St Peter, Coutances (1541); the porch of the Dalbade at Toulouse; and the north front of the church of Ste Clotilde at Les Andelys, which dates from the age of Henry II.

The church of St Eustache at Paris, begun in 1533, but not completed till the end of the century, is a large cruciform Gothic structure with lofty double aisles on each side and carried round the choir, and rectangular chapels round the whole building, excepting the west end. Structurally also it possesses all the most characteristic features of the Gothic church, with nave arcades carried on compound piers, triforium and clerestory, vaulted throughout, and flying buttresses outside. Close examination shows that all the details are of the early cinque-cento work, panelled pilasters of varying proportions, but with Renaissance capitals, corbels, niches and canopies all grouped together in a Gothic manner, and quite opposed to the principles of the Italian revivalists; what is more remarkable is that though long before its completion these principles had already borne fruit in the Louvre and Tuileries, the original conception was adhered to, and the portals of the north and south transepts (the last features added, with the exception of the ugly west front of the 18th century) still retain the character of the early French Renaissance.

In St Étienne-du-Mont, sometimes claimed as a second example, the church is Flamboyant Gothic throughout, the chief additions being the magnificent rood-screen of 1600, and the west portal, in which the banded columns of the Bourbon period form the chief features.

Coming to churches of later date, Salomon de Brosse (c. 1565-1627), the architect of the Luxembourg palace, added in 1616 a fresh front to the church of St Gervais, finely proportioned and of pure Italian design, which contrasts favourably with the Jesuits’ church of St Paul and St Louis (1627-1641), overladen with rococo ornament; then came the churches of the Sorbonne (1629), by Jacques Lemercier, and of the Val-de-Grace (1645), by François Mansart, the dome of the latter, though small, being a fine design; the church of the Invalides, also by Mansart, the dome of which is the most graceful in France; the cathedral of Nancy (1703-1742), by Jules Hardouin Mansart and Germain Boffrand (1667-1754), the principal front of which is flanked by two towers with octagonal lanterns which group so well with the central portion (of the usual design, in two stages with pilasters and coupled columns, carrying a third stage with circular pediment) that it is unfortunate it should be almost the only example of its kind; and lastly the church of Ste Geneviève, better known as the Panthéon (1755), by Jacques Germain Soufflot (1713-1780), the dome of which is based largely on that of St Peter’s in Rome. The main building with its great portico is a simple and fine piece of design, and unlike St Peter’s the dome is well seen from every point of view; the decoration of its walls with paintings by Puvis de Chavannes and other French artists has now rendered the interior one of the most interesting in France.  (R. P. S.) 


Renaissance Architecture in Spain

In Spain, as in France, the revival of classic architecture was engrafted on the Flamboyant style of the country, influenced here and there by Moorish work, so that the earlier examples of Spanish Renaissance constitute a transitional style which lasted till the accession of Philip II. (1558), who introduced what was then considered to be the purer Italian style of Palladio and Vignola. This, however, did not seem to have had much attraction for the Spaniards, owing to its coldness and formality, so that in the latter half of the 17th century a reaction took place in favour of the most depraved and decadent architecture in existence.

The magnificence of the earlier Renaissance work, which was introduced into Spain when she was at the zenith of her power, and (owing to the discovery of a new world) the possessor of enormous wealth, has scarcely yet been recognized, in consequence of the greater attraction of the Moorish architecture; there is no doubt that its exuberant richness in the 16th century derives its inspiration from the latter, and especially so in patios or courts found in every class of building, ecclesiastical as well as civil. There is still, however, another characteristic in the early Renaissance of Spain, which is not found in Italy or France, and which again owes its source to Moorish work, where the external walls and towers consist of simple plain masonry, and the rich decoration, generally in stucco brilliantly coloured and gilded, is confined to the courts and to the interiors of their magnificent halls. The Italian method of decorating the external front of the palaces with flat pilasters of the various orders placed at regular intervals, the windows and doors forming features of second-rate importance, was not followed by the architects of the Spanish Renaissance, who retained the simple plain masonry and reserved their decorations for the entrance doorways and windows, emphasizing therefore these features, and by contrast increasing their value and interest.

Instead also of the huge cornicione which the Italians employed to give the shadows required to emphasize the crowning features of their palaces, the Spanish architects preferred to obtain a similar effect by an open arcaded upper storey, which, as Fergusson remarks, “forms one of the most pleasing architectural features that can be applied to palatial architecture, giving lightness combined with shadow exactly where wanted for effect and where they can be applied without any apparent interference with solidity.” These galleries would seem to have been provided to serve as promenades to the occupants of the palace, and more especially for the ladies when it would have been unwise or imprudent for them to venture into the streets. There is one well-known example in France, in the château of Blois, which is so attractive a feature that it is singular it has not been more often adopted.

Instead also of the monotonous balustrade, which is invariably found in Italy, the Spanish architects introduced richly carved crestings, with finials at regular intervals, a feature probably borrowed from Flamboyant Gothic and Moorish.

The three periods into which the architectural phases of the Renaissance style in Spain are divided are:—(1) The Plateresque or Silversmiths’ work, from the conquest of Granada to the reign of Philip II. (2) The purer Italian style, called by the Spanish the Greco-Roman, though it has no Greek elements in its design, being based on the work of Palladio and Vignola. This style prevailed until the end of the 17th century. (3) The Rococo or Churrigueresque style, so called from the name of the architect, José Churriguera (d. 1725), the chief leader of the movement, which lasted for about 100 years.

Ecclesiastical Architecture.—The cathedral of Granada, built from the designs of Diego de Siloé, is the earliest example of the Renaissance in Spain, and in some respects the most remarkable, not only for its plan, in which there is an entirely new feature, but for the scheme adopted in the vaulting, which covers the whole church, and shows that its architect had studied the earlier Gothic churches, and was well acquainted with the principles of thrust and counter-thrust developed in them. The cathedral is 400 ft. long by 230 ft. wide, and therefore of the first class as far as size is concerned. The western portion consists of nave and double aisles on each side, the outer aisle being carried round the whole church and giving access to the chapels which enclose the building. The principal feature of the cathedral is at the east end, where the place of the ordinary apse is occupied by a great circular area, 70 ft. in diameter, crowned by a lofty dome, in the centre of which in a flood of light stands the high altar. The vista from the nave through the great arch (37 ft. 6 in. wide and 97 ft. high) is extremely fine, and it is strange that it should be the only example of its kind. The west front was completed at a later date; the only feature of it belonging to the original church being the north-west tower, which, in its design, resembles the south-west tower of the church at Gisors in France. There are two other important Renaissance cathedrals at Jaen and Valladolid. The latter was built from a design of Juan de Badajoz in 1585 but never completed. On the south side of the cathedral is the chapel in which the Catholic kings lie buried, where there are two fine marble tombs enclosed by the reja or wrought-iron screen partly gilt, forged in 1522 by Maestre Bartholomé. The sagrario or parish church, also on the south side, is a small version of the scheme of design employed in the cathedral.

In Spain, as in France, magnificent portals have been added to cathedrals and churches, and these are amongst the finest works of the Renaissance period. The more remarkable of these are the portals of the cathedral of Malaga, a deeply recessed porch, enriched with slender shafts and niches between; of Santa Engracia at Saragossa; and of Santo Domingo and the cathedral at Salamanca. Externally the Renaissance domes over the crossings of Spanish cathedrals are poor, but this is compensated for by the lofty steeples which form striking features. The western towers of the cathedral at Valladolid; the tower of the Seo in Saragossa, which bears some resemblance to Wren’s steeples in the setting back of the several storeys and the crowning with octagonal lanterns; the tower of the cathedral Del Pilar at Saragossa, and that at Santiago, are all interesting examples of the Spanish Renaissance.

One of the most beautiful features of the Spanish Renaissance is found in the magnificent rejas or wrought-iron grilles, richly gilt, which form the enclosures of the chapels. Besides the example at Granada, others are found at Seville, where is the masterpiece of Sancho Muñoz (1528); at Palencia (1582); Cuenca (1557), where there are three fine examples; Toledo; Salamanca; and other cathedrals. The iron pulpit at Avila, the eagle lectern at Cuenca and the staircase railing at Burgos are all remarkable works in metal.

Secular Architecture.—With the exception of the magnificent portals, the finest works of the Renaissance in Spain as in France are to be found in the secular buildings, but with this difference, that the best examples in France are those built in the country or in comparatively small provincial towns, whereas in Spain they are all in the midst of the larger towns, and further they are not confined to palaces and châteaux; monasteries and universities coming in for an equal share in the great architectural development.

The characteristic style of the Spanish architecture of the Renaissance period is due probably to the influence of the earlier Moorish work, where the value of the rich Alhambresque decorations in the entrance doorways and windows, and the patios or courts, is enhanced by contrast with the plain masonry of their walls and towers. This influence had already been felt in the Spanish flamboyant Gothic panelling and tracery; when translated into Renaissance, and probably, at first, executed by Italian artists, it displayed a variety and beauty in its design scarcely inferior to some of the best work in Italy. And this development, taking place at a time when Spain was overflowing with wealth, resulted in that exuberant richness we find in the entrance doorways and windows, the external galleries of the upper storey, and the rich cresting surmounting the cornice.

Comparison with the contemporary and even earlier work in Italy, where the principal thought of the architect would seem to have been to break the wall surface by an unmeaning series of flat pilasters, and then fill in the windows as features of secondary importance, will show that the Spanish architect recognized more fully the true principle of design, and although, in the profiles of their mouldings, and the execution of the sculpture decorating their pilasters and friezes, Spanish work in contrast with Italian looks somewhat coarse, in general picturesqueness it is far in advance of the palaces of Rome, Florence, and even Venice, and has not yet received the recognition which it deserves.

The earliest palace built in the Renaissance style is that which adjoins the Alhambra at Granada, and was begun by the emperor Charles V. for his own residence in 1527, but never completed. The building is nearly an exact square of 205 ft., with a great circular court in the centre, nearly 100 ft. in diameter. This central court was enclosed by a colonnade with Doric columns, and an upper storey with columns of the Ionic order. From the unfinished condition of the palace and the absence of roofs, it is difficult to decide what the form of the latter might have been. But the design, begun by Pedro Machuca and continued by Alonso Berruguete (1480-1561), is so remarkable that it ought to be better known. Its proximity to the Alhambra, however, deprives it of the attention which otherwise it deserves for the purity of its details and for its good proportion.

A second palace, the Alcazar at Toledo, was begun in 1540 by Charles II., but little else than the bare walls remain, as it was destroyed by fire in 1886, after having been twice rebuilt. In its design it belongs to the true Spanish type of the Renaissance, with the simple ashlar masonry of its walls and the accentuation of the principal entrance doorway and the windows. In this palace also the plan is square, about 110 ft., with a square courtyard (240 ft.).

The third palace built, the Escorial, some 20 m. to the north-east of Madrid, is the most renowned—more, however, on account of its immense size than for its design. It was built for Philip II. and begun in 1563 from the designs of Juan Bautista de Toledo, being completed by his pupil, Juan de Herrera, in 1584. The principal front is 680 ft. in width, the depth of the palace 540 ft., with the king’s residence in the rear. The plan is a fine conception, and consists of a large entrance court in the centre, with the church in the rear, having on the right the Colegio and on the left the monastery, with numerous courts in each case. The church is 320 ft. long by 220 ft. wide, the principal portion being the intersection of the nave and transept, which is covered by a dome. The coro is placed above the entrance vestibule, which is 100 ft. long and 27 ft. high, imperfectly lighted, but by contrast emphasizing the dimensions and the splendour of the church beyond. Externally the grouping is fine; the lofty towers at the angles, the central composition of the main front, and at the rear of the court the front of the church with its corner towers and the great dome, all form an exceedingly picturesque group, and it is only when one begins to examine the work in detail that its poverty in design reveals itself. Instead of accentuating the windows of the principal storeys and giving them appropriate dressings, the fronts are pierced with innumerable windows, which give the appearance of a factory, and the angle towers, nine storeys high, look like ordinary “sky-scrapers,” without any of the dignity and importance which the architectural design of a palace requires. The same applies to the great entrance courts five storeys high with an attic, all of the most commonplace design. Internally the church is fine, but it is dwarfed by the immense size of the Doric pilasters, 62 ft. high, all in plain stone masonry, the coldness of which is emphasized by the rich colouring of the vaulted ceilings and the elaboration of the pavement, all in coloured marbles. The palace is regarded by the Spaniards as the Versailles of Spain, and if it had been possible to have interchanged some of the features, to transfer to Versailles some of the towers, and to break up the wall surface of the Escorial with the superimposed order of pilasters, which became monotonous by their repetition at Versailles, both palaces would have gained.

The palace at Madrid is the last of the series, and although it was begun at a much later period, by Philip V. in 1737, from the designs of the Italian architect Sachetti, it is a fine and simple composition, consisting of a lofty ground storey with coursed masonry, carrying semi-detached columns of the Ionic order, rising through three storeys, the whole crowned by an entablature and a bold balustrade. The slightly projecting wings at each end of the main front and the central frontispiece give that variety and play of light and shade of which one regrets the absence in the Cancellaria palace at Rome.

We must, however, retrace our steps to the beginning of the 16th century, to take up the early buildings of the style; the palace of the Conde de Monterey at Salamanca, built in 1530 from the designs of Alonso de Covarrubias, is a fine example. The masonry of the ground and first floors is of the simplest character, the decoration being confined to the entrance doorways and to the windows of the important rooms. It is on the second floor that the design becomes enriched with an open arcade and entablature above, crowned with a rich cresting. In the wings at the angles, and in the central block, the buildings are carried up an additional storey, the plain masonry of which gives value to the open galleries between. On these wings and the central block are other galleries crowned with entablature and cresting. These features therefore form towers, which break the sky-line. There is still another treatment peculiar to the Spanish Renaissance, in which the example of the Moorish palaces would seem to have been followed, viz. the elaborate carving of the pilasters and their capitals, of the panelling and the horizontal friezes, which is extremely minute and finished in the lower storeys, but increases in scale and projection towards the upper storeys. This is very notable in the entrance gateway of the university of Salamanca (Plate V., fig. 73), where the carved arabesque in the panelling above the doors is of the finest description, equal to what might be found in cabinet work, whilst that of the upper portion immediately under the cornice is at least twice the scale of that below and is in bold relief.

The principal buildings characteristic of the Spanish Renaissance, in chronological order, are:—the hospital of Santa Cruz at Toledo, built in 1504-1514, and the Hospicio de los Reyes at Santiago (1504), both from the designs of Enrique de Egas, the former with a magnificent portal rising through two storeys and a gallery with an open arcade above; the Irish college at Salamanca, built (1521) from the designs of Pedro de Ibarra, Alonso de Covarrubias, and Berruguete; the convent of San Marcos, Leon, by Juan de Badajoz (1514-1545)—here, however, the whole façade is panelled out in imitation of late Gothic work, Renaissance pilasters and devices taking the place of the buttresses set angle-wise and flamboyant panelling; the Colegio de San Ildefonso at Alcalá de Henares (formerly the seat of the university), built in 1557-1584 by Rodrigo Gil de Ontañon.

Of municipal buildings the Lonja or exchange at Toledo (1551), built in brick-work, is somewhat Florentine in style.

The town hall of Seville (1527-1532), by Diego de Riaño and Martin Garuza, may be taken as the most gorgeous example in Spain (Plate V., fig. 74). The front facing the square is very simple, compared with the façade in the street at the rear, and here again we find, in the ornamental carving of the windows and door mouldings on the ground floor, a different scale from that adopted on the first floor, where the shafts are enriched with a superabundance of carved ornament in strong relief. There is still one other feature of great importance in Spain, the magnificent galleries of the patios or courts found in all the important buildings. It is from these galleries that access is obtained to the rooms on the first floor. They have sometimes arcades on the first floor, and columns with bracket-capitals on the upper storey. There is an infinite variety of design in these capitals, the brackets on each side of which lessen the bearing of the architrave.

The earliest Renaissance example of these patios (1525) is in the Irish college at Salamanca; it was carved by Berruguete, Alonso de Covarrubias being the architect. In the same town is the Casa de la Salinas, another example with fine sculpture. In the Casa Polentina (1550) at Avila, and the Casa de Miranda at Burgos, columns with bracket-capitals are employed on both storeys. Rich examples are found in the Casa de la Infanta and Casa Zaporta (1580), both at Saragossa. Of late examples the patio of the Lonja at Seville by Juan de Herrera resembles in its style the courtyard of the Farnese palace at Rome; and the same style obtains in the court of the Escorial, built at a time when the purer Italian style was introduced into Spain. These courts, though cold in design, compared with the earlier Renaissance type, are of fine proportion. Two other examples are found in the bishop’s palace at Alcalá de Henares, one of which has a magnificent staircase.  (R. P. S.) 


Renaissance Architecture in England

In England, as in France, the influence of the Classic Revival was first seen in connexion with tombs and church work, though not nearly to the same extent as in France, where throughout the country the work of the Italian sculptor is to be found not only in churches but in country mansions. On the other hand, two if not three of the Italian artists who came over to England were men of some reputation, such as Pietro Torrigiano, a Florentine sculptor who was invited over by Henry VIII. and entrusted with the tomb of Henry VII. in Westminster Abbey (1512-1518), and executed the tomb of John Young (in terra-cotta) in the Rolls chapel (1516). Another Italian was Giovanni da Maiano, who was also a Florentine, who modelled the busts of the emperors in the terra-cotta medallions over the entrance gates at Hampton Court, and probably the panel flanked by Corinthian pilasters, in which are modelled the arms of Cardinal Wolsey, also in terra-cotta. Benedetto da Rovezzano (1478-c. 1552), and Toto del Nunziata, Italian artists of note, were also employed in England, the first on the tomb of Cardinal Wolsey (now destroyed), and the second on the palace of Nonsuch, built by Henry VIII., which was pulled down in 1670. Other early Renaissance work is found at Christchurch Priory, in the Salisbury Chantry (1529), the design of which is Gothic and some of the details Italian, and in the tombs of the countess of Richmond in Westminster Abbey (1519), of the earl of Arundel in Arundel church, Sussex, of Henry, Lord Marney, at Layer Marney (1525), of the duke of Richmond (1537) and the duchess of Norfolk (1572) in Framlingham church; and of Queen Anne of Cleves (1557) in Westminster Abbey, attributed to Haveus of Cleves. The sedilia (in terra-cotta) of Wymondham church, Norfolk, the choir screen at St Cross, and Bishop Gardiner’s chantry, Winchester, and the vaulted roof of Bishop West’s chapel at Ely, all show the direct influence of the Italian cinque-cento style. The most beautiful example in England of Italian woodwork is the organ screen in King’s College chapel, Cambridge (1534-1539), which, except for the coats of arms, the roses, portcullis and other English emblems, might be in some Italian church, so perfect is its design and execution. Of early domestic work, Sutton Place (1523-1525), near Guildford, Surrey, is a good example of transition work. The design is Tudor, but the window mullions and panels inserted throughout the structure, which is built in brick, are all enriched with cinque-cento details in terra-cotta, and probably executed by Italian craftsmen. Similar enrichments in the same material are found decorating the entrance tower (1522-1525) at Layer Marney, Essex.

Nearly all the examples above mentioned come within the first half of the 16th century. Passing into the second half and dealing with domestic architecture, we find the history of the introduction of classic work into England more complicated than in other countries, because in addition to the Italian, we have French, Flemish and German influences to reckon with, and it is sometimes difficult to decide from which source the features are borrowed. There were, however, two still more important considerations to be taken into account—firstly, the extremely conservative character of the English people, who were satisfied with the traditional work of the country, and the methods by which it was carried out, and secondly, the great progress in design which was made during the Elizabethan period, resulting in a phase which was peculiarly English and did not lend itself easily to classic embellishment.

Already in the last phase of Gothic work, to which the title of Tudor is generally given, important changes were being made in the planning of the larger country mansions, and features were introduced which seemed to give an impetus towards their further development.

The most important of these features were the following:—the bow window, rectangular or polygonal, of which the earliest examples date from the reign of Edward IV. (1461-1483), such as Eltham Palace in Kent, Cowdray Castle in Sussex, and Thornbury Castle in Gloucestershire, and at a later period at Hampton Court; octagonal towers or turrets flanking the entrance gateway at each end of the main front; the projecting forward of the side wings so as to get better light to the rooms in them by having windows on both sides, such projections varying the otherwise monotonous effect of a uniform façade without breaks; the long gallery (generally on an upper floor), which was an important characteristic of the Elizabethan house; and last but not least, the adherence to the type of old Tudor window, with its moulded mullions and transoms but with square head.

One of the first modifications was the introduction of semicircular bow windows, as in Kirby Hall, Northamptonshire, followed by a second example at Burton Agnes in Yorkshire (1602-1610), and a third at Lilford Hall in Northamptonshire (1635). They were carried up through three storeys at Kirby Hall, the upper storey in the roof; three storeys at Burton Agnes with balcony and balustrade; and two storeys at Lilford Hall—these features being extremely simple but fine in effect, and the windows with moulded mullions and transoms lending themselves naturally to the curve.

The projecting bays and bow windows seemed to have such an attraction for the builders of these country mansions that at Burton Agnes (with a rectangular plan of 120 ft. by 80 ft.) there are no fewer than thirteen of them, which break up the wall surface and give a picturesque group externally, whilst internally they add to the fine effect of the rooms. At Barlborough Hall, Derbyshire, with a frontage of 80 ft., there is a central rectangular bay forming the entrance porch and carried up above the roof, and two large octagonal bow windows which rise as towers with an extra storey. In all these mansions the only influence which the Revival seems to have exerted was in the introduction of an entablature, which sometimes takes the place of the Gothic string course, balustrades which crown the building, but with no projecting cornice, and gables with curved outlines and Renaissance panels or scrolls. The fact is that, with prominent features so widely differing from those which were represented on the perspective drawings attached to the earlier publications of the five orders, such as those of Serlio (1537) and Vredeman de Vries of Antwerp (1577), the only course left open to the master-mason was to decorate the principal entrance with columns and pilasters of the Classic orders, sometimes superposed one upon the other.

To the further development of this singular introduction of the Classic orders we shall return; for the moment it will be better to follow a chronological sequence and take up the principal examples of the country mansion, some of which were from the first intended to be Classic buildings. Of the house built at Gorhambury in Hertfordshire (1563) for Sir Nicholas Bacon, the father of Lord Bacon, too little remains to render its design intelligible, except that it still retains in its lofty window the Tudor pointed arch; but in Longleat in Wiltshire, built by Sir John Thynne (1567-1580), we have a typical example, the design of which departs from the English type, though it would seem to have been carried out according to the traditional custom of entrusting the whole work to a master-mason, and furnishing him with sketch designs of some kind suggesting the required arrangements of the plan, the principal features of the exterior elevation and the internal disposition. This custom was adhered to far into the 18th century at Oxford and Cambridge, where the alterations and additions to some of the colleges, such as the chapel of Clare College, Cambridge (1763), were carried out by master-masons or builders who were supplied with sketch designs and sometimes even the materials for the buildings they had to carry out, notwithstanding the existence of properly trained architects, who from the first half of the 17th century were usually entrusted with the preparation of the necessary designs for new structures of any considerable importance.

The name of the designer of Longleat is not known; the master-mason was Robert Smithson, who in 1580 went to Wollaton in Nottinghamshire and constructed the mansion there. Longleat is so Italian in style that it must have been conceived by some one who had been in Italy, because it departs from the usual English type. The plan is rectangular, with a frontage of 220 ft. by 180 ft. deep, an entrance porch in the centre, with two projecting bays on each side carried up through the three storeys, and three similar bays on the flanks. The whole block is crowned with a parapet, the centre portion of which is pierced with a balustrade, but the main cornice bears no resemblance to the Italian feature, being only that of the entablature of the upper order. The projecting bays are decorated with pilasters of the Doric, Ionic and Corinthian orders, each with its proper entablature. These classic features would seem to have been copied from a work by John Shute, painter and architect, who had been sent to Italy by the duke of Northumberland in 1551, and in 1563 brought out his Chief Groundes of Architecture, the first practical work published in English on architecture. Shute died in the same year, but two other editions appeared in 1579 and 1584, which shows that it must have had an extensive circulation and probably exercised the greatest influence on English architecture. A second book on the orders, already referred to as published in 1577 by Jan Vredeman de Vries of Antwerp, was not of the same type, for instead of confining his work, like Shute and Serlio, to a simple representation of the Classic orders, he introduced, on the shafts of his columns and on the pedestals, designs of the most debased rococo type, with additional plates suggesting their application to various buildings. Robert Smithson, or his client Sir Fr. Willoughby, apparently obtained a copy of this book, and the result is seen (Plate VI., fig. 76) in the mansion built at Wollaton (1580-1588), in which we find the first examples of elaborately decorated pedestals; crestings on the angle towers, the design of which is known as strap-work; and medallions with busts in them, enclosed with twisted curves similar to those which flowers and leaves take when thrown into the fire. The plan and the scheme of the design of Wollaton is, however, so far superior to the usual type, that it may fairly be ascribed to John Thorpe, an architect or surveyor, of whose drawings there is a large collection in the Soane Museum, representing many of the more important mansions of the Elizabethan era; some of his own design, others either plans measured from existing buildings upon which he was called in to report or copies from other sources, and some reproduced from published works such as Vredeman de Vries’s pattern book and Androuet du Cerceau’s Des plus excellents bastiments de France (1576).

To John Thorpe is also attributed the design of Kirby Hall (1570-1572) in Northamptonshire, in which the plan of the feudal castle with great central court is still retained. This court is symmetrically designed, and was evidently considered to be the principal feature, the decoration being far richer than that of the exterior of the building.

Amongst other important mansions are Moreton Old Hall (1550-1559, partly rebuilt in 1602; see House, Plate III., fig. 11) in Cheshire, a fine house in half-timber; Knole House, Kent (1570), possibly also designed by John Thorpe; Charlecote Hall (1572) near Stratford-on-Avon; Burleigh House, Northamptonshire (1575), the most remarkable feature in which is the great tower in the courtyard, decorated with the Doric, Ionic and Corinthian orders superposed, the design apparently suggested by a similar feature in the château of Anet, France (published in du Cerceau); Apethorpe Hall, Northamptonshire (1580); Montacute House, Somersetshire (1580-1600); Castle Ashby, Northamptonshire (1583-1589); Brereton Hall, Cheshire (1575-1586), in brick and stone; Westwood Park, Worcestershire (1590); Wakehurst Place, Sussex (1590); Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire (1590-1597); Longford Castle, Wiltshire (1591-1612); Cobham Hall, Kent (1594); Dorton House, Buckinghamshire (1596); Speke Hall, Lancashire (1598), partly in half-timber work; Holland House, Kensington (1606; wings and arcades, 1624); Bolsover Castle, Derbyshire (1607-1613); Charlton House, Kent (1607); Bramshill, Hampshire (1607-1612), an interesting example of Jacobean architecture; Hatfield, Hertfordshire (1608-1611), with an extremely fine courtyard (north side in brick and stone, 1621); Audley End, Essex (1610-1616), a great portion of which was afterwards pulled down; Ham House, Surrey (1610), chiefly in brick; Pinkie House, at Musselburgh in Midlothian (1613); Aston Hall near Birmingham (1618-1635); Blickling Hall, Norfolk (1619); Heriot’s hospital, Edinburgh (1628-1659); and Lanhydroc, Cornwall (1636-1641), which brings us down to the period of the pure Italian Revival introduced by Inigo Jones.

We have already referred to the reproduction of the Classic orders, superposed as an enrichment of the principal entrance doorways. In addition to Burton Agnes and Burleigh House, there are endless examples in mansions and country houses, but the most remarkable are those at Oxford: in the old Schools, where coupled columns flank the entrance gateway with the five orders superposed, and in Merton and Wadham Colleges, with four orders (the Tuscan being omitted), in neither case taking any cognizance of the levels of windows or string courses of the earlier building to which they were applied, or serving any structural purpose. The orders were all taken from one of the pattern books, and in the Schools and in Merton College the rococo ornament and strap-work found in Vredeman de Vries’s work were copied with more or less fidelity to the original. There are, however, two or three buildings in Northamptonshire which are free from rococo work, and in their design form a pleasant contrast, as much to the elaboration of the buildings just described as to the cold formality of the works of the later Italian style. Lyveden new buildings (1577), the Triangular Lodge at Rushton, and the Market House at Rothwell, are all examples in which the orders from Serlio or John Shute are faithfully represented, and are of a refined character; in the first named the entablatures only of the orders are introduced. In Rushton Hall (1595) the cresting of the bow windows shows the evil influence of Vredeman de Vries’s pattern-book and of numerous designs by him and other Belgian artists, which were printed at the Plantin press. Two other publications of a similar rococo type were brought out in Germany, one by Cammermayer (1564) and the other by Dietterlin (1594), both at Nuremberg; neither of them would seem to have been much known in England, but indirectly through German craftsmen they may have influenced some of the work of the Jacobean period, and more particularly the chimney pieces and the ceilings of the gallery and other important rooms in which strap-work is found. Among the finer examples of ceilings of early date are those of Knole, Kent; Haddon Hall, Derbyshire; Sizergh Hall, Westmorland; South Wraxall Manor House, Wiltshire; the Red Lodge, Bristol; Chastleton House; and Canons Ashby—in the last three with pendants. Two of the best-designed ceilings of modest dimensions are those of the Reindeer Inn at Banbury and the Star Inn at Great Yarmouth. The principal decorative feature of the reception rooms was the chimney-piece, rising from floor to ceiling, in early examples being very simple—as those at Broughton House and Lacock Abbey—but at a later date overlaid with rococo strap-work ornament and misshapen figures, as at South Wraxall and Castle Ashby. One of the most beautiful chimney-pieces is in the ballroom at Knole, probably of Flemish design, but at Cobham Hall, Hardwick, Hatfield and Bolsover Castle are fine examples in which different-coloured marbles are employed, there being a remarkable series at the last-named place.

The long gallery has already been incidentally mentioned. Its origin has never been clearly explained; it was generally situated in an upper storey, and may have been for exercise, like the eaves galleries in Spain. The dimensions were sometimes remarkable; one at Ampthill (no longer existing) was 245 ft. long; and a second at Audley End, 220 ft. long and 34 ft. wide. Of moderate length, the best known are those of Haddon Hall, with rich wainscotting carried up to the ceiling, Hardwick, Knole, Longleat, Blickling Hall and Sutton Place, Surrey.

In early work the staircases were occasionally in stone with circular or rectangular newels, but the more general type was that known as the open well staircase, with balustrade and newels in timber. Of these the more remarkable examples are those at Hatfield; Benthall Hall, Shropshire; Sydenham House, Devonshire; Charterhouse, London; Ockwells Manor House, Berkshire; Blickling, Norfolk; and the Old Star Inn at Lewes, Sussex.

One of the important features in the old halls was the screen separating the hall from the passage, over the latter being a gallery; the front of the screen facing the hall was considered to be its chief decoration, and was accordingly enriched with columns of the Classic orders, and balustrade or cresting over. The screens of Charterhouse (London), Trinity College (Cambridge), Wadham College (Oxford), and the Middle Temple Hall (London), are remarkable for their design and execution. The great hammer-beam roof (1562-1572) in the last named is the finest example of the Renaissance in existence (see Roofs, Plate I., fig. 25).

With the exception of chantry or other chapels added to existing buildings, there was only one church built in the period we are now describing, St John’s at Leeds. This church is divided down the centre by an arcade of pointed arches, virtually constituting a double nave, and the rood-screen is carried through both. The window tracery and the arcade show how the master-mason adhered to the traditional Gothic style, but the rood-screen, notwithstanding its rococo decoration, is a fine Jacobean work, eclipsed only by the magnificent example at Croscombe, which, with the pulpit and other church accessories, dating from 1616, constitutes the most complete example of that period.

The pure Italian style, as it is sometimes called, was introduced into France probably by Serlio, and the result of its first influence is shown in the Louvre, begun in 1546. It entered Spain about 20 years later, under the rule of Philip II., and Germany about the same time, creating about Inigo
Jones.
100 years later a reaction in Spain in favour of a less cold and formal style, and scarcely taking any root in Germany. In England its first appearance does not take place till 1619, when Inigo Jones, after his second visit to Rome, designed an immense palace, measuring 1150 ft. by 900 ft., of which the only portion built was the Banqueting House in Whitehall (Plate VI., fig. 75); a fine design, in which the emphasizing of the central portion by columns in place of pilasters is an original treatment not found in Italy, but of excellent effect. Unfortunately many subsequent designs of Inigo Jones were either not carried out or have since been destroyed; but nothing approached this admirable work in Whitehall.

Among his buildings still remaining are St Paul’s, Covent Garden (1631), a simple and massive structure which requires perhaps an Italian sun to make it cheerful; York Stairs Water-gate (1626); the front of Wilton House, near Salisbury (1633); the Queen’s House, Greenwich (1617), a very poor design; Coleshill, Berkshire; Raynham Park, Norfolk, with weakly-designed gables and an entrance doorway with curved broken pediment, which can scarcely be regarded as pure Italian; and Ashburnham House, Westminster (the staircase of which is extremely fine), carried out after his death by his pupil John Webb, who, at Thorpe Hall, near Peterborough (1656), shows that he possessed some of his master’s qualities in his employment of simple and bold details.

Sir Christopher Wren, who follows, was by far the greatest architect of the Italian school, though curiously enough he had never been in Italy. His first work was the library of Pembroke College, Cambridge (1663-1664), followed by the Wren. Sheldonian theatre at Oxford, in the construction of the roof of which, with a span of 68 ft., he showed his great scientific knowledge. In 1665 he went to Paris, where he stopped six months studying the architectural buildings there and in its vicinity, and where he came across Bernini, whose designs for destroying the old Louvre (fortunately not carried out) were being started. On his return Wren occupied himself with designs for the rebuilding of the old St Paul’s, but these were rendered useless by the great fire of the 22nd of September 1666, which opened out his future career. His plan for the reconstruction of the city was not followed, owing to the opposition of the owners of the sites, but he began plans for the rebuilding of the churches and of St Paul’s cathedral. In his treatment of the former, where he was obliged to limit himself to the old sites, often very irregular, and in most cases to the old foundations, he adopted, perhaps quite unconsciously, one of the principles of ancient Roman architecture, and made the central feature the key of his plan, fitting the aisles, vestries, porches, &c., into what remained of the site; this central feature varied according to its extent and proportions, and sometimes from a desire to work out a new problem. The central dome was a favourite conception, the finest example of which is that of St Stephen’s, Walbrook (1676); other domed churches are St Mary-at-Hill, St Mildred’s, Bread Street, St Mary Abchurch (1681), where the dome virtually covers the whole area of the church, and St Swithin’s, Cannon Street, an octagonal example. In St Anne and St Agnes, Aldersgate, the crossing is covered with an intersecting barrel vault; and in this small church, about 52 ft. square with four supporting columns, he manages to get nave, transept and choir with aisles in the angles. In those churches where there was sufficient length, the ordinary arrangement of nave and aisle is adopted, with an elliptical barrel vault over the nave, sometimes intersected and lighted from clerestory windows, the finest example of these being St Bride’s, Fleet Street; other examples are St Mary-le-Bow (Cheapside), Christchurch (Newgate) and St Andrew’s (Holborn). In St James’s, Piccadilly, of which the site was a new one, the plan of nave and aisles with galleries over, and a fine internal design with barrel-vaulted ceiling, was adopted; the exterior is very simple, which suggests that Wren attached much more importance to the interior. It should be pointed out that in all these cases, the vaults, to which we have referred, were in lath and plaster, and consequently covered over with slate roofs, and as a rule the exteriors (which are rarely visible) were deemed to be of less importance. This is, however, made up for by the position selected for the towers, and in their varied design those of St Mary-le-Bow, St Bride’s (Fleet Street) and St Magnus (London Bridge) are perhaps the finest of a most remarkable series.

The foundation stone of St Paul’s cathedral was laid in 1675, and the lantern was finished in 1710. The silhouette of the dome (Plate II., fig. 66), which is, of course, its principal feature, is far superior to those of St Peter’s at Rome, or the Invalides or Panthéon at Paris, and the problem of its construction with the central lantern was solved much more satisfactorily than in any other example. Wren realized that the attempt to render a dome beautiful internally as well as externally could only be obtained by having three shells in its construction; the inner one for inside effect, the outer one to give greater prominence externally, and the third, of conical form, to support the lantern.

In plan, Wren’s design (fig. 53) was in accordance with the traditional arrangement of an English cathedral, with nave, north and south transepts and choir, in all cases with side aisles, and a small apse to the choir. The great dome over the crossing is, like the octagon at Ely, of the same width as nave and aisles together. It resembles the plan of that cathedral also in the four great arches opening into nave, transepts and choir, with smaller arches between. Instead of the great barrel vault of St Peter’s, Rome, Wren introduced a series of cupolas over the main arms of the cathedral, which enabled him to light the same with clerestory windows; these are not visible on the exterior, as they are masked by the upper storey which Wren carried round the whole structure, in order, probably, to give it greater height and importance; by its weight, however, it serves to resist the thrust of the vaults transmitted by buttresses across the aisles. The grouping of the two lanterns on the west front with the central dome is extremely fine; the west portico is not satisfactory, but the semicircular porticoes of the north and south transepts are very beautiful features. Greater importance is given to the cathedral by raising it on a podium about 12 ft. above the level of the pavement outside, which enables the crypt under the whole cathedral to be lighted by side windows.

The principal examples of the churches which followed are those of St George’s, Bloomsbury; St Mary Woolnoth; Christ Church, Spitalfields, by Nicholas Hawksmoor; and St Mary-le-Strand (1714), and St Martin’s-in-the-Fields (1721), by James Gibbs. Gibbs’s interiors are second only to those of Wren, while Hawksmoor’s are very weak; in both cases, however, the exteriors are finely designed. Amongst subsequent works are St John’s, Westminster, and St Philip's, Birmingham (1710), by Thomas Archer; St George’s, Hanover Square (1713-1714), by John James; All Saints’ church, Oxford, by Dean Aldrich; St Giles-in-the-Fields (1731), by Henry Flitcroft; and St Leonard’s, Shoreditch (1736), by George Dance.


1911 Britannica-Architecture-St Paul’s.png

Fig. 53.—Plan of St Paul’s Cathedral, London.


Sir Christopher Wren’s chief monumental work was Greenwich hospital, in the arrangement of which he had to include the Queen’s House, and a block already begun on the west side. His solution was of the most brilliant kind, and seen from the river the grouping of the several blocks with the colonnade and cupolas of the two central ones is admirable.

Wren’s next great work was the alterations and additions to Hampton Court palace, begun in 1689, the east front facing the park (Plate VI., fig. 77), the south front facing the river, the fountain court and the colonnade opposite the great hall. Chelsea hospital (1682-1692), the south front (now destroyed) to Christ’s hospital (1692), and Winchester school (1684-1687), are all examples in brick with stone quoins, cornices, door and window dressings, which show how Wren managed with simple materials to give a monumental effect. The library which he built in Trinity College, Cambridge (1678), with arcades on two storeys divided by three-quarter detached columns of the Doric and Ionic orders, is based on the same principle of design as those in the court of the Farnese palace at Rome by Sangallo, a part of the palace which is not likely to have been known by him.

The results of the Italian Revival in domestic architecture were not altogether satisfactory, for although it is sometimes claimed that the style was adapted by its architects to the traditional requirements and customs of the English people, the contrary will be found if they are compared with the work of the 16th century. The chief aim seems to have been generally to produce a great display of Classic features, which, even supposing they followed more closely the ancient models, were quite superfluous and generally interfered with the lighting of the chief rooms, which were sacrificed to them. In fact there are many cases in which one cannot help feeling how much better the effect would be if the great porticoes rising through two storeys were removed. This is specially the case in Sir John Vanbrugh’s mansion, Seaton Delaval, in Northumberland (1720); his other works, Blenheim (1714) and Castle Howard (1702), are vulgarized also by the employment of the large orders. The same defect exists in Stoneleigh Abbey, Leamington, where the orders carried up through two and three storeys respectively destroy the scale of the whole structure.

Among other mansions, the principal examples are Houghton in Norfolk (1723), a fine work, the villa at Mereworth in imitation of the Villa Capra near Vicenza, and the front of old Burlington House (1718), copied from the Porto palace at Vicenza, by Colin Campbell; Holkham in Norfolk and Devonshire House, London, by William Kent; Ditchley in Oxfordshire, and Milton House near Peterborough, by Gibbs; Chesterfield House, London, by Isaac Ware; Wentworth House in Yorkshire (1740), and Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire (1747), by Henry Flitcroft; Spencer House, London (1762), by John Vardy; Prior Park and various works in Bath by John Wood; the Mansion House, London, by George Dance; Wardour in Wiltshire, Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire, and Worksop in Nottinghamshire (1763), by James Paine; Gopsall Hall, Ely House, Dover Street, London (1772), and Heveringham Hall in Suffolk, by Sir Robert Taylor, to whose munificence we owe the Taylor Buildings at Oxford; Harewood House in Yorkshire (1760), Lytham Hall in Lancashire, and (part of) Wentworth House in Yorkshire, by John Carr; and Luton Hoo (1767), now largely reconstructed, and Sion House (1761), the best-known mansions by Robert Adam, who with his brothers built the Adelphi and many houses in London. Adam designed a type of decoration in stucco for ceilings and mantelpieces, the dies of which are still in existence and are utilized extensively in modern houses. His labours were not confined to buildings, but extended to their decoration, furniture and fittings.

The works of Sir William Chambers were of a most varied nature, but his fame is chiefly based on Somerset House in the Strand, London (1776), with its façade facing the river, a magnificent work second only to Inigo Jones’s Whitehall, but infinitely more extensive and difficult to design. He was also the author of a work on The Decorative Part of Civil Architecture, which is still the standard work on the subject in England. His pupil, James Gandon, won the first gold medal given by the Royal Academy in 1769, and his principal work was the Custom House in Dublin (1781). Newgate prison (1770), a remarkable building now destroyed, was the chief work carried out by George Dance, jun.

Other buildings not yet mentioned are the Alcove and Banqueting Hall (Orangery) of Kensington Palace, by Wren; the Radcliffe library, Oxford, by Gibbs, an extremely fine work both externally and internally; Queen’s College, Oxford, by Hawksmoor; the county hall, Northampton, by Sir Roger Norwich; the town hall, Abingdon (1677), designer unknown; the Ashmolean museum, Oxford (1677), by T. Wood; Clare College, Cambridge, and St Catherine’s Hall, Cambridge (1640-1679), by Thomas and Robert Grumboll, master-masons; the custom house, King’s Lynn (1681), by Henry Bell; Nottingham Castle, designed by the duke of Newcastle in 1674 and carried out by March, his clerk of works—the central portion is finely proportioned, and it is only in the pilasters at the quoins that one recognizes the amateur; two houses in Cavendish Square, London (1717), on the north side, by John James; Lord Burlington’s villa (1740) at Chiswick, by William Kent, which with its internal decorations is still perfect; the celebrated Palladian Bridge at Wilton, by R. Morris; and last but not least, in consequence of its great influence on modern architecture, Sparrowe’s house at Ipswich (1567-1662), the timber oriel windows of which are now so often reproduced.  (R. P. S.) 


Renaissance Architecture in Germany

The classical revival does not seem to have taken root in Germany much before the middle of the 16th century, some forty to fifty years later than in France, from which country it is said to have been introduced, and in some of the early work there is a great similarity to French examples, but without the refinement and variety of detail which one finds in the châteaux of the Loire and in many of the French towns. In the rood-screen of the cathedral at Hildesheim (1546), the court of the town hall at Görlitz (1534), the portal of the Petershof at Halberstadt (1552), and the entrance gateway of the castle at Brieg (1553), one is able to recognize certain ornamental details and a similar superposition of pilasters in several storeys to that which is found in various towns in Normandy and on the Loire. In both countries the new style was engrafted on the last phase of the Gothic period, so forming at first a transitional style, which lasted about fifty years. Thus the lofty roofs which prevailed in the 15th century are developed further, but with this great divergence in the two countries. In France there are rarely gable ends, in Germany they are not only the chief characteristic feature of the main front, but are introduced in the side elevations in the shape of immense dormers with two or three storeys and rising the full height of the roof, as in the castle at Hämelschenburg near Hameln. Throughout Germany, therefore, the gable end and the dormer gable became the chief features on which they lavished all their ornamental designs, the main walls of the building being as a rule either in plain masonry, rubble masonry with stucco facing, or brick and stone. Other prominent features are the octagonal and circular oriel windows rising through two or three storeys at the corners of their buildings—rectangular bow windows in two or three storeys, which were allowed apparently to encroach on the pavement, and octagonal turrets or towers instead of circular as in France. In the vicinity of the Harz mountains, where timber was plentiful, a large proportion of the factories, houses and even public buildings, are erected in half-timber work with elaborate carving of the door and window jambs, projecting corbels, &c. At Hildesheim, Wernigerode, Goslar, &c., these structures are sometimes of immense size and richly decorated. Among early examples in stone, the porch added to the town hall of Cologne (1571), the projecting wings of the town halls at Halberstadt and Lemgo (1565), and the town halls at Posen (1550), Altenburg (1562-1567) and Rothenburg (1572-1590), are all picturesque examples more or less refined in design. In the last-named example the purer Italian style has exercised its influence in the principal doorway and in the arcaded gallery on the east front. This same influence shows itself in the courtyard of the town hall at Nuremberg, where the arcades of the two upper storeys might be taken for those of the courts of the palaces at Rome.

Amongst other 16th-century work there are two entrance gates at Danzig, the Hohe Tor (1588), a fine massive structure, and the Langgasse Tor (1600), more or less pure Italian in style. At Augsburg, the arsenal (1603-1607), by the architect Elias Holl (1573-1646), is of a bold and original design, and the town hall has magnificent ceilings and wainscotting round the walls of the principal halls. This brings us to the castle of Heidelberg (Plate VII., figs. 78, 79 and 80), which is looked upon by the Germans as the chef d’œuvre of the Renaissance in Germany. As seen from the great court it forms an interesting study, there being the work of three periods: in the centre the picturesque group of the older building (c. 1525), on the right the Otto-Heinrichs-Bau (1556-1559), and on the left the Friedrichs-Bau (1602-1607). Of the two the latter is the finer. The architect of the Otto-Heinrichs-Bau would seem to have been undecided whether to give greater prominence and projection to his pilasters and cornices or to his windows with their dressings and pediments, so he has compromised the matter by making them both about the same, and the effect is most monotonous. In the Friedrichs-Bau, which is a remarkable work, the pilasters are of great projection, with bold cornices and simple windows well set back, while the tracery of the ground-floor windows is a pleasant relief from the constant repetition of pilaster window dressings. The gables also of the Friedrichs-Bau break the horizontal sky-line agreeably. A more minute examination of the decorative details, however, betrays the advent of a peculiar rococo style of a most debased type, which throughout the 17th century spread through Germany, and the repetition of the same details suggests that it was copied from some of the pattern books which were published towards the end of the 16th century, comprising heterogeneous designs for title pages, door heads, frontispieces, and even extending to new versions of the orders, which apparently appealed to the German mason and saved him the trouble of invention. These books, compiled by de Vries and Dietterlin, emanated from the Low Countries, and their influence extended to England during the Elizabethan period. At all events in Germany it would seem to have arrested the purer Italian work, which we have already noticed, and henceforth in the gable ends one finds the most extraordinary accumulation of distorted forms which, though sometimes picturesque, disfigure the German work of the 17th century. An exception might perhaps be made in favour of the Peller’sche Haus in Nuremberg (1625), one of the best houses of modest dimensions in Germany. The façade in the Aegidien-Platz is a fine composition; inside is a very picturesque court and staircase, and the painted ceiling and the wainscotting of one of the rooms in woods of different colours, though not very pure in style, are of excellent design and execution.

Some of the most characteristic work of this type exists at Hameln, where the façades of the Rattenfängerhaus (1602), the Hochzeitshaus (1610), and many other buildings, are covered with the most extraordinary devices, leaving scarcely a foot of plain masonry as a relief. The south front of the town hall of Bremen (1612) is in the same style (Plate IV., fig. 70), relieved, however, by the fine large windows of the great hall and the arcade in front, in which there is some picturesque detail. Later in the century the degradation increases until it reaches its climax in the Zwinger palace at Dresden (1711), the most terrible rococo work ever conceived, if we except some of the Churrigueresque work in Spain.

Among the most pleasing features in Germany are the fountains which abound in every town; of these there are good examples at Tübingen, Prague, Hildesheim, Ulm, Nuremberg, already famed for its Gothic fountains, Mainz and Rothenburg. In the latter town, built on an eminence, they are of great importance for the supply of the town, and some of them are extremely picturesque and of good design.

Up to the present we have said nothing about the ecclesiastical buildings in Germany, for the reason that the period between the Reformation and the conclusion of the Thirty Years’ War was not favourable to church building. The only example worth mentioning is the church of St Michael at Munich (1583-1597), and that more for its plan than for its architecture. It has a wide nave covered with a barrel vault, and a series of chapels forming semicircular recesses on each side, the walls between acting as buttresses to the great vault. The transept is not deep enough to have any architectural value, but if at the east end there had been only an apse it would have been a better termination than the long choir. The Liebfrauenkirche at Dresden (1726-1745) has a good plan, but internally is arranged like a theatre with pit, tiers of boxes, and a gallery, all in the worst possible taste, and externally the dome is far too high and destroys the scale of the lower part of the church. An elliptical dome is never a pleasing object, and in the church of St Charles Borromeo, at Vienna, there are no other features to redeem its ugliness. The Marienkirche at Wolfenbüttel (1608-1622) has a fine Italian portal; its side elevation is spoilt by the series of gable dormers, which are of no possible use, as the church (of the Hallenkirchen type) is well lighted through the aisle windows. The portal of the Schlosskapelle (1555) at Dresden is a fine work in the Italian style; and lastly the church at Bückeburg, in a late debased style, is redeemed only by the fact that it is built in fine masonry and that the joints run through all the rococo details.  (R. P. S.) 


Renaissance Architecture In Belgium And Holland

The Gothic development in the 15th century in Belgium, as evidenced in her magnificent town halls and other public buildings, not only supplied her requirements in the century following, but hindered the introduction of the Classic Revival, so that it is not till the second half of the 16th century that we find in the town hall of Antwerp a building which is perhaps more Italian in design than any work in Germany. There are, however, a few instances of earlier Renaissance, such as the Salm Inn (1534) at Malines; the magnificent chimneypiece, by Conrad van Noremberger of Namur, in the council chamber of the palais de justice at Bruges (1529); and the palais de justice of Liége (1533), formerly the bishop’s palace, in the court of which are features suggesting a Spanish influence. The influence of the cinque-cento style of Italy may be noticed in the tomb of the count de Borgnival (1533) in the cathedral of Breda, and in the choir stalls of the church at Enkhuisen on the borders of the Zuyder Zee, both in Holland, and in the choir stalls of the cathedral of Ypres in Belgium; the carving of these bears so close a resemblance to cinque-cento work in design and execution that one might conclude they were the work of Italian artists, but their authors are known to have been Flemish, who must, however, have studied in Italy. Again, in the stained-glass windows of the church of St Jacques at Liége, the details are all cinque-cento, with circular arches on columns, festoons of leaves and other ornament, all apparently derived from Italian sources, but necessarily executed by Flemish painters, as stained-glass windows of that type are not often found in Italian churches.

Of public buildings in Belgium, the most noted example is that of the town hall at Antwerp, designed by Cornelius de Vriendt (1564). It has a frontage of over 300 ft. facing the Grande Place, and is an imposing structure in four storeys, arcaded on the lower storey and the classic orders above, with mullioned windows between on the three other storeys, the uppermost storey being an open loggia, which gives that depth of shadow obtained in Italy by a projecting cornice. It is almost the only building in Belgium without the usual gable, the centre block being carried up above the eaves and terminated with an entablature supporting at each end a huge obelisk, and in the centre what looks like the miniature representation of a church. The only other classic building is the Renaissance portion of the town hall at Ghent, which is very inferior to the older Gothic portion.

What is wanting in the town halls, however, is amply replaced by the magnificence of the houses built for the various gilds, as for instance those of the Fishmongers at Malines (1580), of the Brewers, the Archers, the Tanners and the Cordeliers (rope-makers) at Antwerp, and, in the Grande Place at Brussels, the gilds of the Butchers, the Archers, the Skippers (the gable end of which represents the stern of a vessel with four cannons protruding), the Carpenters and others. Besides these, and especially in Antwerp, are to be found a very large series of warehouses, which in the richness of their decoration and their monumental appearance vie with the gilds in the evolution of a distinct style of Renaissance architecture—a type from which the architect of the present day might derive more inspiration than from the modest brick houses of Queen Anne’s time.

In domestic architecture, the best-preserved example of the 16th and 17th centuries is the Musée Plantin at Antwerp, the earliest portion of which dates from 1535. This was bought by Ch. Plantin, who was employed by Philip of Spain to print all the breviaries and missals for Spain and the Netherlands; the fortune thus acquired enabled him and his successors to purchase from time to time adjoining properties which they rebuilt in the style of the earlier buildings. After 1637 the buildings followed the style of the period, but up to that date they were all erected in brick with stone courses and window dressings round a central court. Internally the whole of the ancient fittings are retained, including those of the old shop, the show-rooms, reception rooms and the residential portion of the house, with the wainscotting and Spanish leather on the walls above, panelled ceilings, chimney-pieces, stained glass, &c., the most complete representation of the domestic style of Belgium.

Of ecclesiastical architecture in the Renaissance style there are scarcely any examples worth noting. The tower of the church of St Charles Borromeo at Antwerp (1595-1610) is a fine composition similar in many respects to Wren’s steeples, and the nave of St Anne’s church at Bruges is of simple design and good proportion. The Belgian churches are noted for their immense pulpits, sometimes in marble and of a somewhat degraded style. The finest features in them are the magnificent rood-screens, in which the tradition of the Gothic examples already quoted seems to have been handed down. In the cathedral at Tournai is a fine specimen by Cornelius de Vriendt of Antwerp (1572), and there is a second at Nieuport, both similar in design to the example from Bois-le-Duc now in the Victoria and Albert Museum; and in the church of St Leonard at Léau is a tabernacle in stone, over 50 ft. high, in seven stages, with numerous figures by Cornelius de Vriendt (1550).

In Holland, nearly all the principal buildings of the Renaissance date from the time of her greatest prosperity when the Dutch threw off their allegiance to the Spanish throne (1565). With the exception of the palace at Amsterdam (1648-1655), an immense structure in stone with no architectural pretensions, there are no buildings in Holland in which the influence of the purer style of the Italian revival can be traced. Internally the great hall of the palace and the staircase in the Louis XIV. style are fine examples of that period.

The earliest Renaissance town hall is that of the Hague (1564), situated at the angle of two streets, which is an extremely picturesque building, in fact one of the few in which the architect has known how to group the principal features of his design. The Renaissance addition made to the old town hall of Haarlem is a characteristic example of the Dutch style. The walls are in red brick, the decorative portions, consisting of superimposed pilasters with mullioned and transomed windows, cornices and gable end, all being in stone. Inside this portion of the town hall, which is now a gallery and museum, is an ancient hall (not often shown to visitors) in which all the decorations and fittings date from the 17th century. There is a second example of an ancient hall in the Stadthuis at Kampen, one of the dead cities of the Zuyder Zee, which served originally as a court of justice, and retains all its fittings of the 16th century, including a magnificent chimneypiece in stone, some 25 ft. high and dated 1543.

The town hall at Bolsward in Friesland is another typical specimen of Dutch architecture, in which the red brick, alternating with stone courses running through the semi-detached columns which decorate the main front, has given variety to the usual treatment of such features. The external double flight of steps with elaborate balustrade, and the twisted columns which flank the principal doorway, are extremely picturesque, if not quite in accordance with the principles of Palladio or Vignola.

A similar flight of steps with balustrade forms the approach to the entrance doorway (on the first floor) of the town hall at Leiden, where the rich decoration of the centre block and its lofty gable is emphasized by contrast with the plain design of the chief front.

In the three chief cities in Holland, the Hague, Amsterdam and Rotterdam, there are few buildings remaining of 17th-century work, so that they must be sought in the south at Dordrecht and Delft, or in the north at Leiden, Haarlem, Alkmaar, Hoorn, Enkhuisen, or, crossing the Zuyder Zee into Friesland, in Leeuwarden, Bolsward, Kampen and Zwolle, the dead cities. In all these towns ancient buildings have been preserved, there being no reason to pull them down. Of the entrance gateways at Hoorn there is an example left, of which the lower portion might be taken for a Roman triumphal arch, so closely does it adhere to the design of those monuments, extending even to a long Latin inscription in the frieze. The tower (1531-1652), built to protect the entrance to the harbour, has no gateway. There are some old buildings in Kampen, in one of which the entrance gateway is a simple and fine composition in brick and stone, the chief characteristics of the gateways here being the enormously high roofs of the circular towers flanking them. A finer and more picturesque grouping of roofs exists in the entrance gateway (Amsterdam Gate) at Haarlem, which is perhaps, however, eclipsed by those of the Waaghuis at Amsterdam with its seven conical roofs.

The Waaghuisen, or weighing-houses for cheeses, are, next to the town halls, the most important buildings in Holland, and in fact vie with them in richness of design. The example at Alkmaar possesses not only an imposing front with gable in three storeys, but a lofty tower with belfry. At Deventer the main building is late Gothic (1528), in brick and stone, with an external double flight of steps and balustrades added in 1643.

The Fleesch Halle (meat-market) at Haarlem, also in brick and stone, is of a very rococo style, but notwithstanding all its vagaries presents a most picturesque appearance.

The domestic architecture of Holland and the shop fronts retain more of their original dispositions than will be found in any other country. At Hoorn, Enkhuisen and other towns, there has virtually been no change during the last 200 years. In the more flourishing towns as Amsterdam and Rotterdam, the increasing prosperity of the inhabitants led them in the latter portion of the 17th and in the 18th centuries to adapt features borrowed from the French work of Louis XIV. and Louis XV., without, however, their refinement, luxuriance or variety, so that although substantial structures they are extremely monotonous in general effect.  (R. P. S.) 


Mahommedan Architecture

Before proceeding with “modern architecture,” to which the styles now discussed have gradually led us, we have still another important architectural style to describe, in Mahommedan architecture. The term “Mahommedan” has been selected in preference to “Saracenic,” because it includes a much wider field, and enables us to bring in many developments which could not well come under the latter title. It was the Mahommedan religion which prescribed the plan and the features of the mosques, and it was the restriction of that faith which led to the principal characteristics of the style. The term “Saracenic” could hardly be applied to the architecture of Spain, Persia or Turkey.

The earliest mosques at Mecca and Medina, which have long since passed away, were probably of the simplest kind; there were no directions on the subject in the Koran, and, as Fergusson remarks, had the religion been confined to its native land, it is probable that no mosques worthy of the name would have ever been erected. In the first half-century of their conquest in Egypt and Syria the Mahommedans contented themselves with desecrated churches and other buildings, and it was only when they came among the temple-building nations that they seemed to have felt the necessity of providing some visible monument of their religion. The first requirement was a structure of some kind, which should indicate to the faithful the direction of Mecca, towards which, at stated times, they were to turn and pray. The earliest mosque, built by Omar at Jerusalem, no longer exists, but in the mosque of ‘Amr at Cairo (fig. 54), founded in 643 and probably restored or added to at various times, we find the characteristic features which form the base of the plans of all subsequent mosques. These features consist of (a) a wall built at right angles to a line drawn towards Mecca, in which, sunk in the wall, was a niche indicating the direction towards which the faithful should turn; (b) a covered space for shelter from the sun or inclement weather, which was known as the prayer chamber; (c) in front of the prayer chamber, a large open court, in which there was a fountain for ablution; and (d) a covered approach on either side of these courts and from the entrance. The materials employed in the earlier mosque were all taken from ancient structures, Egyptian, Roman and Byzantine, but so arranged as to constitute the elements of a new style. The columns employed were not always of sufficient size, and therefore in order to obtain a greater height, above the capitals were square dies, carrying ranges of arches, all running in the direction of Mecca; to resist the thrust, wood ties were built in under the arches, so that the structure was of the lightest appearance. The same principle was observed in the mosque of Kairawan, in Tunisia (675), and in the mosque of Cordova (786-985), copied from it. Similar wooden ties are found in the mosque of El Aksa and the Dome of the Rock at Jerusalem (built 691), so that they became one of the characteristics of the style. For constructional reasons, however, this method of building was not always adhered to, and in the mosque of Tulun (fig. 55) in Cairo (879), the first mosque in Egypt, built of original materials, we find an important departure. The arcades, instead of running at right angles to the Mecca wall, are built parallel with it, on account of the great thrust of the arches, all built in brick (fig. 56). The wood ties would have been quite insufficient to resist the thrust, and in the case of this mosque were probably used to carry lanterns.


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Fig. 54.—Plan of Mosque of ‘Amr. Old Cairo.
1. Kibla. 5. Fountain for Ablution
2. Mimbar. 6. Rooms built later.
3. Tomb of ‘Amr.                                         7. Minaret.
4. Dakka. 8. Latrines.


The mosque of Tulun is the earliest example in which the pointed arch appears throughout, and it forms the leading and most characteristic constructional feature of the style in its subsequent developments in every country, except in Barbary and Spain, where the circular-headed horse-shoe arch seems to be preferred. As it is also the earliest mosque in which the decoration applied is that which was by inference laid down in the Koran, some allusion to the restrictions therein contained, and the consequent result, may not be out of place. The representation of nature in any form was absolutely forbidden, and this applied generally to foliage of all kinds, and plants, the representation of birds or animals, and above all of the human figure. The only exceptions to the rule would seem to be those found in the very conventional representations of lions carved over the gateways of Cairo and Jerusalem and in the courts of the Alhambra. It was this restriction which produced the extremely beautiful conventional patterns which are carried round the arches of the mosque of Tulun, and are found in the friezes, string-courses and the capitals of the shafts, and when these patterns form the background of the text of the Koran in high relief, in the splendid Arabic characters, it would be difficult to find a more beautiful decorative scheme in the absence of natural forms. As the mosque of Tulun was built by a Coptic architect, and its decoration is evidently the result of many years of previous developments, it is probably to the Copts that its evolution was due. The second type of decoration is that which is given by geometrical forms, and either in pavements or wall decorations in marble, or in the framing of woodwork in ceilings, or in doorways, the most elaborate and beautiful combinations were produced. The third type of decoration is one which in a sense is found in the origin of most styles, but which, restricted as the Mahommedans were to conventional representations, received a development of far greater importance, and in one of its forms—that known as stalactite vaulting—constitutes the one feature in the style which is not found in any other, and which, from the western coast of Spain to the east of India, at once differentiates it from any other style.

A complete account, with illustrations of the origin of the stalactite will be found in the Journal of the Royal Institute of British Architects (1898) The earliest example is found in the tomb of Zobeide, the favourite wife of Harun al-Rashid, at Bagdad, built at the end of the 8th century. This tomb, octagonal in plan, and of modest dimensions, was vaulted over by a series of niches in nine stages or levels rising one above the other, and brought forward on the inside, so that the ninth course completed the covering of the tomb. It was built in this way to save centreing, each niche when completed being self-supporting. There is a second tomb at Bagdad, of later date—the tomb of Ezekiel,—constructed in the same way, except that in each stage the niches are built not one over the other but astride between the two, and this is the way in which in subsequent developments it always appears to have been built. Its application to the pendentives of the portals of the mosque at Tabriz and Sultaniya was the next development; and when some two centuries later it is found in Europe, in the palaces of the Ziza at Palermo, dating from about the beginning of the 11th century, it has lost its brick constructive origin, and, being cut in slabs of stone, has become simply a decorative feature. Its earliest example in Egypt is in the tomb of ash-Shafi’ī at Cairo, built by Saladin about 1240. Here and in all subsequent examples throughout Egypt and Syria it is always carved in stone. In the Alhambra another material was employed, the elaborate vaults being built with a series of small moulds in stucco. In the ceilings of the mosques at Cairo it was frequently carved in wood, and consequently lost all trace of its origin.


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From Coste’s Architecture Arabe en Caire.

Fig. 55.—Plan of Mosque of Tulun, Cairo.


Two other decorative features, but having a constructive origin, are (1) the alternating of courses of stone of different colour, probably derived from Byzantine work, where bands of brick were employed; and (2) the elaborate forms given to the voussoirs of the arches of the Mecca niche.

Having now described the principles which ruled the plans of the mosques and formed the motifs of their architectural design, it remains to take the principal examples in the various countries where the style was developed.

Although the tendency of modern research points to Persia as the country in which the first development of the art took place, and we have already referred to two tombs at Bagdad, in which the earliest examples of a stalactite vault are found, so far as remains are concerned nothing can be traced earlier than the work of Ghazan Khan (1294), whose mosque at Tabriz, half in ruins, is the earliest example.

It is to Egypt therefore we turn first. There still exist—and sometimes in good preservation—mosques and other buildings in Cairo of every period showing the development of the Mahommedan style, from the 9th to the 17th century. Owing to the magnificent material at their command—for unfortunately more of it was taken from the ancient Egyptian monuments than from the quarries—a much purer style was evolved than in Persia; and owing to the absence of rain those ephemeral structures built in brick and covered with stucco, which in other countries would long have passed away, retained the crispness of their flowing ornament, which is still as sharp and well defined as when executed. We have already referred to two of the earlier mosques, those of ‘Amr in Old Cairo and of Tulun. The next in date, and built also in brick, is the mosque El Hakim (c. 1003). The mosque of El Azhar (“the Splendid”) was founded about 970, but entirely rebuilt in 1270 and enlarged in 1470. It is the university, and its Liwan or prayer chamber is the largest in Cairo, there being 380 columns carrying its roof.

The mosque of al-Zahir (founded 1264) is now occupied as barracks. In one of its entrance porches the arches are decorated with the well-known zigzag or chevron ornament, and a second porch with cushion voussoirs, features found elsewhere only in Sicily, so that the mosque was probably built by masons brought from thence. Then follows a series of mosques: Kalaun (1287); al-Nāsir (1299-1303); Merdani (1338); all based on the same plan as those described with a large courtyard surrounded by porticoes. The mosque of al-Nāsir has a portal with clustered piers and pointed and moulded orders. This is said to have been brought over as a trophy from Acre, but it is more probable that Syrian masons were imported to carry on the style introduced by the Crusaders.


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Fig. 56.—Court of the Mosque of Tulun, Cairo. (From Coste.)



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Fig. 57.—Plan of the Mosque of the Sultan Hasan.


The mosque of Sultan Hasan (1357-1360) marks an important change in the scheme of its plan, which served afterwards as a future model (fig. 57). It consists of a central court, 117 ft. by 105 ft. open to the sky, and instead of the covered porticoes on each side there are immense recesses covered over with pointed vaults. The prayer chamber is 90 ft. deep, 90 ft. high to the apex of the vault and 69 ft. wide, a greater span than any Gothic cathedral, and only exceeded in dimensions by the great hall of the palace at Ctesiphon built by the Sassanian dynasty. The mosque covers a large area, and would seem to have been occupied by four religious sects, whose rooms, situated on the outer side, are lighted by windows in eight or ten storeys, giving the appearance of a factory. Its entrance portal, 60 ft. to 70 ft. high, is the finest in Egypt, and is only exceeded in dimensions by those of the Persian and Indian mosques. The vestibule is covered by a dome with stalactite pendentives, and is perhaps the most complete and perfect example in Cairo. Beyond the prayer chamber is the tomb of the founder, which is covered by a dome. This, according to Poole, was not originally a feature in Saracenic mosques. A dome, he says, has nothing to do with prayer and therefore nothing with a mosque. It is simply the roof of a tomb, and only exists when there is at least a tomb to be covered. The greater number of the mosques in and outside Cairo are mausoleums, which accounts for the large number of domes found there.

Of the tombs of the caliphs, outside Cairo, the most important is the tomb of ash-Shafi‘ī, reputed to have been built by Saladin but now quite changed by restoration. The tomb of Barkuk, in which the courtyard plan of Sultan Hasan is retained, has porticoes round it, which are of much more solid construction than those in earlier examples, and carry small domes. The two great domes on the east side and the minarets on the west are among the finest in Cairo. The tomb-mosque of Kait Bey (c. 1470), though comparatively small, is the finest in design and most elegant of its type in Egypt. Here the central court is covered by a cupola lantern (fig. 58), and the ceiling over the prayer chamber and other recesses is framed in timber and elaborately painted and gilded. The tomb is at the south-east corner, and is covered with a dome in stone, beautifully carved with conventional designs. In some of the mosques by the side of the portal is a fountain enclosed with bronze grilles, and above it a small room sometimes used as a school with open arcades on two sides. This feature in the mosque of Kait Bey, with the portal on its right, the lofty minaret beyond, and the great dome at the farther end, makes it the most picturesque in aspect of any Cairene mosque. (For plan see Mosque, fig. 3.)

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Photo L.L. Paris.

Fig. 78.—HEIDELBERG CASTLE, FRIEDRICHSBAU.

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Photo L.L. Paris.

Fig. 79.—HEIDELBERG CASTLE, OTTO-HEINRICHSBAU.



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Photo L.L. Paris.

Fig. 80.—HEIDELBERG CASTLE, OTTO-HEINRICHSBAU.

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Photo, J. Valentine, Ltd.

Fig. 81.—PORCH, PETERBORO’ CATHEDRAL.

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       Photo, G.W. Wilson & Co.

Fig. 82.—ELY CATHEDRAL.



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       Photo, Neurdein.

Fig. 83.—THE LOUVRE—PAVILLON HENRI II.
(Portion of Lescot’s work on left.)



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Photo, Neurdein.

Fig. 84.—GRAND STAIRWAY, CHATEAU OF BLOIS.

It was in Egypt that the minaret received its highest development. The earliest example is that of the mosque of Tulun, which is of unusual shape, and has winding round it an inclined plane or staircase of easy ascent which can be made on horseback. The original design of this scheme was probably derived from the mosque of Samara, a town 60 m. north of Bagdad, where the minaret built c. 850 has a spiral ascent round it, recalling that of the Assyrian ziggurat as at Khorsabad. The general design of the Cairo minarets would seem to have been universally adhered to from the 12th century onwards, but the upper storeys are all varied in detail, there being virtually no two alike. As a rule the lower portion of the minaret forms part of the main wall of the mosque, and was carried up square a few feet above the cresting. It then became octagonal on plan, the sides decorated with niches or geometrical ornaments in bold relief. This, the first independent storey, was crowned by a stalactite cornice carrying the balcony (fig. 59), from which the muezzin (call-to-prayer) was chanted. In the early and fine examples the balustrade round it consisted of vertical posts with panels between, pierced with geometric ornaments, and all in stone. The second storey, also octagonal, was set back sufficiently to allow a passage round, and this was crowned by a similar stalactite cornice and balustrade. A third storey, sometimes circular on plan, completed the tower, which was crowned with a bulbous terminal. In one of the mosques, that of El Azhar, the first storey is square on plan, and the second storey has twin towers with lofty bulbous finials. The elaboration of the carved ornament on the various storeys of the minarets is of considerable beauty. Among the most remarkable, other than those already referred to, are the minarets of the mosque of al-Bordeni, of Kalaun, al-Nazir, Mu‘ayyad (built on the semicircular bastion wall of the Zuwela Gate), Sultan Barkuk (1348), and numerous other mosques or tombs outside Cairo.


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Fig. 58.—Interior of Kait Bey Mosque. (From Coste.)


The earlier domes were quite plain, hemispherical, with buttresses round the base, similar to those of St Sophia at Constantinople. In the later domes it was found that by raising the upper portion so as to take the form in section of a pointed arch, they could be built in horizontal courses of masonry up to about two-thirds of their height, the upper portion forming a lid without any thrust. It is probably owing to this method of construction that they still exist in such large numbers. The outer surfaces are decorated in various ways with geometrical designs, star patterns, chevrons, diapers, &c. Domes built in brick were covered with stucco and divided up into godroons.

We have already referred to the lofty portal of the mosque of Sultan Hasan; portals of smaller dimensions form the principal entrance to all the mosques and private houses. The recessed portion rises to twice or three times the height of the door, and its pointed or cusped head is always filled by a rich stalactite vault.

The descriptions of the disposition of plan, and the principles which have governed the plans of the Cairene mosques, apply equally to those in Syria, so that it now only remains necessary to quote the chief examples. Of these the earliest is the Dome of the Rock, incorrectly called the mosque of Omar, which was built by Abdalmalik in 691, partly with materials taken from the buildings destroyed by Chosroes. At first it consisted of a central area enclosing the sacred rock, covered with a dome and with aisles round carried on columns and piers, and like the smaller Dome of the Chain open all round, but the climate of Syria is very different from that in Egypt, and consequently at a later period (813-833) the sultan Mamun built the walls which now enclose the whole structure. Many restorations have taken place since, and the dome with its rich internal decoration is attributed to Saladin (1189). The magnificent Persian tiles which encase the walls, the marble casing of some of the piers, and the stained glass, form part of the works of Suleiman (1520-1560).

The great mosque of Damascus occupied the site of an ancient church dedicated to St John the Baptist, which for a time was divided between the Christians and the Mahommedans. But in 705 the caliph al-Walid took possession of the whole church, which he rebuilt, retaining, however, the whole of the south wall, portions of which belonged to a Roman temple. This, which by chance happened to face south, became the Mecca wall, the niche being sunk in one of the doorways of the original temple. Its plan, therefore, is a variation of those we have already described. It consists of a transept with dome over the centre, three aisles of equal width, running both east and west, and a great court on the north side surrounded by arcades. The great transept is virtually the prayer chamber. The new building was erected by Byzantine masons sent from Constantinople, and decorated with marbles and mosaic by Greek artists. The mosque was almost entirely destroyed by fire in 1893, but has since been rebuilt.


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Fig. 59.—Exterior of Kait Bey Mosque, Cairo. (From Coste.)


The mosque of El Aksa in the sacred enclosure in Jerusalem, and south of the Dome of the Rock, was commenced by Abdalmalik (691), who used up materials taken from the church of St Mary, built by Justinian on Mount Sion, which had been destroyed by Chosroes. There have been so many restorations and rebuildings since, owing to destructive earthquakes and other causes, that it is difficult to give the precise dates of the various portions. The columns of the nave and aisles are extremely stunted in proportion, and their capitals are of a very debased type, copied by inferior artists from Byzantine models. They carry immense wood beams cased, and above them a range of pointed arches, among the earliest examples used throughout a mosque, and probably dating from the rebuilding (774-785). The Crusaders made various additions in the rear, but the great entrance porch is said to have been added by Saladin, after 1187, and was built probably by Christian masons who were allowed to remain in the country.

The numerous minarets at Jerusalem and Damascus in general design follow those of Egypt, but instead of the incised work are generally encased with marble in geometric patterns.

The great mosque at Mecca, from which it was thought at one time the plan of the Egyptian and other mosques was taken, is necessarily different from all others, because the Ka‘ba or Holy Stone, towards which all the niches in all other mosques turn, stood in its centre. The arcades which surround the court were nearly all rebuilt in the 17th century, as the whole mosque was washed away by a torrent in 1626.

The mosque of Kairawan in Tunisia was built in 675. It occupies an area of 427 ft. deep and 225 ft. wide, with a prayer chamber at the Mecca end of 17 aisles and 11 bays deep, more than twice, therefore, that of ‘Amr in Old Cairo. The columns to the prayer chamber, all taken from ancient buildings, are 22 ft. high in the central aisle and 15 ft. in all the others. They carry horse-shoe arches, which, as in the mosque of ‘Amr, are all tied together by wood beams inserted at the springing of the arches.

The mosque of Cordova was built by Abdarrahman (Abd-ar-Rahman) in 786-789 in imitation of the mosque of Kairawan. There were eleven aisles of twenty-one bays, the centre one slightly wider than the other. The materials were taken from earlier buildings, and, as the columns and caps were not considered high enough, above the horse-shoe arches are built a second row of arches which carry the barrel vaults. To this mosque Hakim added twelve more bays in depth at the Mecca end (962), and in 985 Mansur added eight more aisles of thirty-three bays on the east side. Part of the open court on the north side dates from Abdarrahman’s foundation (690) and part from Mansur.

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Fig. 60.—Capital and Springing of Arch,
from the Hall of Abencarrages, Alhambra.

In the mosque of Cordova we find the earliest example of the cusped arch, in the additions made by Hakim in 961; in order to obtain a greater height above the columns, it became necessary to employ the expedient of raising arch above arch in order to obtain the height they required for the ceilings; and as these arches formed purely decorative features, which might otherwise have become monotonous, variety was given by introducing the cusped form of arch and interlacing them one within the other. It is probably this elaborate design which suggested the plaster decorations of the screens above the arches in the court of the Alhambra. Though commenced in 1245, the existing palace of the Alhambra was built in the first half of the 14th century, at a time when the style was fully developed. There are two great courts at right angles to one another, the most important of which was the Court of the Lions, so called from the fountain in the centre, with twelve conventional representations of that animal carrying the basins. This court is surrounded by an arcade with stilted arches carried on slender marble columns with extremely rich decoration above, partly in stucco painted and gilt. The hall of the Abencerrages (35 ft. square) has a polygonal dome covered with arabesque (fig. 60). Two other halls are roofed with lofty stalactite vaults of great intricacy, richly gilded and of remarkable effect (fig. 61), but the employment of stucco instead of stone, as in Egypt, has led to an abuse in the wealth of enrichment, which is only partly redeemed by the plain masonry of the towers and walls enclosing the palace. The Giralda at Seville is the only example of a tower, but it does not seem to have served the purpose of a minaret.

With the exception of the tombs of Zobeide and Ezekiel near Bagdad, and a hospital at Erzerum of the 12th century, built by the Seljukian dynasty, the Mahommedan style in Persia dates from the 13th century, i. e. if Ghazan Khan built the mosque at Tabriz in 1294. The plan is that of a Byzantine church with a central dome, aisles and sanctuary. The portal consists of a lofty niche vaulted with semi-domes and stalactite pendentives, similar in many respects to the well-known example of Sultan Hasan in Cairo, built sixty years later. It is built in brick and covered internally and externally with glazed bricks of various colours, wrought into most intricate patterns with interlacing ornament and with Cufic inscriptions. The dazzling and perfect beauty in point of colour is not to be surpassed, but from the architectural point of view it possesses the fatal sin of not showing its construction. The bricks and tiles are only a veneer, and though in certain features (such as the portal and the dome) the construction is at least suggested, the tendency is to trust to decoration alone to produce architectural effects. (But see Tabriz.)

The great mosque at Isfahan (1585) is a good illustration of the danger attending a too free use of surface decoration. Strip the walls of their tiles, and nothing is left except square box-like forms with pointed arched openings of different form. The interior, however, owing to the variety of its features, and the varied play of light and shade given in the hemispherical vaults of its transepts and niches and the vaulted aisles, constitutes one of the most beautiful monuments of Mahommedan art.

Apart from the great development of Mahommedan architecture in India (see Indian Architecture), there remains now to be described only one other phase of the style, that found in Constantinople.

Prior to the conquest of Constantinople in 1445, two mosques were built by the Turks at Brusa in Asia Minor. The plan of Ulu Jami, the great mosque, follows the original courtyard type. Yeshil Jami, the Green mosque (1430), built on the site of a Byzantine church, is cruciform on plan. In both of them the Persian influence is shown, in the magnificent towers with which they are covered, the marble casing and the stalactite vaults.


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Fig. 61.—Pendentive, from the Court of the Lions, Alhambra.


After the conquest of Constantinople, the supreme beauty of St Sophia, and the adaptability of its plan to the requirements of the Mahommedan faith, caused it to be accepted as the model on which all the new mosques were based. The first two erected were the Bayezid (1497-1515) and the Selim mosques (1520-1526). In the former the dome and its pendentives are carried on octagonal piers, and the dome, 108 ft. in diameter, is greater than in any subsequent example. The finest mosque, and the example in which we find the complete development of the Turkish style, is that erected by Suleiman the Magnificent in 1550-1555. This mosque, designed by Sinan, an Armenian architect, is still quite perfect. The plan follows very closely its model, St Sophia, and consists of a central dome, 86 ft. in diameter and 156 ft. high, carried on pendentives, resting on great arches which are slightly pointed, with great apses on the east and west sides, and three smaller apses in each, the arches of which are all circular. The principal change in design is that found in the north and south walls, under the arches carrying the dome; in St Sophia they were subdivided into two storeys with galleries overlooking the church, but in the Suleimanic mosque the galleries are set back in the outer aisles, and the screen walls consist of a wide central and two side pointed arches, and voussoirs alternately of black and white marble. The tympana above this is pierced with eighteen windows filled with geometric tracery. Stalactite work is employed in the pendentive of the smaller apses and in the capitals of the columns carrying the pointed arches. The columns are of porphyry, the shafts, 28 ft. high, being taken from the Hippodrome and probably brought originally from Egypt. The walls are cased with marble up to the springing of the dome, but the magnificent mosaics of St Sophia are here replaced by vulgar colouring and plaster decoration of a rococo style, due probably to recent restorations. The mosque is preceded by a forecourt, surrounded by an arcade on all sides and containing a fountain, and in the garden in the rear is the tomb of the founder and his wife.

The Shah-Zadeh mosque, known as the prince’s mosque, was also built by Sultan Suleiman, from the designs of Sinan, the same Armenian architect who built the Suleimanic mosque. Here, instead of confining the great apses to the east and west sides, they are introduced on the north and south sides in place of the screen, and produce a monotonous and poor effect. The same design is found in the Ahmedin mosque, built 1608, and with the same result. Externally, however, they are both fine, owing to the variety of domes, semi-domes and other curved forms of roof.

The minarets of the Turkish mosques are very inferior to those of Cairo. They are of great height, generally semicircular, with narrow balconies round the upper part, and crowned with extinguisher roofs. To a certain extent, however, they contrast very well with the domes and semi-domes of St Sophia and those of the mosques built by the Turks.

In the mosque of Osman, built 1748-1757, we find the first trace of Western influence in its rococo design, but here, as in the mosque of Mehemet Ali in Cairo, built in 1837, the scheme is so good that, notwithstanding the great falling off in design, and, in the latter mosque, the construction, the effect of the interior is very fine.

Amongst other architectural features, the fountains in the courtyards of the mosques and those which decorate the public squares are extremely pleasing in design. The latter are square on plan with polygonal angles elaborate niches with stalactite heads, with overhanging eaves on each side; the ornament is very varied and the colour sometimes very attractive. The roofs have sometimes most picturesque outlines.  (R. P. S.) 


Modern Architecture

The beginning of the 19th century may be considered to mark the beginning of the modern era in architecture. The 19th century is the period par excellence of architectural “revivals.” The great Renaissance movement in Italy already described was something more than a mere revival. It was a new spirit affecting the whole of art and literature and life, not an architectural movement only; and as far as architecture is concerned it was not a mere imitative revival. The great Italian architects of the Renaissance, as well as Wren, Vanbrugh and Hawksmoor in England, however they drew their inspiration from antique models, were for the most part original architects; they put the ancient materials to new uses of their own. The tendency of the 19th-century revivals, on the other hand, except in France, was distinctly imitative in a sense in which the architecture of the great Renaissance period was not. Correctness of imitation, in the English Gothic revival especially, was an avowed object; and conformity to precedent became, in fact, except with one or two individual architects, almost the admitted test of excellence.


Bank of Ireland, Dublin.jpg

Fig. 85.—Bank of Ireland, Dublin.


The earliest classical London building of note in the 19th century is Soane’s Bank of England, which as a matter of date belongs in fact to the end of the 18th century; but its architect lived well into the 19th century, and the bank Classical
revival in
British
archi-
tecture.
may be classed with this section of the subject. Soane had to make something architectural out of the walls of a very extended building of only one storey, in which external windows were not admissible; and he did so by applying a classical columnar order to the walls and introducing sham window architraves. The latter are indefensible, and weaken the expression of the building; the columnar order was the received method at the time of making a building (as was supposed) “architectural,” and the building has grace and dignity, and could hardly be taken for anything except a bank, although a more robust and massive treatment would have been more expressive of the function of the building, as a kind of fortress for the storage of money. It was only some years later that the Greek revival took some hold of English architects (the Bank of England is rather Roman than Greek); the impetus to it was probably given by the “Elgin marbles”; Stuart and Revett’s great work on the Antiquities of Athens had been issued a good while previously, the three first volumes being dated respectively 1762, 1787 and 1794; but the appearance of the fourth volume in 1816 was no doubt influenced by the transportation to London of the Elgin marbles, and the sensation created by them. One of the first architectural results was the erection, at an immense cost in comparison with its size, of the church of St Pancras in London (1819-1822), designed by Inwood, who published a fine and still valuable monograph on the Erechtheum, and showed his enthusiasm for Greek architecture by copying the Erechtheum order and doorways for his façade, and erecting over it a tower composed of the Temple of the Winds with an octagonal imitation of the monument of Lysicrates imposed above it. This use of Greek monuments was architecturally absurd, though at the time it was no doubt the offspring of a genuine enthusiasm.

A better use was made of the study of Greek architecture by William Wilkins (1778-1839), who was in his way a great architect, and whose University College (1827-1828), as designed by him, was a noble and dignified building, of which he only carried out the central block with the cupola and portico. The wings were somewhat altered from his design but not materially spoiled, but the university authorities permitted the vandalism of erecting a low building as a partial return of the quadrangle on the fourth side, for the purposes of a mechanical laboratory, which ruined the appearance of the building.[4] Wilkins’s other well-known work is the National Gallery (1832-1838), which he was not allowed to carry out exactly as he wished, and in which the cupola and the “pepperpots” are exceedingly poor and weak. But his details, especially the profiles of his mouldings, are admirably refined, and show the influence of a close study of Greek work. Among other prominent English architects of the classic revival in England are Sir Robert Smirke and Decimus Burton (1800-1881). To Burton we owe the Constitution Hill arch and the Hyde Park screen. The latter is a very graceful erection of its kind; the arch has never been completed by the quadriga group which the architect intended as its crowning feature, though for many years it was allowed to be disfigured by the colossal equestrian statue of Wellington, completely out of scale and crushing the structure. Smirke is kept in memory by his fine façade of the British Museum, which has been much criticized for its “useless” colonnades and the wasted space under them. The criticism is hardly just; for classic colonnades have at least some affinity with the purposes of a museum of antique art, and it conveys the impression of being a frontispiece to a building containing something of permanent value and importance. The early classic revival set its mark also, in a very fine and unmistakable manner, on the capital of the sister island. Dublin is almost a museum of fine classic buildings of the period, among which the most remarkable is the present Bank of Ireland (fig. 85), originally begun as the Parliament House. The beginning of the building belongs to the 18th century, but it was not completed in its present form till 1805, and was the work of five successive architects, only one of them, James Gandon (1743-1823), a man of the first importance; but it was Gandon who in 1790 did most to give the building its effective outline on plan, by introducing one of the curved quadrant walls, the building being subsequently finished in accordance with this suggestion. It is a remarkable combination of symmetry and picturesqueness, and as a one-storey classic building is far superior to Soane’s Bank of England, with which a comparison is naturally suggested. Gandon’s custom house, with its fine central cupola, is another notable example. Edinburgh too can show examples of the classic revival, and bears the title of “modern Athens” as much from her architectural experiments as from her intellectual claims; she illustrates the application of Greek architecture to modern buildings in two really fine examples, the Royal Institution by W. H. Playfair (1789-1857), and the high school by Thomas Hamilton (1784-1858). It was a pity that she added to these the collection of curiosities on the Calton Hill.


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Fig. 86.—Liverpool Branch of the Bank of England. (Cockerell.)


But before we quit the classic revival in England, there are two architects to be named who came a little later in the day, living in fact into the time of the Gothic revival, who were superior to any of the earlier classic practitioners: Harvey Lonsdale Elmes and C. R. Cockerell. Elmes, who died very young, seems to have been as completely a born architectural genius as Wren, and his great work, St. George’s Hall at Liverpool, has done more than any other building in the world to glorify the memory of the classic revival. Granting all that may be said as to the unsuitability of Greek architecture to the English climate, one can hardly complain of any movement in architecture which gave the opportunity for the production of so grand an architectural monument. It is true that it is badly planned and lighted, and the exterior and interior do not agree with each other (the exterior is Greek, and the great hall is Roman); but if from our present point of view it is a mistake, it is certainly one of the finest mistakes ever made in architecture. Cockerell, who completed the interior of the building after Elmes’s death, was an architect permeated with the principles and feeling of Greek architecture, who brought to his work a refinement of taste and perception in regard to detail which has rarely been equalled and never surpassed. Perhaps the very best example of his scholarly taste in the application of classic architecture to modern uses is to be found in his façade to the branch Bank of England at Liverpool (fig. 86).


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From a photo by W. A. Mansell & Co.

Fig. 87.—Royal Theatre, Berlin. (Schinkel.)



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From a photograph by W. A. Mansell & Co.

Fig. 88.—Nikolai Kirche, Potsdam. (Schinkel.)

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Photo, Beer.

Fig. 115.—PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS, BUDAPEST. (STEINDL.)



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Photo, Löwy.

Fig. 116.—PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS, VIENNA. (HANSEN.)



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Photo, Linde.

Fig. 117.—PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS, BERLIN. (WALLOT.)

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Photo, F.G.O. Stuart.

Fig. 118.—HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT, LONDON. (BARRY.)



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Photo, Emery Walker.

Fig. 119.—SCOTLAND YARD, LONDON. (SHAW.)

In Germany, and especially at Berlin and Munich, the Greek revival took hold of architecture in the early part of the century in a more decisive but also in a more academical spirit than in England. The movement is connected Classical revival in Germany. more especially with the name of one eminent architect, Karl Friedrich Schinkel, who must have been a man of genius to have so impressed his taste on his generation as he did in Berlin, where he was regarded as the great and central power in the architecture of his day; yet his buildings are marked by learning and academical correctness rather than original genius. Elmes’s St George’s Hall, already referred to as one great English work of the classic revival, is by no means a mere piece of academical architecture; it exhibits in some of its details a great deal of originality, and in its general design a remarkably fine feeling for architectural grouping. In particular, the solid masses and the heavy square columns at the ends of his building, which seem like Greek architecture treated with Egyptian feeling, give support to, while they form a most effective contrast with, the richer and more delicate Corinthian order of the central portion. The only work of Schinkel’s which shows something of the same feeling for contrast in architectural composition is one of his smaller buildings, the Königswache or Royal Guard-house, in which a Doric colonnaded portico is effectively flanked and supported by two great masses of plain wall. But in general Schinkel does not seem to have known what to do with the angles of his buildings, or to have realized the value of mass as a support to his colonnades. This is strikingly exemplified in his museum at Berlin, where the tall narrow piers at the angles have a very weak effect, and are quite inadequate as a support to the long open colonnade. His Royal theatre also (fig. 87), though the central portico is fine, is monotonous and weak in its two-storeyed repetition of the small order in the wings, and it has also the fault (which it shares, no doubt, with a great many theatres, large and small) that its exterior design gives no hint of the theatre form; it might just as well be a museum. His Nikolai Kirche (1830-1837) at Potsdam (fig. 88), which has considerable celebrity, though not so merely academical in character, and in fact possessed of a certain originality, has a fault of another kind, in its entire lack of architectural unity; the dome does not seem to belong to or to have any connexion with the substructure, while the portico is quite out of scale with the great block of building in its rear, and looks like a subsequent addition. The fault of the Schinkel school of architecture is an almost total want of what may be called architectural life; it is an artificial production of the studio. The same kind of cold classicism prevailed at Munich, where Leo von Klenze (1784-1864), though a lesser man than Schinkel, played somewhat the same part as the latter played at Berlin. His Propylaea (fig. 89), in which Greek and Egyptian influences are combined, is a characteristic example of his cold and scholastic style. His well known Ruhmeshalle, with its boldly projecting colonnaded wings and the colossal statue of Bavaria in front of it, is in its way a fine architectural conception—perhaps finer and more consistent in its kind than any one work of Schinkel, though he evidently did not exercise so wide an influence on the German art of his day. A third eminent name in the German classic revival is that of Gottfried Semper (1803-1879), somewhat later in date (Schinkel was born in 1781), but more or less of the same school. Semper practised successively at Dresden and at Zürich, but finally settled in Vienna, where, however, he did not live to see the execution of his two most important designs, the museum and the Hofburg theatre, which were carried out by Baron Karl von Hasenauer (1833-1894) from his designs, or approximately so. Semper’s theatre at Dresden, however, shows that he could recognize the practical basis of architecture, as the expression of plan, in a way that Schinkel could not; for in that building he frankly adopted the curve of the auditorium as the motif for his exterior design, thus producing a building which is obviously a theatre, and could not be taken for anything else, and putting some of that life into it which is so much wanting in Schinkel’s rigid classicalities.


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From a photograph by Ferd. Finsterlin.

Fig. 89.—Propylaea at Munich. (Von Klenze.)


In spite of the Romanizing influence of the First Empire, the classic revival did not leave by any means so academical a stamp on French as on German architecture of the early period of the century. French architects in the French classicism. main have always had too much original genius to be entirely taken captive by a general movement of this kind. There is the weak classicism of Bernard Poyet’s façade to the chamber of deputies, a very poor affair; and there are two important buildings in the guise of Roman peripteral temples, devoted respectively to business and to religion—the Bourse, by Alexandre Théodore Brongniart (1739-1813), and the Madeleine, begun under Napoleon, as a “Temple de la Gloire,” by Pierre Vignon (1763-1828), and completed as a church in 1841 by Jean Jacques Huvé (1783-1852). Both of these are very well carried out externally, and enable us to judge of what would be the effect of a Roman temple of the kind. It must be admitted that the plain oblong mass of the Bourse has really been very much improved by the recent addition of the two wings, carried out by Cavel, though there was a great deal of opposition at first to meddling with so celebrated a building. Unfortunately, the exterior of the Bourse is a mere piece of architectural scenery, quite unconnected with the internal object and arrangement of the building. The Madeleine is a really fine exterior in its way; if a modern church was to put on the guise of a pagan temple, the task could hardly have been better carried out; and the interior might have been as fine if properly treated, but it has little artistic relation with the noble exterior, and is spoiled by poor architectural treatment and bad ornament. The church of St Vincent de Paul, by Jacques Ignace Hittorff (1792-1867), an architect who was one of the most learned students of Greek architecture of his day, is another important example of the French classical church of the period (Plate XII., fig. 125). In this the interior is more consistent with the exterior than is the case in the Madeleine; and by adding a tower at each angle of the façade, above the colonnaded portico, the architect gave it more the expression of a church, which the Madeleine wants. In the Arc de l’Étoile, by Jean François T. Chalgrin (1739-1811), we have a really great, even sublime work, which, though suggested by the Roman triumphal arches, is no mere copy, but bears the impress of the French genius in its details as well as in François Rude’s grand sculptures on the east face, while its great scale places it above everything else of the kind in the world. It is only after ascending the interior and seeing the vaults carrying the roof that one fully realizes what a stupendous piece of work this is. Under Napoleon there was at least no jerry-building.[5]

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Fig. 90.—Halifax Town Hall. (Barry.)


Returning to the consideration of architecture in England, we come, at about the close of the classic revival, to the name of the man who was undoubtedly the most remarkable English architect since Wren, Sir Charles Barry. To Barry’s “common-sense” style, in England. class him, as some would do, with the classic revival, would be a misapprehension. Barry was no revivalist; he never attempted to recreate Greek architecture on English soil. He adopted for most of his works what has been called, for want of a better name, the Italian style, which may really rather be called the common-sense style of a civilized society. The two first works which brought him into notice, the Travellers’ and Reform clubs in London, were no doubt based on special Italian models, the Pandolfini and Farnese palaces; but a consideration of his whole career shows that he was in fact anything but a copyist. The comparison of him with Wren is justified by the fact that he was, like Wren, a born architect, in the sense that he grasped every problem presented to him from the true architect’s point of view; with both of them architecture was not the dressing up of an exterior, but the fashioning of a building as a conception based on plan and section as well as on the desire to secure a certain external appearance; and, like Wren, he never failed to grasp the true requirements of a site and to adapt his architectural conception to it; a power perfectly different from that of merely producing agreeable elevations in this or that adopted style. Though very careful of his detail, he did not rely on detail, but on the general conception of an architectural scheme. This power was never so remarkably shown as in his grand scheme, unhappily never carried out, for the concentration of all the British government offices in one great architectural ensemble, which was to extend, on the west of Parliament Street and Whitehall, from Great George Street nearly to Charing Cross, the whole of the buildings to be carried out as one design, distributed into quadrangles, each of which was to be connected with one department of the administration, while all would have internal communication. Had this great idea been carried out we might at the present day have found some of the detail of the building unsatisfying to our taste, as we often find the detail in some of Wren’s buildings, but we should have had a grand architectural achievement which would have made London pre-eminent among the capitals of the world. Nothing so great had been proposed in England since Inigo Jones’s plan for Whitehall Palace, which also survives only in drawings, except the one noble bit of classic architecture known as the Banqueting House (Plate VI., fig. 75). It was one of the greatest misfortunes to London as a capital city that the government of the day could not rise to the height of Barry’s ambitious scheme, in which there was nothing financially insuperable, since it was all designed to be carried out by portions at a time, as funds could be spared; but each government office built would in that way have been one step towards the completion of a great central idea; whereas the nation now spends the same money in erecting detached government buildings which have no architectural connexion with each other.

Barry’s two clubs before mentioned are almost ideals of club architecture—the architecture of a civilized society; his Bridge-water House is a building on a larger scale of the same type. That he had architectural ideas less staid and sober than these is shown, however, by the remarkable tower and spire of the Halifax Town Hall (fig. 90), his last work, which he did not live to see carried out, in which he contrived with remarkable success to give the Gothic spirit and multiplicity of effect to a tower which is nevertheless classic in detail. This tower is one of the most original and striking things in modern English architecture and shows how Barry’s architectural ideas were developing up to the close of his life.

Barry’s great building, the Houses of Parliament (Plate X., fig. 118), with which his name will always be more especially associated, comes accidentally, though not by natural development nor by his own choice, under the head of the Gothic revival. The style of Tudor Gothic was dictated to the competitors, apparently from a mistaken idea that the building ought to “harmonize” with the architecture of Henry VII.’s chapel adjacent to the site. Had Barry been left to himself, there is no doubt that the Houses of Parliament, with the same main characteristics of plan and grouping, would have been of a classic type of detail, and would possibly have been a still finer building than it is; and since the choice of the Gothic style in this case was not a direct consequence of the Gothic revival movement, it may be considered separately from that. The architectural greatness of the building consists, in the first place, in the grand yet simple scheme of Barry’s plan, with the octagon hall in the centre, as the meeting-point for the public, the two chambers to north and south, and the access to the committee-rooms and other departments subordinate to the chambers. The plan (fig. 91) in itself is a stroke of genius, and has been more or less imitated in buildings for similar purposes all over the world; the most important example, the Parliament House of Budapest (Plate IX., fig. 115 and fig. 92), being almost a literal copy of Barry’s plan. Thus, as in all great architecture, the plan is the basis of the whole scheme, and upon it is built up a most picturesque and expressive grouping, arising directly out of the plan. The two towers are most happily contrasted as expressive of their differing purposes; the Victoria Tower is the symbol of the State entrance, a piece of architectural display solely for the sake of a grand effect; the Clock Tower is a utilitarian structure, a lofty stalk to carry a great clock high in the air; the two are differentiated accordingly, and the placing of them at opposite ends of the structure has the fortunate effect of indicating, from a distance, the extent of the plan. The graceful spire in the centre offers an effective contrast to the masses of the two towers, while forming the outward architectural expression of the octagon hall, which is, as it were, the keystone of the plan.

The detail is another consideration. Barry, having had a style forced upon him (most unwisely), which he had not studied much and with which he was not much in sympathy, associated Pugin with him to design a good deal of the detail; exactly how much is not certainly known; probably Pugin was responsible for all the interior detail and fittings; the exterior detail may have been only suggested or sketched by him. On this ground absurd attempts have been made, by people who do not seem to understand what architecture in the true sense means, to claim for Pugin what they call the “artistic merit” of the Houses of Parliament. The artistic merit consists in the whole plan, conception and grouping, which are entirely Barry’s, and which represent something beyond Pugin’s grasp; the detail is in fact the weak element in the building. That Pugin’s Gothic detail is better than Barry’s would have been is very likely the case; but had Barry been left unfettered to work out the detail in his own school, the result would probably have been still better. Even as it is, however, the Houses of Parliament is one of the finest buildings in the world, ancient or modern, and it is to be regretted that Englishmen generally seem to be so little aware of this.

HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT, WESTMINSTER.


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Fig. 91.

1. Reading Clerk. 23. Peers’ Staircase. 45. Dining Room of the Deputy Sergeant-at-Arms. 67. Speaker’s Counsel.
2. Dressing Room. 24. Inner Office. 46. Turret Room. 68. Speaker’s Counsel’s Clerk.
3. Clerk of the Parliament. 25. Printed Papers Office. 47. Private Stairs of the Deputy Sergeant-at-Arms. 69. Vote Office.
4. Clerk Assistant’s Dressing Room. 26. Private Bills and Taxing Office. 48. Journal Office Stores. 70. Bar Lobby.
5. Clerk Assistant. 27. Earl Marshal. 49. Police. 71. Speaker’s Lobby.
6. Clerk, House of Lords. 28. Strangers’ and Reporters’ Stairs. 50. Ministers. 72. Ministers.
7. Messengers. 29. Peers’ Standing Order Committee Room. 51. Opposition Ministers. 73. Clerk Assistant.
8. Waiting Room. 30. The Thrones. 52. Members’ Entrance Stairs. 74. Train Bearers.
9. Lord Chancellor’s Secretaries. 31. Bar of the House. 53. Members’ Conference Room. 75. Speaker’s Retiring Room.
10. Lord Chancellor. 32. Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords. 54. Members’ Private Secretaries 76. Old Prison Rooms Lobby.
11. Lord Chancellor’s Dressing Room. 33. Premier. 55. Members’ Small Conference Room. 77. Sergeant-at-Arms’ Smoking Room.
12 Permanent Secretary. 34. Telegraph. 56. Votes and Proceedings. 78. Clock Weight Shaft.
13. Sergeant-at-Arms. 35. Solicitor-General. 57. Accountant and Chief Public Bill Office. 79. Air Shaft.
14. Yeoman Usher of the Black Rod. 36. Attorney-General. 58. Old Treasury Stairs. 80. Smoking Room Lobby.
15. Private Bill Office. 37. Lord Advocate. 59. Post Master. 81. Butler.
16. Chairman’s Dressing 38. Resident Superintendent. 60. Strangers’ Stairs. 82. Speaker’s Secretary.
17. Chairman of Committees. 39. Archbishops. 61. Cistern Tower. 83. Audience Room.
18. Clerk to Private Bill and Taxing Office. 40. Principal Stairs. 62. Irish Whips. 84. Times Reporters.
19. Chairman of Committees Counsel. 41. Residence of the Yeoman Usher of the Black Rod. 63 Government Whips. 85. Strangers’ Gallery.
20. Royal Staircase. 42. Sitting Room. 64. Opposition Whips. 86. Waste Paper.
21. Clerk to Public Bills. 43. Residence of the Clerk of Parliament. 65. Deputy Sergeant-at-Arms. 87. Mess.
22. Minutes. 44. Members’ Entrance. 66. Clerk to Deputy Sergeant-at-Arms.
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Fig. 92.—Plan of the Parliament House, Budapest. (Steindl.)


We may now turn to consider the Gothic Revival movement itself, of which Pugin was one of the most important pioneers. New ideas, however, as to the importance of Gothic architecture had been in the air before he came on the scene, and The Gothic Revival, England. quite early in the century John Britten’s Architectural Antiquities of Great Britain and Cathedral Antiquities, with their beautiful steel engravings by Le Keux, had done much to call attention to the neglected beauty of English medieval churches; and Thomas Rickman’s remarkable and (for its day) masterly analysis of the variations of style in Gothic architecture, which first appeared in 1817, and went through edition after edition in succeeding years, gave the first intelligent direction to the study of the subject. Pugin supplied to the movement not analysis, but passion. He had the merit of having perceived, when quite a youth, that one thing wanted was better craftsmanship, and that craftsmanship in the medieval period was something very different from what it was in the early Victorian period; he set up an atelier of craftsmen, and was the real pioneer of what may be called the Arts and Crafts movement in England. An enthusiast by nature, he flung his whole soul into the task of reviving, as he believed, the glory of English medieval architecture; nothing else in architecture was worth thinking of; Classic and Renaissance were only worth sarcasm. The result in his works was a curious inconsistency. Pugin was not in the true sense a great architect; his mind was not practical enough to grasp an architectural problem as a whole, plan and building combined; in fact, he was no master of plan, and does not seem to have troubled himself much about it. But he had a remarkable perception of interior effect; whenever you go into one of his churches you recognize the desire to realize the greatest effect of height, the most soaring effect of lines, possible within the actual vertical measurements. But in his passion for this soaring expression he seems to have entirely lost sight of the essential quality of solidity and genuineness of material in the medieval architecture which he was trying to emulate or to outvie. So long as he could get his effect of height, his poetic interior, he was content to have thin walls and plaster vaults and ornaments; or, in other words, he spent upon height what should first have been spent upon solid and monumental building. The result has been gently but effectively satirized by Browning in “Bishop Blougram’s Apology”:—


“It’s different preaching in Basilicas
To doing duty in some masterpiece
Like this of brother Pugin’s, bless his heart.
I doubt if they’re half-baked, those chalk rosettes,
Ciphers and stucco-twiddlings everywhere;
It’s just like breathing in a limekiln, eh?”


It is too true; and there is something pathetic in Pugin’s career, in this passionate and sincere pursuit after a revival of the medieval spirit in life and in architecture—a pursuit which towards the close of his life he himself evidently more than half suspected to have been a fallacy.

The full tide of the Gothic revival is connected more especially with the name of Sir Gilbert Scott. He was hardly a pure enthusiast like Pugin; he was a shrewd man of the world, the commencement of whose professional career coincided with the rising tide of ecclesiological reform, and he had the ability to make the best of the opportunity. He appears to have had, even as a child, an inborn interest in church architecture and in Gothic detail (witness the description, in his Memoirs, of his astonishment and interest, at the age of eleven, at the first sight of capitals of the Early English type), and he acquired by unremitting study a knowledge of English Gothic architecture in its every detail which few architects have ever equalled. His numerous churches were, intentionally and confessedly, as close reproductions as possible of medieval architecture, generally that of the Early Decorated period; and if it were desirable that modern church architecture should consist in the reproduction of medieval churches, the task could not have been carried out with more learning and exactitude than it was by him. It was this minute and accurate knowledge of medieval church architecture which made him such a power when the idea of restoring English cathedrals became popular. He had an acquired instinct in tracing out the existence of details which had been overlaid by modern repairs or plasterwork; in going over a cathedral to decide on a scheme of restoration he seemed to know it as an anatomist knows the suggestions of a fossil skeleton; and in the course of his restorations he unearthed many points in the architectural history of the buildings which but for him would never have been elucidated. We now recognize that much of this “restoration” was a mistake, which destroyed the real interest of the cathedrals; and it is unhappily a mistake which cannot be undone. But the violent reproaches which have been heaped upon Scott’s memory on this account are rather unjust. It is forgotten that he was doing what at the time every one considered to be the right thing; cathedral bodies vied with each other in restoration, and were enthusiastic in the cause; there were few if any dissenting voices; and in regard to the interiors of the cathedrals which were in modern use as places of worship, much that he did really required to be done to put them into decent condition. His churches have ceased to be interesting now, as is usually the case with copied architecture; but when they were built they were exactly what every one wanted and was asking for. And he produced at all events one original work which is a great deal better than it is now the fashion to think—the Albert Memorial. It is injured by the statue, for which the commission went to the wrong sculptor; but Scott’s idea of producing, as he phrased it, “a shrine on a great scale,” was really a fine one, and finely carried out. The most important objection to it is one which popular criticism does not recognize, viz. that the vault is tied by concealed iron ties, and would hardly be safe without them. But apart from that it is a fine conception, and Scott was right in regarding it as his best work.

G. E. Street, who was a pupil of Scott, was a greater enthusiast for medieval architecture (which, with him, as with Pugin, included medieval religion) than even Scott, and an architect of greater force and individuality. He was especially devoted to the early Transitional type of Gothic, and in all his buildings there is apparent the feeling for the solidity and monumental character, and the reticence in the use of ornament, which is characteristic of the Transitional period. His churches are noteworthy for their monumental character; and he had a remarkable faculty for giving an appearance of scale and dignity to the interiors of comparatively small churches. Hence his modern-medieval churches retain their interest more than Scott’s, but in respect of secular architecture his taste was hopelessly medievalized, and his great building, the law courts in London, can only be regarded as a costly failure; it is not even beautiful except in regard to some good detail; it is badly planned; and the one fine interior feature, the great vaulted hall, is rendered useless by not being on the same floor with the courts, so that instead of being a salle des pas perdus it is a desert. Street’s career is a warning how real architectural talent and vigour may be stultified by a sentimental adherence to a past phase of architecture. No modern architect had more fully penetrated the spirit of Gothic architecture, and his nave of Bristol cathedral is as good as genuine medieval work, and might pass for such when time-worn; but that is rather archaeology than architecture.

The competition for the law courts was one of the great architectural events of the middle of the century, and made or raised the reputation even of some of the unsuccessful competitors. Edward Barry (the son of Sir Charles) gained the first place for “plan,” which the advisers of the government had foolishly separated from “design” (as if the plan of a building could be considered apart from the architectural conception!), giving first marks for plan, and second for design. E. Barry therefore had really gained the competition, “design,” which was awarded to Street, counting second; but Street managed to push him out, and it is a nemesis on him for this by no means loyal proceeding that the building he contrived to get entirely into his own hands has served to injure rather than benefit his reputation. William Burges (1827-1881), an ardent devotee of French early Gothic, produced a design in that style, which, though quite unsuitable practically, is a greater evidence of architectural power than is furnished by any of his executed buildings. J. P. Seddon (1828-1906), an old adherent of Rossetti and the pre-Raphaelite brotherhood, an architect of genius who never got his opportunity, produced a design which was wildly picturesque in appearance but in reality more practical than might be thought at first sight, and his proposal for a great Record tower for housing official records was a really fine and original idea.

Among the ecclesiastical buildings of the Gothic revival those of William Butterfield (1814-1900), much less numerous than those of Scott and Street, have a special interest as the work of a revival architect who was something more than a mere archaeologist. All Saints, Margaret Street (1859), is the production of an architectural artist using medieval materials to carry out a conception of his own, and hence, like Babbacombe church and others by the same hand, it has an interest for the present day which Scott’s churches have not. His Keble College chapel rather failed from an exaggeration of the use of polychromatic materials, which in some of his other churches he had used with moderation and with good effect. J. L. Pearson was another distinguished architect of the later period of the Gothic revival who was able to put something of his own into modern Gothic churches. No one was more learned in medieval architecture than he was; and as of Street’s nave of Bristol, so we may say of Pearson’s nave of Truro, that it is as good as medieval Gothic; indeed Truro nave is finer in character than some of the ancient cathedral naves, and represents pure Gothic at its best. But in the exteriors of his churches, as at Truro and in the churches of Kilburn and Red Lion Square, Pearson evolved a Gothic of his own which is Pearsonesque and not merely archaeological. James Brooks (1825-1901) also deserves an honoured place in the chronicle of the Gothic revival for being the first to show how large town churches might be erected in brick (fig. 93), in which largeness of scale and a certain grandeur of effect could be obtained without extravagant cost, and in which it was practically demonstrated that architecture in the true Gothic spirit could be produced without depending on ornament.


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Fig. 93.—Exterior of modern English Church. (James Brooks.)


Alfred Waterhouse began his remarkable career as an adherent of the Gothic revival, and merits separate mention inasmuch as he was the only one of the Gothic revivalists who from the first set himself to adapt Gothic to secular uses and to make out of it a modern Gothic manner of his own. His first success was made with the Manchester law courts, a design more purely Gothic than his later works, and an admirably planned building (the only good point in the national law courts plan, the access to the public galleries, is taken from it); his special style was more developed in the Manchester town hall, a building typical both of the defects and merits of his secular Gothic style. This style of his received the compliment, for a good many years, of an immense amount of imitation; in fact, during that earlier period of his work it may be said to have influenced every secular building that was erected in the medieval style all over England. His Gothic detail was, however, not very refined, and he has been subject to the same kind of retrospective injustice which has fallen on Scott, critics in both instances forgetting that what they do not like now was what every one liked then, and could not have enough of. Waterhouse was a master of plan, and a man of immense business and administrative ability, without which he could not have carried out the number of great building schemes which fell into his hands, and he had much more of the qualities of a great architect than are to be found in the works of some of his latter-day critics. His later works, one or two of which will be referred to, do not come under the head of the Gothic revival.

In France, the Gothic revival, which so strongly affected the whole school of English architecture for thirty or forty years, took little hold. Its most remarkable monument is the church of Ste Clotilde at Paris, built about the France. middle of the century from the designs of Ballu. In size it equals a second-class cathedral, and is a fine monument, though it does not show that complete knowledge of medieval Gothic which we find in the churches of Scott, Street, Pearson and G. F. Bodley. But as with the Classic, so with the Gothic revival—the leading French architects of the period had too much personal architectural feeling to be carried along in the wake of a “movement.” Two very important Paris churches, built just after the middle of the century, illustrate well this independence of spirit. The one is the domed church of St Augustin in the Boulevard Malesherbes (Plate XII., fig. 122), designed by Victor Baltard (1805-1874). It may be called a Classic church treated in a quasi-Byzantine manner. A remarkable point about it is that, standing between the divergence of two streets at an acute angle, the outer walls of the nave follow the line of the two streets, the church thus expanding towards the centre; internally the colonnades are parallel, the chapels outside of them increasing in depth from the entrance of the nave towards the centre—a very clever device for reconciling exterior and interior effect. The other church referred to, built about the same time, is La Trinité (Plate XII., fig. 123) by Théodore Ballu (1817-1885)—a church which is Renaissance in detail and yet distinctly Gothic in its general effect and in the multiplicity of its detail, somewhat recalling in this sense Barry’s Halifax tower before referred to. The sense in which there has really been a general movement in church architecture in France has been in the direction of a kind of modernized Byzantine, of which one of the earliest and best examples is the church of St Pierre de Montrouge, by Joseph Auguste E. Vaudremer (Plate XII., fig. 124). A later and more important example is the cathedral of Marseilles, by Léon Vaudoyer (1803-1872) and Henry Espérandieu (1829-1874), a mingling of Romanesque and Byzantine, and in many respects a fine building (Plate XIII., fig. 126). This modern feeling in favour of a Byzantine type of church architecture culminated in the great church of the Sacré Coeur on Montmartre, at Paris, begun in the early ’eighties from the designs of Paul Abadie (1812-1884). This grand building stands on a most effective site, and is of a monumental solidity seldom met with in modern architecture; it is more pure and consistent in style than many of the smaller churches of the same school of architecture. These latter are not for the most part very attractive; they represent in general a kind of Frenchified Byzantine detail which exhibits neither Byzantine spirit nor French grace and finish; and on the whole it may be said that church architecture is the field in which the French architects of the 19th century were least successful.

As regards secular buildings, on the other hand, the Paris of the middle portion of the 19th century can show some of the most unquestionable architectural successes of the period. The modern portions of the Palais de Justice by Louis Joseph Duc (1802-1879)—not Viollet-le-Duc, as is often mistakenly asserted in guide-books—and of the École des Beaux-Arts, by Jacques Félix Duban (1797-1870), are among the best examples of the application of classic forms of architecture to modern buildings; and the Bibliothèque Ste Geneviève (Plate XIII., fig. 128), by Henri Labrouste (1801-1875), was in its day (about 1850) a new creation in applied classic architecture; a building in which the exterior design was entirely subservient to and expressive of the requirements of a library, a large portion of the wall being left unpierced for the storage of books, windows being only inserted where they did not interfere with this object; and the manner in which these walls are treated so as to produce a decorative architectural effect without having recourse to sham colonnades and sham window openings, was entirely new at the time in modern work. It is instructive to compare this design with that of the Bank of England, as examples of the right and the wrong way of treating buildings in which much blank wall space was required. The new buildings of the Louvre (Plate XIV., fig. 129), built under Napoleon III. from the designs of Louis Tullius Joachim Visconti (1791-1853), are not to be passed over, though they have too much of the showy and flaunting character which belonged to both the society and the art of the Second Empire; a fault which also destroys some of the value of the Grand Opera house, a remarkable work by a remarkable architect (Jean Louis Charles Garnier), and typical, more than any other structure, of the epoch in which it was built. Some of its effect it owes to the admirable painting and sculpture with which it is decorated, but the grand staircase is a fine architectural conception (see Garnier).

In England and in the United States, the last quarter of the 19th century was a period of unusual interest and activity in architectural development. While other nations have been content to carry on their architecture, for the Recent English architecture. most part, on the old scholastic lines which had been prevalent since the Renaissance, in the two countries named there has been manifest a spirit of unrest, of critical inquiry into the basis and objects of architecture; an aspiration to make new and original creations in or applications of the art, without example in any other period in the modern history of architecture. In England, the “note”—heard with increasing shrillness of crescendo towards the very last year of the century—was the cry for originality, for throwing off the trammels of the past, for rendering architecture more truly a direct expression of the conditions of practical requirement and of structure. This was no doubt to some extent the effect of a reaction. During the greater part of the century architectural strength, as has been already shown, had been spent in revivals of past styles. Churches indeed, up to the close of the century, continued to be built, for the most part, in revived Gothic; but this was owing to special clerical influence, which saw in Gothic a style specially consecrated to church architecture, and would be satisfied, as a rule, with nothing else. Efforts have been made by architects to modify the medieval church plan into something more practically suited to modern congregational worship, by a system of reducing the side aisles to mere narrow passages for access to the seats, thus retaining the architectural effect of the arcade, while keeping it out of the way of the seated congregation; and there have been occasional reversions to the ancient Christian basilica type of plan, or sometimes, as in the church in Davies Street, London, attempts to treat a church in a manner entirely independent of architectural precedent; but in the main, Gothic has continued to rule for churches. Apart from this special class of building, however, revived Gothic began to droop during the ’seventies. All had been copied that could be copied, and the result, to the architectural mind, was not satisfaction but satiety. Gothic began to be regarded as “played out.” The immediate result, however, was not an organized attempt to think for ourselves, and make our own style, but a recourse to another class of precedent, represented in the type of early “Queen Anne.” 18th-century building which became known as “Queen Anne,” and which, like Gothic before it, was now to be recommended as “essentially English,” as in fact it is. It can hardly, however, be called an architectural style; it would have no right to figure in any work illustrating the great architectural styles of the world. It was, in fact, the last dying phase of the English Renaissance; the architecture of the classic order reduced to a threadbare condition, treated very simply and in plain materials, in many cases shorn of its columnar features, and reflecting faithfully enough the prim rationalistic taste in literature and art of the England of the 18th century. Though not to be dignified as a style, it was, however, a recognizable and consistent manner in building; it made extensive use of brick, a material inexpensive and at the same time very well suited to the English climate and atmosphere; and it was generally carried out in very solid proportions, and with very good workmanship. To a generation tired of imitating a great style at second hand, this unpretending and simple model was a welcome relief, and led to the erection of a considerable number of modern buildings, dwelling-houses especially, the obvious aim of which was to look as like 18th-century buildings as possible. A typical example is the large London house by Norman Shaw, at the corner of Queen’s Gate and Imperial Institute Road The Chelsea town hall (fig. 94), by J. M. Brydon (1840-1901), is a good example of a public building in the revived Queen Anne style.

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Photo, Valentine & Sons, Dundee.

Fig. 120.—NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, SOUTH KENSINGTON. (WATERHOUSE.)



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Photo, M. Gerbeault.

Fig. 121.—LAW COURTS, BRUSSELS. (POELAERT.)

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Photo, Neurdein.

Fig. 122.—CHURCH OF ST AUGUSTIN, PARIS. (BALTARD.)

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      Photo, Neurdein.

Fig. 123.—CHURCH OF LA TRINITÉ, PARIS. (BALLU.)



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      Photo, A. Lévy.

Fig. 124.—CHURCH OF ST PIERRE DE MONTROUGE, PARIS. (VAUDREMER.)

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Photo, Neurdein.

Fig. 125.—CHURCH OF ST VINCENT DE PAUL, PARIS. (HITTORFF.)

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Fig. 94.—Chelsea Town Hall. (J. M. Brydon.)


A change of front from copying a great style like the medieval to copying what is at best a bastard one, if a style at all, might not seem to promise very much for the emancipation of modern architecture; yet there turned out to be one element of progress in it, resting on the fact that the comparatively simple detail of the 18th-century buildings formed a kind of vernacular of building workmanship, which could be comprehended and carried out by good artisans as a recognized tradition. Now to reduce architecture to good sound building and good workmanship seemed to promise at any rate a better basis to work upon than the mere imitation of classic or medieval detail; it might conceivably furnish a new starting-point. This was the element of life in the Queen Anne revival, and it had, as we shall see, an influence beyond the circle of the special revivers of the style. But almost concurrently with, or following hard upon, the “Queen Anne” movement arose the idea of a modern architecture, founded on a free and unfettered treatment of the materials of our earlier Renaissance architecture, as illustrated in buildings of the Stuart period. This “Free classic.” new ideal was styled “free classic,” and it gave the prevailing tone to English architecture for the last fifteen years of the century, though it had its commencement in certain characteristic buildings a good many years earlier than that. In 1873, for instance, there arose a comparatively small front in Leadenhall Street, under the name of “New Zealand Chambers” (fig. 95), designed by Norman Shaw, which excited more attention, and had more influence on contemporary architecture than many a building of far greater size and importance. This represented the playful and picturesque possibilities of “free classic.” Its more restrained and refined achievements were early exemplified in G. F. Bodley’s design for the front of the London School Board offices on the Thames Embankment,[6] a comparatively small building which also exercised a considerable influence. There were no details here, however, but what could be found in Stuart (or, as it is more often called, Jacobean) architecture, but the building, and the prominence of its architect’s name, helped to draw attention to the possibilities of the style, and it has been discovered that free classic is susceptible of a great deal of original treatment based on Renaissance elements. As an example we may cite a street front built some twenty years later by another academician-architect, viz. the offices of the Chartered Accountants in the City, by J. Belcher. More dignified and more monumental than New Zealand Chambers, more original than the School Board offices, this front contains some details and a general treatment which may be said to be absolutely new; it affords another example of a piece of street architecture which attracted a great deal of attention, and has had an effect quite disproportionate to its size and importance as a building; and it gives a general measure of the progress of the “free classic” idea. During the last decade of the century “free classic” was almost the recognized style in English architecture, and has been illustrated in many town halls and other large and important buildings, among which the Imperial Institute is a prominent example (fig. 96).


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Fig. 95.—New Zealand Chambers. (R. Norman Shaw, R.A.)


Concurrently with this tendency towards a free classic style there has arisen another movement which has had a considerable influence on English architecture, viz. an increased perception of the importance of decorative arts—sculpture, The allied arts. painting, mosaic, etc.—in alliance with architecture, and of the architect and the decorative artist working together and in harmony. This is no more than what has long been understood and acted on in France, but it has been a new light to modern English architecture, in which, until a comparatively recent period, decorative painting was hardly thought of, and decorative sculpture, where it was introduced, was too often, or indeed generally, the mere work of some trading firm of masons. But of late years sculpture has taken a far more prominent place in connexion with architecture; it has become a habit with the best architects to rely largely on the introduction of appropriate and symbolic sculpture to add to the interest of their buildings, and to associate with them eminent sculptors, who, instead of regarding their work only in the light of isolated statues or groups for the exhibition room and the art gallery, are willing to give their best efforts to produce high-class sculpture for the decoration of an architectural design which forms the framework to it.


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Fig. 96.—Staircase, Imperial Institute. (Collcutt.)


Notice should be taken, however, of another movement in English architecture during the closing years of the 19th century. Reference has already been made to one idea which prompted the culture of the “Queen Anne” type of The craftsmanship ideal. architecture: that it presented a simple vernacular of construction and detail, in which solid workmanship was a more prominent element than elaboration of what is known as architectural style. To a small group of clever and enthusiastic architects of the younger generation it appeared that this idea of reducing architecture to the common-sense of construction might be carried still further; that as all the revivals of styles since the Renaissance had failed to give permanent satisfaction and had tended to reduce architecture to a learned imitation of the work of former epochs, the real chance for giving life to architecture as a modern art was to throw aside all the conventionally accepted insignia of architectural style—columns, pilasters, cornices, buttresses, etc.—and to begin over again with mere workmanship—wall-building and carpentry—and trust that in process of time a new decorative detail would be evolved, indebted to no precedent. The building artisans, in fact, were collectively to take the place of the architect and the form of the building to be evolved by a natural process of growth. This was a favourite idea also with William Morris, who insisted that medieval art—the only art which he recognized as of any value (Greek, Roman and Renaissance being alike contemptible in his eyes)—was essentially an art of the people, and that in fact it was the modern architects who stood in the way of our having a genuine architecture of the 19th century. Considering how much of merely formal, conventional and soulless architecture has been produced in our time under the guidance of the professional architect, it is impossible to deny that there is an element of truth in this reasoning; at all events, that there have been a good many modern architects who have done more harm than good to architecture. But when we come to follow out this reasoning to its logical results, it is obvious that there are serious flaws in it. Morris’s idea that medieval architecture alone was worthy the name, we may, of course, dismiss at once; it was the prejudice of a man of genius whose sympathies, both in matters social and artistic, were narrow. Nor can we regard the medieval cathedrals as artisan’s architecture. The name of “architect” may have been unknown, but that the personage was present in some guise, the very individuality and variety of our English cathedrals attest. Peterborough front was no mere mason’s conception. And when we come to consider modern conditions of building, it is perfectly obvious that with the complicated practical requirements of modern building, in regard to planning, heating, ventilation, etc., the planning of the whole in a complete set of drawings, before the building is begun, is an absolute necessity. We are no longer in medieval times; modern conditions require the modern architect. The real cause of failure, as far as modern architecture is a failure, lies partly in the fact that it is practised too much as a profession or business, too little as an art; partly in the deadening effect of public indifference to art in Britain. If the public really desired great and impressive works of architecture they would have them; but neither the British public nor its mouthpiece the government, care anything about it. Their highest ambition is to get convenient and economical buildings. And as to the theory of the new school, that we should throw overboard all precedent in architectural detail, that is intellectually impossible. We are not made so that we can invent everything de novo, or escape the effect on our minds of what has preceded us; the attempt can only lead to baldness or eccentricity. Every great style of architecture of the past has, in fact, been evolved from the detail of preceding styles; and some of the ablest and most earnest architects of the present day are, indeed, urging the desirability of clinging to traditional forms in regard to detail, as a means of maintaining the continuity of the art. This does not by any means imply the absence of original architecture; there is scope for endless origination in the plan and the general design of a building. The Houses of Parliament is a prominent example. The detail is a reproduction of Tudor detail, but the plan and the general conception are absolutely original, and resemble those of no other pre-existing building in the world.

It is necessary to take account of all these movements of opinion and principle in English architecture to appreciate properly its position and prospects at the time with which we are here dealing. Turning now from England United States. to the United States, which, as already observed, is the only other important country in which there has been a general new movement in architecture, we find, singular to say, that the course of development has in America been almost the reverse of what has taken place in England. The rapidity of architectural development in America, it may be observed, since about 1875, has been something astonishing; there is no parallel to it anywhere else. Before then the currently accepted architecture of the American Republic was little more than a bad repetition of the English Gothic and Classic types of revived architecture. At the present day no nation, except perhaps France, takes so keen an interest in architecture and produces so many noteworthy buildings; and it may be observed that in the United States the public and the official authorities seem really to have some enthusiasm on the subject, and to desire fine buildings. But the stirring of the dry bones began in America where it ended in England. The first symptoms of an original spirit operating in American architecture showed themselves in domestic architecture, in town and country houses, the latter especially; and the form which the movement took was a desire to escape conventional architectural detail and to return to the simplest form of mere building; rock-faced masonry, sometimes of materials picked up on the site; chimneys which were plain shafts of masonry or brickwork; woodwork simply hewn and squared, but the whole arranged with a view to picturesque effect (figs. 97 and 98). This form of American house became an incident in the course of modern architecture; it even had a recognizable influence on English architects. About the same time an impetus of a more special nature was given to American architecture by a man of genius, H. H. Richardson, who, falling back on Romanesque and Byzantine types of architecture as a somewhat unworked field, evolved from them a type of architectural treatment so distinctly his own (though its origines were of course quite traceable) that he came very near the credit of having personally invented a style; at all events he invented a manner, which was so largely admired and imitated that for some ten or fifteen years American architecture showed a distinct tendency to become “Richardsonesque” (see also Plate XVI., fig. 137). As with all architectural fashions, however, people got tired of this, and the influence of another very able American architect, Richard M. Hunt, coupled perhaps with the proverbial philo-Gallic tendencies of the modern American, led to the American architects, during the last decade of the 19th century, throwing themselves almost entirely into the arms, as it were, of France; seeking their education as far as possible in Paris, and adopting the theory and practice of the École des Beaux-Arts so completely that it is often impossible to distinguish their designs, and even their methods of drawing, from those of French architects brought up in the strictest régime of the “École.” By this French movement the Americans have, on the one hand, shared the advantages and the influence of what is undoubtedly the most complete school of architectural training in the world; but, on the other hand, they have foregone the opportunity which might have been afforded them of developing a school or style of their own, influenced by the circumstances of their own requirements, climate and materials. Figs. 133 and 134, Plate XV., show examples of recent American architecture of the European classic type. Thus, in the two countries which in this period have shown the most activity and restlessness in their architectural aspirations, and given the most original thought to the subject, England has constantly tended towards throwing off the yoke of precedent and escaping from the limits of a scholastic style; while America, commencing her era of architectural emancipation with an attempt at first principles and simple but picturesque building, has ended by a pretty general adoption of the highly-developed scholastic system of another country. The contrast is certainly a curious one. Only one original contribution to the art has been made by America in recent days—one arising directly out of practical conditions, viz. the “high buildings” in cities; a form of architecture which may be said to have originated in the fact that New York is built on a peninsula, and extension of the city is only possible vertically and not horizontally. The tower-like buildings (see Plate XV., fig. 131, and Steel Construction, Plate II., figs. 3 and 4), served internally by lifts, to which this condition of things has given rise, form a really new contribution to architecture, and have been handled by some of the American architects in a very effective manner; though, unfortunately, the rage for rapid building in the cities of the United States has led to the adoption of the false architectural system of running up such structures in the form of a steel framing, cased with a mere skin of masonry or terra-cotta, for appearance’ sake, which in reality depends for its stability on the steel framing. It must be admitted, however, to be a new contribution to architecture, and renders New York, as seen from the harbour, a “towered city” in a sense not realized by the poet.


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Fig. 97.—American Type of Country-House Architecture.



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Fig. 98.—American Seaside Villa. (Bruce Price.)



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Fig. 99.—Crane Public Library, Quincy, Mass. (H. H. Richardson.)


Some sketch of the state of recent architectural thought or endeavour in England seemed essential to the subject, since it is there that what may be called the philosophy of architecture has been most debated, and that thought English progress. has had the most obvious and most direct effect on architectural style and movement. That this has been the case has no doubt been largely due to the influence of Ruskin, who, though his architectural judgment was on many points faulty and absurd in the extreme, had at any rate the effect of setting people thinking—not without result. In other countries architecture continued to pursue, up to the close of the century, the scholastic ideal impressed upon it by the Renaissance, without exciting doubt or controversy unless in a very occasional and partial manner, and without any changes save those minor ones arising from changing habits of execution and use of material. In Germany there appears to be a certain tendency to a greater freedom in the use of the materials of classic architecture, a certain relaxation of the bonds of scholasticism; but it has hardly assumed such proportions as to be ranked as a new movement in architecture.

The last years of the 19th century witnessed the progress to an advanced stage of the most remarkable piece of English church architecture of the period, the Roman Catholic cathedral at Westminster, by J. H. Bentley (1839-1902), English churches. a building which is not a Gothic revival, but goes back to earlier (Byzantine) precedents; not, however, without a considerable element of novelty and originality in the design, especially in some of the exterior detail. The interior was intended for decoration in applied marble and mosaic, yet even as a shell of brickwork, with its solid domes and the immense masses of the piers, it is one of the most impressive and monumental interiors of modern date.


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Fig. 100.—Interior, St Clare’s, Liverpool. (Leonard Stokes.)

In ordinary church architecture, though there is still a good deal of mere imitation medieval work carried out, England has not been without examples of a new and original application of Gothic materials. The interior of the church of St Clare, Liverpool, by Mr Leonard Stokes (fig. 100), is a good example of the modified treatment of the three-aisled medieval plan already referred to, the side aisles being reduced to passages; and also of the tendency in recent years to simplify the treatment of Gothic, in contrast to the florid and over-carved churches of the Gothic revival. The churches of James Brooks, as already noted, have shown many examples of a solid plain treatment of Gothic, yet with a great deal of character; and J. D. Sedding (1838-1891) built some showing great originality, among which the interior of his church of the Holy Redeemer, Clerkenwell, affords also an interesting example of the modern free treatment of forms derived from classic architecture.

The event of most importance in English church architecture at the beginning of the 20th century was the commencement of a modern cathedral at Liverpool. In the early ’eighties the proposal for a cathedral had led to an important competition between three sets of invited architects, Sir William Emerson, Messrs Bodley and Garner and James Brooks. Nothing, however, resulted, except the production of three very fine sets of drawings. Subsequently the subject was taken up again with more energy, and a sketch competition invited for a cathedral on a new site (the one originally intended being no longer available); from among the sketch competitors five were invited to join in a final competition, viz. Messrs Austin and Paley, C. A. Nicholson, Gilbert Scott (grandson of Sir Gilbert Scott), Malcolm Stark and W. J. Tapper. Mr Scott’s design was selected (May 1903) and the building of it commenced not long after. It is a design in revived Gothic, of the orthodox type as to detail, though containing some points of decided originality in the general treatment. The condition proposed in the first instance by the committee, that the designs sent in must be in the Gothic style, gave rise to a strong protest, in the architectural journals and elsewhere, on the ground that the revival of ancient styles was a mistaken and exploded fallacy; and in deference to this expression of opinion the committee officially withdrew the limitation as to style. That, in view of their obvious bias, they would confine their selection to designs in the Gothic style, was, however, a foregone conclusion. It is much to be regretted that the opportunity was not taken to evolve a modern and Protestant type of cathedral, with a central area and a dome as its principal feature.

In the architecture of public buildings one of the earliest incidents in this latest period was the completion of the Albert Hall, which, though the work of an engineer, and commonplace in detail, is in the main a fine and novel architectural conception, English public buildings. and a practical success (considering its abnormal size) as a building for musical performances. Had its constructor been bold enough to roof it with a solid masonry dome, with an “eye” in the centre (as in the Pantheon) instead of a huge dish-cover of glass and iron, there would have been little to find fault with in its general conception. It was also the first modern English building of importance to be decorated externally with symbolical figure composition, in the shape of the large frieze in coarse mosaic of terra-cotta, which is carried round the upper portion of the exterior, and which, if not very interesting in detail, at all events fulfils very well its purpose as a piece of decorative effect. The subject of the government offices in London forms in itself an important chapter in recent architectural history. The home and foreign office block was finished in 1874; a sumptuous, but weak and ill-planned building designed by Scott, invita Minerva, in a style alien to his own predilections. In 1884 took place the great competition for the war and admiralty offices conjointly, won by a commonplace but admirably drawn design, presenting some good points in planning. The building was to stand between Whitehall and St James’s Park, with a front both ways. The competition came to nothing, and the successful architects were eventually employed to build the new admiralty as it now stands, a mean and commonplace building with no street frontage, in which economy was the main consideration, and totally discreditable to the greatest naval power in the world. In 1898-1899 it was at last resolved to a war office and other government offices much needed, and an irregular site opposite the Horse Guards was selected for the war office and one in Great George Street for the others. In this case there was no competition, but the government selected two architects after inquiry as to their works (“classic” architecture being a sine qua non); W. Young (d. 1900) for the war office, and J. M. Brydon for the Great George Street block. The war office site is inadequate and totally unsymmetrical, the boundary of the building being settled by the boundary of the street curb, and the inner courtyards are of very mean proportions compared with the great courtyard of the home and foreign office. Both architects produced grandiose designs, but in regard to the war office at least the government threw away a great opportunity.

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Photo, Neurdein.

Fig. 126.—CATHEDRAL, MARSEILLES. (VAUDOYER AND ESPERANDIEU.)

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Photo, Neurdein.

Fig. 127.—MAIRIE, Xth ARRONDISSEMENT, PARIS. (ROUYER.)



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Photo, A. Lévy.

Fig. 128.—BIBLIOTHÈQUE STE GENEVIÈVE, PARIS. (LABROUSTE.)

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Photo, L.L. Paris.

Fig. 129.—PAVILLON RICHELIEU, THE LOUVRE, PARIS. (VISCONTI.)



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Photo, Neurdin.

Fig. 130.—PETIT PALAIS, PARIS. (GIRAULT.)

There can only be further enumerated a few of the more important buildings erected in England during the later years of the 19th century, and mention made of the general course which architecture has taken in regard to special classes of buildings. The Natural History Museum (Plate XI., fig. 120), completed in 1881 by Alfred Waterhouse, may stand as a type of the taste for the employment of terra-cotta, with all its dangerous facilities in ornamental detail, of which that architect specially set the example. Detail is certainly overdone here, but the building is strikingly original; a point not to be overlooked in these days of architectural copying. The Imperial Institute, the result of a competition among six selected architects, represents also a type of architecture which its architect, T. E. Collcutt, maybe said to have matured for himself, and which has been extensively imitated; a refined variety of free classic, always quiet and delicate in detail, though perhaps rather wanting in architectonic force. The next great architectural competition was that for the completion of the South Kensington Museum, the bare brick exterior of which, waiting for architectural completion, had long been a national disgrace. The competition produced some fine and striking designs, some of them perhaps more so than the selected one by Sir Aston Webb, whose fine plan, however, justified the selection. Another competition which excited general interest was that in 1894, for the rebuilding on a country site of Christ’s Hospital schools, also gained by Aston Webb (in collaboration with Ingress Bell), by a design which, in its arrangement of schoolhouses in detached blocks (fig. 101), but in a symmetrical grouping, opened up a new idea in public-school planning, and struck a blow at the picturesque but insanitary quadrangle system. Among notable public buildings of the period ought to be mentioned Norman Shaw’s New Scotland Yard, built in a style neither classic nor Gothic, but partaking of the elements of both (Plate X., fig. 119). A competition in 1908 for the design of the new county hall for the London County Council, to be “English Renaissance” in style, was won by a young architect, till then unknown, Mr Ralph Knott.


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Fig. 101.—Plan of a Master’s House, New Christ’s Hospital. (Webb and Bell.)



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Fig. 102.—Sheffield Town Hall. (Mountford.)



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Fig. 103.—Oxford Town Hall. (Hare.)


In recent years there has been a great movement for building town halls; towns rather vying with each other in this way. Of late nearly all of these have been carried out in some variety of free classic. Among the more important in point of scale is that of Sheffield, by E. W. Mountford (1856-1908) (fig. 102); among smaller ones, those of Oxford, by H. T. Hare (fig. 103); and Colchester, by John Belcher, are particularly good examples of recent architecture of this class, the former distinguished also by an exceptionally good plan. The merit of excellent planning also belongs to Aston Webb and Ingress Bell’s Birmingham law courts, one of the modern terra-cotta buildings of somewhat too florid detail, though picturesque as a whole. Among public halls the M‘Ewan Hall at Edinburgh, completed in 1898 from the designs of Sir Rowand Anderson, deserves mention as one of the most original and most carefully designed of recent buildings in Great Britain.

The various new buildings erected in connexion with the university of Oxford, those by T. G. Jackson (b. 1835) especially, form an important incident in modern English architecture. Mr Jackson succeeded to a remarkable degree in designing new buildings which are in harmony with the old architecture of the university city; sometimes perhaps a little too imitative of it, but at any rate he has the credit of having added rather extensively to Oxford without spoiling it; while his school buildings in different parts of the country have a refinement and domesticity of feeling which is the true note of school architecture. Among buildings of an educational class, the move in technical education has led to the erection of a good many large polytechnic and similar institutions, which in many cases have been well treated architecturally; the Northampton Institute at Clerkenwell (fig. 104), by Mountford, being perhaps one of the boldest and most effective of recent public buildings. In the building of hospitals and asylums much has been done, and great progress made in the direction of hygienic and practical planning and construction, but the tendency has been (perhaps rightly) towards making this practical efficiency the main consideration and reducing architectural treatment to the simplest character. St Thomas’s hospital at Lambeth exemplifies the treatment of hospital architecture at the commencement of the last quarter of the 19th century; the separate pavilion system had been already adopted on practical grounds, but the building is treated in a sumptuous architectural style, as if representing so many detached mansions—a treatment which would now be deprecated as an expenditure foreign to the main purpose of the building. One recent hospital, however, that at Birmingham, by W. Henman, combining architectural effect with the latest hygienic improvements, was the first large hospital in Great Britain in which the system of mechanical ventilation was completely and consistently carried out.


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Fig. 104.—Northampton Institute, Clerkenwell. (Mountford.)



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Fig. 105.—Cragside. (R. Norman Shaw.)


In theatre building there has been an immense improvement in regard to planning, ventilation and fireproof construction, but little to note in an architectural sense, since theatres in England are never designed by eminent architects, the financial and practical aspects being alone considered.


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Fig. 106.—London City & Midland Bank, Ludgate Hill Branch. (Collcutt.)


In domestic architecture the tendency has been to quit picturesque irregularity for a more formal and more dignified treatment. Such a house as Norman Shaw’s “Cragside,” built in the earlier part of our period (fig. 105), however its picturesque English domestic and street architecture. treatment may still be admired, would hardly be built now on a large scale; its architect himself has of late years shown a preference for a symmetrical and regular treatment of house architecture sometimes to the extent of making the mansion look too like a barrack. In street architecture, however, the tendency has been towards a more characteristic and more picturesque treatment; nor is there any class of building in which the improvement in English architecture has been more marked and more unquestionable. Many of the new residential streets in the west end of London present a really picturesque ensemble, and many shops and other commercial street buildings have been erected with admirable fronts from the designs of some of the best architects of the day. Norman Shaw’s building at the corner of St James’s Street and Pall Mall was one of the first, and is still one of the best examples of modern street architecture, though surpassed by the same architect’s more recent building opposite, at the south-west angle of St James’s Street—one of the finest and most monumental examples of street architecture in London. Among other examples may be cited T. E. Collcutt’s London City & Midland Bank in Ludgate Hill (fig. 106) and R. Blomfield’s narrow house-front in Buckingham Gate (fig. 107). The introduction of sculpture in street fronts is also beginning to receive attention; and a simple house-front recently erected in Margaret Street, London, from the design of Beresford Pite (fig. 108), is an excellent example of the use of sculpture in connexion with ordinary street architecture. It is significant of the increased attention accorded to street architecture, that the most important architectural event in England at the very close of the 19th century, was the outlay of £2000 by the London County Council, in fees to eight architects for designs for the front of the proposed new streets of Kingsway and Aldwych. The idea was to treat these streets as comprehensive architectural designs with a certain unity of effect. Unfortunately this idea was abandoned for merely commercial reasons, it being feared that there would be a difficulty in letting the sites if tenants were required to conform their frontages to a general design. In the case of Aldwych, which is a crescent street, this decision was fatal. A crescent loses all its effect unless treated as a complete and symmetrical architectural design.


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Fig. 107.—House in Buckingham Gate, London. (R. Blomfield.)


The competition for the Queen Victoria Memorial, consisting of a processional road from Whitehall to Buckingham Palace, culminating in a sculptural trophy in front of the palace, attracted a great deal of attention in 1901. Of the five invited competitors—Sir Aston Webb (b. 1849), T. G. Jackson, Ernest George (b. 1839), Sir Thomas Drew (b. 1838), and Sir Rowand Anderson (b. 1834) the two latter representing Ireland and Scotland respectively,—Sir Aston Webb’s design was selected, and unquestionably showed the best and most effective manner of laying out the road, as well as a very pleasing architectural treatment of the semicircular forecourt in front of the palace, with pavilions and fountain-basins symmetrically spaced; but some of this was subsequently sacrificed on grounds of economy. The building, a triumphal arch flanked by pavilions, forming the entry to the processional road from Whitehall, is a dignified design.

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Fig. 108.—House in
Margaret Street, London.
(Beresford Pite.)

In France, still the leading artistic nation of the world, the art of architecture has been in a most flourishing and most active state in the most recent period. It is true that there is not the same variety as in modern English Recent French architecture. architecture, nor have there been the same discussions and experiments in regard to the true aim and course of architecture which have excited so much interest in England; because the French architects, unlike the English, know exactly what they want. They have a “school” of architecture; they adhere to the scholastic or academic theory of architecture as an art founded on the study of classic models; and on this basis their architects receive the most thorough training of any in the world. This predominance of the academic theory deprives their architecture, no doubt, of a good deal of the element of variety and picturesqueness; a French architect pur sang, in fact, never attempts the picturesque, unless in a country residence, and then the results are such that one wishes the attempt had not been made. But, on the other hand, modern French architecture at its best has a dignity and style about it which no other nation at present reaches, and which goes far to atone for a certain degree of sameness and repetition in its motives; and living under a government which recognizes the importance of national architecture, and is willing to spend public money liberally on it (with the full approbation of its public), the French architects have opportunities which English ones but seldom enjoy—the predominant aim with a British government being to see how little they can spend on a public building. The two great Paris exhibitions of 1889 and 1900 may be regarded as important events in connexion with architecture, for even the temporary buildings erected for them showed an amount of architectural interest and originality which could be met with nowhere else, and which in each case left its mark behind it, though with a difference; for while in the 1889 exhibition the main object was to treat temporary structures—iron and concrete and terra-cotta—in an undisguised but artistic manner, in those of the 1900 exhibition the effort was to create an architectural coup d’œil of apparently monumental structures of which the actual construction was disguised. In spite of some eccentricities the amount of invention and originality shown in these temporary buildings was most remarkable; but fortunately the exhibition left something more permanent behind it in the shape of the two art-palaces and the new bridge over the Seine. The two palaces are triumphs of modern classic architecture; the larger one (by MM. Thomas, Louvet and Deglane) is to some extent spoiled by the apparently unavoidable glass roof, the smaller one, by M. Girault, escapes this drawback, and, still more refined than its greater opposite, is one of the most beautiful buildings of modern times; the central portion is shown in Plate XIV., fig. 130. The architectural pylons, with their accompanying sculpture, which flank the entries to the bridge, are worthy of the best period of French Renaissance. Thus much, at least, has the 1900 exhibition done for architecture.

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Fig. 109.—Plan of Hôtel de Ville, Paris.

 A, Salle des Fêtes. F, Salle des Cariatides. M, Corridor.
B, Salle à manger. G, General Secretary. N, President of Council.
C, Salons de Réception. H, Prefect. O, Library.
D, Council Chamber. K, Committee Rooms. P, Refreshment Room.
E, Grand Staircase. L, Public Works. 


At the beginning of the last quarter of the 19th century stands one of the most important of modern French buildings, the Paris hôtel de ville, commenced shortly after the war, from the designs of MM. Ballu and Deperthes, planned on an immense scale, and on the stateliest and most monumental lines: the plan is given in fig. 109. The central block is, externally, a restoration of the old hôtel de ville, the remainder carried out in an analogous but somewhat more modern style. The interior has been the scene of sumptuous pictorial decoration, in which all the first artists of the day were employed—unfortunately in too scattered a manner and on no predominant or consistent scheme. One of the most characteristic architectural efforts of the French has consisted in the erection of the various smaller hôtels-de-ville or mairies, in the city and suburban districts of the capital; as at Pantin, Lilas, Suresnes and in various arrondissements within the city proper (Plate XIII., fig. 127). Nothing shows the quality of modern French architecture better, or perhaps more favourably, than this series of district town halls; all have a distinctly municipal character and a certain family resemblance of style amid their diversity of details; all are refined specimens of pre-eminently civilized architecture. Among the greater architectural efforts of France is the immense block of the new Sorbonne, by M. Nénot, a building sufficient in itself for an architectural reputation. Among smaller French buildings of peculiar merit may be mentioned the Musée Galliera, in the Trocadéro quarter of Paris, designed by M. Ginain—a work of pure art in architecture such as we should nowadays look for in vain out of France; the École de Médecine, by the same refined architect (fig. 110); and the chapel in rue Jean Goujon (Guilbert), erected as a memorial to the victims of the bazaar fire, again a notable instance of a work of pure thought in architecture—a new conception out of old materials. The new Opéra Comique (Bernier) should also be mentioned, the rather disappointing result of a competition which excited great interest at the time. Street architecture has been carried out of late in Paris in a sumptuous style, with great stone fronts and a profusion of carved ornament, such as we know nothing of in England; and though there is a rather monotonous repetition of the same style and character throughout the new or newly built streets, it is impossible to deny the effect of palatial dignity they impart to the city. In the matter of country houses the French architect is less fortunate; when he attempts what he regards as the rural picturesque, his good taste seems entirely to desert him, and the maison de campagne is generally a mere riot of gimcrack bargeboards and finials. In Paris, the taste for the contortions of what is called art nouveau has led to the erection, here and there, of ugly and eccentric fronts with preposterous ornamental details; but the invasion of this element is only partial and will probably not prove other than a passing phase.


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Fig. 110.—École de Médecine, Paris. (Ginain.)


The great military success of Germany in 1870, and the founding of the German empire, gave, as is usual in such crises, a decided impetus to public architecture, of which the central and most important visible sign is the German Houses of Parliament Germany. (Plate IX., fig. 117), by Paul Wallot (b. 1841), whose design was selected in a competition. There is something essentially German in the quality of this national building; classic architecture minus its refinement. The detail is coarse; the finish of the end pavilions of the principal front absolutely unmeaning—mere architectural rodomontade; the central cupola of glass and iron, on a square plan, probably the ugliest central feature on any great building in Europe; and yet there is undeniable power about the whole thing; it is the characteristic product of a conquering nation not reticent in its triumph. The new cathedral at Berlin, by Julius Raschdorff (b. 1823), is the other most important German work of the period (fig. 111); a building very striking and unusual in plan, but absolutely commonplace in its architectural detail; school classic of the most ordinary type, without even any of those elements of originality which are to be found in the Houses of Parliament. A curious feature in the plan (fig. 112) is that the building, alone of any cathedral we can recall, has its principal general entrance at the side, the end entrance being reserved for a special imperial cortège on special occasions, the cathedral also serving the second purpose of an imperial mausoleum. Theatre building has been carried on very largely in Germany, and among its productions the Lessing theatre at Berlin (fig. 113) (Hermann von der Hude and Julius Hennicke, d. 1892) is a favourable example of German classic at its best, besides being, like most modern German theatres, very well planned (fig. 114). Hamburg has had its new municipal buildings (Grotjan), a florid Renaissance building with a central tower, showing in its general effect and grouping a good deal of Gothic feeling. Mention may also be made of the Imperial law courts (Reichsgerichtsgebäude) at Leipzig, designed by Ludwig Hoffmann (b. 1852) and finished in 1895, a building with no more charm about it, externally, than the Berlin Parliament Houses, but with some good interior effects. The new post offices in Germany have been an important undertaking, and are, at all events, buildings of more mark than those in England. There has also been a great deal of new development in street architecture, which shows an immense variety, and a constantly evident determination to do something striking, but we find in it neither the dignity of Parisian street architecture nor the refinement of modern London work; there is an element of the bombastic about it.


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Fig. 111.—Cathedral at Berlin. (Raschdorff.)



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Fig. 112.—Plan of Cathedral at Berlin.



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Fig. 113.—Lessing Theatre, Berlin. (Von der Hude and Hennicke.)

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Fig. 114.—Plan of Lessing Theatre, Berlin.

No modern building on the European continent is more remarkable than the Brussels law courts (Plate XI., fig. 121) from the designs of Joseph Poelaert (1816-1879), an original genius in architecture, who had the good fortune to be appreciated and given a free hand by his government. The design is based on classic architecture, but with a treatment so completely Other countries. individual as to remove it almost entirely from the category of imitative or revival architecture; somewhat fantastic it may be, but as an original architectural creation it stands almost alone among modern public buildings. In Vienna the scholastic classic style has been retained with much more purity and refinement than in the German capital, and the Parliament Houses (Plate IX., fig. 116), by Theophil Hansen (1813-1891), if they show no originality of detail, have the merit of original and very effective grouping. Budapest, on the other hand, which has almost sprung into existence since 1875 as the rival of the Austrian capital, has erected a great Parliament building of florid character (Plate IX., fig. 115), in a style in which the Gothic element is prevalent, though the central feature is a dome. The plan (see fig. 92) is obviously based on that of the Westminster building, the exterior design, however, has the merit of clearly indicating the position of the two Chambers as part of the architectural design, the want of which is the one serious defect of Barry’s noble structure. In Italy modern architecture is at a very low ebb; the one great work of this period was the building of the façade to the Duomo at Florence, from the design of de Fabris, who did not live to see its completion. As the completion in modern times of a building of world-wide fame, it is a work of considerable interest, and, on the whole, not unworthy of its position; that it should harmonize quite satisfactorily with the ancient structure was hardly to be expected. It was probably the completion of this façade which led the city of Milan to start a great architectural competition, in the early ’eighties, for the erection of a new façade to its celebrated cathedral, not because the façade had never been completed, but because it had been spoiled and patched with bad 18th-century work. The ambition was a legitimate one, and the competition, open to all the world, excited the greatest interest; but the young Italian architect, Brentano, to whom the first premium was awarded, died shortly afterwards, and other causes, partly financial, led to the postponement of the scheme, though it is understood that there is still an intention of carrying out Brentano’s design under the direction of the official architectural department of the city.

In summing up the present position of modern architecture, it may be said that architecture is now a more cosmopolitan art than it has been at any previous period. The separate development of a national style has become Conclusion. in the present day almost an impossibility. Increased means of communication have brought all civilized nations into close touch with each other’s tastes and ideas, with the natural consequence that the treatment of a special class of building in any one country will not differ very materially from its treatment in another; though there are nuances of local taste in detail, in manner of execution, in the materials used. And the civilized countries have almost with one consent returned, in the main, to the adoption of a school of architecture based on classic types. The taste for medievalism is dying out even in Great Britain, which has been its chief stronghold.

What course the future of modern architecture will take it is not easy to prophesy. What is quite certain is that it is now an individual art, each important building being the production, not of an unconsciously pursued national style, but of a personal designer. As far as there is a ruling consensus in architectural taste, this will tend to become, like dress and manners, more and more cosmopolitan; and it seems probable that it will be based more or less on the types left us by Classic and Renaissance architecture. There are, however, two influences which may have a definite effect on the architecture of the near future. One of these is the possible greater rapprochement between architecture and engineering, of which there are already some signs to be seen; architects will learn more of the kind of structural problems which are now almost the exclusive province of the engineer, and there will be a demand that engineering works shall be treated, as they well may be, with some of the refinement and expression of architecture. The other influence lies in the closer connexion, which is already taking place, between architecture and the allied arts, so that an important building will be regarded and treated as a field for the application of decorative sculpture and painting of the highest class, and as being incomplete without these. It is in this closer union of architecture with the other arts that there lies the best hope for the architecture of the future.

Authorities.—The literature of architecture as a modern art is limited, the most important publications of recent times being mainly devoted to the study and illustration of ancient architecture. The following, however, may be named:—James Fergusson, History of Modern Architecture (2nd ed., London, 1873); T. G. Jackson, Modern Gothic Architecture (London, 1873); J. T. Micklethwaite, Modern Parish Churches (London, 1874); E. R. Robson, School Architecture (London, 1874); J. J. Stevenson, House Architecture (London, 1880); E. E. Viollet-le-Duc, How to Build a House (London, 1874); Lectures on Architecture (London, 1881); H. C. Burdett, Hospitals and Asylums of the World (London, 1892-1893); Professor Oswald Kuhn, Krankenhäuser (Stuttgart, 1897); E. O. Sachs, Modern Opera-Houses and Theatres (London, 1897-1899); E. Wyndham Tarn, The Mechanics of Architecture (London, 1893); R. Norman Shaw, R.A., T. G. Jackson, R.A., and others, Architecture, a Profession or an Art (London, 1892); W. H. White, The Architect and his Artists (London, 1892); Architecture and Public Buildings in Paris and London (London, 1884); H. H. Statham, Architecture for General Readers (London, 1895); Modern Architecture (London, 1898); Herrmann Muthesius, Die englische Baukunst der Gegenwart (Berlin and Leipzig, 1900); Der Architekten Verein zu Berlin, Berlin und Seine Bauten (Berlin, 1896). The real literature of modern architecture, however, is to be found mainly in the articles and illustrations in the best periodical architectural publications of various countries. Among these Italy has none worth mention, and France, with all her architectural enthusiasm, has had no first-class architectural periodical since the extinction, about 1890, of the Revue générale de l’architecture, conducted for more than fifty years by the late César Daly, and in its day the first periodical of its class in the world. Among the best periodical publications are: The Architectural Record (quarterly), (New York); The Architectural Review (monthly), (Boston); the Allgemeine Bauzeitung (quarterly), (Vienna); the Berlin Architekturwelt (monthly), (Berlin); The Builder (weekly), (London); La Construction moderne (weekly), (Paris).  (H. H. S.) 

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Copyright 1903 by Detroit Photographic Co.
Fig.
131.—“FLAT-IRON” BUILDING, NEW YORK.
(For method of construction, see Steel Construction, and Plate II., Fig. 4, of that article.)

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Copyright 1899 by Detroit Photographic Co.
Fig.
132.—A NEWPORT, R.I., “COTTAGE”: “THE BREAKERS.”

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Fig. 133.—THE METROPOLITAN CLUB, NEW YORK.

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Copyright 1905 by Detroit Publishing Co.
Fig.
134.—THE UNIVERSITY CLUB, NEW YORK.

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Photo, Detroit Publishing Co.


Fig. 135.—PUBLIC LIBRARY, BOSTON. (McKIM, MEAD & WHITE.)



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Photo, Elmer Chickering.


Fig. 137.—TRINITY CHURCH, BOSTON. (H. H. RICHARDSON.)

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Photo, Geo. P. Hall & Son.


Fig. 136.—PUBLIC LIBRARY, NEW YORK. (CARRÈRE & HASTINGS.)



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Copyright 1906 by Detroit Publishing Co.


Fig. 138.—STATE CAPITOL, HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT.


  1. For the various chronological systems proposed see Egypt: Chronology.
  2. Except, possibly, the earliest of those at Sparta (q.v.).—Ed.
  3. Article “Architecture,” Ency. Brit., 9th ed.
  4. Wilkins made two designs for the whole building; one leaving the quadrangle entirely open on the fourth side, towards the street the other showing a low open colonnaded screen connecting the ends of the two wings. He never for a moment contemplated closing in the quadrangle by buildings on the fourth side.
  5. A remarkable instance of this is shown by the railway viaduct at Passy, a large and monumental piece of work in itself, which is built along the centre of the roadway of Napoleon’s bridge. It was’ at first proposed to have a steel railway viaduct parallel with the old bridge, but it was found that the latter, both in respect of solidity and spacious dimensions, would fully bear the erection of the railway viaduct along its centre.
  6. The western half of the present front; the design was duplicated afterwards, on the extension of the building, but Bodley originated it.