Page:Ruskin - The Seven Lamps of Architecture.djvu/22

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a poet; and every building whose excellence consists merely in the proportion of masses is to be considered as nothing more than an architectural doggrel, or rhyming exercise.

4. Artistical and rational Admiration. I found finally, that this, the only admiration worth having, attached itself wholly to the meaning of the scupture and colour on the building. That it was very regardless of general form and size; but intensely observant of the statuary, floral mouldings, mosaics, and other decorations. Upon which, little by little, it gradually became manifest to me that the sculpture and painting were, in fact, the all in all of the thing to be done; that these, which I had long been in the careless habit of thinking subordinate to the architecture, were in fact the entire masters of the architecture; and that the architect who was not a sculptor or a painter, was nothing better than a frame-maker on a large scale. Having once got this clue to the truth, every question about architecture immediately settled itself without farther difficulty. I saw that the idea of an independent architectural profession was a mere modern fallacy, the thought of which had never so much as entered the heads of the great nations of earher times; but that it had always, till lately, been understood, that in order to have a Parthenon, one had to get a preliminary Phidias; and to have a Cathedral of Florence, a preliminary Giotto ; and to have even a Saint Peter's at Rome, a preliminary Michael Angelo. And as, with this new light, I examined the nobler examples of our Gothic cathedrals, it became apparent to me that the master workman must have been the person who carved the bas-reliefs in the porches; that to him all others must have been subordinate, and by him all the rest of the cathedral essentially arranged; but that in fact the whole company of builders, always large, were more or less divided into two great flocks of stonelayers and sculptors; and that the number of sculptors