Page:Ruskin - The Seven Lamps of Architecture.djvu/24

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buildings, generally, the birds and flowers which are singing and budding in the fields around them, we shall have a school of English architecture. Not till then.

This general principle being understood, there is, I think, nothing in the text which I may not leave in the form in which it was originally written, without further comment, except only the expression of doubt (p. 218) as to the style which ought, at present, to be consistently adopted by our architects. I have now no doubt that the only style proper for modern northern work, is the Northern Gothic of the thirteenth century, as exemplified, in England, pre-eminently by the cathedrals of Lincoln and Wells, and, in France, by those of Paris, Amiens, Chartres, Rheims, and Bourges, and by the transepts of that of Rouen.

I must here also deprecate an idea which is often taken up by hasty readers of The Stones of Venice; namely, that I suppose Venetian architecture the most noble of the schools of Gothic. I have great respect for Venetian Gothic, but only as one among many early schools. My reason for devoting so much time to Venice, was not that her architecture is the best in existence, but that it exemplifies, in the smallest compass, the most interesting facts of architectural history. The Gothic of Verona is far nobler than that of Venice; and that of Florence nobler than that of Verona. For our own immediate purposes that of Notre-Dame of Paris is noblest of all; and the greatest service which can at present be rendered to architecture, is the careful delineation of the details of the cathedrals above named, by means of photography. I would particularly desire to direct the attention of amateur photographers to this task; earnestly requesting them to bear in mind that while a photograph of landscape is merely an amusing toy, one of early architecture is a precious historical document; and that this architecture should be taken, not merely when it presents itself under picturesque general forms, but stone by