Page images

is sufficiently proved by its remains. To ployed in the apertures of walls, and in the these people is attributed the invention of ceilings over passages and apartments of one of the orders of architecture, called after their buildings. Particularly in the decline them the Tuscan.

of the empire, from the reign of ConstanWe are told by Vitravius, that the inter- tine, and upon the establishment of Chriscolumns of their temples were wide, and tianity, external magnificence was every that they were linteled with wooden archi- where sacrificed to internal decoration. traves.

The purity of taste in the arts of design deThe Romans appear to have had their clined rapidly, and finally perished with the first knowledge of architecture from the extinction of the empire. The most beauEtrurians : but it was not till after the con- tiful edifices, erected in the preceding quest of Greece, that they acquired a just reigns, were divested of their ornaments, to relish for its beautjes. It seems to have at decorate the churches. In this age of spotained to its highest degree of excellence in tiation, architects, deficient in the knowthe reign of Augustus, and continued to ledge of their profession, adopted the most flourish till the seat of empire was removed ready modes of construction: to accomto Byzantium. The works of the Romans plish this, many beautiful structures were were much more numerous than those of deprived of their columns, and placed at any other people. The remains of their wide intervals in the new buildings; and palaces, theatres, amphitheatres, baths, over the capitals were thrown arches for mausoleums, and other works, excite at this the support of the superstructure: most of day the admiration and astonishment of the ornamental parts were taken from other every judicious beholder. Their first tem- buildings, which were spoiled for the purples were round and vaulted, and hence pose. The edifices of Italy now assumed they are accounted the inventors of the the same general features as those which dome. The plans of their buildings were characterised the middle ages. This dispomore varied than those of the Greeks, who, sition is the plan of the Roman basilicas, excepting but in a few instances of small, but is more nearly allied, in the elevation, but beautiful specimens, such as the Tower of to the opposite sides of the Egyptian oeci, the Winds, and the monument of Lycicrates, which has also the same plan as the basilica, erected their principal edifices upon rec

and which was of similar construction to tangular plans. The Romans constructed the churches in after times, excepting in circular temples crowned with domes, am- the want of arches: both had a nave, with phitheatres upon elliptic plans, and their an aisle upon each fiank, separated from theatres, and many other buildings, upon the nave by a range of columns, which supmixt-lined plans. By this variety they formed ported a wall, pierced with windows for a style that was both elegant and magnifi- lighting the nave: against this wall, and cent. But let it be remembered, that not. 'over the columns, were placed other atwithstanding the grandeur, the magnitude, tached columns. This, when roofed over and number of their works, their style was

with a groined ceiling, such as that of the never so pure as in the flourishing ages of Temple of Peace, will form the interior of Greece. Among the Romans, entabla a building, similar to that of the Saxon tures were frequently omitted, columns were

"churches. made to support arches and groined vaults; The Corinthian order was the favourite, arcades were substituted for colonades, and order among the Romans, and as far as exvaults for ceilings. In several of their most isting examples enable us to judge, the only magnificent public buildings we find stories order well understood, and happily exeof arcades upon each other, or in the same cuted. front with the solid parts of the masonry de What we now call the Composite order, corated with the orders, which, instead of is of Roman extraction: it was employed forming an essential part in the construction, in many of their buildings, but chiefly in are degraded to idle and ostentatious orna the triumphal arches: from what we find in ments. This is very conspicuous in the Vitruvius, it was never accounted a distinct theatre of Marcellus, and in the Coliseum. order, but as a species of the Corinthian

It is probable that the arch was invented only. The only existing example that Rome in Greece, but was almost constantly em affords of the Doric order, is that executed ployed by the Romans, who not only consi- in the theatre of Marseilles, and, though in dered it necessary in the construction, but the age of Augustus, is but a vitiated com25 an ornament, which they layishly em- position: the columns are meagre and plain,

divested of that sublime grandeur and ele- count of Vitruvius, that the method of making gance which are so conspicuons in the solidity lime by the Romans was not very different and Autings of the Grecian Doric. The from it is at the present day. “ Lime dentils in the cornice are too effeminate a should be burnt from white stone, or flint, substitute for the masculine mutules which of which the thick and hard sort are more are so characteristic of the origin of this proper for building walls, as those which order.

are porous are for plastering. When the The Ionic in the same building is ill exe lime is burnt the ingredients are thus to be cuted. The channels of the volutes, of the mixed: with three parts of pit sand, one capitals, of the Ionic columns on the Colo- part of lime is to be mingled; but if river seum, and the dentil band of the cornice, or sea sand is used, two parts of sand, and are not cut. The Ionic order of the Tem one of lime must be united; for in these ple of Fortune, though it has been held out proportions the mortar will have a proper as a model, is ill proportioned, and the spi- consistence: if bricks, or tiles, pounded, rals of the volutes are ungrarefully formed. and sifted, be joined with river or pit saud, The Ionic of the Temple of Concord is out to the quantity of a third part, it will make of character, the volutes are insignificantly the mortar stronger and fitter for use." small, and mutules supply the place of den The works of wrought stone of the Rotils in the cornice. The Romans placed mans as well as those of the Greeks, were one order upon another, on the exterior, in constructed without cement; but cramps the several stories of some of their build- and ligatures of iron and bronze were used ings; but the Greeks only employed them in great abundance. The use of metal was around the cells of their temples, forming a not confined to cramps and bolts, for they peristyle.

even constructed roofs of bronze, which was The Romans carried the method of ce also used in magnificent profusion in the dementitious buildings to the utmost degree corations of buildings. It excites regret to of perfection. Their most considerable edi- reflect, that the means employed by the anfices had the facings of their walls, and the tients to increase the beauty, and ensure arches and angles of brick, or small ruble the duration of their edifices, have only, in stones squared; the cores built with peb- many instances, served to accelerate their ble and ruble stones, grouted or run with destruction. liquid mortar; and at regular intervals were These valuable materials have caused strengthened with courses of bond stones. much dilapidation, and more buildings This construction of walls was frequently have been ruined by rapine, than by the instuccoed, or incrusted with marble. It is juries of time. In the works of the Greeks much more expeditious and economical and the Romans, of hewn stone, they apthan that built of wrought stone, wbich oc pear to have wrought only the beds of the casions a greater waste of materials and loss stones, before they were placed in the of time. The durability and solidity of the building, leaving the faces to be worked afRoman cementitious buildings is such, that 'ter the completion of the edifice. By this mortar has acquired a hardness superior to means, the arisses and the mouldings were the stones which connected by it. This, preserved from injury, and the faces made when compared with the frigility and crum exactly in the same plane, or surface, which bling nature of the mortar used by modern is not generally the case in the facings of builders, had led some to suppose that the our modern works. Our workmen pass ancients possessed processes in the making them over in the most slovenly manner, of cements, which have, from the lapse of with the greatest indifference, by rounding time, been lost to the present day. But the the stones which happen to project at the information and experiments of ingenious joints, which gives them a false and irregumen have exploded this opinion; and there lar appearance in sunshine. By this means, is no doubt, that if proper attention be paid also, the ancients diminished and futed to the choice of lime-stone and sand, to the their columns, which could not be done with burning of the lime, and above all, that care the same accuracy any other way. be taken in the mixing and tempering these After the fall of the Roman empire, the materials, workmen will be enabled to rival Goths having now the dominion of those those of Rome. This has been tried in some places formerly the seat of the arts, and instances, though the lapse of ages may be ne- having soon become converts to Christianity, cessary to make the comparison complete; but having no established rules of their own, however, it will appear from the following ac- in the principles of architecture, either built

their churches in the form of the Roman were either constructed, with however rude basilica, or converted the basilica into imitation, after models of Roman temples, churches. Architecture continued during which we may presume then remained in their goveriment with little alteration in Britain, or by foreigners brought from the general forms, from that which had been Rome and France. The manner of building practised at the decline of the Roman em at this time was called Roman, the term pire; but ignorance in proportion, and a Gothic not being applied till the end of sedepraved taste in the ornamental depart- veral centuries. ment, at last deprived their edifices of It has been observed, that a quadranguthat symmetry and beauty which were so lar walled inclosure, divided in the breadth conspicuous in the works of the ancients. into three parts, by two colonaded arcades, However, the knowledge of architectural supporting on the imposts of the arches, two elements was still preserved among them, other opposite higher walls, through which and of the various forms of vaulting nised by the light descended into the middle part, the Greeks and Romans, they adopted that and upon which the roof rested, was known of groins or cross arching.

to the Romans before the Goths appeared From what has been said, it will be easy in Italy. Now this construction is the geto shew, that the Goths had no share in the neral outline of the Saxon, Norman, and invention of that style of building which the pointed styles of building churches, and still bears their name. The architecture of is also that form of structure most advanItaly, at the time they ceased to be a na tageous for lighting the interior, upon the tion, was nothing but debased Roman, same plan ; for, though the roof might have which was the archetype for the first Saxon been equally well supported by columns, churches erected in this country. The term instead of the interior walls, and extending Gothic seems to have originated in Italy, those of the exterior to the whole height, with the restorers of the Grecian style, and the intensity of light produced from the was applied by the followers of Palladio same number of windows on the sides, thus and Inigo Jones, to all the structures erect- far removed from the middle of the edifice, ed in the interval between the beginning of would have been greatly diminished. It the twelfth and end of the fifteenth centu. may also be farther observed, that no other ries, probably with a view to stigmatize form of building was so favourable for those beautiful edifices, and to recover the vaulting : for a vaulted roof could neither ancient manner. This term is therefore of have been thrown to the whole breadth, modern application: it was not used in nor in the three compartments, without Italy till the pointed style had gained the walls of enormous thickness, which would summit of perfection, nor yet in England, not only have added to the breadth, but when this species of architecture ceased to would have been attended with prodigious be in use, and the Grecian restored. This additional expenses. manner of building, like most other arts, re 'The Saxon style is easily recognized by quired a succession of ages to bring it to its massive columns and semicircular arches, maturity, and the principal cause which which usually spring from capitals without seems to have effected this, was that desire the intervention of the entablature. In the of novelty so inherent in the mind of man first Saxon buildings the mouldings were to produce something new, and a total dis- extremely simple, the greater part consistregard to the proportions of ancient edifices. ing of fillets and plat-bands, at right angles Having now traced the Grecian style from to each other, and to the general façade. the place of its invention to its decline in The archivolts and imposts were similar to Italy, we shall follow the steps by which those found in Roman edifices. The genethis corrupted ill-proportioned Italian style ral plan and disposition of the latter Saxon at last assumed a character so different from churches were as follow; the chief entrance the original, as to become in a few centu was at the west end into the nave, at the ries a distinct species of architecture, which upper end of which was a cross, with the not only exhibited beautiful proportions, arms of it extending north and south; the and elegant decorations, but also majestic east end, containing the choir, terminated grandeur and sublimity in its fabrication. in a semicircular form. A tower was erectTo do this, it will not be necessary to seek ed over the centre of the cross,

and to con abroad for those successive changes ; as the tain the bells another was frequently added, different gradations can be distinctly traced and sometimes two. at home. The first Saxon churches here The large churches contained a pave and VOL. I.



two side aisles, one on each side of the nave, and capital, generally prevailed; the capiand were divided into three tiers or stories, tals of the pillars were often left plain, the lower consisting of a range of arcades though there were a few instances of scalpon each side, the middle, a range of galle- tured capitals, foliage, and animals. The ries between the roof and the vaulting of shafts of the pillars were usually plain cylinthe aisles, and the uppermost, a range of ders, or had semicolumns attached to them, windows. The pillars were either square, The first transition of the arch appears to polygonal, or circular. Such was the thick have taken place towards the close of the ness of the walls and pillars, that buttresses reign of Stephen, its figure which had were not necessary, neither were they in hitherto been circular, becoming slightly use. The apertures are splayed from the pointed, and the heavy single pillar wade mullions on both sides. The dressings are into a pilastered cluster which was at first generally placed on the sides of the splayed ill formed, but gradually assumed jambs and heads of the arches, and but sel. elegant figure and graceful proportion, the dom against the face of the walls, and when archivolts still retaining many of the Saxon this is the case, the projectures are not very ornaments. It may bere be observed, that prominent. The dressings of the jambs fre. antecedent to this period, neither taberna. quently consist of one, or several engaged cles nor niches with canopies, statues in columns upon each side. The imposts, par- whole relief, pinnacles, pediments, or spires, ticularly those of the windows, have fre- nor any tracery in the vaultings were used; quently the appearance of being a part of but at this time, or soon after, these began the wall itself. The doors in general are to obtain. Towards the close of the 13th formed in deep recession, and a series of century, the pillars, then supporting sharply equidistant engaged columns placed upon pointed arches, were much more slender; cach jamb, and were such, that two hori- the ceilings were seemingly sustained by zontal straight lines would pass through the groined ribs resting on the capitals of the axis of each series, and would, if produced, pillars, and the windows were lighted by terminate in a point. Each column is at- several openings in place of one. tached to a recess formed by two planes,

After the reign of Stephen, the circular constituting an interior right angle. The an- and pointed arches were frequently emgle at the meeting of every two of these re- ployed in the same building ; but the pointed cesses formed an exterior right angle, which style gaining more and more upon the cirwas sometimes obtunded, and frequently cular, prevailed ultimately at the close of hollowed. The archivolts resting on the the reign of Henry III. and prevented all capitals of the columns are formed on the farther confusion of mixture. The archisoffit shelving, like the jambs below. The tecture of this age now exhibited uniforornaments of columns and mouldings are mity of parts, justness of proportions, and of very simple forms. The rudely, sculp- elegance of decoration; the arcades and tured figures which often occur in door- pillars became numerous, the single shafts cases, when the head of the door itself is were divided into a multiplicity of equal square, indicate a Roman original, and are slender, distinct shafts, constructed of purmostly referable to an æra inmediately pre. beck marble, and collected under one capiceding the conquest,

tal, luxuriant!y decorated with leaves of After the Norman conquest, the general the palm tree. The east and west windows forms of the parts remained the same, began to be widely expanded, these re. though the extent and dimensions of the quired a number of mullions, which, as well churches were greatly enlarged; the vault as the ribs and transoms of the vaulting, beings became much more lofty, the pillars gan to ramify from the springing of the of greater diameter, the ornaments more arches into a variety of tracery, which was frequent and elaborately finished; towers uniformly ornamented with rosettes or polyof very large dimensions and great height toil, cuspidated figures forming trefoils, were placed either in the centre, or at the quatrefoils, &c. Canopies were introduced west end of the cathedral and conventual over the arches, and in rich work were churches. These were often ornamented decorated with crockets and creeping foliwith arcades in tiers of small intersecting age, and terminated in a flower. The butArches on the outside. Abent the end of tresses were made in several diminished the reign of Henry l. circular arches, thick stages towards the top, and mostly termiwalls without prominent buttresses, and nated with purfled pinnacles. massive pillars with a kiud of regular base In the reigu of Edward II, detached

columns were laid aside, and pillars nearly antiquities of Great Britain, has classed of the same proportion as formerly, with the various styles in the following order, vertical or columnar mouldings wrouglit out which we shall adopt, and shall be happy to of the solid, were adopted. The east and find the same appropriate terms adopted west windows were so enlarged as to take also in future publications, wherever ideas up nearly the whole breadth of the nave, of the objects represented by them are the and carried up almost as high as the vault- subjects of inquiry. We are sensible this ing, and were heantifully ornamented with is the only means of facilitating a knowlively colours on stained glass.

ledge of this study, by removing equivocal In the early part of the reign of Edward words, and thereby making architectural III. arcades with low arches and sharp language intelligible. points prevailed; over the arcades was gene First Style. Anglo-Saxon; this will emrally placed a row of open galleries, origi- brace all buildings that were erected benally introduced in Saxon churches.

tween the times of the conversion of the About the end of the reign of Richard II. Saxons, and the Norman conquest, from A. D. 1399, the pillars became more tall A. D. 599 to A. D. 1066. and slender, forming still more lofty and Second Style. Anglo Norman, by which open arcades, the columns which formed

will be meant, that style which prevailed the cluster were of different diameters, the from 1066 to 1989, including the reigns of capitals more complicated, the vaults at Williams I. and II., Henry I., Stephen and the intersection of the ribs were studded Henry II. with knots of foliage, the canopies of the Third Style. English, from 1189 to 1272, arches were universally purfled, and termi- embracing the reigns of Richard I., John, nated with a rich knot of flowers: the pil- and Henry III. lastered buttresses flanking the sides were Fourth Style. Decorated English, from crowned with elaborate finials, the flying 1972 to 1461, including the reigns of Edbattresses were formed on segnients of cir. wards I., II., III., Richard II., Henrys IV., cles in order to give them lightness, and V., and VI. strength at the same time.

Fifth Style. Highly decorated florid From the close of the 14th century no English, from 1461 to 1509, including the remarkable change appears to have taken reigns of Edwards IV. and V., Richard III., place; the grander members continued and Henry VII. their original dimensions and form, and the From this æra we loose all sight of conornamental parts became distinguished by gruity; and the public buildings erected greater richness and exuberance.

during the reigns of Henry VIII., ElizaAnother change took place in the reign beth, and James I. may be characterised by of Edward IV. its leading features are the terms of debased English, or Angloprincipally to be seen in the vaultings, the Italian. Mr. Britton observes, “ that durhorizontal sections of which had been gene- ing the intermediate time when one style rally projecting right angles, but were now was growing into repute and the other arches of circles ; the surface of the vaults sinking in favour, there will be found a being such as might be generated by a mixture of both in one building, which is concave curve revolving round a vertical not referable to either, and which has conline, as an axis which was immediately over stituted the greatest problem in antiquarian the pillars. This species of groining un science." known in preceding ages, was favourable Before we leave this subject, it will be for a beautiful display of tracery. Equi- necessary to give some account of the madistant concave ribs in vertical planes terials employed in the fabrication, and of were intersected by horizontal convex cir- the principles in the construction of those cular ribs, aud the included pannels were immense piles, which at once united granbeautifully ornamented with cusps, form- deur, magnificence, and awful sublimity in ing an infinite variety of the most elegant their structure. In the erection of these tracery, which from its appearance has edifices, heavy cornices, entablatures, and been denominated fan work.

lintels were omitted, and there was seldom From the commencement of the reign occasion to use any stoncs larger than a of King Henry VIII, a mixed or debased man might carry on his back up a ladder style began to take place, from our inter- from one scaffold to another, though spoke course with the Italians. The iugenious wheels and pullies were occasionally used. Mr. Britton, in his valuable architectural From the adoption of such light materials,

« PreviousContinue »