Friday, January 22, 2010

Whewell on Gothic Architects

And it is perhaps made more clear by what has now been said, in what the genius and talent of such men shewed itself. The influence of such persons was wanted, in order to give a new principle of unity to that which had lost the old one. The ornaments, openings, windows, pillars, which had formerly been governed by the most imperative rules of horizontal arrangement, had been disbanded, or at least their discipline had become good for nothing. The Gothic architect restored the reign of order, and rallied these vague elements in a vertical line. A new thought, a new idea, was infused into the conception of such members, which at once gave them connexion and fixity. The previous change from classical architecture had been a breaking up of the connexion of parts, multiplicity without fertility, violation of rules without gaining of objects, degradation, barbarism. The change now became the formation of connexion; the establishment of arrangements which were fertile in beautiful and convenient combinations; reformation; selection of the good, rejection of the mere customary.

William Whewell, Architectural Notes on German Churches, p. 318.

I have various posts in the works, but since the term is starting up, I am busy, busy, busy; posting will probably be relatively light over the next few days.

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