Georgian Art (1760-1820): An Introductory Review of English Painting, Architecture, Sculpture, Ceramics, Glass, Metalwork, Furniture, Textiles and Other Arts during the Reign of George III

By Roger Fry; J. B. Manson et al. | Go to book overview

ARCHITECTURE AND SCULPTURE.

By Geoffrey Webb


I.--ARCHITECTURE

THERE is a remark of George III, reported in the Farington Diary for January, 1800, that might well stand for a heading to this chapter. The king had been examining some drawings of the young Robert Smirke, afterwards the architect of the British Museum. The entry runs as follows: "'but' said he, 'I am a little of an architect and think that the old school (that of Lord Burlington's period, which had more of magnificence) is not enough attended to--the Adams have introduced too much of neatness and prettiness, and even,' added His Majesty, 'Wyatt inclines rather too much that way'." Poor George III, he was lamenting the passing of the fashion before last. The writer of this chapter must, in honesty, admit that he shares to some extent the king's wistful regret. The Burlingtonians, for all their conscious putting of the clock back, as compared with the Continent, had still a good deal of the full-blooded robustious quality, which descended to the early eighteenth century in England from the roaring days of a century and more gone by.

Most of the qualities which the cultivated are now inclined to associate with the eighteenth century, the refinement, the eclectic taste, elegance, "chastity," sentiment, came into English architecture with the accession of George III. The change is so universal, so much that of the whole temper of the age, that it need not be laboured here; the comparison of Vanbrugh Relapse with Sheridan's adaptation of it shows, for instance, the same falling off in gusto, the same emasculation of the very means of expression--in this case the English--that we find if we compare Vanbrugh's architecture with that of Adam. King George's feelings were, no doubt, in some degree due to the influence of Sir William Chambers, who had been appointed to instruct the young Prince in architecture before he came to the throne, and for whom George always retained a lively affection. It is to this influence that we owe Somerset House, Chambers's greatest opportunity, and a building that certainly has more than a reminiscence of that Burlingtonian magnificence he had taught the King to admire.

There is a much quoted passage from Gwilt's memoir of Sir William Chambers, to the effect that "till Mr. Robert Adam entered the lists and distinguished himself by the superiority of his taste in the nicer and more delicate parts of decoration," James Paine and Sir Robert Taylor [Plate 2, A and B] "nearly divided the practice of the profession between them." This was no doubt written from a London point of view, and should be modified by the inclusion of John Carr of York [Plate 2, C], whose large provincial practice lasted well into the middle years of the reign. Carr died in 1807. All these men were late Burlingtonians. That is to say, they had been brought up in, and remained faithful to, the style promoted by Lord Burlington and his friends, aristocratic and professional, as in some sort a reaction against the Baroque tendencies of such men as Sir John Vanbrugh and Nicholas Hawksmoor. The Burlingtonian movement, which dominated English architecture from about 1730 to the 'sixties, though Lord Burlington himself died in 1753, was founded on the exaltation of Andrea Palladio, and with him Inigo Jones, into the position of infallible authorities; by this means it kept at bay any tendencies towards further Baroque development, or to a Rococo school such as flourished on the Continent. In its later phases, indeed, a considerable licence was allowed to Rococo stuccoists, and in interior work generally, though, of course, the great halls, etc., were kept fairly pure Palladian as far as doorways and main features were concerned, the foreign stuccoist being confined usually to the wall spaces and ceilings, where his

-23-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Georgian Art (1760-1820): An Introductory Review of English Painting, Architecture, Sculpture, Ceramics, Glass, Metalwork, Furniture, Textiles and Other Arts during the Reign of George III
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface 1
  • Introduction. 3
  • Painting. 11
  • Architecture and Sculpture. 23
  • Ceramics and Glass. 33
  • Furniture. 51
  • The Minor Arts 63
  • Index 69
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 72

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.