Discourses on Architecture - Vol. 1

Discourses on Architecture - Vol. 1

Discourses on Architecture - Vol. 1

Discourses on Architecture - Vol. 1

Excerpt

I have undertaken this translation with the sanction of the author, under the conviction that, although his admirable work is already widely known and appreciated, there are many to whom an English version would be acceptable.

The general reader as well as the student will find these Lectures highly interesting and instructive. The author has a profound knowledge of his subject, and discusses it from a strictly philosophical point of view; but he elucidates it so ably that any person of average mental culture can comprehend him. Clearing the ground of that confusion of ideas which has hitherto so unhappily obscured elementary conceptions of Art, he discusses its nature and origin, referring the latter to instinctive tendencies; and proceeds to show that none of the various forms of Architecture can lay an exclusive claim to artistic excellence. Tracing architectural art from its beginnings, he follows it through the Greek and Roman Periods and the Middle Ages down to the days of the Renaissance. He adduces evidence in the course of his investigation to prove that the development of Art is independent of that of other branches of civilisation, and illustrates the immutable principles upon which that development depends. He then shows the application of these principles to the novel requirements of modern architecture, exemplifying several new and admirable methods of construction, and pointing out the course which beginners in Architecture should pursue in their elementary studies, and subsequently in composition.

While every page of the work illustrates important truths in Art, or in Nature as related to it, the author never loses an oppor-

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