The Foundations of Classic Architecture

The Foundations of Classic Architecture

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The Foundations of Classic Architecture

The Foundations of Classic Architecture

Read FREE!

Excerpt

In this work of Langford Warren, left in manuscript at his death, is presented in enduring form the essence of his vital teaching of the history and principles of architecture. Its importance for the generation which has heard his inspiring message, a generation which has recreated an architecture of knowledge, order, and classic beauty, is best expressed in the words of his own essay on the study of architectural history.

"We cannot, if we would, escape the influence of all the art of the past which is brought to our doors and, as it were, thrust into our hands. Our choice lies simply between really knowing it and using it wisely in the fulness of knowledge, or knowing it only superficially and misusing and mis- applying it ignorantly. . . . We must seek to combine scholarship with artistic impulse and enthusiasm, must seek to give that impulse and enthusiasm the sure basis of knowledge. For the support which the architect of the past received from tradition, we must substitute scholarship. Not the scholarship which is concerned with facts merely, with archaeological study of outward forms; but the scholarship concerned with principles, which studies the art of the great epochs of the past in order to understand if possible those fundamental qualities which made it great, which penetrates to the meaning of the forms used, which analyses and compares for the purpose of gaining inspiration, in order that it may create by following consciously the principles which are seen to have been followed unconsciously in the great art of the past, developing if possible by degrees a tradition of what is best in all past forms, because it understands what to take and what to modify in order to meet the conditions of the present. Such a scholarship, we may hope, will produce an art which will not, on the one hand, change a significant and established form merely for the sake of novelty; but which, on the other, will freely mould and shape form to . . .

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