A History of Modern Architecture

A History of Modern Architecture

A History of Modern Architecture

A History of Modern Architecture

Excerpt

The nineteenth century, so rich in important works of music and painting, the great age of the novel and of lyric poetry, developed no characteristic art forms in spatial composition and planning. It was an epoch without a building style of its own. Self-confident reliance on the architectural forms of the past concealed an inner uncertainty. The past had become a store-house for hasty resurrections of every style, for the pseudo-Gothic and the neoromantic, for "renaissances of the renaissance" and resuscitations of Baroque and Rococo, to be plundered without restraint and often enough without any comprehension of the circumstances which had given rise to these particular forms. For religious structures Romanesque and Gothic models were preferred, for bank buildings Doric and Ionic columns were chosen to indicate stability and the dignity of wealth, and in the building of town halls middle-class vanity found expression in reminiscences of Late Gothic and Renaissance days, the golden age of towns. Even the ordinary middle-class home could not escape the carnival of styles and masqueraded in clothes borrowed from the Renaissance villas of the Florentine, Roman and Venetian nobility.
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