History of the Modern Styles of Architecture - Vol. 1

History of the Modern Styles of Architecture - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

History of the Modern Styles of Architecture - Vol. 1

History of the Modern Styles of Architecture - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Let us fix our attention upon the memorable year 1851.

It has been the fashion in this generation, with certain eager and almost too well meaning people of the more vesthetic order, to speak of "the nineteenth century" with scorn and derision. In all its thoughts, words, and works, they affirm it to be inartistic and vulgar, and this more especially -- sad to say -- in England. Nothing that animates it being good, everything that it produces goes inevitably to the bad. Nor do these melancholy if estimable enthusiasts entertain any great hopes, on ordinary ground, of the approaching future. It is still unpromising; and their simple advice is that we should call back to life other and better days. Accordingly, certain periods of the past have been quoted for "revival" by this and that section of the malcontents, sometimes with fervour, always with confidence. Imitation of course has followed freely; and in literature, in music, in painting and sculpture, and most of all in architecture and its allied arts, the efforts that have been made to cover this nakedness and deformity of our era with the cast-off garniture of bygone time have been so vigorous, so earnest, and so sincere, as not merely to deserve passing respect, but to command the more enduring credit that is due to unquestionable success; so that on the whole the achievement of reform has doubtless gone far to justify the act of revolt.

We need not, however, trouble ourselves for the moment with a consideration of these matters. We may admit that the nineteenth century has many sins to answer for, perhaps too many. But let us look at the historical year 1851. Not only does it divide incidentally one half of this nineteenth century from the other, but it happens to separate a quite old-fashioned half-century from one of an entirely new character -- the old half the fag-end of a listless past, the new half the commencement of a reanimated future. The Victorian Age of English Art, as a period in which history will unquestionably recognise very remarkable qualities, begins with the International Exhibition of 1851.

No one whose eyes are open to the question will be disposed to deny . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.