Index:Character of Renaissance Architecture.djvu

Character of Renaissance Architecture.djvu

CONTENTS

Chapter I
Introduction
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Character of the Fine Arts of the Renaissance not hitherto correctly set forth—The Fine Arts always an expression of the conditions and beliefs of a people—Mediæval Christianity as a source of artistic inspiration—Conditions that gave character to the Fine Arts of the Middle Ages—Artistic productions of the Renaissance qualified by the immoral tendencies of the time—Luxury and extravagance of Florence at the close of the fifteenth century—The Fine Arts made to minister to sensuous pleasure—Best classic art unknown in the Renaissance time—Mixed influences actuating the artist of the Renaissance—The Renaissance and the Middle Ages compared as to development of the individual—Lack of aptitude for construction among the architects of the Renaissance—The Italian genius for painting—The painter's habits of design shown in the Renaissance use of the orders—Classification of architectural styles—Painting the best art of the Renaissance—Yet Italian painting of the sixteenth century is not all of exemplary character—Best art of the Renaissance founded on the earlier Christian art—A retrospective movement not a vital force in artistic development
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Chapter II
The Dome of Florence
Exhibits a wide departure from older dome constructions—Sources of the architect's inspiration—General character of earlier domes—Remarkable construction of the dome of the Florentine Baptistery—It probably supplied the chief inspiration to both Arnolfo and Brunelleschi—Brunelleschi's departures from the Baptistery scheme—His structural system and his own account of it—No Gothic character possible in a dome—The dome of Florence a daring innovation—Its general dimensions—Brunelleschi's great ability as a constructor—His achievement of the work without the usual centring—Consideration of the dome as a work of art—The inherent weakness of its form—This not appreciated by the early Italian writers—Precautions taken for its stability—Signs of disintegration—Uncertainty as to its duration—Opinions of the early Italian writers as to its security—Structural integrity essential to good architecture—No classic character in Brunelleschi's dome—Inferior character of the classic details of the lantern
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Chapter III
Church Architecture of the Florentine Renaissance
The Pazzi chapel—Gothic character of its central vault—Architectural treatment of the interior—Impropriety of a classic order in such a building—Awkward result of an entablature passing through an arch impost—Incongruities of design and construction in the portico—Use of stucco—Sources from which the façade may have been derived—Other church architecture by Brunelleschi—San Lorenzo and Santo Spirito—Use of the entablature block in these churches—Survival of mediæval features and adjustments—Church architecture of Leon Batista Alberti—The façade of Santa Maria Novella—The façade of San Francesco of Rimini—The church of Sant' Andrea of Mantua—Return to Roman models in the structural forms of this building—Sant' Andrea foreshadows St. Peter's at Rome—Its west front an adaptation of the Roman triumphal arch scheme—Such fronts peculiar to Alberti—The designers of the Renaissance worked unconsciously on a foundation of mediæval ideas
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Chapter IV
The Dome of St. Peter's
Bramante in Rome—His early training—Character of the Tempietto of San Pietro in Montorio—Its likeness to a Roman temple of Vesta—Bramante's project for St. Peter's—Uncertainty as to his scheme for the whole building—His design for the great dome—Sources of his inspiration—Comparison of his dome with that of the Pantheon—Structural merits and defects—The architect's probable intention to use a great order for the interior of the church—Michael Angelo's appointment as architect—His scheme for the great dome—Its statical defects—Its supposed Gothic character—Comparison with the dome of Salamanca—Its illogical buttress system—Its ruptures and the alarm which they occasioned—Commission appointed to examine the fabric and report on its condition—Poleni's opinion and his binding chains—The grandiose character of the dome—In following Brunelleschi, Michael Angelo went farther in a wrong direction—Such a scheme cannot be safely carried out without resort to extraneous means of support—The proper mode of constructing a dome settled by the ancient Roman and the Byzantine builders—Condition of the dome ignored by recent writers—The ruptures attributed by the early Italian writers to carelessness on the part of Bramante—The beauty of the dome exaggerated—Its violation of structural propriety incompatible with the highest architectural beauty
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Chapter V
Church Architecture of the Roman Renaissance
Other parts of the church of St. Peter—Beauty of its plan—This plan could not be carried out with a good result in classic Roman details—Awkward makeshifts to which Michael Angelo was led—The colossal order of the interior—The magnitude of the structural parts of the church unavoidable—The real character of the building contradicted by the external order—Makeshifts which this order necessitated—The real character of St. Peter's has been rarely analyzed—Its grandeur due to its magnitude and to what it derives from the design of Bramante—Its incongruity and extravagance—Use of stucco in the ornamentation of the interior—Extravagant laudation of the building by the earlier Italian writers—Antonio San Gallo's project for St. Peter's—Earlier examples of Roman Renaissance church architecture—Sant' Agostino a mediæval building with Renaissance details—Its façade—Santa Maria della Consolazione at Todi—Its attribution to Bramante—Irrational treatment of its interior—Merit of the exterior in its larger features—San Biagio at Montepulciano—The order of the interior—The Renaissance use of a pilaster coupled with a column on the corner of a building—Roman treatment of the corner—Instance of the use of a corner pilaster described by Serlio—The exterior of San Biagio—Its campanile and lantern—The evolution of this form of tower—System of Santissima Annunziatta at Arezzo—Vignola, and Milizia's remarks on him—His book of architecture—His advocacy of ancient Roman art and his disregard in practice of its principles—His design for Sant' Andrea di Ponte Molle—Its derivation from the Pantheon—Vignola's design for the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli at Assisi—His design for the Gesù at Rome—Aberrations of design in this work—The façade by Della Porta—Palladio, and his great influence on modern art—His book of architecture—His design for the church of San Giorgio Maggiore at Venice—The Redentore and San Francesco della Vigna
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Chapter VI
Palace Architecture of the Florentine Renaissance
The neo-classic ideas most extensively carried out in palatial houses—Domestic architecture of the Middle Ages in Italy—The Palazzo Riccardi—Its mediæval features—Its general form—Its court arcades—General character of the interior—Vasari's remarks on the Riccardi—The Palazzo Pitti—The Strozzino—The Strozzi—The Pazzi—The Quaratesi—The Guardagni and its reasonable character—The Rucellai—Introduction of orders in the façade of the Rucellai—The architect Alberti—His archæological and literary tastes—Alberti's initiative in the use of the orders not immediately followed—Further neo-classic innovations introduced by Baccio d' Agnolo—Milizia's remarks on these innovations—Increase in the spirit of display in domestic architecture—Decline of Florentine ascendency by the beginning of the sixteenth century—Artistic activities transferred to Rome—Erection of sumptuous palatial houses in Rome
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Chapter VII
Palace Architecture of the Roman Renaissance
The Cancellaria—Its attribution to Bramante—Exhibits features in further conformity with the Roman antique—Its pilasters in pairs—Its projecting bays—Its portals—Arcades of its court—The Palazzo Massimi—The functional order of its portico—Treatment of the upper façade—The Palazzo Farnese—Application of orders and pediments to the windows—The broken entablatures of these windows—An ancient example of similar treatment—Orders of the court—Awkward result in the angles—Rhythmical scheme of the cloister of Santa Maria della Pace—Lack of reason for this scheme—The architect Sansovino—His design for the Library of St. Mark at Venice—Treatment of the angles of the Doric order—Free-standing column in the order of the upper story—Sansovino's design for the Loggetta of the Campanile—His design for the Palazzo Cornaro—Sanmichele—His design for the Porta del Palio at Verona—His design for the Palazzo Canossa—The Palazzo Pompei alia Vittoria—The Palazzo Bevilacqua—Its singular aberrations of design—Vignola's design for the Palazzo Caprarola—Influence of its circular court on De l'Orme and Inigo Jones—The civic and domestic architecture of Palladio—The Portico of Vicenza—Its derivation from the town hall of Padua and from the Library of St. Mark—Syrian instance of the freestanding column in connection with the arch—Palladio's own estimate of the merits of this design—Use of poor materials by Palladio—His versatility in meaningless composition—His palace fronts—Palladio a grammatical formalist—The art of Scamozzi—His use of an entablature broken by an arch
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Chapter VIII
Church Architecture of the Renaissance in North Italy
Various other phases of the architecture of the Renaissance—The façade of San Bernardino of Perugia—The façade of the Certosa of Pavia—Its combination of local mediæval and distorted neo-classic features—The church and sacristy of San Satiro—Evidence that both were designed by Bramante—Santa Maria delle Grazie—Its dome—Architectural treatment of its exterior—Its attribution to Bramante—The chapel of St. Peter Martyr attributed to Michelozzi—The Monastero Maggiore—The cathedral of Como—Evidence of Bramante's hand in the east end—Its details of mediæval Lombard character mixed with neo-classic elements—The south portal—The windows of the nave—Architecture of the Venetian Renaissance—The church of San Zaccaria—Peculiar column of its interior—The church of San Salvatore—Its piers—Attic of the interior—The church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli—Architectural treatment of its exterior—Excellence of its mechanical execution—The façade of Santa Maria Formosa
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Chapter IX
Palace Architecture of the Renaissance in North Italy
Marked local character of the palace architecture of Venice—Façade of east side of court of the Ducal Palace—Irregularities of its composition—North side of the same court—The Giant's stair—Façade of the Scuola di San Marco—Composition of the main portal—Notable refinements of execution in this portal—Façade of the Scuola di San Rocco—Unique architectural character of the palaces of the Grand Canal—Those of the mediæval period alone have the distinctive Venetian character—Neo-classic details used sparingly in the early Renaissance palaces of Venice—The Palazzo Corner-Spinelli—Disposition and character of its windows—Questionable propriety of the panelling of its pilasters—The beauty of the façade independent of its neo-classic details—The Palazzo Contarini—The varied proportions of its pilasters—The Palazzo Vendramini—The distinctive Venetian character altered by the application of complete orders—This character largely lost in the palaces of the Roman Renaissance—The Palazzo del Consiglio of Verona—Its mediæval scheme—The Palazzo Comunale of Brescia—The Ospedale Maggiore of Milan—Its lack of distinctive character—The later palace architecture of north Italy
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Chapter X
Architectural Carving of the Renaissance
Little architectural character in the sculpture of the Renaissance—Close imitation of Roman models—Great delicacy of design and execution in much carving of the Renaissance—Lack of vital beauty in this carving—Comparison with Greek conventional ornamentation—Exceptional beauty of foliation in the reliefs of the Lombardi—Lifeless character of the scroll leafage of Filarete—Artificial convolutions of Renaissance ornamental designs—Artificial and inorganic composition in the works of Benedetto da Maiano—Representation of artificial objects in Renaissance ornamentation—Disordered composition in the borders of the Ghiberti gates—Comparison of Greek leafage with that of the Renaissance—The grotesque in Renaissance ornamentation
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Chapter XI
Architecture of the Early Renaissance in France
The Renaissance had not the same meaning north of the Alps that it had in Italy—A fundamental change in French architecture effected by the Renaissance influence—Survival of the Gothic style—Conditions which favoured the change from Mediæval to Renaissance forms—The transformation of the feudal castle into the Renaissance château—Factitious character of the French Renaissance château—Peculiar mixture of pseudo-Gothic and neo-classic details in early French Renaissance architecture—The château of Azay le Rideau—Survival in this building of the larger mediæval forms—Its ornamental portal based on that of Châteaudun—Analysis of this portal—A different manifestation of Flamboyant ideas in the portal of Chenonceaux—The château of La Rochefoucauld—The eastern wing of Blois—The staircase tower of the court—The garden side of the eastern wing—The château of Chambord—Its florid upper part—Fontainebleau—Écouen—Bullant's portico—Exceptional character of the château of St. Germain en Laye—Further transformation of French architecture in the later sixteenth century
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Chapter XII
Lescot and De l'Orme
French architecture further changed by Lescot and De l'Orme, yet still without elimination of native characteristics—Lescot's design for the Fountain of the Nymphs—The sculptures by Goujon—Possible derivation of the design from a drawing by Serlio—Lescot's design for the Louvre—Capricious treatment of neo-classic details in this design—The traditional logic of French design ignored by Lescot—Excessive ornamentation of the Louvre—The architectural work of De l'Orme—Paucity of extant examples—His design for the palace of the Tuileries—De l'Orme's column—His claim that this column was his own invention—Earlier instances of the same—A conscious effort to be original gave rise to most of the artistic aberrations of the Renaissance—Noble architecture not a personal, but a communal and national, product—Analysis of the façade of the Tuileries—De l'Orme's other architectural aberrations—The château of Charleval—The freakish character of this design—Discussion of Viollet le Due's comments on it—The church architecture of the French Renaissance—The church of St. Eustache—Its unmodified Gothic structural system—Its neo-classic details—St. Étienne du Mont—SS. Gervais and Protais at Gisors—The apse of St. Pierre of Caen—The Portal of St. Maclou at Pontoise
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Chapter XIII
Architecture of the Renaissance in England
I. Elizabethan Art
Derivation of the Elizabethan domestic architecture from the native mediæval art—The reasonable character of the early Elizabethan house in its integrity—The ostentatious character and pseudo-classicism of the great English houses of the sixteenth century—Use of flimsy materials in ornamental details—General excellence of construction in the main body of the building—Employment of foreign craftsmen in ornamentation—Kirby Hall—Its lack of native English character—Peculiar aberrations in the use of structural forms without structural functions—Fantastic ornamentation of the gables—Longford Castle—Its resemblance to Chambord—Manifold forms of capricious design in Lower Walterstone Hall, Cranborne Manor-House, Tixall, Stanway, and other buildings—Fantastic composition of the gate at Caius College, Cambridge—Aberrations of design in Wollaton Hall—Ungrammatical and tasteless misuse of distorted classic elements in Elizabethan architecture largely due to Flemish and Dutch workmen—No professional architects in Elizabethan times—The classic orders foreign to the genius and the needs of the English people
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Chapter XIV
Architecture of the Renaissance in England
II. Jones and Wren
The architecture of England in the seventeenth century properly called Renaissance only by extension of the term—Jones and Wren the only architects of importance at this time—Walpole's extravagant estimate of Inigo Jones—The early career of Jones—His design for the Banqueting Hall of the palace of Whitehall—Its lack of English character—Analysis of the design—Kent's exaggerated estimate of Jones's genius—The scheme for the whole palace—Jones's design for the façade of old St. Paul's—Thoughtless laudation of the art of Inigo Jones—Sir Christopher Wren—Artistic notions of the English dilettanti in the seventeenth century—Wren's architectural training—His visit to France—The Sheldonian Theatre—Wren's project for repairs of old St. Paul's—His commission to rebuild—His first scheme for the new edifice—Sources of inspiration for the great dome—Rejection of the first scheme—The so-called warrant design—The existing edifice—The structural system of the dome—Character of the interior of the church—The masking of the buttress system—Wren's city churches
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Chapter XV
Conclusion
The architecture of the Renaissance not based on consistent principles—Incorrectness of the notion that the Renaissance aberrations in the use of the orders was but a free adaptation of the old elements to new conditions—The ancient architectural forms do not lend themselves to new conditions—Adaptation involves creative changes which wholly transform original elements—Influence of the writings of Vignola and Palladio in recent times—Modern recognition of the arbitrary character of the rules of the formalists—Genuine works of art not produced from rules—A juster sense of the real character of the architecture of the Renaissance shown by a few recent writers
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