Page:EB1911 - Volume 02.djvu/444

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
ENGLISH RENAISSANCE]
417
ARCHITECTURE
with its corner towers and the great dome, all form an exceedingly picturesque group, and it is only when one begins to examine the work in detail that its poverty in design reveals itself. Instead of accentuating the windows of the principal storeys and giving them appropriate dressings, the fronts are pierced with innumerable windows, which give the appearance of a factory, and the angle towers, nine storeys high, look like ordinary “sky-scrapers,” without any of the dignity and importance which the architectural design of a palace requires. The same applies to the great entrance courts five storeys high with an attic, all of the most commonplace design. Internally the church is fine, but it is dwarfed by the immense size of the Doric pilasters, 62 ft. high, all in plain stone masonry, the coldness of which is emphasized by the rich colouring of the vaulted ceilings and the elaboration of the pavement, all in coloured marbles. The palace is regarded by the Spaniards as the Versailles of Spain, and if it had been possible to have interchanged some of the features, to transfer to Versailles some of the towers, and to break up the wall surface of the Escorial with the superimposed order of pilasters, which became monotonous by their repetition at Versailles, both palaces would have gained.
The palace at Madrid is the last of the series, and although it was begun at a much later period, by Philip V. in 1737, from the designs of the Italian architect Sachetti, it is a fine and simple composition, consisting of a lofty ground storey with coursed masonry, carrying semi-detached columns of the Ionic order, rising through three storeys, the whole crowned by an entablature and a bold balustrade. The slightly projecting wings at each end of the main front and the central frontispiece give that variety and play of light and shade of which one regrets the absence in the Cancellaria palace at Rome.
We must, however, retrace our steps to the beginning of the 16th century, to take up the early buildings of the style; the palace of the Conde de Monterey at Salamanca, built in 1530 from the designs of Alonso de Covarrubias, is a fine example. The masonry of the ground and first floors is of the simplest character, the decoration being confined to the entrance doorways and to the windows of the important rooms. It is on the second floor that the design becomes enriched with an open arcade and entablature above, crowned with a rich cresting. In the wings at the angles, and in the central block, the buildings are carried up an additional storey, the plain masonry of which gives value to the open galleries between. On these wings and the central block are other galleries crowned with entablature and cresting. These features therefore form towers, which break the sky-line. There is still another treatment peculiar to the Spanish Renaissance, in which the example of the Moorish palaces would seem to have been followed, viz. the elaborate carving of the pilasters and their capitals, of the panelling and the horizontal friezes, which is extremely minute and finished in the lower storeys, but increases in scale and projection towards the upper storeys. This is very notable in the entrance gateway of the university of Salamanca (Plate V., fig. 73), where the carved arabesque in the panelling above the doors is of the finest description, equal to what might be found in cabinet work, whilst that of the upper portion immediately under the cornice is at least twice the scale of that below and is in bold relief.
The principal buildings characteristic of the Spanish Renaissance, in chronological order, are:—the hospital of Santa Cruz at Toledo, built in 1504-1514, and the Hospicio de los Reyes at Santiago (1504), both from the designs of Enrique de Egas, the former with a magnificent portal rising through two storeys and a gallery with an open arcade above; the Irish college at Salamanca, built (1521) from the designs of Pedro de Ibarra, Alonso de Covarrubias, and Berruguete; the convent of San Marcos, Leon, by Juan de Badajoz (1514-1545)—here, however, the whole façade is panelled out in imitation of late Gothic work, Renaissance pilasters and devices taking the place of the buttresses set angle-wise and flamboyant panelling; the Colegio de San Ildefonso at Alcalá de Henares (formerly the seat of the university), built in 1557-1584 by Rodrigo Gil de Ontañon.
Of municipal buildings the Lonja or exchange at Toledo (1551), built in brick-work, is somewhat Florentine in style.
The town hall of Seville (1527-1532), by Diego de Riaño and Martin Garuza, may be taken as the most gorgeous example in Spain (Plate V., fig. 74). The front facing the square is very simple, compared with the façade in the street at the rear, and here again we find, in the ornamental carving of the windows and door mouldings on the ground floor, a different scale from that adopted on the first floor, where the shafts are enriched with a superabundance of carved ornament in strong relief. There is still one other feature of great importance in Spain, the magnificent galleries of the patios or courts found in all the important buildings. It is from these galleries that access is obtained to the rooms on the first floor. They have sometimes arcades on the first floor, and columns with bracket-capitals on the upper storey. There is an infinite variety of design in these capitals, the brackets on each side of which lessen the bearing of the architrave.
The earliest Renaissance example of these patios (1525) is in the Irish college at Salamanca; it was carved by Berruguete, Alonso de Covarrubias being the architect. In the same town is the Casa de la Salinas, another example with fine sculpture. In the Casa Polentina (1550) at Avila, and the Casa de Miranda at Burgos, columns with bracket-capitals are employed on both storeys. Rich examples are found in the Casa de la Infanta and Casa Zaporta (1580), both at Saragossa. Of late examples the patio of the Lonja at Seville by Juan de Herrera resembles in its style the courtyard of the Farnese palace at Rome; and the same style obtains in the court of the Escorial, built at a time when the purer Italian style was introduced into Spain. These courts, though cold in design, compared with the earlier Renaissance type, are of fine proportion. Two other examples are found in the bishop’s palace at Alcalá de Henares, one of which has a magnificent staircase.

 (R. P. S.) 


Renaissance Architecture in England

In England, as in France, the influence of the Classic Revival was first seen in connexion with tombs and church work, though not nearly to the same extent as in France, where throughout the country the work of the Italian sculptor is to be found not only in churches but in country mansions. On the other hand, two if not three of the Italian artists who came over to England were men of some reputation, such as Pietro Torrigiano, a Florentine sculptor who was invited over by Henry VIII. and entrusted with the tomb of Henry VII. in Westminster Abbey (1512-1518), and executed the tomb of John Young (in terra-cotta) in the Rolls chapel (1516). Another Italian was Giovanni da Maiano, who was also a Florentine, who modelled the busts of the emperors in the terra-cotta medallions over the entrance gates at Hampton Court, and probably the panel flanked by Corinthian pilasters, in which are modelled the arms of Cardinal Wolsey, also in terra-cotta. Benedetto da Rovezzano (1478-c. 1552), and Toto del Nunziata, Italian artists of note, were also employed in England, the first on the tomb of Cardinal Wolsey (now destroyed), and the second on the palace of Nonsuch, built by Henry VIII., which was pulled down in 1670. Other early Renaissance work is found at Christchurch Priory, in the Salisbury Chantry (1529), the design of which is Gothic and some of the details Italian, and in the tombs of the countess of Richmond in Westminster Abbey (1519), of the earl of Arundel in Arundel church, Sussex, of Henry, Lord Marney, at Layer Marney (1525), of the duke of Richmond (1537) and the duchess of Norfolk (1572) in Framlingham church; and of Queen Anne of Cleves (1557) in Westminster Abbey, attributed to Haveus of Cleves. The sedilia (in terra-cotta) of Wymondham church, Norfolk, the choir screen at St Cross, and Bishop Gardiner’s chantry, Winchester, and the vaulted roof of Bishop West’s chapel at Ely, all show the direct influence of the Italian cinque-cento style. The most beautiful example in England of Italian woodwork is the organ screen in King’s College chapel, Cambridge (1534-1539), which, except for the coats of arms, the roses, portcullis and other English emblems, might be in some Italian church, so perfect is its design and execution. Of early domestic work, Sutton Place (1523-1525), near Guildford, Surrey, is a good example of transition work. The design is Tudor, but the window mullions and panels inserted throughout the structure, which is built in brick, are all enriched with cinque-cento details in terra-cotta, and probably executed by Italian craftsmen. Similar enrichments in the same material are found decorating the entrance tower (1522-1525) at Layer Marney, Essex.

Nearly all the examples above mentioned come within the first half of the 16th century. Passing into the second half and dealing with domestic architecture, we find the history of the introduction of classic work into England more complicated than in other countries, because in addition to the Italian, we have French, Flemish and German influences to reckon with, and it is sometimes difficult to decide from which source the features are borrowed. There were, however, two still more important considerations to be taken into account—firstly, the extremely conservative character of the English people, who were satisfied with the traditional work of the country, and the methods by which it was carried out, and secondly, the great progress in design which was made during the Elizabethan period, resulting in a phase which was peculiarly English and did not lend itself easily to classic embellishment.

Already in the last phase of Gothic work, to which the title of Tudor is generally given, important changes were being made in the planning of the larger country mansions, and features