Page:EB1911 - Volume 02.djvu/447

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[ENGLISH RENAISSANCE
ARCHITECTURE
with the central dome is extremely fine; the west portico is not satisfactory, but the semicircular porticoes of the north and south transepts are very beautiful features. Greater importance is given to the cathedral by raising it on a podium about 12 ft. above the level of the pavement outside, which enables the crypt under the whole cathedral to be lighted by side windows.
The principal examples of the churches which followed are those of St George’s, Bloomsbury; St Mary Woolnoth; Christ Church, Spitalfields, by Nicholas Hawksmoor; and St Mary-le-Strand (1714), and St Martin’s-in-the-Fields (1721), by James Gibbs. Gibbs’s interiors are second only to those of Wren, while Hawksmoor’s are very weak; in both cases, however, the exteriors are finely designed. Amongst subsequent works are St John’s, Westminster, and St Philip's, Birmingham (1710), by Thomas Archer; St George’s, Hanover Square (1713-1714), by John James; All Saints’ church, Oxford, by Dean Aldrich; St Giles-in-the-Fields (1731), by Henry Flitcroft; and St Leonard’s, Shoreditch (1736), by George Dance.


1911 Britannica-Architecture-St Paul’s.png

Fig. 53.—Plan of St Paul’s Cathedral, London.


Sir Christopher Wren’s chief monumental work was Greenwich hospital, in the arrangement of which he had to include the Queen’s House, and a block already begun on the west side. His solution was of the most brilliant kind, and seen from the river the grouping of the several blocks with the colonnade and cupolas of the two central ones is admirable.
Wren’s next great work was the alterations and additions to Hampton Court palace, begun in 1689, the east front facing the park (Plate VI., fig. 77), the south front facing the river, the fountain court and the colonnade opposite the great hall. Chelsea hospital (1682-1692), the south front (now destroyed) to Christ’s hospital (1692), and Winchester school (1684-1687), are all examples in brick with stone quoins, cornices, door and window dressings, which show how Wren managed with simple materials to give a monumental effect. The library which he built in Trinity College, Cambridge (1678), with arcades on two storeys divided by three-quarter detached columns of the Doric and Ionic orders, is based on the same principle of design as those in the court of the Farnese palace at Rome by Sangallo, a part of the palace which is not likely to have been known by him.
The results of the Italian Revival in domestic architecture were not altogether satisfactory, for although it is sometimes claimed that the style was adapted by its architects to the traditional requirements and customs of the English people, the contrary will be found if they are compared with the work of the 16th century. The chief aim seems to have been generally to produce a great display of Classic features, which, even supposing they followed more closely the ancient models, were quite superfluous and generally interfered with the lighting of the chief rooms, which were sacrificed to them. In fact there are many cases in which one cannot help feeling how much better the effect would be if the great porticoes rising through two storeys were removed. This is specially the case in Sir John Vanbrugh’s mansion, Seaton Delaval, in Northumberland (1720); his other works, Blenheim (1714) and Castle Howard (1702), are vulgarized also by the employment of the large orders. The same defect exists in Stoneleigh Abbey, Leamington, where the orders carried up through two and three storeys respectively destroy the scale of the whole structure.
Among other mansions, the principal examples are Houghton in Norfolk (1723), a fine work, the villa at Mereworth in imitation of the Villa Capra near Vicenza, and the front of old Burlington House (1718), copied from the Porto palace at Vicenza, by Colin Campbell; Holkham in Norfolk and Devonshire House, London, by William Kent; Ditchley in Oxfordshire, and Milton House near Peterborough, by Gibbs; Chesterfield House, London, by Isaac Ware; Wentworth House in Yorkshire (1740), and Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire (1747), by Henry Flitcroft; Spencer House, London (1762), by John Vardy; Prior Park and various works in Bath by John Wood; the Mansion House, London, by George Dance; Wardour in Wiltshire, Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire, and Worksop in Nottinghamshire (1763), by James Paine; Gopsall Hall, Ely House, Dover Street, London (1772), and Heveringham Hall in Suffolk, by Sir Robert Taylor, to whose munificence we owe the Taylor Buildings at Oxford; Harewood House in Yorkshire (1760), Lytham Hall in Lancashire, and (part of) Wentworth House in Yorkshire, by John Carr; and Luton Hoo (1767), now largely reconstructed, and Sion House (1761), the best-known mansions by Robert Adam, who with his brothers built the Adelphi and many houses in London. Adam designed a type of decoration in stucco for ceilings and mantelpieces, the dies of which are still in existence and are utilized extensively in modern houses. His labours were not confined to buildings, but extended to their decoration, furniture and fittings.
The works of Sir William Chambers were of a most varied nature, but his fame is chiefly based on Somerset House in the Strand, London (1776), with its façade facing the river, a magnificent work second only to Inigo Jones’s Whitehall, but infinitely more extensive and difficult to design. He was also the author of a work on The Decorative Part of Civil Architecture, which is still the standard work on the subject in England. His pupil, James Gandon, won the first gold medal given by the Royal Academy in 1769, and his principal work was the Custom House in Dublin (1781). Newgate prison (1770), a remarkable building now destroyed, was the chief work carried out by George Dance, jun.
Other buildings not yet mentioned are the Alcove and Banqueting Hall (Orangery) of Kensington Palace, by Wren; the Radcliffe library, Oxford, by Gibbs, an extremely fine work both externally and internally; Queen’s College, Oxford, by Hawksmoor; the county hall, Northampton, by Sir Roger Norwich; the town hall, Abingdon (1677), designer unknown; the Ashmolean museum, Oxford (1677), by T. Wood; Clare College, Cambridge, and St Catherine’s Hall, Cambridge (1640-1679), by Thomas and Robert Grumboll, master-masons; the custom house, King’s Lynn (1681), by Henry Bell; Nottingham Castle, designed by the duke of Newcastle in 1674 and carried out by March, his clerk of works—the central portion is finely proportioned, and it is only in the pilasters at the quoins that one recognizes the amateur; two houses in Cavendish Square, London (1717), on the north side, by John James; Lord Burlington’s villa (1740) at Chiswick, by William Kent, which with its internal decorations is still perfect; the celebrated Palladian Bridge at Wilton, by R. Morris; and last but not least, in consequence of its great influence on modern architecture, Sparrowe’s house at Ipswich (1567-1662), the timber oriel windows of which are now so often reproduced.

 (R. P. S.) 


Renaissance Architecture in Germany

The classical revival does not seem to have taken root in Germany much before the middle of the 16th century, some forty to fifty years later than in France, from which country it is said to have been introduced, and in some of the early work there is a great similarity to French examples, but without the refinement and variety of detail which one finds in the châteaux of the Loire and in many of the French towns. In the rood-screen of the cathedral at Hildesheim (1546), the court of the town hall at Görlitz (1534), the portal of the Petershof at Halberstadt