Open main menu

Page:History of Architecture in All Countries Vol 1.djvu/11

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


PREFACE TO SECOND EDITION.




DURING the period that has elapsed since the first edition of this work was published,[1] no important work on the History of Architecture has appeared which throws any new light on either the theory or practice of the art, and, except in India, no new buildings have been discovered and no monographs published that materially add to our general stores of knowledge. The truth of the matter appears to be that the architectural productions of all the countries mentioned in these two volumes have been examined and described to a sufficient extent for the purposes of the general historian. A great deal of course remains to be done before all the information required for the student of any particular style can be supplied, but nothing of any great importance probably remains to be discovered in the countries of the Old World, nor anything that is at all likely to alter any views or theories founded on what we at present know.

The one exception to this satisfactory state of things is our knowledge, or rather want of knowledge, regarding the history of the ancient architecture of the New World, treated of in the last few pages of this work. No important addition has lately been made to the little we knew before, and it is now to be feared that Mr. Squier's long-expected work on the Antiquities of Peru may never see the light, at least not under the auspices of its author, and the Count de Waldeck's work adds very little, if anything, to what we knew before.[2] What is really wanted is that some one should make himself personally acquainted with all the various styles existing between the upper waters of the Colorado and the desert of Atacama to such an extent as to be able to establish the relative sequence of their dates and to detect affinities where they exist, or to point out differences that escape the


  1. The first volume was published in 1865; the second in 1867.
  2. See note, vol. ii. p. 576.