Posted in History n Theory

Reading Comprehension 4

According to our Roth book on page 390, Renaissance architects are described as “humanist scholar architects.  they were trained as painters & sculptors and they looked to change the feeling of the crude work of the Goths.  “It was a celebration of human intellectual powers, but was also an architecture that invited pleasurable human responses and once that door to sensory delight had been opened, there was no holding it shut…”

The five artifact examples provided show excellent eamples of Rococo and Early Neo-classical styles.  Neo-clasical interiors, decorateive arts and furniture, according to Harwood page 456, “Maintain the scale, elegance and charm of Rococo, but lines straightenn, curves become geometric instead of free form, and ornament derives from antiquity.”  One similarity between all five of these artifacts, is the importance of curvilenear lines.  Whether it be the simplistic style of the windsor chair with its slight curving in the leg spindles (p. 451 harwood) to the ornate State Bed at Osterly Park, the use of curves (whether slight or exagerated) helps give a more light hearted free-flowing feel to each piece.

The five spaces provided all share a common principle of design; Repetition.  You can see this portrayed in different ways in each space.
In the first space, the Saloon at Holkam Hall (p. 418 Harwood) repetition is seen not only in the coffered ceilings, but also in the wallpaper pattern.
You will also see this in the StairHall in Gunston Hall for picture 2. (page 447, Harwood)  The wall motif repeats itself as you ascend the stairs.
Marie Antoinettes Bedroom (p. 463, Harwood) has quite a few areas showing repetition; the walls as well as the molding detail along the ceiling.
Sahram House Dining Room (p. 495, Harwood) shows this repetition along the swagged order along the ceiling as well as the pattern of the crown molding.  Finally and quite possibly the simplest example of repetition amongst these spaces is seen in the Parlor at Gardner-Pingree House (p. 519 Harwood) with the detail in the crown molding.

Balance is a principle of design that is shown in all five buildings.  Starting with the Chiswick house – from every angle, you see how each side is symmetrical in design.  Drayton Hall, of American Georgian design, has one center entrance on the front facade with equal amounts of windows on each side flanking the entrance.
Nathaniel Russel house is a three story home with each window stacked above one another in three rows in perfect symmetry with a center entrance doorway.  The Pantheon and Monticello also display symmetry with their design.  Showing perfect balance in the entrance way from one side to the other with its center dome in the structure.

Many Eastern coastal cities in the United Stated looked to English prototypes for Architectural influence.. (see ‘The Octagon’ by Wm. Thorton in Washington DC, Harwod p. 512)
Robert Adams was a leading designer in England.  He was born of a scottish architect and traveled to France and Italy to get influenced by great neoclassical designers.  His style can be seen in many cities along the coastal east coast.  The Nathaniel Russell house in Charleston, SC is a prime example of this.


My Palladian floor plan


Architecture and design, without a doubt, stand for theatrical performances in the Baroque time period. it’s about making something look like what it is not.  Water was also very important in this time period to help with the theatrical feel. A perfect image I can take from our class time on 10/13/10, is The Laurentian Library Vestibule by Michaelangelo.  From the image below, you can see the exagurated entrance leading up to the library door, and the detail of the center stairway – it shows a curvy water detail.  All of this is a very theatrical entrance leading up to a less theatrical space of a library.

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