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assemblage as makes any other list of examples of Northern art appear to omit all the very noblest buildings with which we are acquainted. And if we are to theorize as to the point from which we will depart in search after new developments, surely it will be best to do so wben no sign of the approaching decadence of art has shown itself. And this must unquestionably be in the work of the thirteenth and not of the fourteenth century.

Probably there is no greater danger in the way of the architects of the present day than the temptation to be satisfied with commonplace work, so only that it be fairly like some ancient examples, and that it accommodates itself to popular ideas of propriety and beauty. The latter are seldom to be trusted ; for in these times the vast majority of people who talk about art are surprisingly superficial, easily led to admire what others admire, and nervous about pronouncing any opinion at all on the work which has merit, force, and originality, and the danger of the former is very great in an age when from the peculiarity of our circumstances and the great gap which severs us from the last masters of mediæval art, it was absolutely necessary that men should copy whilst they learnt, and thus acquire artificially the artistic instinct which worked such great things when art was in full force in the middle ages. All the lovers of art must, we are sure, agree with us that the days for copying are gone by. Mediaeval art has now been studied accurately and carefully for about thirty years; and the large majority of working architects in the present day have been educated so lately that they have not the excuse which those had who, in the evening of their lives, had to take up and attempt to comprehend a system of art which ran counter to all their received rules and modes of work. We feel, therefore, that it is time to ask for much at the hands of architects; we have a right to demand of them not only the tame, decent (we fear we must say) mediocrity which now marks the vast majority of their efforts, but something much more vigorous, thoughtful, and original, and more impressed by individuality of character.

There are some general modes of obtaining something of this kind so obvious and yet so generally neglected that we cannot avoid devoting a few words to their consideration. In the first place, architects (as indeed all artists) seem entirely to have forgotten one of the truths taught by the lives of all the greatest artists the world bas ever seen, viz., that no one art can be practised with real success by men who are ignorant of all but their own special art.

If we go back to the great days of Italian art we find the most unmistakeable evidence of this. We think of Giotto quite as lovingly for his Campanile at Florence, as we do for his Frescoes at Padua ; and if we speak of Andrea Orgagna, we call to mind one who united in one person the poet, painter, sculptor, and architect : or if of the Pisani, or Margaritone of Arezzo, or Agnolo, and Agostino of

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Siena, we think of men who were painters, sculptors, or architects indifferently. It is true that in our own country it is impossible to speak in the same way, but for the simple reason that we know next to nothing of the history or names of those who carried architecture to such perfection among us; but we have a full right to assume that the same rules held good everywhere, and that here, as elsewhere, there were to be found men who practised the three sister arts together, and therefore successfully. The opportunity still exists. Our architects might well spare some of their time to paint scripture stories, or carve figures of the saints on the walls of their churches, and we are persuaded that we have only to suggest the idea, and that many among them will see the manifold advantages of carrying it into practice. The consciousness of possessing the power to design something beyond mouldings and window tracery might perhaps lead some to design the glass for their own churches instead of leaving it, as they now all but universally do, to chance and the tender mercies of the stained glass manufacturers.

Again; it is quite clear that mediæval artists never copied each others' or their forefathers' works in the way in which artists of the present day have ventured to copy theirs. No one thing has thrown back the good cause so much as this pernicious custom. There is no possible excuse for it; and we may be sure, when we see an architect working in this way, that he is utterly unworthy of his vocation. With us it rests to compel them to feel this. If clients generally insist upon really original designs, in course of time they will find men who will give them. No painter would venture to offer a copy of a Perugino or a Blessed Angelico in place of an original work, or at the same price; and we confess that we cannot tolerate the dishonest indolence which persuades architects that they may fairly do so.

Until architects fail to sin in this way, they have no right to reproach the men who still copy the five orders, and repeat ad nauseam in their new buildings the wellworn designs of the library of S. Mark and the Palaces of Vicenza and Florence.

Then again; we think there is some reason for objecting to the wholesale manufacture of designs which bas, in some instances, brought our architects to be more like manufacturers or contractors than artists. The sure tendency of such a course is to lead to the neglect of almost every detail upon which the character of good art depends; and it has the further disadvantage of leaving us some

| Brandon's Analysis of Gothic Architecture and similar books have been productive of infinite mischief never contemplated by their authors. The windows, doors, and details have been literally copied line for line by men who were paid for designing something new. We have heard of an architect sending tracings of various windows from Brandon's Analysis for his client to choose his east window from ; and we recollect a Roman Catholic chapel in which almost every feature was taken from the same book of “authorities” and wrought up into a wretched olla podrida. We sympathize just as little with careful copies of old work which has not been published, though this shows a little more industry.

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times in doubt as to how much credit is due to the contractor and how much to his subordinates. The same trading spirit leads architects to use the same details over and over again; it would be a justifiable and wise thing if employers were invariably to see the whole of the detail drawings destroyed as soon as the works are completed, though it is true that this would only be a half measure, inasmuch as some architects never design any details at all

, but leave them to the accidental taste or knowledge of builders who have already been to some degree educated to their work. We might easily go on at much greater length, to point out the difference between the practice of our architects and those of the Middle Ages. But the subject is unpleasant and uncongenial, and we gladly turn to the more agreeable picture afforded by the comparison of the modern architects of the revival and their antagonists. The latter are making just now a great fight for their position. Nevertheless the Gothic men are silently and steadily winning their way. Already the Royal Academy bave elected one of them as an associate, and more must follow. They have all the enthusiasm and all the earnestness on their side ; and they are identified, we rejoice to say, to a very large extent, with the religious movement which it has been our especial function to promote from the very first establishment of this Review. They are young, and, as far as we can judge, they seem steadily to monopolise and draw towards themselves most of the young talent of the day. Finally, they have undoubtedly the sympathy of the world with them to a very large degree ; far more, we think, than ever has been the case in this country since the Reformation.2

We have attempted in this article to give some warnings against the dangers which appear to us to threaten the further progress of architecture. They are not few; but we look with confidence to some at least among our architects. We cannot too often repeat that what they must set their minds to do, is to throw life, energy and reality into all their work; to turn their hands to painting and sculpture as well as to architecture; to refuse steadily

1 A curious correspondence between the Bishop of Llandaff and Mr. T. H. Wyatt has recently appeared. Mr. Wyatt wishes to claim credit for the restoration of the cathedral of Llandaff as far as it has gone, and a share in any future work, on the strength of “a general lithographic view of the cathedral prepared in his office some years ago. He confesses that the work has been carried out by a local architect, and we rejoice that the Bishop and Chapter have had the courage to maintain that the preparation of a general lithographic view and the entire neglect of the subsequent working plans and details does not entitle Mr. Wyatt to the credit and profit which he seeks to share with the Llandaff architects. The correspondence is very instructive as showing the idea of his professional duties which an architect of some note is not ashamed to make public.

2 A striking illustration of this remark is now being given at Oxford, just at a time when some persons have imagined that the Catholic movement had died out, not only in the adoption of the Pointed style in the new Museum, and in the Library of the Union Society, but also in the painting of the walls and ceiling of the latter under the direction of Mr. Rosetti, who, there is reason to believe, will also be employed in decorating portions of the Museum.

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to design down to the low standard of prettiness which satisfies the ignorance of the world ; and to refuse equally to be guilty of the meanness of copying their ancestors' work, instead of bonestly designing (as they may) upon the same noble principles that gave life and vigour to all' they did. It is our firm belief that to assist them in this, there is nothing more necessary than a thorough acquaintance with the art of the thirteenth century, and a resolution to carry out to their legitimate development the features by which it is characterised. The conventional form of its ornaments is (as we have endeavoured to prove) one of the leading features of the period, and opens to us a field for immense novelty and unsparing exercise of thought; and they can nowhere be better studied than in this country and in France. We in England are rich indeed ; but it would be folly to let any feeling of national pride shut our eyes to the fact, that in the thirteenth century France was a nursery of all that was most noble both in sculpture and architecture. The grandeur of the art of these days is but half understood by those who have not studied patiently and carefully the great French cathedrals. And we believe that they afford

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much more than do our own the elements of that true dignity and grandeur of art, on which alone any great development can be founded at the present day. M. Viollet le Duc's Dictionary of French Architecture, not only does honour to the labour and taste of its distinguished author, but affords us, in the illustrations with which it is adorned in great profusion, the best possible evidence of the beauties of French architecture. It promises, as far as we can judge by the first three volumes, to be the most valuable monograph of any national architecture ever published, and we can hardly speak too highly of its worth. To all students of art, some acquaintance with what such a man says and thinks of such architecture is indispensable, and we commend it the more cordially, because we believe that we may reckon M. Viollet le Duc among those who entirely sympathise with us in our preference for the conventional forms of the thirteenth century architecture, over any later development of Mediæval Architecture.

The cause is a noble one. In their way architects are a kind of assistant officers to the Church ; and heavy, indeed, is their responsibility whenever by neglect, ignorance, or want of religious feeling and taste, they fail to effect the very utmost with the means which are put at their disposal. How noble a privilege it seems to us to be that they should have to do with the Temples of their God, we dare scarcely say ; but at least we may demand of them, that they should never carelessly, irreligiously, or faithlessly put their hands to such holy work. When our architects are all that they should be in this way, we shall have no fear for their art. A good man is not necessarily a good architect; but we will not believe in the good architect who is not also a good man.

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543

THE EMPIRE AND THE CHURCH, FROM CONSTAN

TINE TO CHARLEMAGNE.

The Empire and the Church, from Constantine to Charlemagne. By

Mrs. HAMILTON GRAY. Oxford: J. H. and J. Parker. 1857.

The history of the Church between the conversion of Constantine, and the accession of Charlemagne, does not yield in importance or interest, to any epoch of ecclesiastical history. The transference of

. the seat of government, the rise of the Papacy in the West upon the ruins of the divided Empire,-the Imperial power in the East overshadowing and finally ruling over the spiritual, which at first it had only protected, the conflicts with Arianism and kindred heresies,—the four ecumenical councils, all matters of the deepest moment, and affecting the very life of the Spouse of Christ, cannot fail to arrest the attention of those who are interested in the religion they profess. To write this history is no slight task, and with all respect for the authoress of this work, it has yet to be written. We sympathize so entirely with any attempt to popularize Church history, that we proportionably regret any failure. But popular this book never will be. It is too dry, too meagre to interest the multitude, and too much of a mere chronicle for the student; events are indeed duly narrated, but their bearings upon, and relations to each other, are passed over.

We find no principles illustrated, nor the changes in the constitution of the Church sufficiently noted. One would have thought that in a history of the Empire and the Church, the growth of the Imperial power, and the circumstances which gave it strength, would have been traced and pointed out. The position Justinian occupied in the Church was as different from Constantine's as Constantine's from Hadrian's. How was this brought about ? How was it that the Eastern Church so passively acquiesced in the intrusion of Cæsar's sceptre into the things of God, while the Western would scarcely allow Cæsar to hold his own ? The craving of the whole Church for a visible head showing itself in the East in the supremacy of the Emperor, in the Western in that of the Pope,—the political combinations which helped on the Papal Supremacy, and brought to pass the eventual subjugation of the civil power before the throne of S. Peter; these and kindred questions we might naturally expect to find discussed in some measure at least, in a history of the Empire and the Church. But in this book we do not find them. They are not even proposed among its objects.

But while we thus are bound to say the book does not fulfil its promises, it would be unfair not to record the pains taken in collecting from various sources the scattered notices of the state of affairs ecclesiastical and civil in Britain, and the light which is thrown upon the Church of our own land, in the earliest stages

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