Pugin and the revival of gothic architecture essay

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Pugin and the revival of gothic architecture essay

Questions and Answers about the Gothic period revival architecture. What is Gothic art and architecture? What is "Gothic Architecture"? Gothic is an expression sometimes used to denote in one general term, and distinguish from the Antique, those pecu liar modes or styles in which most of our ecclesiastical and many of our domestic edifices of the middle ages have been built.

In a more confined sense, it comprehends those styles only in which the pointed arch predominates, and it is then often used to distinguish such from the more ancient Anglo-Saxon and Norman styles. To what can the origin of this kind of architecture be traced? To the classic orders in that state of degeneracy into which they had fallen in the age of Constantine, and afterward; and as the Romans, on their voluntary abandonment of Britain in the fifth century, left many of their temples and public edifices remaining, together with some Christian churches, it was in rude imitation of the Roman structures of the fourth century that the most ancient of our Anglo-Saxon churches were constructed.

This is apparent from an examination and comparison of such with the vestiges of Roman buildings we have existing.

Into how many different styles may English ecclesiastical architecture be divided? No specific regulation has been adopted, with regard to the denomination or division of the several styles, in which all the writers on the subject agree: The Saxon Or Anglo-Saxon Style, which prevailed from the mission of Augustine, at the close of the sixth, to the middle of the eleventh century.

The Norman style, which may be said to have prevailed generally from the middle of the eleventh to the latter part of the twelfth century. The Semi-Norman, Or Transition style, which appears to have prevailed during the latter part of the twelfth century.

The Early English, or general style of the thirteenth century. The Decorated English, or general style of the fourteenth century. The Florid Or Perpendicular English, the style of the fifteenth, and early part of the sixteenth century. The Debased English, or general style of the latter part of the sixteenth and early part of the seventeenth century, towards the middle of which Gothic architecture, even in its debased state, became entirely discarded.

What constitutes the difference of these styles? They may be distinguished partly by the form of the arches, which are triangular-headed, semicircular or segmental, simple pointed, and complex pointed; though such forms are by no means an invariable criterion of any particular style; by the size and shape of the windows, and the manner in which they are subdivided or not by transoms, mullions, and tracery; but more especially by certain minute details, ornamental accessories and mouldings, more or less peculiar to particular styles, and which are seldom to be met with in any other.

Are the majority of our ecclesiastical buildings composed only of one style? Most of our cathedral and country churches have been built, or had additions made to them, at different periods, and therefore seldom exhibit an uniformity of design; and many churches have details about them of almost every style.

There are, however, numerous exceptions, where churches have been erected in the same style throughout; and this is more particularly observable in the churches of the fifteenth century. Were they constructed on any regular plan?

The general ground plan of cathedral and conventual churches was after the form of a cross, and the edifice consisted of a central tower, with transepts running north and south; westward of the tower was the nave or main body of the structure, with lateral aisles; and the west front contained the principal entrance, and was often flanked by towers.

Eastward of the central tower was the choir, where the principal service was performed, with aisles on each side, and beyond this was the lady chapel. Sometimes the design also comprehended other chapels. On the north or south side was the chapter house, in early times quadrangular, but afterward octagonal in plan; and on the same side, in most instances, though not always, were the cloisters, which communicated immediately with the church, and surrounded a quadrangular court.

The chapter house and cloisters we still find remaining as adjuncts to most cathedral churches, though the conventional buildings of a domestic nature, with which the cloisters formerly also communicated, have generally been destroyed.

Pugin and the revival of gothic architecture essay

Mere parochial churches have commonly a tower at the west end, a nave with lateral aisles, and a chancel. Some churches have transepts; and small side chapels or additional aisles have been annexed to many, erected at the costs of individuals, to serve for burial and as chantries.

The smallest class of churches have a nave and chancel only, with a small bell-turret formed of wooden shingles, or an open arch of stonework, appearing above the roof at the west end. What Are the Different Kinds of Arches?

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Do the distinctions of the different styles, as they differ from each other, depend at all upon the form of the arch? To a certain extent the form of the arch may be considered as a criterion of style; too much dependence, however, must not be placed on this rule, inasmuch as there are many exceptions.

How are arches divided generally, as to form? Into the triangular-headed or straight-lined pointed arch, the round-headed arch, and the curved-pointed arch; and the latter are again subdivided.

How is the triangular-headed or straight-lined pointed arch formed, and when did it prevail? It may be described as formed by the two upper sides of a triangle, more or less obtuse or acute.Creating a Gothic Paradise: Pugin at the Antipodes explores the influence of Puginian ideals on Australian architecture.

Rory Spence reviews the exhibition and discusses this fascinating architect, suggesting that there is still much to learn from his commitments and work.

Week 2 (12 January): Pugin and the Gothic Revival: A Review of Literature. John Ruskin, “Romanist Modern Art,” in appendix to the The Stones of Venice, London, Yet ultimately Capes's importance to architectural criticism lay less in his rejection of Pugin's Gothic revival than in his dismissal of Pugn's methodology for defining a modern aesthetic, thereby providing The Rambler with a foundation for the proposal of an alternative Roman Catholic aesthetic.


The Greek Revival and the Gothic Revival are terms that carry specific meanings in relation to the history of architecture. What did they represent at the time and what was the nature of the conflict between the respective adherents? Between and Pugin and his father published a series of volumes of architectural drawings, the first two entitled, Specimens of Gothic Architecture, and the following three, Examples of Gothic Architecture, that were to remain both in print and the standard references for Gothic architecture for at least the next century.

The greatest example of authentic Gothic Revival is the Palace of Westminster (The Houses of Parliament) which was rebuilt by Sir Charles Barry and A.W.

Pugin. In , he wrote The Poetry of Architecture, serialised in Loudon’s Architectural Magazine.