Architectural style

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The Architect's Dream by Thomas Cole (1840) shows a vision of buildings in the historical styles of the Western tradition, from Ancient Egypt through to Classical Revival Cole Thomas The dream of the architect 210 Sun Unedited.jpg
The Architect's Dream by Thomas Cole (1840) shows a vision of buildings in the historical styles of the Western tradition, from Ancient Egypt through to Classical Revival

An architectural style is a set of characteristics and features that make a building or other structure notable or historically identifiable. [1] It is a sub-class of style in the visual arts generally, and most styles in architecture relate closely to a wider contemporary artistic style. A style may include such elements as form, method of construction, building materials, and regional character. Most architecture can be classified within a chronology of styles which changes over time reflecting changing fashions, beliefs and religions, or the emergence of new ideas, technology, or materials which make new styles possible.

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Styles therefore emerge from the history of a society. They are documented in the subject of architectural history. At any time several styles may be fashionable, and when a style changes it usually does so gradually, as architects learn and adapt to new ideas. The new style is sometimes only a rebellion against an existing style, such as post-modernism (meaning "after modernism"), which in 21st century has found its own language and split into a number of styles which have acquired other names.

Architectural Styles often spread to other places, so that the style at its source continues to develop in new ways while other countries follow with their own twist. For instance, Renaissance ideas emerged in Italy around 1425 and spread to all of Europe over the next 200 years, with the French, German, English, and Spanish Renaissances showing recognisably the same style, but with unique characteristics. An architectural style may also spread through colonialism, either by foreign colonies learning from their home country, or by settlers moving to a new land. One example is the Spanish missions in California, brought by Spanish priests in the late 18th century and built in a unique style.

After an architectural style has gone out of fashion, revivals and re-interpretations may occur. For instance, classicism has been revived many times and found new life as neoclassicism. Each time it is revived, it is different. The Spanish mission style was revived 100 years later as the Mission Revival, and that soon evolved into the Spanish Colonial Revival.

Vernacular architecture is listed separately. As vernacular architecture is better understood as suggestive of culture, writ broadly (as well as a theory and a process rather than a thing-in-itself), it technically can encompass every architectural style--or none at all. In and of itself, vernacular architecture is not a style. [2]

History of the concept of architectural style

Constructing schemes of the period styles of historic art and architecture was a major concern of 19th century scholars in the new and initially mostly German-speaking field of art history. Important writers on the broad theory of style including Carl Friedrich von Rumohr, Gottfried Semper, and Alois Riegl in his Stilfragen of 1893, with Heinrich Wölfflin and Paul Frankl continued the debate into the 20th century. [3] Paul Jacobsthal and Josef Strzygowski are among the art historians who followed Riegl in proposing grand schemes tracing the transmission of elements of styles across great ranges in time and space. This type of art history is also known as formalism, or the study of forms or shapes in art.

Semper, Wölfflin, and Frankl, and later Ackerman, had backgrounds in the history of architecture, and like many other terms for period styles, "Romanesque" and "Gothic" were initially coined to describe architectural styles, where major changes between styles can be clearer and more easy to define, not least because style in architecture is easier to replicate by following a set of rules than style in figurative art such as painting. Terms originated to describe architectural periods were often subsequently applied to other areas of the visual arts, and then more widely still to music, literature and the general culture. [4] In architecture stylistic change often follows, and is made possible by, the discovery of new techniques or materials, from the Gothic rib vault to modern metal and reinforced concrete construction. A major area of debate in both art history and archaeology has been the extent to which stylistic change in other fields like painting or pottery is also a response to new technical possibilities, or has its own impetus to develop (the kunstwollen of Riegl), or changes in response to social and economic factors affecting patronage and the conditions of the artist, as current thinking tends to emphasize, using less rigid versions of Marxist art history. [5]

Although style was well-established as a central component of art historical analysis, seeing it as the over-riding factor in art history had fallen out of fashion by World War II, as other ways of looking at art were developing, [6] and a reaction against the emphasis on style developing; for Svetlana Alpers, "the normal invocation of style in art history is a depressing affair indeed". [7] According to James Elkins "In the later 20th century criticisms of style were aimed at further reducing the Hegelian elements of the concept while retaining it in a form that could be more easily controlled". [8]

Mannerism

The rhyolitic tuff portal of the "church house" at Colditz Castle, Saxony, designed by Andreas Walther II (1584), is an example of the exuberance of Antwerp Mannerism Entrance of Colditz Castle chapel.jpg
The rhyolitic tuff portal of the "church house" at Colditz Castle, Saxony, designed by Andreas Walther II (1584), is an example of the exuberance of Antwerp Mannerism

While many architectural styles explore harmonious ideals, Mannerism wants to take style a step further and explores the aesthetics of hyperbole and exaggeration. [9] Mannerism is notable for its intellectual sophistication as well as its artificial (as opposed to naturalistic) qualities. [10] Mannerism favours compositional tension and instability rather than balance and clarity. [11] The definition of Mannerism, and the phases within it, continues to be the subject of debate among art historians.

Town Hall of Zamosc by Bernardo Morando Ratusz9 zam.JPG
Town Hall of Zamość by Bernardo Morando

An example of Mannerist architecture is the Villa Farnese at Caprarola [12] in the rugged country side outside of Rome. The proliferation of engravers during the 16th century spread Mannerist styles more quickly than any previous styles. A centre of Mannerist design was Antwerp during its 16th-century boom. Through Antwerp, Renaissance and Mannerist styles were widely introduced in England, Germany, and northern and eastern Europe in general. Dense with ornament of "Roman" detailing, the display doorway at Colditz Castle exemplifies this northern style, characteristically applied as an isolated "set piece" against unpretentious vernacular walling. During the Mannerist Renaissance period, architects experimented with using architectural forms to emphasize solid and spatial relationships.

The Renaissance ideal of harmony gave way to freer and more imaginative rhythms. The best known architect associated with the Mannerist style was Michelangelo (1475–1564), who is credited with inventing the giant order, a large pilaster that stretches from the bottom to the top of a façade. [13] He used this in his design for the Campidoglio in Rome.

Prior to the 20th century, the term Mannerism had negative connotations, but it is now used to describe the historical period in more general non-judgmental terms. [14]

See also

Notes

  1. "Architectural Styles". Encyclopedia.com. Encyclopedia of the New American Nation. 2006. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  2. J. Philip Gruen, “Vernacular Architecture,” in Encyclopedia of Local History, 3d edition, ed. Amy H. Wilson (Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2017): 697-98.
  3. Elkins, s. 2, 3
  4. Gombrich, 129; Elsner, 104
  5. Gombrich, 131-136; Elkins, s. 2
  6. Kubler in Lang, 163
  7. Alpers in Lang, 137
  8. Elkins, s. 2 (quoted); see also Gombrich, 135-136
  9. Gombrich, E H. The Story of Art London:Phaidon Press Ltd, ISBN   0-7148-3247-2
  10. "Mannerism: Bronzino (1503–1572) and his Contemporaries". Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 2013-05-19.
  11. Art and Illusion, E. H. Gombrich, ISBN   9780691070001
  12. Coffin David, The Villa in the Life of Renaissance Rome, Princeton University Press, 1979: 281-5
  13. [ verification needed ] Mark Jarzombek, "Pilaster Play" (PDF), Thresholds, 28 (Winter 2005): 34–41
  14. Arnold Hauser. Mannerism: The Crisis of the Renaissance and the Origins of Modern Art. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press,1965).

Related Research Articles

Mannerism Style of European art

Mannerism, also known as Late Renaissance, is a style in European art that emerged in the later years of the Italian High Renaissance around 1520, spreading by about 1530 and lasting until about the end of the 16th century in Italy, when the Baroque style largely replaced it. Northern Mannerism continued into the early 17th century.

Renaissance architecture Style of architecture

Renaissance architecture is the European architecture of the period between the early 14th and early 16th centuries in different regions, demonstrating a conscious revival and development of certain elements of ancient Greek and Roman thought and material culture. Stylistically, Renaissance architecture followed Gothic architecture and was succeeded by Baroque architecture. Developed first in Florence, with Filippo Brunelleschi as one of its innovators, the Renaissance style quickly spread to other Italian cities. The style was carried to Spain, France, Germany, England, Russia and other parts of Europe at different dates and with varying degrees of impact.

Baroque painting

Baroque painting is the painting associated with the Baroque cultural movement. The movement is often identified with Absolutism, the Counter Reformation and Catholic Revival, but the existence of important Baroque art and architecture in non-absolutist and Protestant states throughout Western Europe underscores its widespread popularity.

Style (visual arts)

In the visual arts, style is a "...distinctive manner which permits the grouping of works into related categories" or "...any distinctive, and therefore recognizable, way in which an act is performed or an artifact made or ought to be performed and made". It refers to the visual appearance of a work of art that relates it to other works by the same artist or one from the same period, training, location, "school", art movement or archaeological culture: "The notion of style has long been the art historian's principal mode of classifying works of art. By style he selects and shapes the history of art".

High Renaissance Short period of the most exceptional artistic production during the Italian Renaissance.

In art history, the High Renaissance is a short period of the most exceptional artistic production in the Italian states, particularly Rome, capital of the Papal States, and in Florence, during the Italian Renaissance. Most art historians state that the High Renaissance started around 1495 or 1500 and ended in 1520 with the death of Raphael, although some say the High Renaissance ended about 1525, or in 1527 with the Sack of Rome by the army of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, or about 1530. The best-known exponents of painting, sculpture and architecture of the High Renaissance include Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael, and Bramante. In recent years, the use of the term has been frequently criticized by some academic art historians for oversimplifying artistic developments, ignoring historical context, and focusing only on a few iconic works.

Northern Renaissance

The Northern Renaissance was the Renaissance that occurred in Europe north of the Alps. From the last years of the 15th century, its Renaissance spread around Europe. Called the Northern Renaissance because it occurred north of the Italian Renaissance, this period became the German, French, English, Low Countries, Polish Renaissances and in turn other national and localized movements, each with different attributes.

Josef Strzygowski

Josef Strzygowski was a Polish-Austrian art historian known for his theories promoting influences from the art of the Near East on European art, for example that of Early Christian Armenian architecture on the early Medieval architecture of Europe, outlined in his book, Die Baukunst der Armenier und Europa. He is considered a member of the Vienna School of Art History.

Heinrich Wölfflin

Heinrich Wölfflin was a Swiss art historian, whose objective classifying principles were influential in the development of formal analysis in art history in the early 20th century. He taught at Basel, Berlin and Munich in the generation that raised German art history to pre-eminence. His three great books, still consulted, are Renaissance und Barock (1888), Die Klassische Kunst, and Kunstgeschichtliche Grundbegriffe.

Ernst Gombrich

Sir Ernst Hans Josef Gombrich was an Austrian-born art historian who, after settling in England in 1936, became a naturalised British citizen in 1947 and spent most of his working life in the United Kingdom.

Ornament (art)

In architecture and decorative art, ornament is a decoration used to embellish parts of a building or object. Large figurative elements such as monumental sculpture and their equivalents in decorative art are excluded from the term; most ornament does not include human figures, and if present they are small compared to the overall scale. Architectural ornament can be carved from stone, wood or precious metals, formed with plaster or clay, or painted or impressed onto a surface as applied ornament; in other applied arts the main material of the object, or a different one such as paint or vitreous enamel may be used.

Elizabethan architecture

Elizabethan architecture refers to buildings of a certain style constructed during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I of England and Ireland from 1558–1603. Historically, the era sits between the long era of dominant architectural style of religious buildings by the Catholic Church, which ended abruptly at the Dissolution of the Monasteries from c.1536, and the advent of a court culture of pan-European artistic ambition under James I (1603–25). Stylistically, Elizabethan architecture is notably pluralistic. It came at the end of insular traditions in design and construction called the Perpendicular style in church building, the fenestration, vaulting techniques and open truss designs of which often affected the detail of larger domestic buildings. However, English design had become open to the influence of early printed architectural texts imported to England by members of the church as early as the 1480s. Into the 16th century, illustrated continental pattern-books introduced a wide range of architectural exemplars, fueled by the archaeology of classical Rome which inspired myriad printed designs of increasing elaboration and abstraction.

Cinquecento

The cultural and artistic events of Italy during the period 1500 to 1599 are collectively referred to as the Cinquecento, from the Italian for the number 500, in turn from millecinquecento, which is Italian for the year 1500. Cinquecento encompasses the styles and events of the High Italian Renaissance, Mannerism and some early exponents of the Baroque-style.

Antwerp Mannerism

Antwerp Mannerism is the name given to the style of a group of largely anonymous painters active in the Southern Netherlands and principally in Antwerp in the beginning of the 16th century, a movement within Dutch and Flemish Renaissance painting. The style bore no relation to Italian Mannerism, which it mostly predates by a few years, but the name suggests that was a reaction to the "classic" style of the earlier Flemish painters, just as the Italian Mannerists were reacting to, or trying to go beyond, the classicism of High Renaissance art. The Antwerp Mannerists' style is certainly "mannered", and "characterized by an artificial elegance. Their paintings typically feature elongated figures posed in affected, twisting, postures, colorful ornate costumes, fluttering drapery, Italianate architecture decorated with grotesque ornament, and crowded groups of figures...". Joseph Koerner notes "a diffuse sense of outlandishness in Antwerp art, of an exoticism both of subject and means ... evoking a non-localized elsewhere".

Michael David Kighley Baxandall, FBA was a British art historian and a professor emeritus of Art History at the University of California, Berkeley. He taught at the Warburg Institute, University of London, and worked as a curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum. His book Painting and Experience in Fifteenth-Century Italy was profoundly influential in the social history of art, and is (2018) widely used as a textbook in college courses.

Paul Frankl

Paul Frankl was an art historian born in Austria-Hungary. Frankl is most known for his writings on the history and principles of architecture, which he famously presented within a Gestalt-oriented framework.

Alois Riegl

Alois Riegl was an Austrian art historian, and is considered a member of the Vienna School of Art History. He was one of the major figures in the establishment of art history as a self-sufficient academic discipline, and one of the most influential practitioners of formalism.

Historicism (art)

Historicism or historism comprises artistic styles that draw their inspiration from recreating historic styles or imitating the work of historic artisans. This is especially prevalent in architecture, such as Revival architecture. Through a combination of different styles or implementation of new elements, historicism can create completely different aesthetics than former styles. Thus, it offers a great variety of possible designs.

Art history The academic study of objects of art in their historical development

Art history is the study of aesthetic objects and visual expression in historical and stylistic context. Traditionally, the discipline of art history emphasized painting, drawing, sculpture, architecture, ceramics and decorative arts, yet today, art history examines broader aspects of visual culture, including the various visual and conceptual outcomes related to an ever-evolving definition of art. Art history encompasses the study of objects created by different cultures around the world and throughout history that convey meaning, importance or serve usefulness primarily through visual means.

Northern Mannerism

Northern Mannerism is the form of Mannerism found in the visual arts north of the Alps in the 16th and early 17th centuries. Styles largely derived from Italian Mannerism were found in the Netherlands and elsewhere from around the mid-century, especially Mannerist ornament in architecture; this article concentrates on those times and places where Northern Mannerism generated its most original and distinctive work.

History of art criticism

The history of art criticism, as part of art history, is the study of objects of art in their historical development and stylistic contexts, i.e. genre, design, format, and style, which include aesthetic considerations. This includes the "major" arts of painting, sculpture, and architecture as well as the "minor" arts of ceramics, furniture, and other decorative objects.

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