|Died||2 February 1788|
|Buildings||Interiors Spencer House, London |
Garden Buildings Shugborough Hall
All Saints' Church Nuneham House
James "Athenian" Stuart (1713 – 2 February 1788) was a Scottish archaeologist, architect and artist, best known for his central role in pioneering Neoclassicism.
Stuart was born in 1713 in Creed Lane, Ludgate Street, London, to a Scottish sailor who died when he was young. Proving a talented artist while his family was in poverty, he was apprenticed to a fan painter to support the family financially. However, in around 1742, he was able to travel to Italy (albeit on foot) for his artistic improvement, working there as a cicerone and a painter, learning Latin, Italian and Greek, and studying Italian and Roman art and architecture. There he produced his first major work, his illustrated treatise on the Egyptian obelisk of Psammetichus II within A. M. Bandini's De obelisco Caesaris Augusti, and met Nicholas Revett, a young East Anglian nobleman and amateur architect on his Grand Tour.
In 1748 Stuart joined Revett, Gavin Hamilton and the architect Matthew Brettingham the youngeron a trip to Naples to study the ancient ruins and, from there,they travelled through the Balkans (stopping at Pula) to Greece. Visiting Salonica, Athens, and an Ionic temple on the River Ilissus among others, they made accurate measurements and drawings of the ancient ruins.
Stuart and Revett returned to London in 1755 and published their work, The Antiquities of Athens and Other Monuments of Greece, in 1762. There were more than five hundred subscribers to its first volume and, although few of the subscribers were architects or builders, thus limiting its impact as a design sourcebook, it later helped fuel the Greek Revival in European architecture.Its illustrations were among the first of their kind and the work was welcomed by antiquaries, scholars, and gentleman amateurs. William Hogarth satirised its fastidious depiction of architectural detail in his 1761 engraving Five Orders of Periwigs .
In April 1758 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society as "Mr James Stuart of Grosvenor Square History painter and Architect, eminent in his profession and who hath particularly applyed himself to the study of antiquity, during a long residence in Greece and Italy, as will appear in a work now publishing by him in four volumes in folio, entitled, "The antiquities remaining in the city of Athens and province of Attica"."
On his return to England, he also acted as an interior designer, medal designer, and architect, creating the first tripod in metal since antiquity,building and remodelling country houses, garden buildings, and town houses (e.g. Shugborough Hall, Hagley Hall, Spencer House, and the Temple of the Winds), creating book illustrations, designing commemorative medals and tomb monuments, and being appointed Surveyor to the Royal Naval Hospital, Greenwich.
Stuart's more and more chaotic business practices (possibly to be explained by his chronic gout and deteriorating health, and to his coming into a private fortune – a contemporary report on his death in The World stated that "unexpectedly to most people, [he] has died possessed of much property, chiefly on mortgage on new buildings in Marybone") attracted adverse comment from the late 1760s. By the early 1780s, his devoting the afternoons not to business but to drinking (sources state he "regularly frequented a public-house on the north side of Leicester-fields, of the sign of the feathers" and that "his face declared him to be fond of what is called friendly society" – J. T. Smith, Nollekens and his Times, 1929, 27) and playing skittles was even commented on by his friends. Enemies even accused him of 'Epicurianism' in reference to his alcoholism and recent second marriage at 67 to Elizabeth, a maidservant of 20, by whom he had five children, of whom two died before him. (His first marriage had been to someone described in different places as his housekeeper and as a 'Grecian lady'.)
Stuart continued to work on and off, and returned to working on The Antiquities of Athens, though it was still unfinished at the time of his death in 1788, with the final volume only appearing in 1816, when the Greek Revival it had fostered was starting to become the dominant force in British architecture. He died suddenly on 2 February 1788 at his house on the south side of Leicester Square, London and was buried in the crypt of nearby St Martin-in-the-Fields.
His London buildings played some part in popularising Neo-classical taste. The Antiquities of Athens allowed architects, sculptors and designers in Europe and America for the first time to use Neo-Classicism without having to go to Greece themselves and acted as a sourcebook for them for the next two centuries. The first retrospective on his life and works was held at the Victoria and Albert Museum in early 2007.
Classicism, in the arts, refers generally to a high regard for a classical period, classical antiquity in the Western tradition, as setting standards for taste which the classicists seek to emulate. In its purest form, classicism is an aesthetic attitude dependent on principles based in the culture, art and literature of ancient Greece and Rome, with the emphasis on form, simplicity, proportion, clarity of structure, perfection, restrained emotion, as well as explicit appeal to the intellect. The art of classicism typically seeks to be formal and restrained: of the Discobolus Sir Kenneth Clark observed, "if we object to his restraint and compression we are simply objecting to the classicism of classic art. A violent emphasis or a sudden acceleration of rhythmic movement would have destroyed those qualities of balance and completeness through which it retained until the present century its position of authority in the restricted repertoire of visual images." Classicism, as Clark noted, implies a canon of widely accepted ideal forms, whether in the Western canon that he was examining in The Nude (1956), or the literary Chinese classics or Chinese art, where the revival of classic styles is also a recurring feature.
The Greek Revival was an architectural movement of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, predominantly in Northern Europe and the United States. It revived the style of ancient Greek architecture, in particular the Greek temple, with varying degrees of thoroughness and consistency. A product of Hellenism, it may be looked upon as the last phase in the development of Neoclassical architecture, which had for long mainly drawn from Roman architecture. The term was first used by Charles Robert Cockerell in a lecture he gave as Professor of Architecture to the Royal Academy of Arts, London in 1842.
Neoclassicism was a Western cultural movement in the decorative and visual arts, literature, theatre, music, and architecture that drew inspiration from the art and culture of classical antiquity. Neoclassicism was born in Rome largely thanks to the writings of Johann Joachim Winckelmann, at the time of the rediscovery of Pompeii and Herculaneum, but its popularity spread all over Europe as a generation of European art students finished their Grand Tour and returned from Italy to their home countries with newly rediscovered Greco-Roman ideals. The main Neoclassical movement coincided with the 18th-century Age of Enlightenment, and continued into the early 19th century, laterally competing with Romanticism. In architecture, the style continued throughout the 19th, 20th and up to the 21st century.
Shugborough Hall is a stately home near Great Haywood, Staffordshire, England.
The Tower of the Winds or the Horologion of Andronikos Kyrrhestes is an octagonal Pentelic marble clocktower in the Roman Agora in Athens that functioned as a horologion or "timepiece". It is considered the world's first meteorological station. Unofficially, the monument is also called Aerides, which means Winds. The structure features a combination of sundials, a water clock, and a wind vane. It was designed by Andronicus of Cyrrhus around 50 BC, but according to other sources, might have been constructed in the 2nd century BC before the rest of the forum. In summer of 2014, the Athens Ephorate of Antiquities began cleaning and conserving the structure; restoration work was completed in August 2016.
The Adam style is an 18th-century neoclassical style of interior design and architecture, as practised by Scottish architect William Adam and his sons, of whom Robert (1728–1792) and James (1732–1794) were the most widely known.
Charles Robert Cockerell was an English architect, archaeologist, and writer. He studied architecture under Robert Smirke. He went on an extended Grand Tour lasting seven years, mainly spent in Greece. He was involved in major archaeological discoveries while in Greece. On returning to London he set up a successful architectural practise. Appointed Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy of Arts he served in that position between 1839 and 1859. He wrote many articles and books on both archaeology and architecture. In 1848 he became the first recipient of the Royal Gold Medal.
The Choragic Monument of Lysicrates near the Acropolis of Athens was erected by the choregos Lysicrates, a wealthy patron of musical performances in the Theater of Dionysus, to commemorate the prize in the dithyramb contest of the City Dionysia in 335/334 BCE, of which performance he was liturgist.
The Arch of Hadrian, most commonly known in Greek as Hadrian's Gate, is a monumental gateway resembling—in some respects—a Roman triumphal arch. It spanned an ancient road from the center of Athens, Greece, to the complex of structures on the eastern side of the city that included the Temple of Olympian Zeus.
Neoclassical architecture is an architectural style produced by the Neoclassical movement that began in the mid-18th century in Italy and France. It became one of the most prominent architectural styles in the Western world. The prevailing styles of architecture in most of Europe for the previous two centuries, Renaissance architecture and Baroque architecture, already represented partial revivals of the Classical architecture of ancient Rome and ancient Greek architecture, but the Neoclassical movement aimed to strip away the excesses of Late Baroque and return to a purer and more authentic classical style, adapted to modern purposes.
Nicholas Revett (1720–1804) was a British architect. Revett is best known for his work with James "Athenian" Stuart documenting the ruins of ancient Athens. He is sometimes described as an amateur architect, but he played an important role in the revival of Greek architecture.
The Dugald Stewart Monument is a memorial to the Scottish philosopher Dugald Stewart (1753–1828). It is situated on Calton Hill overlooking the city of Edinburgh and was designed by Scottish architect William Henry Playfair. It was completed in September 1831.
The French term goût grec is often applied to the earliest expression of the Neoclassical style in France and refers specifically to the decorative arts and architecture of the mid-1750s to the late 1760s. The style was more fanciful than historically accurate, though the first archaeological surveys of Greece had begun to appear at this time. It was characterized by severe rectilinear and trabeated forms with a somewhat crude Greek detailing incorporating bold pilasters, Ionic scrolls, Greek key and scroll frets and guilloche.
Willey Reveley (1760–1799) was an 18th-century English architect, born at Newton Underwood near Morpeth, Northumberland. He was a pupil of Sir William Chambers, and was trained at the Royal Academy Schools. In 1781-2 he was employed as assistant clerk of works at Somerset House.
Julien David Le Roy or Leroy was an 18th-century French architect and archaeologist, who engaged in a rivalry with Britons James Stuart and Nicholas Revett over who would publish the first professional description of the Acropolis of Athens since an early 1682 work by Antoine Desgodetz. Le Roy succeeded in printing his Ruins of the Most Beautiful Monuments of Greece four years ahead of Stuart and Revett.
William Pars was an English watercolour portrait and landscape painter, draughtsman, and illustrator.
Architecture of Scotland in the Industrial Revolution includes all building in Scotland between the mid-eighteenth century and the end of the nineteenth century. During this period, the country underwent an economic and social transformation as a result of industrialisation, which was reflected in new architectural forms, techniques and scale of building. In the second half of the eighteenth century, Edinburgh was the focus of a classically inspired building boom that reflected the growing wealth and confidence of the capital. Housing often took the form of horizontally divided tenement flats. Some of the leading European architects during this period were Scottish, including Robert Adam and William Chambers.
John Goldicutt was a British architect, the son of a bank cashier, who was better known for his architectural drawings than his completed buildings. He won medals in London and Paris for his drawings and a gold medal from the Pope for his drawing of a section of St Peter's, Rome.
St Lawrence Church is an eighteenth-century, neoclassical church in Ayot St Lawrence, Hertfordshire, England. It is also known as New St Lawrence Church to distinguish it from the ruined Old St Lawrence Church.
The choragic monument of Thrasyllos is a memorial building erected in 320–319 BCE, on the artificial scarp of the south face of the Acropolis of Athens, to commemorate the choregos of Thrasyllos. It is built in the form of a small temple and fills the opening of a large, natural cave. It was modified in 271/70 by Thrasykles the son of Thrasyllos, agonothetes in the Great Dionysia Games. Pausanias refers to the monument indirectly providing us with the information that in the cave there existed a representation of Apollo and Artemis slaughtering the children of Niobe.
Widely recognised for his central role in pioneering Neo-Classicism, Stuart developed his influential career across various fields: interior decoration, sculpture, furnishing, metalwork and architecture.
The younger Matthew Brettingham (1725–1803) ... In 1748, he visited Naples in the company of Gavin Hamilton, James Stuart, ...
He was the Indiana Jones of his day, dodging murderers to pull off astounding architectural coups.
This tripod perfume burner is one of Stuart's most important and enduring designs. It is based on his sketch of a reconstruction of the tripod that once stood on the roof of the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates in Athens. On his return to London, Stuart revived this tripod form, which appears as a decorative object in his drawings dating from as early as 1757.
According to the publisher "This Elibron Classic Replica Edition is an unabridged facsimile of the edition published in 1837 by Charles Tilt, London." However, where the original is a folio size this reproduction is reduced to an octavo size measuring only 21 x 13.5 x 1.75 centimetres. The text is still very large but the drawings – reduced to a quarter of the original size – suffer: the linework is so fine that it disappears in places and most of the dimensions are unreadable. This paperback has glued binding and 104 pages. The original publication was in 3 volumes. This edition seems to be incomplete. It is certainly missing the full page drawings of the metopes that I recall from my university's first edition.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to James "Athenian" Stuart .|