LD ENGLISH COLOUR PRINTS. "The Studio's"
Special Winter Number, 1909-10, contains forty choice examples in facsimile colours. The works are largely executed after the style of the Old Masters—Reynolds, Romney, Hoppner-Morland, Sunbury, and Hamilton. A lady artist's work (Angelica
The work- man, R.A.) is represented in four of the pr
purely were almost all published about 1797, and represent p y drawing efforts by the masters, and, in that respect, differ greatly from the many modern works which are frequeThe
"aided" by photographic or other mechanical means.
figures are, no doubt, greatly "improved" upon Nature—and each print appears full of figure work, whilst the colours (rich and subdued) form colour "schemes" from which much may be learned nowadays. The processes employed are technically known as "stipple engraving" and "mezzo-tint engraving." Each method has its charm in the making of .a picture. No serious student would accord these prints a very high position in the art world, yet they fill a corner by their own merits, representing English character in a pictorial prettiness and dainty decorative charm. In the letterpress, Malcolm C. Salaman describes the prints one by one, and also gives slight sketches of the artists whose works are reproduced.
R.V.I.A. JOURNAL OF PROCEEDINGS, VOL. XVI, Third series. Third Quarterly Part, comprising Nos. 9 to 12 (first notice).
A Goodly Heritage.—In the form of an allegory, Mr. Paul Waterhouse, M.A., asks whether the architect of to-day is suffi- ciently conscious of the reality of the "goodly heritage" into which he has entered? "John Pargiter," a man of "unusual mind," states that "it is almost horrible to think of the in- significant way in which young men glide into what they some-
1Revíews of 'Pew 1Boohs.35
times call `the Profession'," as if they were merely accepting election to .a local hockey club. A triangular discussion ensues
"Mr. Paul Waterhouse" and "my friend Harper" representing Architecture, as it is, and "Pargiter" as he would it should be.
The last named speaks most respecfully of the "Orders," and will not have a word said against the Euston portico, which was one of the three or four things in London to which he did a kind of homage. In the Orders they were "face to face with one of the greatest marvels in the marvellous history of man," and much more to the same effect. After a fortnight's cogitation, "Harper"
confesses that "Pargiter" is very nearly right, "but," he con- tinues, "I cannot be sure whether I am sorry I ever became an architect, or overwhelmingly glad. I think the latter." The phil- osophical nature of the paper differentiates from the bulk of the papers read before Architectural Institutes.
Style and Architecture, is an attempt by Mr. S. D. Adshead (F.) to show that modern architecture, if it is to develop a style capable in its tout ensemble of expressing dignity and grandeur of effect, possesses in its detail the interest which arises out of variety and consistency; and if it is to be purposeful and convey its motifs, features, and carvings a correct association of ideas must be the outcome of a sound a sthetic sense, wide research and scholarly attainment. It must be scientific, and the work of the philosopher, as well as of the artist. At one time, travel was the lot of a few; to-day, by travel and illustration, the work of the world is available to the many. Travelling by the many was accountable for the disconnected and badly composed architecture which everywhere met the eye in England. What they should seek to cultivate was a "universal original style," which, of course, would never prevail merely on its own initiative, but should be founded on classic inspiration. This "style" was more or less in evidence in France and in America. They must give up that egotistical creed which held that English tradition should be based on English work. He had no good word for the "de- cadent styles" of the English Renaissance, but would have us go to Greece for inspiration. These remarks referred in particular
'Reviews of Slew liooks.36
to style as seen in works of a monumental order, rather than to domestic work of the simpler class. If so, the author is merely beating the air, because in this age nearly, if not all, our build- ings of a monumental character are designed on classic lines. If pleading for "a national and traditional style" he commends the Grand and Petit Palaces in Paris (which are classic with details borrowed from the Louis Seize) for France, why is it wrong for an English architect to give an English treatment to his classic building? How can the treatment be "national" without any- thing to differentiate it from the architecture of other nations?
In the palaces in Paris referred to, he sees traces of Roman influ- ence, which he attributes to the continued study of Roman work by the Prix de Rome students. Glancing at America, he states that its principal architects have been educated in Paris, study- ing there in Ateliers or at the Ecole des Beaux Arts, with a tour of Italy and Greece, American work, he considers most scholarly, yet the styles there are mainly the styles of individual firms, rather than the style of a nation. At Harvard a school of archi- tecture was being formed which would compete in its method of study with the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. Extolling Ameri- can architecture, he states that it "absorbs from all quarters and from all styles." Surely a national style is not formed in this wise. The result must be rather an olla podringa. The American bungalow, originally evolved to express the conditions of primi- tive existence, "is not, however, the typical country house of to- day." Symmetry, formality, and regularity are required, such as are to be seen in despised Gower Street and other parts of Lon- don. We think we know the class of houses referred to pretty well;
they are there in rows—miles and miles of them. Symmetry, for- mality, and regularity are their characteristics (outside at least).
Desperate efforts, however, are made every spring time to mini- mise these "virtues," and the "decorator," as he is termed, op- pressed with the mass of almost black brickwork in the elevation, paints his woodwork one colour of striking hue, and perhaps the walling as high as the first floor balcony with buff or cream col- oured paint. Further, by means of sill boxes or other device, geraniums, marguerites, and calceolarias give a further dash of
'Reviews of 'Hew37
colour to the dreariest wall surfaces imaginable. If the Ameri- cans are adopting this class of house, especially in the country, that is their business : we gave them credit for something better.
The broad mistake of the author is that by extolling the work done abroad, and be-littling that of his own country, he seeks to raise the British standard. He adopts the method of Daniel Defoe, but forgets that this great master of English literature, although originating it, also exhausted it. If, for instance,
"travel" is accountable for the disconnected and badly composed architecture which meets the eye in England, why has "travel"
—which, of course, is synonymous with "studies"—abroad, made the American architect of to-day stand for the professional attain- ment "second to none in the whole world?"
R.I.B.A. Prizes and Studentships, agog.--The following is the selection from the premiated drawings :-
Soane Medallion.—Design for a casino on the borders of a lake. Prize design by Anthony R. Barker. Hon.
mention, Adrian Berrington.
Tite Certificate.—Design for a covered arcade of shops:
First design, by R. W. M. Bunn; second design, B.
E. Lisle; third design, S. H. Maw.
Gressell Gold Medal.—Design for a landing stage to a royal palace from a lake, First design, D. W. Day.
Owen Jones' Studentship.—Ceiling of the Sala del Col- legio, Palazzo Ducale, Venice. First design, S. H.
Pugin Studentship, Measured Work, Ely Cathedral. Draw- ings by S. H. Miller, Southwold Church, Suffolk.
Drawings by H. H. Fraser.
Howton Sedilia.—S. H. Miller.
R.I.B.A., Measured Work—Church of the Madonna di San Baigio, Montepulciano, Italy. Silver Medal, E. W.
Wray. Lavenham Parish Church. A. G. Brace.
Arthur Cates' Prize.—Sketches Santa Maria in Campitelli, Rome : L. Wilkinson. Il Palazzo de Nobili, Monte- pulciano: L. Wilkinson.
14ew Vooks. 38
The Beginnings of Architecture, by Mr. J. L. Ball (President Birmingham Architectural Association), is a further contribution to this subject. It was to building that they were to look for the origin of architecture. Building—although better materials were used to-day—had lost those fine qualities which constituted it the great art of the thirteenth century. He dwelt upon the immo- bility of building, and the rapid mutations of architecture, and asked under what circumstances did they generally find that a new Architecture has made its appearance? A foreign Architec- ture suppressed that which was native to the soil was one an- swer, and again the popular mind led to a revival of poetry and all the arts, and a new Architecture sprang thereby into exist- ence. Their own history afforded conspicuous examples by changes, which assuredly were not wrought by building con- tinuously developed. Saxon was displaced by Norman, which latter changed but little for 15o years. Then with dramatic swift- ness the whole conception was altered, and a new style took pos- session of the stage, complete in every detail. He ascribed the first beginnings of modern Poetry and the humane Arts, the in- dications of nationality, and the sentiment of freedom, as being responsible for the change. Then changes continued to the end of the fifteenth century, which were impossible to regard as de- velopments of building, after which a remarkable difference in the Architecture was perceived ; the result of influences purely moral and intellectual.. The first thing that struck them in primitive architecture was that it was almost independent of anything that could be called building, and of external conditions generally, and approached more nearly to the condition of music—the condition of pure Art—than any Architecture of later ages. Secondly they were impressed by the monumental character of Primitive Architecture, as existing at Stonehenge, and in cairns, menhirs, and other "pillars of stone." Thirdly, it was communal, not do- mestic, an office it never lost, best displayed in edifices devoted to religion, or in those which were the ensigns of national or civil power. Fourthly, they perceived in this earliest Architecture, the rudiments of order and design. All the features he had classified had never been entirely lost, but their barbaric freedom, and their
1tevfews of 'H ew E ooks.39
vague spontaneity soon disappeared. He dwelt at length with
"Proportion" in Architecture, and thought the suggestion to dis- pense with it in favour of something else manifestly absurd.
Even if a man professed in theory to be indifferent about Pro- portion, in his sash window he was not indifferent about the size and shape of its panes ; whilst he was insistent upon a cer- tain thinness in his courses of brickwork, even at increased cost, to give a better proportion. Good Proportion he ascribed as includ- ing not only practical qualities, but also a fitness to be seen with seemliness, shapeliness, and fine and characteristic form. These were not the end of Architecture, but a means to an end, express- ing moods and ideas. What was needed was nothing less than a habitual elevation of mind, as the mind was affected by all pur- poses it entertained, and its productions, Architecture included, were raised with its elevation and degraded with its abasement.
American Architecture : with Special Reference to Work at Washington, by Francis S. Swales. It is not often that a coun- try, and even less seldom that a combination of States, is called upon to select a site for its capital. This paper, therefore, is of special interest to Australians just now, because it deals with the selection of the site and the subsequent laying out of the American capital. It will be remembered that in 'got a congress of Ar- chitects, Engineers and Surveyors was held in Melbourne to con- sider the qualifications of a site for the Federal Capital, and sub- sequently to make recommendations to the Australian Govern- ment. Whilst the general recommendations (of no particular site) were being laid before the Minister of Home Affairs (Sir W.
Lyne) that Minister stated—whether officially or not we are not aware—"that it was not for the congress to recommend any partic- ular site; that would be done by the `politicians'." The "politi- cians" have selected site after site, and it is impossible to say whether finality has yet been reached, so many influences have been, or may be yet, at work. The "selection" of the Ameri- can capital, till a certain stage was reached, reads curiously, in the light of Australian experiences. Finally, however, in America, after many abortive attempts, an Act was passed conferring upon
'Reviews of 'IRew yBooâs.
President Washington "the sole power to select a Federal ter- ritory, not exceeding ten miles square, on the river Potomac . . . for the permanent seat of the Government of the United States."
The final adoption of the Potomac site was involved in a network of diplomacy too lengthy for us to describe. Jefferson, however, came upon the scene. Amongst his many callings, planter, prac- tising law, and astronomer, he was by "inclination and aptitude,"
an Architect, for after filling the subsequent position as Presi- dent, he designed amongst other things the fine group of build- ings for the University of Virginia, and his own house, Monticello.
Washington consulted Jefferson, and the former desired the capital to be near his house in Virginia. It was probable, however, that his experience as engineer and surveyor rendered him the fittest person to deal with the selection of professional advice and as- sistance in the laying out of the town, and determin- ing the sites for the most important buildings. After selec- tion, Washington appointed three commissioners to supervise the work, and "stand the criticism of the public" (the latter espe- cially showing the genius of the man), whilst Major Ellicott sur- veyed the territory, and Major L'Infant was to plan the city.
Jefferson visited Europe and obtained plans of buildings and maps of many cities of importance, which he handed to L'Infant. The latter was a French military engineer, who had rendered valuable aid during the war of Independence, and was therefore conversant with European methods of planning. From a plan dated iggi we find that the "Federal House" was to be the central object and to be built in a park from which radiated twelve wide avenues—
reminding us very forcibly of the similar position occupied by the Arc de Triumph in Paris. After adoption of the plan of the city, competitive designs for the "capitol" were called ; sixteen de- signs being received, all of which were returned to the authors by Jefferson, none being regarded fit for serious consideration. Hal- let, a French architect, of New York, then submitted a design, which was generally approved, and which he was asked to per- fect. However, Dr. W. Thornton, a Philadelphia physician and
"amateur architect," presented an "elaborate coloured design"
to Washington, who asked the commissioners to accept it in 40