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given to the interior of churches. The sec- grees two parallel lines to meet and cover in ond
may be seen in the attempt to bind two a space. An elevated pediment is as absurd or three stories of arcades together by one in Grecian as a depressed pediment is absurd shaft running up through them all, and pro- in Gothic. In fact the two ought never to jected from the plane of them, so as to form be confounded; for they have totally different the prominent and leading line in the build-uses, and must be framed in all their de. ing. Externally this was done by buttresses, tails upon totally different principles. This and internally by the shafts, which are so would be seen at once by taking the gable often found to support the roof. But the fun of a Gothic house, striking a transverse damental idea of elevation once introduced, it line beneath it, and ornamenting the pedibecame necessary to remodel all the parts of ment as it is ornamented in Grecian, after the building to bring them into accordance the model of the architrave and cornice; with it; and it was in the delicate intuitive or, again, take a Grecian pediment, cut away perception of this accordance, and the skill the transverse line of the architrave, and shave with which it was effected, that we must look off the modillons, dentils, cantalivers, mouldfor the real spirit, from which the perfection ings, and other embellishments which give of Gothic architecture emanated. The exte, prominence and consequence to the cornices, rior of the roof or ceiling being the principal and what becomes of the building? One, in object, this was probably the first part which fact, is regulated by the internal roof, the other required to be adjusted to the new lype. A by the external architrave; and on this these ceiling either flat and horizontal, or circular differences depend. and barrel-shaped, was felt (this, perhaps, But the ascending vertical line being once is the only proper word) to be inconsistent taken as the leading feature, other parts of the with the primary idea of elevation : for either building besides the roof required to be modof them compelled the eye to depart from its ified to meet it. First, its general outline ascending line, and move in an opposite di became changed. Instead of running along rection; and perhaps of the tivo the circular the ground, it rose up into towers, and the arch was the most inconsistent, because it is towers broke away into pinnacles, or shot up not content, like the flat roof, with abruptly into the still more Gothic figure of the spire. cutting short the ascending line.
It bent Its parts, instead of being symmetrically arthe eye down, and introduced two or three ranged in mutual correspondence, were clus. different movements instead of one, by forcing tered in groups of projections, thrown out in the eye to strike a centre, from which to apparent disorder from the main fabric, and measure the curve of the arch (that centre being necessarily taken from below), so that stead of indulging the Greek taste for compar
even studiously diversified, that the eye, inbut was absolutely depressed--a fact on which ing and speculating by a mere intellectual depends what is commonly called the heavy, movement, and be carried constantly upwards.
process, might be prevented from any lateral oppressive feeling of a semicircular ceiling. A true Gothic taste abhorred that which mod
How, then, was the necessity of an inclosed ern Gothic scarcely ever dispenses with, a ceiling to be reconciled with the preservation centre and two wings. It never placed the of the ascending line? There was one mode, and one only; and it is exhibited in the follow: spectator, like Grecian art, in any one point,
but allowed him to move round and about, ing figure of an equilateral triangle placed on making every place a centre from which the
eye could rise to some lofty apex, and throw a vertical parallelogram. This figure is as the other parts into the Gothic figure of the
elevated triangle set upon a parallelopiped. peculiarly Gothic as the truncated triangle is Again, a Grecian pillar with a base is a corEgyptian, and the depressed triangle, the cir- ruption, and a Gothic pillar without one is cle, and the parallelogram are Grecian. It an absurdity; because in pure Grecian the occurs in gables, in spires set upon towers, in eye was to be carried downward and in Gothpinnacles, in the forms of doors and windows, ic upward, and a base necessarily suggests this in the canopies of niches, and is repeated in ascending movement. Again, the pillars of every part-differing from the form of the the Greek style are studiously sunk under the Grecian pediment, when placed over a colon. horizontal cornice. The buttresses of the nade, in this, that the apex of the triangle is Gothic, which correspond with the columns elevated instead of depressed ; and elevated, of the Greek in giving both support and alterbecause its use is not, as in Grecian, to meas- nations of light and shade, are placed essenure the equal portions of the horizontal base, tially in projections ;--and an overhanging but to assist in carrying up the eye according cornice, or indeed any cornice at all, is a corto its original tendency, so as to bring by de- ruption; because it would substitute a leading
horizontal line instead of a vertical. Again, self contained a number of ideas which were a circular arch is tolerable, though only tolera- gradually developed, and introduced into ble in Grecian, because the depression of the Gothic architecture a wonderful variety of eye, in order to strike a centre, is not entirely peculiar features, without at the same time at variance with the descending line from the destroying its harmony ; because all the feacornice; but in Gothic there is nothing at all tures, however distinct, were originally inwith which it can harmonise. Again, a key cluded or implied in the original fundamental stone in a Grecian arch is appropriate, for its figure. For to repeat it again, however mulbearing is downward : in Gothic it is not en- tiplied the parts and combinations may be, a durable. Again, in Grecian, the supporting whole never loses its unity so long as they pillars must bear a proportion to the weight are all reducible to one common and primary supported; because one of the leading ideas type. One or two of these peculiar features is that of pressure from above. In Gothic, a may be now briefly mentioned. willow wand may throw up into the air a pon This is a task which Dr. Whewell has only derous stone roof ; an angel's wing sustain a suggested, and which is well worthy of his tower; or a hand, a flower, a female head, inquiring and philosophic mind. It is bear up an enormous beam; because, as the no less than drawing up for the architect a eye is springing upwards, there is no sense of catalogue of all the forms and combinations weight to be overcome. And the Caryatides which he may be permitted to use, without in Grecian should all bear the impress of pain departing from the simplicity of his original and resistance; in pure Gothic, except where type ; and there is no feature in which the for other reasons pain is to be expressed, calm- Gothic is so superior to the Grecian style as ness and ease are the characteristics of the in the fecundity with which it pours out these living forms, which are to support the struc- infinitely various creations from the embryo
Indeed the profuse introduction of liv- of the pointed arch. ing figures, which characterizes the Gothic, The first remarkable combination is that depends on this very circumstance. Life, of the curve and the angle. There are, indeed, power, and energy are the natural associations specimens, as in Worcester cathedral
, where with a movement of elevation. In Grecian the converging lines of the window, like those they are out of place; and the very smallness of the gable-ends, are straight, and like those of the figures is in harmony with this idea, as of a pediment. And the effect is perfectly indicating greater ease and power; an effect in harmony with the general style ; but the which is destroyed, when, as in the restoration pointed arch was immediately a modification of the Castle chapel at Dublin, the figures are of the circular arch, whether it occurred in too much magnified. Again, the same law the apse, or the roof, or the intersection of may be traced even in the minutest details. arched colonnades, or, as Mr. Hope suggests, The foliage used in Grecian properly must in the imposition of small arr.hes upon nucurve downwards; that of Gothic is to be merous small pillars, or in filling the deep thrown up. So the mass and outline of a recesses of doorways with a succession of reGrecian building must present horizontal ceding arches, of which the outermost occu. lines; that of a Gothic building springs up pied a larger, and the innermost a lesser into a number of detached points and pinna- place ; and the smaller architraves were no cles. The windows in a Grecian are placed longer framed round concentric circles, but centrally and in lines, one over the other, to pressed up for convenience into a point ; just preserve the lateral symmetry. In Gothic, as a hoop, if bent to a large circle, may retain they are purposely placed out of the centre, the circular form, but if forced into a small and offer steps and stages, as it were, for the one will naturally break, and form an eye to mount upwards, without tempting it to angle.* any lateral movement. And perhaps this may
The truth probably lies not in any one of be sufficient to suggest the leading idea of these theories singly, but in all of them. But Gothic; without keeping which in view, it little doubt can exist, as was before said, will be impossible to understand it as a system, that the pointed arch was formed not directly to appreciate its details, or imitate without and solely from the idea of the vertical line, running into absurdities.
but from the necessity of bringing the circuBut as the moral attributes of Christianity lar arch already existing into harmony with generated a moral tendency in the mind, and it, and that in this effort the curvilinear secthat moral tendency vented itself in the tions were retained, as richer, more elegant, adoption of a peculiar line as the basis of its more fertile in results
, and more easy and architecture ; and this vertical line, when natural in construction ; since the lateral combined with other peculiar circumstances,
* A curious specimen of this is found in the en. generated a peculiar figure-so this figure it.l trance of the church of San Ciriacu, at Ancona.
thrust of the arch, which, according to exist- flowing lines, those lines are to be broken ing principles, must be received upon a pil- and stiffened by fractional folds. If, as in lar, and that a comparatively slight one, was Gothic illuminations, the most capricious fan. thus brought more to the perpendicular. cy is allowed to wander into a labyrinth of There is, indeed, in the admission of the shapes, bringing together all the productions curve a slight departure from the type of the of earth and air, still they are to be harmonvertical line : because, as it was before said, ized upon the same principle, of superinduin order to form the idea of a curve, the eye cing curves upon angles, and angles upon must pass down from various points in it, to curves. Even the garniture of woodenthe centre, and from thence draw radii to the cuts,' the images of men, and saints, and marcircumference; and thus a descending action tyrs, cast in the flowing mould of nature, of the eye is introduced which clashes with must be made its predominating tendency. But the advantages of retaining the curve are too great not Strange and uncouth ; dire faces, figures dire, to balance this defect; and the defect itself Sharp-knees, sharp-elbowed, and lean-ankled is diminished and almost made imperceptible with long and ghostly shanks,-forms which in the purest Gothic, by making the curves of the arches segments of very large circles, Could never be forgoiten !'- Wordsworth. and thus reducing them as near as possible to straight lines, and throwing them up nearly The just and close mixture of these two vertically, instead of bringing them down elements is one of the criteria of a pure horizontally, as in the corrupt Tudor styles. Gothic style. A gradual approximation to it This is one reason why the early English and may be traced in the various improvements decorated Gothic styles are purer in the form of the art from the heavy Norman (we use of their arches than the later.
the term without approving it) to the decoIn the combination, then, thus formed of rated English ; and the sudden degradation of the curve and the angle, is to be found one it by the breaking up of the king's masons of the chief secrets of the Gothic, especially may be seen in the contrast between Bishop of its ornamental features. To preserve this Fox's chantry and the adjoining monuments primary type, a type, we may remember, in Winchester cathedral; where, among kept constantly before the eye, and impressed many other barbarisms, nothing is more condeeply on the mind, as a leading character- spicuous than the separation between the istic of the architecture, because it occurs curve and the angle. As the angle came to repeatedly again and again in the most im- predominate, it formed the style of Elizabeth portant and prominent parts of the interior, and James : 'as the curve obtained the maswhich, from the nature of Christian worship, tery, it ran wild into the convolutions of the is the most important and prominent part of flamboyant style in France; a curious distincthe building—to preserve this primary type, tion, which has been generally observed, but it is necessary in a pure Gothic not only to not satisfactorily accounted for. And if our admit curvilinear as well as angular forms— readers will follow us still farther—from the this was done by the fantastic caprices of the mere outward configuration of the material Elizabethan period --but to blend them to- world to the spirit which lies within it, and gether, so that one should never appear with of which the outward is not the mere husk out the other being essentially connected or shell, but the shadow and copy, bearing with it.
on it everywhere the stamp of a spiritual If the mullions of the window are thrown meaning, to which it is linked by a most up, and bent with the flexibility of an osier mysterious but true analogy-it is to this wand into flowing reticulations, the flowing union of the curve and the angle, that, next lines must be pointed and sharpened with to its vertical and elevating tendency, the cusps. If the corbels and friezes are to be Gothic owes its wonderful power of expres. overlaid with foliage, leaves must be chosen, sion. For just as the elevation of a moral which, like the vine and the plants from the feeling or affection instinctively embodies itHoly Land, which are said so often to recur in self in a physical elevation, so the material Gothic, not only have an historical and sym- curve, from the action which it induces on bolical meaning, but in the interlacings of the eye, is the fit representative and suggestheir tendrils, and the aculeated outline of ter of all that is soft, gentle, easy, delicate, their fibres, still unite the angle and the curve. and susceptible, while the angle is the index If pinnacles are shot up in sharp and spiky of the opposite characteristics, and exhibits lances, the ridges are covered with the soft firmness, severity, sternness, pain, and strug, climbing convolutions of the calceolus. It gle. Fanciful as this sounds at first
, its proof the drapery of figures is to be dropped in and illustration lie before us all. Look at a
human face, and intuitively we derive from (lowing the outlines of the pointed arch: for it notions of moral feelings connected with those forms will be appropriate to the style it. If a novelist would describe a character, which repeat and harmonize with the forms he paints the lines of the face; he makes naturally delineated by the eye in the percepthem angular or flowing, according as he tion of the primary and most prominent would represent a man or a woman, a Bru- figure. tus or an Alexander, a martyr or an angel. Whenever then two lines meet in a point, There is an architecture in the face formed the eye, to become sensible of the angle, canout of curves and angles, by which we read not stop at the apex, but must proceed onthe soul within. The slightest touch, by wards beyond the point of intersection extruding one or the other, will alter the whole expression; and it is by attending to these that physiognomists study, and artists thus in reality describing a cross of which embody, the secret movements of our feel- two limbs are expressed and real, and the ings. Let curves predominate, as in Gre other two are imaginary and invisible. The cian art, and its creations flow out into ex- attention of the reader must be drawn to this pressions of ease, indulgence, weakness, and fact, because it will lead to another remarkaluxury. Let angles prevail, as in Egyptian ble characteristic of the Gothic style. It art, and they become severe, stiffened, and may indeed be safely asserted that no line formal, exhibiting everywhere the pressure whatever, not even a straight one, is perof an external force, thwarting and intruding ceived by the eye without its thus crossing on the natural action of the mind. Let another. Certainly, in tracing a circle, the them both be united, as in the best German eye must revert from various points in the school, and especially in that which is now circumference to the centre, and this centre rising up at Munich, and we possess the true it must find by striking two radii across each combination ; and the power of moditying other : but this process is not prominently matter so as to express faithfully a right men- brought forward in the circle as it is in the tal constitution, in which freedom and obedi- pointed arc: the angle is here the spot to ence, law and spontaneity, external control which the eye is elevated, and on which it and internal action, relaxation and self-denial, finally rests: it occupies the principal place enjoyment and duty, order and ease, pain in the process, and thus fixes on the mind an and pleasure, are blended inseparably and impression which forms a leading type of the eternally, and each preserved in its due sub- style. Observe then how repeatedly the ordination and proportion.
cross, and the cross with ascending lines, apThis is the second characteristic which pears in Gothic-not only in the grand outrenders Gothic architecture peculiarly ap- line of the building, but in the lateral projecpropriate to the exhibition of a true Christi- tions of the smaller transepts, chapels, and anity. And little as we may be inclined to buttresses: it crowns the spire, it fills the suspect such an analogy, its rise and decay, roof with intersections, the windows with the changes which it passed through in vari- ramifying tracery, the pavement with diago ous countries and at different periods, are no nal lines, the glass with diagonal diamonds. unfit representation of the religious history of The panels run into each other ; double the mind. Mr. Pugin has made a mistake planes of ornament cross and intertwine with in calling it Catholic architecture--in the each other: vistas are opened on each side of sense which he gives to the word--meaning pillared aisles, cutting and shooting across in by it Papal. St. Peter's and the Jesuits' every direction. Instead of being perplexed, churches at Rome are the proper types and like the Greeks, with the transverse lines, representatives of Papal art : vast, brilliant, which must occur in the simplest buildings, gaudy, full of pretension, appealing directly even in the cuttings of the masonry, and still and servilely to the imagination, frittered in- more, where pillars are introduced, in the to incongruous details, which it is vainly en- divarication of the colonnades, and most of deavoured to hold together by a composition all
, when projections are to be thrown out as rationalistic in reality, while it aspires to an transepts laterally from the main buildingassumption of religion : in fact a republica- the Gothic architect even luxuriated in the tion of heathen architecture without its sim- interlacings of his work. It cuts itself at plicity, and emblematic of a heathen mind, every angle. He prefers rubble to squared veiled under the garb of Christianity. stone; roots brought prominently forward in
Another important and peculiar Gothic gables to flattened cornices; a point of view combination is to be found in the figure of which strikes the junction of the transept and the cross. To understand this, it is necessary the nave to that from any other external to trace out the real action of the eye in fol- point; square to round towers, and octagonal
to either. And here is a third point in which from the mode in which the primary ogee of the Gothic is properly a Christian style: it the Gothic is suggested, that it is nowhere so is symbolical. Symbolism undoubtedly led properly introduced as in a vertical plane, the Church to select the cross itself as the where the eye may pass up to the extremity. chief model of its external building; and to But there is another problem still more indesire to place it prominently before the eye teresting-why is it that this singularly beau. in many of the parts. And symbolism in all tiful curve, which is claimed by the Gothic art is a great excellence, perhaps its essence. style as so peculiarly its own, can never apArt is (and it cannot be repeated too often) pear with propriety on the external configuthe translation of mind into matter, as phi. ration of a building ? losophy is the translation of matter into mind. The Turrets of the bad Tudor style, as in Its object is to place before the eye of sense, Henry the Seventh's Chapel, and in King's and therefore before the poor, the ignorant, College, Cambridge, and the Great Tom the unthinking, the child, and the peasant, Tower at Christ Church, Oxford, exhibit it great truths which by the abstractions of abundantly in this position ; but an eye even reason they can never reach. It addresses moderately accustomed to the details of Goitself also to the feelings ; and nature, as if thic must feel that it is out of place, where it for this very purpose, has established the strikes against the sky. Intrinsically it is closest harmony and analogy between the beautiful, but it does not harmonize with a moral and the physical sensations ; between pure Gothic style. And yet the same line the impressions produced by the action of the curving over an arch, and running up into a eye and the ear, and those which seem to rich finial, as in the tombs in Hereford Cahave their seat more deeply in the mysteries thedral, is one of the most exquisite construcof the soul. And there can be no pure art, tions of Gothic art. Even when introduced which has not thus its basis in truth; no good by itself, as the line which throws up a canobuilding, which does not of itself tell the tale py, as in some few niches, it is not out of of its destination, and embody in material place, though still less beautiful. The reason types the intellectual doctrines which led to probably is this :-and it may determine-seits creation, and raise those emotions and veral minute but not unimportant questions feelings which harmonize with and deepen respecting the application of the ogee in them.
the type from which it is drawn, that is, in Thirdly--From the fact just mentioned, the line followed by the eye in tracing the that the eye in tracing the pointed arch crosses pointed arch, the eye will traverse either the and continues the line at the point of section, interior, that is the concave side of the curve, coupled with the original ascending tendency or the convex. If it traverses the concave, of the vertical line, arises a third beautiful when stopped suddenly at the apex it will form, the ogee line. Let the reader follow run up perpendicularly, suddenly, and to no the curve of a Gothic arch slowly, and he great height. The second limb of the curve will find that the moment his eye has passed will be comparatively short; and this therethe apex, it has a natural tendency not only fore will be no improper figure for such ogee to continue it, but to continue it with an ef- lines as are introduced in the support of canofort to mount upwards, so as to bend back pies; and even then, it may be added, they the curve and run it up vertically, thus pro- can only be used with propriety on a small
scale in minute but rich ornamental work, beducing the ogee figure
cause there is an obviously false architecture,
that is, an architecture which sets at defiance which approaches more or less to Hogarth's the law of gravitation, in making such a flowline of beauty. The ease and grace of this ing line the support of any weight. If, on flowing outline account for the appropriate. the other hand, the eye traverses the curve ness of a vast detail of ornament, particularly on the convex side, the line which it draws in foliage, which might otherwise seem too is one which really is bent down and curved delicate and easy for the severity and rigidity forcibly, in opposition to the ascending tenof an angular Gothic. And a comparison dency, over the convex of the arch. It climbs of it with the ellipse, which is the fa- up, as it were, against a resistance, and it is vourite Grecian curve, and beyond which not till it has mastered the projection, and is the Greek scarcely ventured further from the set free by the termination at the apex, that regularity of the circle, might perhaps de. it is allowed to shoot up freely ; more freely termine many points of distinction in one of and with more pleasure from having been the most important but most mysterious previously chained down and confined, and questions in architecture, the science of Gre- therefore running up into a more elevated cian and Gothic Mouldings. It might appear limb. For this reason, in the most beautiful