A history of Gothic art in England

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G. Bell and Sons, 1900 - Architecture - 465 pages
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Page 28 - For as was the land, such was the art of it while folk yet troubled themselves about such things; it strove little to impress people either by pomp or ingenuity: not unseldom it fell into commonplace, rarely it rose into majesty; yet was it never oppressive, never a slave's nightmare nor an insolent boast: and at its best it had an inventiveness, an individuality that grander styles have never overpassed: its best too, and that was in its very heart, was given as freely to the yeoman's house, and...
Page 28 - ... overpassed: its best too, and that was in its very heart, was given as freely to the yeoman's house, and the humble village church, as to the lord's palace or the mighty cathedral: never coarse, though often rude enough, sweet, natural and unaffected, an art of peasants rather than of merchant-princes or courtiers, it must be a hard heart, I think, that does not love it: whether a man has been born among it like ourselves, or has come wonderingly on its simplicity from all the grandeur overseas....
Page 28 - I, nor any un blinded by pride in themselves and all that belongs to them : others there are who scorn it and the tameness of it: not I any the more: though it would indeed be hard if there were nothing else in the world, no wonders, no terrors, no unspeakable beauties...
Page 28 - The land is a little land; too much shut up within the narrow seas, as it seems, to have much space for swelling into hugeness: there are no great wastes overwhelming in their dreariness, no great solitudes of forests, no terrible untrodden mountain-walls: all is measured, mingled, varied, gliding easily one thing into another: little rivers, little plains, swelling, speedily-changing uplands, all beset with handsome orderly trees...
Page 68 - Malmesbury, for there he erected extensive edifices at vast cost, and with surpassing beauty, the courses of stone being so correctly laid that the joint deceives the eye, and leads it to imagine that the whole wall is composed of a single block.
Page 28 - ... little rivers, little plains, swelling, speedilychanging uplands, all beset with handsome orderly trees ; little hills, little mountains, netted over with the walls of sheep-walks : all is little ; yet not foolish and blank, but serious rather, and abundant of meaning for such as choose to seek it : it is neither prison, nor palace, but a decent home.
Page 42 - In this manner the house of God, hitherto delightful as a paradise of pleasures, was now made a despicable heap of ashes, reduced to a dreary wilderness, and laid open to all the injuries of the weather. The people were astonished that the Almighty should suffer such things, and maddened with excess of grief and perplexity, they tore their hair and beat the walls and pavement of the church with their heads and hands, blaspheming the Lord and His saints, the patrons of the church ; and many, both...
Page 21 - ... paragraph, are of interest to students of the vernacular literature in the two countries during the same period, for in both cases they are the same : It is the continuance of monastic direction in our English style which really gives the explanation of its want of sympathy with the French. In the lie de France art had grown up under a peculiar social stimulus. Philip Augustus had united with the communes against the abbots, and the great cathedrals were built in symbol of the confederation....
Page 127 - Cluniac fa§ade of Castle Acre and the nave of secular Hereford, sculpture is applied to every surface in indiscriminate enrichment. To Cistercian austerity, however, this licence of architectural sumptuousness was abhorrent. As they rejected the bell-tower from their churches as the symbol of earthly sway, so they refused sculpture as savouring of earthly luxury. But here again art found its life from its conditions : its energy was turned inwards upon construction, and the power of sculpture, denied...
Page 22 - was " laic," but the English remained continuously " cleric," and the one borrowed but little from the other. On the Continent the " laic " school, superseding the " monastic," produced those acknowledged masters of the craft — who built all over Europe on the French model. But in England, save in the design of Westminster Abbey, there is hardly anything that suggests a consciousness of the great works on the other side of the Channel. The monastic was still the force in our architecture. Just...

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