Catalogue of Ornamental Casts in the Possession of the Department, Third Division: The Renaissance Styles

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Page 15 - Quatorze was gilt stucco work, which for a while seems to have almost wholly superseded decorative painting ; and this absence of colour in the principal decorations of the period seems to have led to its more striking characteristic, infinite play of light and shade.
Page 9 - Renaissance of the fifteenth century ; and if it display a decided prominence of strap and shield svork it is Elizabethan. In all these styles the evidence of their Byzantine and Saracenic origin is constantly preserved — in the tracery, in the scroll work, and foliage, in the rendering of classical ornaments ; and, in the earlier varieties, in the shape of the panels containing religious illustrations, which even to the close of the Quattro-cento are of pure Byzantine shapes, as they abound in...
Page 14 - The cinquecento forms are supposed to be symbols of beauty only ; and it is a remarkable concession to the ancients that the moderns, to attain this result, were compelled to recur to their works. And it is only now in the contemplation of this consummate style that the term ' Renaissance ' becomes quite intelligible. The Renaissance, or rebirth of ornament, is accomplished in the cinque-cento. Still, the term is not altogether ill appropriate to the earlier styles, as these were really the stepping-stones...
Page 13 - ... with each other in their efforts to attract and gratify the eye. It appeals only to the sense of beauty. All its efforts are directly made to attain the most attractive effects, without any intent to lead the mind to an ulterior end, as is the case with the Byzantine and other symbolic styles. The cinquecento forms are supposed to be symbols of beauty...
Page 13 - Cinquecento ; and with this it combines in its elements every other feature of classical art, with the unlimited choice of natural and conventional imitations from the entire animal and vegetable kingdoms, both arbitrarily disposed and combined. Another of its features is its beautiful variations of ancient standard ornaments, as the anthemion especially, of which there are some admirable Cinquecento examples. The guilloche or plat, the fret, and the acanthus scroll are likewise favourites, and occur...
Page 10 - ... of this same exquisite Saracenic decoration. Such is the genuine Arabesque of the Arabs, but a very different style of design is implied by the Arabesque of the Cinquecento, a purely classical ornamentation. This owes its origin to the excavation and recovery of ancient monuments, and was developed chiefly by the sculptors of the north, and the painters of central Italy; by the Lombard!
Page 12 - ... discord in music. We may be extremely grotesque or fanciful without being ridiculous. There need be no limit to our chimeras, for nature is not their test ; but if we combine monsters in our scrolls, or place animals upon the tendrils of plants, we should at least proportion them in size to the strength of the stem or tendril upon which they are placed.
Page 9 - The Renaissance is therefore something more approximate to a combination of previous styles than a revival of any in particular. It is the first example of selection that we find ; and it is a style that was developed...
Page 15 - ... purple, perform the chief parts in all the colored decorations. Fig. 6 is an example of the Louis Quatorze style of ornament. The great medium of this style was gilt stucco work, and this absence of color seems to have led to its most striking characteristic, infinite play of light, of shade; color, or mere beauty of form in detail, having no part in it whatever. Flat surfaces are not admitted; all are concave or convex: this constant varying of the surface gives every point of view its high...
Page 5 - ... the Tre-cento. The great features of this style are its intricate tracery or interlacings, and delicate scroll-work of conventional foliage; the style being but a slight remove from a combination of the Byzantine and Saracenic, the symbolism of both styles being equally excluded, the foliage and floriage, however, are not exclusively conventional ; and it comprises a fair rendering of the classical orders with the restoration of the round arch. Nicola...

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