The Beautiful Necessity, Seven Essays on Theosophy and Architecture
More and more science is coming to recognize, what theosophy affirms, that the spiral vortex... both in its time and its space aspects is the universal archetype... -from "Changeless Change" First published in 1910 and updated in 1922-this is a reproduction of that second edition-this is architect and theosophist Claude Bragdon's exploration of art as an "expression of the cosmic life." And what a glorious exploration is it. The essay titles hint at the lyricism of Bragdon's prose: "The Art of Architecture" "Unity and Polarity" "Changeless Change" "The Bodily Temple" "Latent Geometry" "The Arithmetic of Beauty" "Frozen Music" Accompanied by lovely and informative line drawings, these essays constitute a master class in the philosophy of art, beauty, science, and the intersection of all three. Other works by Bragdon available from Cosimo Classics: More Lives Than One, Architecture and Democracy, Episodes from An Unwritten History, and A Primer of Higher Space (The Fourth Dimension). American architect, stage designer, and writer CLAUDE FAYETTE BRAGDON (1866-1946) helped found the Rochester Architectural Club, in the city where he made his greatest mark as a building designer with structures including Rochester Central Station, Rochester Institute of Technology, and the First Universalist Church; he also designed Peterborough Bridge in Ontario. In later life, Bragdon worked on Broadway as scenic designer for 1930s productions of Cyrano de Bergerac and Hamlet, among others.
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ancient ancient Egypt arch archi architect artist Beautiful Necessity bers body building cathe cathedral of Tours chord Christ circle classic classic architecture CLAUDE BRAGDON color column complexity composition consciousness corresponding curved Diversity in Monotony division dome Doric dral duality echoed Egyp Egypt Egyptian elements entablature equal and regular equilateral triangle example expression fact feminine Fra Bartolommeo geometrical Gothic architecture Gothic cathedral Greek groups harmony height horizontal human figure Illustration Ionic Ionic order law of Balance law of Consonance law of Diversity lines lintel major third manifestation masculine mathematical means metopes mind minor sixth mystic nature numerical ratios octave odd number ornament painting palace Parthenon perfect plane principle proportion Radiation relation Renaissance repetition Rhythmic Change Roman sculpture sense simplicity space spiral square style stylobate symbol symmetry tecture temple theosophy things threefold tion tower tracery tration tree trinity truth ture unity universal vault vertical vesica piscis
Page 9 - Its thesis, briefly stated, is that art in all its manifestations is an expression of the cosmic life, and that its symbols constitute a language by means of which this life is published and represented. Art is at all times subject to the beautiful necessity of proclaiming the world order.
Page 13 - They specially called attention to the fact that polarity, that is, the sundering of a force into two qualitatively different and opposed activities striving after reunion, which also shows itself for the most part in space as a dispersion in opposite directions, is a fundamental type of almost all the phenomena of nature, from the magnet and the crystal to man himself.
Page 11 - ... mistaken than that each is right from his own point of view. Be that as it may, I should be the last man in the world to differ from Mr. Hambidge, for if he convicted me of every conceivable error his work would still remain the greatest Justification and confirmation of my fundamental contention — that art is an expression of the world order and is therefore orderly, organic; subject to mathematical law, and susceptible of mathematical analysis.
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