« PreviousContinue »
cluded in the establishment of Pansa seems certain, from their being connected with t
On excavating here, four skeletons of fema marble head of a faun, gold bracelets, rings with engraved stones, &c. &c. V V Va shops, which appear, by the remains of staircases, to have had apartments above. Il were found marked by their gold ear-rings; also a candelabrum, two vases, a fi ferent shops. One is of a baker, and to it the necessary conveniences are appended. X contain dwarf walls for ranging oil jars and other goods against. WW, &c. are
Y is the bakehouse, containing the oven 2, the mills, kneading trough, &c. : it is paved with volcanic stone in irregular polygons. 88, place fos the wood and charcoal. h appears to have been almost a distinct dwelling : two of the Chap. II.
ROMAN peristyle by the large apartment U. apotheca or store-rooms.
apartments had windows to the street, which runs southward to the forum. pff, entrances from the street to the house of Pansa. The house was surrounded by streets, or, in other words, was an insula. We have thus named the principal apartments, and identified them by an example. In more magnificent houses there were the sacrarium, the venereum, the sphæristerium, the aleatorium, &c. &c. The painting fig. 137. is in the kitchen of the house of Pansa, and represents the worship of the lares, under whose care and protection the provisions and cooking utensils were placed.
PAINTING AT POMPETI.
Fig. 137. 254. Tombs.—The Romans were rather given to magnificence in the tombs erected for their dead. Some of these were public, and others for the interment of individuals or families. The former were often of vast extent, and have been compared to subterranean cities; the others were pyramids, conical and cylindrical towers, with ranges of vaults in them for sepulture.
255. Perhaps the earliest tomb at Rome is that of the Horatii, now known as that of Aruns, son of Porsenna, which stands on the Appian Way, and was probably constructed by Etruscan workmen. It has a baseinent 45 ft. square on the plan, on which stand five masses of rubble or earth, faced with masonry, in the form of frusta of cones, four of which are ten feet diameter at the bottom, and are placed at the four angles of the base. ment. The fifth stands in the centre of the whole mass, and is larger than the others.
256. The principal tombs about Rome are: 1. The pyramid of Caius C'estius, whose sides are 102 ft. long, and its height about the same number of feet. The interior contains in the centre a rectangular cell, 20 ft. long, and 13 ft. broad. At each external angle of this pyramid stands a Doric column, without any portion of entablature over it. It is possible these were intended as ornaments, though it has often puzzled us to find out how they ever could have been so thought. 2. The tomb of Hadrian, now converted into the Castel St. Angelo, had originally a square basement, whose sides were 170 ft. long. From this substructure rose a cylindrical tower, 115 ft. diameter, probably at one time encircled by a colonnade. It is now used as a fortress, and was considerably altered by Pope Paul III. 3. The mausoleum of Cecilia Metella is circular, 90 fi. in diameter, and 62 ft. high, standing on a basement of the same form, which up to the frieze is of Travertine stone, used as a casing to a rubble wall; it is the earliest use of Travertine, B.c. 103, though some writers state 50 B.C. The frieze is of marble. In what may be called the core is a cell, 19 ft. diameter, to which there is an entrance by a passage.
257. We do not, however, think it necessary further to detail the Roman tombs which may be found in Rome or the provinces, but, in lieu of extending our description on this
head, to give the reader a notion of their forms in fig. 138. by a group from Pompeii
among the remains of which clty there are a great many and various examples. They are in general of sınall dimensions, and stand so near one another as to form a street, called the Street of the Tombs. Some of these are decorated very highly, both as respects ornament in the architecture and bassi relievi on the different faces. The Romans were particular in keeping alive the memory of the dead, hence their tombs were constantly looked after and kept in repair ; a matter which, in this eountry of commerce and polities a man's descendants rarely think of, after dividing the
spoil at his death. 2:58. Character of Roman Architecture. The character of the Roman arehitecture in its best period was necessarily very different from the Grecian, on which it was founded. We envy not those who say that they feel no beauties except those which the pure Grecian Doric of the Parthenon possesses. Each style, in every division of architecture, has its beauties; and those, among other causes, arise from each style being suited to the country in which it was reared; neither can we too often repeat the answer which Quatremère de Quincy gives in the Encyclopedie Méthodique to the question many years since propounded by the French Academy of Inscriptions and Belles Lettres, “ Whether the Greeks borrowed their architecture from the Egyptians ?” The answer of that highly talented writer is “ That there is no such thing as general human architecture, because the wants of mankind must vary in different countries. The only one in which the different species of architecture can approach each other is intellectual; it is that of impressions, which the qualities whose effects are produced by the building art can work upon the mind of every man, of every country. Some of them result from every species of architecture, — an art which sprung, as well from the huts of Greece, as from the subterraneous excavations of Egypt, from the tents of Asia, and from several mixed principles to us unknown. Thus the use of the word architecture is improper. We ought to name the species ; for between the idea of architecture as a genus and as a species there is the same difference as between language and tongue; and to seek for a simple origin of architecture is as absurd as a search would be after the primitive language. If so, the hut of Vitruvius would be but an ingenious fable, as some have said; but it would be a ridiculous falsehood if he had pretended that it was the type of all architecture.” If we must confine ourselves to the simplicity and purity of line which the Greek temple exhibits,-circumstances, be it observed, that no future occasion can ever again effectually call up, all the admiration of the numberless monuments of the Romans is based upon false data, and we are not among those who feel inclined to set ourselves up against the universal consent of our race. Thus far we think it necessary to observe on the silly rage which a few years ago existed for setting up in this metropolis pure Greek Doric porticoes and pure Greek profiles. What could more exhibit the poverty of an artist's imagination, for instance, if the thing exist, than appending to a theatre the Doric portico of a temple ? But the thing is too ridiculous to dwell on, and we proceed to our purpose. Whether the Romans invented the Tuscan order we much doubt. No example of it exists similar in formation to that described by Vitruvius : it must, however, be admitted that it is a beautiful combination of parts, and worthy so great a people. It seems highly probable that this order was used by the Etruscans, and that to them its origin is attributable. The use of timber in the entablature, which we know was practised by them to a great extent, seems to sanction such an hypothesis. Its detail, as well as that of the other orders of architecture, belong to another part of this work ; we shall not therefore further speak of it than in the language of Sir Henry Wotton, who says, with his usual quaintness and simplicity, that it is a sturdy labourer in homely apparel.
259. The Doric order with the Romans was evidently not a favourite. In their hands its character was much changed. The remains of it in the theatre of Marcellus, in the examples at Cora and Pompeii, and the fragment at the baths of Dioclesian, are not sufficient, the case of the first only excepted, to justify us in detaining the reader on the matter. The
Lower order of the Coliseum, be it observed, wants the triglyph, the distinguishing feature karcely know whether we have not erred in our description. But to approach the subject of the order; so that although in a previous page we have described it as Doric, we of the Roman Doric more closely, we will examine the general form of the example which the theatre of Marcellus affords. Therein the whole height of the order is 31:15 ft. Crap. II.
is high. From the intercolumniations nothing can be deduced, because the arcade which separates puts them out of comparison with other examples. Its profile is clearly that which has formed the basis upon which the Doric of the Italian architects is founded; they have, however, generally added a base to it. There is great difference between it and the Grecian Doric, which in its form is much more pyramidal, and would, even in ancient Rome, have been out of character with the decorations applied in the architecture of the eity, in which all severity of form was abandoned. The details, however, of the Roman as well as of the Grecian Doric will be given, and, from the representations, better understood by the reader, when we come to treat of the Orders in the third book of this work, where some varieties of it are submitted to the reader.
260. In the examples of Roman Ionic, that of the theatre of Marcellus excepted, there is a much greater inferiority than in the instance of Roman Doric to which we have just alluded; indeed, that of the Temple of Concord, now known as the Temple of Saturn, is composed in so debased a style, that allusion ought scarcely to be made to it. The following table exhibits the general proportions of the four Roman profiles of it :
261. From the above it appears that, except in the case of the Temple of Saturn, the entablature is about one fifth of the height of the whole order, and that the column diminishes about those of its lower diameter. The capitals of the Roman are much smaller than those of the Grecian Ionic, and their curves are by no means so elegant and graceful. There is no appearance of refinement and care in their composition, for which the rules of Vitruvius give an altogether much more beautiful profile than those examples, we have here quoted, present. In the Temple of Saturn, the volutes are placed diagonally on the capital, so that the four faces are similar in forin. In the Greek specimens, as also in the Temple of Fortuna Virilis, this is done on one angle only of the capital of the columns, and that for the purpose of again bringing the faces of the volutes on to the flanks of the building, instead of showing the baluster sides of the capitals. On the whole, we think the modern Italian architects succeeded in producing much more beautiful profiles of this order, which never appears to have been a favourite in Rome, than their ancient predecessors.
262. The Corinthian seems to have been greatly preferred to the other orders by the uxurious Romans. There is little doubt that the capitals were generally the work of Greek sculptors, and some of those they have left are exceedingly beautiful; one that we have already mentioned, that of Vespasian, points to sculpture of the highest class. following table contains the general proportions of six well-known examples in Rome:
Dialower Dia. meters in Terms of colum Terms of
meter of meter in En- Height. the Dia- niation. the Dia Shaft. glish Feet.
4 797 31 074
6.568 28'037 2 902
263. From the above, it appears that a mean of the whole height of the Corinthian order in the Roman examples is 12.166 diameters, and that the entablature is less than a fifth
2 W 7 48 476 4619
of the height of the order, being as 1686 : 10000. The diminution of the shaft is not s much as in the lonic, being only 1 of the lower diameter. The Temple of the Sybil a Tivoli presents quite a distinct species, and is the romance of the art, if we may be allowe such an expression. The mean height of the columns is 9.833 diameters, being rathe slenderer than the height recommended by Vitruvius (Lib. iv. c. 9.). The attic bay which will be considered in another portion of the work, was frequently employed by the Roman artists.
264. The invention of the Composite order is attributed, with every probability, to thi Romans. It resembles generally the Corinthian, the main variation consisting in the par above the second tier of leaves in the capital. The following table exhibits the genera proportions of three examples :
by lower Dia. Diame. Entablature in Height of ca-l Dia-
ters in Terms of the pital in Terms ineter at Diameter.
of the DiaHeight.
top of Feet.
meter. Shaft. Arch of Titus
10.662 2.533 1.287 •887 Arch of Severus
8.260 2.316 1.144 •882 Baths of Dioclesian
| .802 265. The mean of these makes the entablature a little less than one fifth of the entiri height of the order, the ratio being as "1955 : 1*0000. The diminution of the shaft i
of the lower diameters. The mean height of the columns is 9.806 diameters. strongly marked feature in Roman architecture is the stylobate or pedestal for thi reception of columns, which was not used by the Greeks. In the examples, it varies is height, but, generally speaking, it is very nearly four diameters of the column; a mean a those used in the triumphal arches comes out at 3.86 diameters. Another difference frou Greek architecture is in the form of the Roman pilaster, which was sometimes so strongly marked as to form a sort of square column with capitals and bases similar to those of the columns it accompanies, except in being square instead of circular on the plan. It is di minished in some buildings, as in the portico of the Pantheon, and in that of Mars Cltor while in others, no such diminution takes place. The reader will recollect that the Grech antæ were never diminished, that their projection was always very small, and that the mould. ings of their capitals were totally different from the columns with which they are connected,
266. But the most wonderful change the Romans effected in architecture was by the in troduction of the arch; a change which, by various steps, led, through the basilica, to the construction of the extraordinary Gothic cathedrals of Europe, in its progress opening beauties in the art of which the Greeks had not the remotest conception. These matter will be more entered into in the next section : we only have to observe here, that its import ance was not confined to the passage of rivers by means of bridges, but that it enabled the Romans to supply in the greatest abundance to their cities water of a wholesome quality without which no city can exist. To the introduction, moreover, of the arch, then triumphal edifices were indebted for their principal beauties ; and without it their theatret and amphitheatres would have lost half their elegance and magnificence. Whence the archi came is not known. It is now considered to have been borrowed from the Etruscans and was employed at Rome in the oldest constructions of the Kings, as early as B.C. 640 In the section on Egyptian architecture, the subject has already been noticed.
267. The use of coupled columns and niches exhibits other varieties in which the Romans delighted; but the former are not found till an age in which the art of architecture had begun to decline.
268. There is still another point to which the reader's attention must be directed, and it is almost a sure test of Roman or Greek design; namely, the form of the mouldings of an order on their section. In purely Greek architecture, the contours of the mouldings are all formed from sections of the cone, whilst in that of the Romans, the contours are all portions of circles.
269. Under the climate of Rome it became necessary to raise the pitch of the roof lugler than was necessary in Greece; hence the Roman pediment was more inclined to the horizon. As, however, when we consider the practical formation of roofs generally, st shall investigate the law which, forced by climate upon the architect, governed the inci nation of the pediment, the reader is referred, on that point, to the place in this work where the subject of roofs is treated. (See Book U. Ch III., sec. iv., par. 2027.)
270. We propose in this section to take a concise view of the state of debased Roman architecture, from the year 476, in which the Iloinan empire in the West was destroyed, to CHAP II.
BYZANTINE AND ROMANESQUE.
BYZANTINE AND ROMANESQUE ARCHITECTURL. cessary to premise that the term Romanesque is very general, and comprises the works of the
Lombards as well as those of a later species, which in this country are called Saxon and Norman, for the character of all is the same, and we think much confusion will be prevented by the arrangement we propose. Between the fifth and the eighth centuries, at the beginning of which latter period the whole of Europe formed one great Gothic kingdoin, the prospect is over a dreary desert in which the oases of our art are few and far between. The constant change of power, the division of the empire, which was so overgrown that it could no longer hang together, the irruptions of the Goths, whose name has been most improperly connected with all that is barbarous in art, make it no easy task to give the unlearned reader more than a faint idea of what occurred in the extended period through which, often in darkness, we must proceed to feel our way. But, previous to this, we shall continue the state of the architecture in the East: because, having already given some account of Saracenic architecture, which had its origin about the seventh century, we shall not again have to divert his attention from the subject until the reader is introduced to the pointed style : an arrangement which, we trust, will assist his memory in this history.
271. The emperor Theodosius, who died A. D. 395, exhibited great talent in arms, and was desirous to extend the benefit of his influence to the arts, in which he did much for the empire. His sons, Arcadius in the city of Constantinople, and Honorius at Rome, were incapable of doing them any service, though by them was raised the famous Theodosian column at the first named city, which was surrounded with bassi relievi, after the fashion of that erected long before in honour of Trajan at Rome. The ascent of Theodosius II. to the throne promised as well for the empire as for the arts. He called architecture to bis aid for embellishing the cities of the empire. Under him, in 413, Constantinople was surrounded with a new wall; some extensive baths, and a magnificent palace for the two sisters of Pulcheria were erected. In 447, an earthquake nearly destroyed the city, which was so admirably restored under this emperor that he might with propriety have been called its second founder. Except some trifling matters under Anastasius II., and Justin his successor, little was done till Justinian, the nephew of the last named, ascended the throne of the East, in 527. By him the celebrated architect Anthemius was invited to Constantinople. Through the genius of this artist, aided by his colleague Isidorus of Miletus, on the ruins of the principal church of the city, which, dedicated to Saint Sophia or the Eternal Wisdom, had been twice destroyed by fire, was raised so splendid an edifice, that Justinian is said on its completion to have exclaimed, as Gibbon observes, “ with devout vanity:” “ Glory be to God, who hath thought me worthy to accomplish so great a work. I have vanquished thee, O Solomon.” We shall make no apology for giving the description in the words of the historian we have just quoted ; a representation of the building being appended in figs. 139. and 140.“ But the pride of the Roman Solomon, before twenty years had elapsed, was
humbled by an earthquake, which overthrew the
scale of dimensions has been much surpassed by
several of the Latin cathedrals. But the architect
windows, is formed with so small a curve, that the depth is only one-sixth of its diameter; the measure of that diameter is 106 ft. 7 m,