How to judge architecture
A popular guide to the appreciation of buildings. The opening chapter deals with early Greek design, and the last two with the imitative and original design in the 19th century. The book seeks to give the reader an independent knowledge of the essential characteristics of good buildings.
In trying to train the mind to judge works of architecture, one can never be too patient. It is very easy to hinder one's growth in knowledge by being too ready to decide.
The student of art who is much under the influence of one teacher, one writer, or one body of fellow students, is hampered by that influence just so far as it is exclusive. And most teachers, most writers, most groups or classes of students are exclusive, admiring one set of principles or the practice of one epoch, to the partial exclusion of others.
The reader must feel assured that there are no authorities at all in the matter of architectural appreciation: and that the only opinions, or impressions, or compare- Early Greek Designative appreciations that are worth anything to him are those which he will form gradually for himself He will form them slowly if he is wise: indeed if he has the gift of artistic appreciation at all, he will soon learn to form them slowly.
He will, moreover, hold them lightly even when formed; remembering that in a subject on which opinions differ so very widely at any one time, and have differed so much more widely if one epoch is compared with another, there can be no such thing as a final judgment.
The object of this book is to help the reader to acquire, little by little, such an independent knowledge of the essential characteristics of good buildings, and also such a sense of the possible differences of opinion concerning inessentials, that he will always enjoy the sight, the memory, or the study of a noble structure without undue anxiety as to whether he is right or wrong. Rightness is relative: to have a trained observation, knowledge of principles and a sound judgment as to proprieties Study Greek Architecture First of construction and design is to be able to form your opinions for yourself; and to understand that you come nearer, month by month, to a really complete knowledge of the subject, seeing clearly what is good and the causes of its goodness, and also the not-so-good which is there, inevitably there, as a part of the good itself
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