The Seven Lamps of Architecture
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Classic work by the great Victorian expresses his deepest convictions about the nature and role of architecture and its aesthetics.
the earth. In other worlds we may, perhaps, see such creations; a creation for every element, and elements infinite. But the architecture of animals here is appointed by God to be a marble architecture, not a flint nor adamant architecture; and all manner of expedients are adopted to attain the utmost degree of strength and size possible under that great limitation. The jaw of the ichthyosaurus is pieced and riveted, the leg of the megatherium is a foot thick, and the head of the myodon has a
men whose occupation for the next fifty years would be the knocking down every beautiful building they could lay hands on; and building the largest quantities of rotten brick wall they could get contracts for. 98 the seven lamps of architecture only in the uses of the building, or in the ground at his disposal. VI. That limitation, however, being by such circumstances determined, by what means, it is to be next asked, may the actual magnitude be best displayed; since it is seldom, perhaps
may be by the same divine authority abrogated, at another, it is impossible that any character of God, appealed to or described in any ordinance past or present, can ever be changed, or understood as changed, by the abrogation of that ordinance. God is one and the same, and is pleased or displeased by the same things for ever, although one part of His pleasure may be expressed at one time rather than another, and although the mode in which His pleasure is to be consulted may be by Him graciously
weed that drifts and waves under the heaving 7 All this ninth paragraph is again extremely and extraordinarily wrong: and it is curious to me, in reviewing the progress of my own mind, to see that while everybody thought me imaginative and enthusiastic, my only fatal errors were in over-driving conditions of common sense! These two paragraphs about heraldry and writing might have been Mr. Cobden’s mistakes — or Mr. John Bright’s. 155 the lamp of beauty of the sea, or hangs heavily on the
doing more, but of doing better. Do not let us boss our roofs with wretched, halfworked, blunt-edged rosettes; do not let us flank our gates with rigid imitations of mediæval statuary. Such things are mere insults to common sense, and only unfit us for feeling the nobility of their prototypes. We have so much, suppose, to be spent in decoration; let us go to the Flaxman of his time, whoever he may be; and bid him carve for us a single statue, frieze, or 20 the seven lamps of architecture