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cut in the rock of the time of Remeses II., and the finest out of Thebes. Above the lastnamed place there are no buildings of importance mentioned by our author.
ChiNEs E. AftchitectUR.E.
93. In the first chapter, the reader will remember, we have said that in the tent is to be found the type of this architecture; and one which, M. de Paw justly observes, cannot be mistaken. We are not aware of the utility of a very minute investigation of its style, which in this country is of no further importance than attaches to the silly decoration of gardens with imitations of its productions; but as the object of this work would not be fully attained without some account of it, we propose to consider it, firstly, with respect to its principles, character, and taste; secondly, with respect to its buildings, their parts, and the method of construction adopted in them. 94. (1.) To judge of the arts of a people, we ought to be acquainted with the people themselves, the constitution of their minds, their power, their habits, and the connection of the arts with their wants and pleasures. As one man differs from another, so do these differ among nations. The desire of improving on what has been done before us, no less distinguishes nations than individuals from each other. Whatever may be the cause, this faculty does not seem to be possessed by the Chinese. Unlike their Indian neighbours, amongst whom appears an exuberance of invention, the arts of imitation in China have been bound in the chains of mechanical skill. Their painters are rather naturalists than artists; and an European, engaged on the foreground of a landscape, tells us that the criticism by a native artist on his work was confined to the observation that he had omitted some fibres and sinkings in some of the leaves of the foliage employed in it. The political and moral subjection of the people seems to have doomed them to remain in that confined circle wherein long habit and repugnance to change have enclosed them. 95. In speaking of the principles of Chinese architecture, the word is used in application to those primitive causes which gave birth to it, and which, in every species of architecture, are the elements of its character and the taste it exhibits. The imitation of the tent, as we have before observed, is the true origin of their buildings; and this agrees with our knowledge of the primitive state of the Chinese, who, like all the Tartar tribes, were nomadic. On this is founded the singular construction of their dwellings, which would stand were the walls destroyed; inasmuch as, independent of them, their roofs rest upon timber framing, just as though they had surrounded tents with enclosures of masonry. Indeed, from the accounts of travellers, a Chinese city looks like a large permanent encampment, as well in respect of its roofs as its extent. If, again, we recur to their concave sloped sides, we can arrive at no other conclusion; and though the carpentry of which they are raised has for ages been subjected to these forms, when we consider the natural march of human invention, especially in cases of necessity, we cannot believe that, in a country where the primitive construction was of timber, the coverings of dwellings would at once have been so simple and so light. Their framing seems as though prepared merely for a canvas covering. Again, we have, if more were wanting, another proof, in the posts employed for the support of their roofs. On them we find resting nothing analogous to the architecture for receiving and supporting the upper timbers of the carpentry; on the contrary, the roof projects over and beyond the posts or columns, whose upper extremities are hidden by the eaves; thus superseding the use of a capital. A canvas covering requires but a slender support: hence lightness is a leading feature in the edifices of China. The system of carpentry (if such it can be called) thus induced, will be noticed under the second head; but we must here observe, that lightness is not at all incompatible with essential solidity of construction; and whilst other materials than those which formed tents have been substituted for them, the forms of the original type have been preserved, making this lightness the more singular, inasmuch as the slightest analogy between those of the original and the copy is imperceptible. This change of material prevents in the copy the appearance of solidity, and seems a defect in the style, unless we recur to the type. 96. A characteristic quality of Chinese architecture is gaiety of effect. Their coloured roofs, compared by their poets to the rainbow, – their porticoes, diapered with variegated tints, – the varnish lavished on their buildings, – the keeping of this species of decoration with the light forms of the buildings, – all these unite in producing, to eyes accustomed to contemplate them, a species of pleasure which they would with difficulty relinquish; and it seems reasonable that the architecture of Europe must appear cold and monotonous to men whose pleasure in the arts is more dependent on their senses than on their judgment. 97. Taste in art is a quality of vague signification, except amongst those whose lives are passed in its practice; neither is this the place to say, upon that subject, more than that, in the application of ornament or decoration to architecture, it must depend on the method of construction. This is not found in that whereof we are writing. With the Chinese, the art of ornamenting a building is an application of capricious finery and patchwork, in which grotesque representations of subjects connected with their mythology often prevail: yet, in this respect, they exhibit a fertility of invention, and produce beautiful abstract combinations quite in character with the general forms. Indeed, the parts of their architecture are in harmony with each other. All is based upon natural principles, and is so adapted to the few and simple wants of a nation whose enormous population alone seems to render it independent of every other people, that no period can be assigned to the future duration of an architecture which, we apprehend, has existed amongst them from the earliest date of their dwelling in cities. 98. (2.) TIMBER is the chief material in use among the Chinese; and that of which the . country produces the principal is the nan-mon, which, according to some, is a species of cedar; others have placed it among the firs. It is a straight thick tree, and improves with age. De Paw says that it furnishes sticks from twelve to thirteen feet high, of useful wood; but Chambers limits it to a smaller size. Respecting its beauty and duration, all travellers agree. Davis (Description of the Empire of China) says that the man-mo is a description of cedar, which resists insects and lime, and appears to be exclusively used for imperial dwellings and temples. It was an article of impeachment against the minister of Kien-loong, that he had presumed to use this wood in the construction of his private palace. According to Du Halde, the iron-wood, the-ly-mow, is as tall as the oaks of Europe, but is less in its trunk, and differs from it in colour, which is darker, and in weight. The author does not tell us whether it is employed for columns. The tse-lan, also called mo-wäng, or king of woods, resembles what we call rosewood; but its use is confined chiefly to articles of furniture. The tchou-tse, or bamboo, grows to a great height in China. Though hollow, it is very hard, and capable of bearing great weight. It is employed for scaffolding and sheds of all kinds; and the frame-work of their matted houses for theatrical exhibitions is carried up with bamboos in a few hours. It is in universal use. The missionaries inform us that BRick has been in use with the nation from the earliest period, and of both species, – burnt and merely dried in the sun. Chambers describes the walls of the houses built of this material as generally eighteen inches thick. He says, the workmen bring up the foundations for three or four courses in solid work; after which, as the walls rise, the bricks are used in the alternate courses as headers and stretchers on the two faces of them; so that the headers meet, and thus occupy the whole thickness, leaving a void space between the stretchers: they then carry up another course of stretchers, breaking the vertical joints. SroNE and MARBLE are little employed; not on account of their scarcity, for they are abundant, nor on the score of economy, for they are acquainted with the method of working them, as is proved from their use in public buildings and tombs. Neither can it arise from the difficulty or want of acquaintance with the means of transport; for we find in their gardens immense blocks introduced for the purposes of ornament; and in their marble staircases, the steps, whatever the length, are always in a single piece. The fear of earthquakes, moreover, does not appear to have been a motive for their rejection. That is rather to be found in the climate, which, especially in the southern parts, would, from the great heat and moisture, tend to render their houses unwholesome. In the scaffolding they use for the erection of their buildings, security and simplicity are the principal features; not, however, unmixed with skill. It consists of long poles, so inclined as to make the ascent easy, and is executed without any transverse bearing pieces. 99. The police of architecture among the Chinese is, to an European, a singular feature in its practice; and we cannot refrain from presenting to the reader the curious restrictions imposed upon every class in their several dwellings. . Police, indeed, may be said to govern the arts of China. Its laws detail the magnitude and arrangement permitted for the lon, or palace of a prince of the first, second, or third degree; for a noble of the imperial family, for a grandee of the empire, for the president of a tribunal, for a mandarin, – for, indeed, all classes. They extend, also, to the regulation of the public buildings of capitals, and other cities, according to their rank in the empire. The richest citizen, unless bearing some office in the state, is compelled to restrict the extent of his house to his exact grade in the country; and whatever form and comfort he may choose to give to the interior, the exterior of his dwelling towards the street must be in every respect consistent with these laws. According to the primitive laws on this subject, the number of courts, the height of the level of the ground floor, the length of the buildings, and the height of the roofs, were in a progressive ratio from the mere bourgeois to the emperor; and the limits of each were exactly defined. The ordinary buildings are only a single story high : the climate seems to discountenance many stories. Though Pekin is in the fortieth degree of north latitude, the police obliges the shopkeepers and manufacturers to sleep in the open air under their penthouses in the hottest part of the summer. 100. The leon is a building of several stories. Of this sort are almost all the small palaces
built by the emperors in their pleasure gardens. The taste for this class of building at one period prevailed to such an extent that houses were constructed from 150 ft. to 200 ft. in height, flanked by towers extending to 300 ft. Though the emperors have, generally, abandoned these enormous buildings, they are still occasionally erected. Most houses of the country are so slightly built as to be incapable of bearing more than one story. Indeed, the necessity for making the most of an area by doubling and tripling its capacity, which exists in the capitals of Europe, does not operate in China. 101. The houses of the Chinese are uniform in their appearance. We here annex the
|- T- [-] plan and elevation of one (figs. 72. and 73.); from which it will be seen - | that a large portion of the area is occupied by courts, passages, and gar-: -] dens. Sir W. Chambers describes those of the merchants at Canton as
i- being, generally, a long rectangle on the plan, two stories high, and the | |- apartments divided on the ground floor by a wide passage, which extends = "I through the whole length. On the side towards the street the shops " " are placed, beyond which a quadrangular open vestibule leads to the - private apartments, which are distributed on the right and left of the |II passage. There is a salon, usually about 18 ft. or 20 ft. long, and 20 ft. wide, open towards the vestibule, or with a screen of canework to protect it from the sun and rain. At the back are doors extending from the * floor about half way to the ceiling; the superior part being of trellis #| work, covered with painted gauze, which gives light to the bedroom. | The partition walls are not carried higher than the ground story, and | are lined with mats to the height of three feet, above which a painted paper is used. The pavement is of differently coloured stone, or marble squares. The doors are generally rectangular, of wood, and varnished or painted with figures. Sometimes the communication between apartments is in the form of an entire circle, which some have compared to - the aperture of a bird-cage. The # windows are rectangular, and filled in with framework in patterns of squares, parallelograms, polygons, and circles, variously inscribed in or in
f_* tersecting each other. The railwork | | | to the galleries is similarly orna
| mented. The compartments of the IT | windows are generally filled in with - "a transparent oyster shell instead of u-I-5 ft glass. The upper floor, which ocFig. 72 exorse ... cupies the whole breadth of the * * * * * ****". house, is divided into several large apartments, which are, occasionally, by means of temporary partitions, converted into rooms for visitors, apart from the family. The sleeping rooms for the people connected with the business are over the shops. The roof stands on wooden columns; and its extremities, projecting beyond the walls, are usually decorated with the representation of a dragon. 102. In the system of carpentry practised by the Chinese, the columns and beams look more like the bars of a light cage than the supports and ties of a solid piece of - framing, or like a collection of bamboos fastened to one another. The accom2- panying diagram (fig. 74.) will convey our meaning to the reader. Their - columns vary in their forms and in their proportions from eight to twelve diameters in height, and are without capitals. They are generally of wood, standing on marble or stone bases, and are occasionally polygonal as well as circular. Some are placed on moulded bases. 103. The palaces are constructed on nearly the same plan. Nothing, say the missionaries of Pekin, gives a more impressive idea of a palace and the greatness of its inhabitant, whether we consider its extent, symmetry, elevation, and uniformity, or whether we regard it for the splendour and magnificence of its parts, than the palace of the emperor at Pekin. The whole, they say, produced an effect upon them for which they were not prepared. l; Fig. 74, cow," Arn occupies an area of upwards of 3600 ft. from east to west, and above 3000 ft. unres. Pipor. from north to south, without including the three fore-courts. Mr. Barrow, in his Account of Lord Macartney's Embassy, describes it as a vast enclosure of a rectangular form, surrounded by double walls, having between them ranges of offices, covered by roofs sloping towards the interior. The included area is occupied by buildings not more than two stories high, and forming several quadrangular courts of various sizes, in the centres of which are buildings standing on granite platforms, 5 ft. or 6 ft. high. These are surrounded by columns of wood, which support a projecting roof turned up at the angles. One of these buildings, serving as a hall of audience, stands like the rest on a platform, and its projecting roof is supported by a double row of wooden columns, the intervals between which, in each row, are filled with brickwork to the height of 4 ft. ; the part above the wall being filled in with lattice work, covered with transparent paper. The courts are intersected by canals spanned by several marble bridges. The gateways of the quadrangles are adorned with marble columns on pedestals, decorated with dragons. The courts contain sculptured lions 7 ft. or 8 ft. high; and at the angles of the building, surrounding each area, are square towers, two stories high, crowned with galleries. The reader will find a delineation of this extraordinary building in Cousin's work, Du Genie de L'Architecture, 4to, Paris, 1822, pl. 26. The peristylia of the interior buildings of the palace are built upon a platform of white marble, above which they are raised but a few steps; but this platform is reached by three flights of marble steps, decorated with vases and other ornaments. 104. It is said that there are 10,000 miao, or idol temples in Pekin and its environs. Some of these are of considerable size, others are more distinguished for their beauty; there is, however, no sufficient account of them, and we shall therefore proceed to those of Canton, which have been decribed by Chambers. He says that in this city there are a great number of temples, to which Europeans usually apply the name of pagoda. Some of these are small, and consist of a single chamber; others stand in a court surrounded by corridors, at the extremity of which the ting, or idols, are placed. The most extensive of these pagodas is at Ho-nang, in the southern suburb of Conan. Its interior area is of the length of 590 ft., its width 250 ft. This area is surrounded by cells for 200 bonzes, having no light but what is obtained from the doors. The entrance to the quadrangle is by a vestibule in the middle of one of the short sides; and at the angles are buildings 30 ft. square, in which the principal bonzes reside. In the middle of each of the long sides is a rectangular area, surrounded by cells, one containing the kitchens and refectories, and the other, hospitals for animals, and a burying ground. The great quadrangle contains three pagodas or pavilions, each 33 ft. square on the plan. They consist each of two stories, the lowest whereof is surrounded by a peristyle of twenty-four columns. The basement to each is 6 ft. high, to which there is a flight of steps on each side, and the three basements are connected by a broad wall for the purpose of communication between them, with steps descending into the court. The roofs of the peristylia are concave on the exterior; and the angles, which are curved upwards, are decorated with animals. The sides of the upper story are formed with wooden posts, filled in with open framework. Round the foot on the exterior is a balcony with a rail in front. The roof resembles that of the peristyle, and has its angles similarly ornamented. The buildings are all covered with green varnished tiles. 105. The Chinese towers, which also Europeans call pagodas, are very common in the country. The most celebrated, whereof a diagram is presented here (fig. 75.), is thus described by P. Le Comte. Its
#, form on the plan is octagonal, * and 40 ft. in diameter; so that : each side is 15 ft. It is sur
rounded by a wall at a distance of 15 ft., bearing, at a moderate height, a roof covered with varnished tiles, which seems to rise out of the body of the tower, forming a gallery below. The tower consists of nine stories, each ornamented with a cornice of 3 ft. at the level of the windows, and each with a roof si- £r. - = milar to that of the gallery, ex*----- cept that they do not project so
much, not being supported by a second wall. They grow smaller as the stories rise. The wall of the ground story is 12 ft. thick, and 8% ft. high, and is cased with porcelain, whose lustre the rain and dust have much injured in the course of three centuries. The staircase within is small and inconvenient, the risers being extremely high. Each floor is formed by transverse beams, covered with planks forming a chamber, whose £ is decorated with painting. The walls are hollowed for numberless niches, containing idols in bas-relief. The whole work is gilt, and seems of marble or wrought stone; but the author thinks it of brick, which the Chinese are extremely skilful in moulding with ornaments thereon. The first story is the highest, but the rest are equal in height. “I counted,” says M. Le Comte, “190 steps, of ten full inches each, which make 158 ft. If to this we add the height of the basement, and that of the ninth story, wherein there are no steps, and the covering, we shall find that the whole exceeds a height of 200 ft. The roof is not the least of the beauties which this tower boasts. It consists of a thick mast, whose foot stands on the eighth floor, and rises thirty feet from the outside of the building. It appears enveloped in a large spiral band of iron, clear by several feet from the pole, on whose apex is a gilt globe of extraordinary dimensions. 106. The word tower has been vaguely applied to all these buildings; but in China there are differences in their application, which are classed under three heads: – 1. Tai, or platforms for astronomical or meteorological observations, or for enjoying the air and landscape. 2. Hou, such as that just described in detail, being edifices of several stories, isolated and circular, square and polygonal on the plan, built of different materials in different places. 8. Ta, which are sepulchral towers. These are commonly massive, of strange but simple forms. 107. The Pay-leon, or triumphal arches of the Chinese, are to be found in every city. They are erected to celebrate particular events. Those at Ning-po are with a central and two smaller side openings, and are ornamented with polygonal stone columns, supporting an entablature of three or four fasciae. These are usually without mouldings, the last but one excepted, which is a species of frieze filled with inscriptions. They are crowned with roofs of the usual form, having broad projections, whose angles are turned upwards. The apertures are sometimes square, and sometimes circular headed. 108. China abounds in bridges; but Du Halde and the missionaries have made more of them in their accounts than they appear to deserve. What they have described as a bridge of ninety-one arches between Soo-chow and Hāng-chow, was passed by Lord Macartney, and found to be nothing more than a long causeway. Its highest arch, however, was supposed to be between 20 ft. and 30 ft. high, and its length about half a mile. Some of their bridges, however, as in the case of that observed by the late Sir George Staunton (vol. ii. p. 177.), are skilfully constructed. They have long been acquainted with the use of the arch composed of wedge-shaped voussoirs, perhaps long before it was known in Europe. Their great wall is one of their most remarkable monuments. It consists of an earthen mound, retained on each side by walls of brick and masonry, with a terraced platform of square bricks. Its total height is 20 ft., including a parapet of 5 ft. The thickness at the - base is 25 ft., and it diminishes to 15 ft. at the platform. The towers on it, at intervals of about 200 paces, are 40 ft. square at the base, diminishing to 30 ft. at the top; and their height is about 37 ft. Some of the towers, however, are 48 ft. high, and consist of two stories. It extends from the province of ShenSi to the Wanghay, and in a length of 1500 miles is conducted over mountains, valleys, and rivers, often in places inaccessible to an enemy. (See fig. 76.)
109. The architecture of the people who had possession of America before its discovery by Columbus has a considerable claim upon our attention. When a people appears to have had no means of modelling their ideas through study of the existing monuments of older nations, nor of preserving any traces of the style of building practised by the race from which they originated, their works may be expected to possess some novelty in the mode of combination or in the nature of the objects combined; and, in this point of view, American architecture is not without interest. It is, moreover, instructive in pointing out the bent of the human mind when unbiassed by example in the art.
110. North America was found by the Spaniards advanced in agriculture and civilisation, and more especially so in the valleys of Mexico and Oaxaca. These provinces seem to have been traversed by different migratory tribes, who left behind them traces of cultivation. It is not our intention here to discuss the mode of the original peopling of America; but we must, in passing, observe that the vicinity of the continents of Asia and America is such as to induce us to remind the reader that one of the swarms, which we mentioned in the section on Druidical and Celtic Architecture, might have moved in a direction which ultimately brought them to that which, in modern times, has received the name of the New World. The Toultecs appeared in 648, making roads, building cities, and constructing great pyramids, which are yet admired. They knew the use of hieroglyphical paintings,