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it will be found that so surely as a painter is irreligious, thought less, or obscene in disposition, so surely is his coloring cold, gloomy, and valueless. The opposite poles of art in this, respect are Frà Angelico and Salvator Rosa; of whom the one was a man who smiled seldom, wept often, prayed constantiy, and never harbored an impure thought. His pictures are simply so many pieces of jewellery, the colors of the draperies being perfectly pure, as various as those of a painted window, chastened only by paleness, and relieved upon a gold ground, Salvator was a dissipated jester and satirist, a man who spent his life in masquing and revelry. But his pictures are full of horror, and their color is for the most part gloomy-grey. Truly, it would seem as if art had so much of eternity in itg that it must take its dye from the close rather than the course of life. “In such laughter the heart of man is sorrow. ful, and the end of that mirth is heaviness.”
These are no singular instances. I know no law more severely without exception than this of the connexion of pure color with profound and noble thought. The late Flemish pictures, shallow in conception and obscure in subject, are always sombre in color. But the early religious painting of the Flemings is as brilliant in hue as it is holy in thought. The Bellinis, Francias, Peruginos, painted in crimson, and blue, and gold. The Caraccis, Guidos, and Rembrandts in brown and grey. The builders of our great cathedrals veiled their casements and wrapped their pillars with one robe of purple splendor. The builders of the luxurious Renaissance left their palaces filled only with cold white light, and in the paleness of their native stone. · Nor does it seem difficult to discern a noble reason for this universal law. In that heavenly circle which binds the statutes of color upon the front of the sky, when it became the sign of the covenant of peace, the pure hues of divided light were
sanctified to the human heart for ever; nor this, it would scem, by mere arbitrary appointment, but in consequence of the fore-ordained and marvellous constitution of those hues into a sevenfold, or, more strictly still, a threefold order, typical of the Divine nature itself.
The whole church of St. Mark's was a great Book of Common Prayer, the mosaics were its illuminations, and the common people of the time were taught their scripture history by means of them, more impressively perhaps, though far less fully, than ours are now by scripture reading. They had no other bible—and Protestants do not often enough consider this—could have no other. We find it somewhat difficult to furnish our poor with printed bibles; consider what the difficulty must have been when they could be given only in manuscript. The walls of the church necessarily became the poor man's Bible, and a picture was more easily read upon the walls than a chapter.
We all have some notion, most of us a very determined one, of the meaning of the term Gothic; but I know that many persons have this idea in their minds without being able to define it: that is to say, understanding generally that Westminster Abbey is Gothic, and St. Paul's is not, that Strasburgh Cathedral is Gothic and St. Peter's is not, they have, nevertheless, no clear notion of what it is that they recognise in one or miss in the other, such as would enable them to say how far the work at Westminster or Strasburgh is good and pure of its kind; still less to say of any nondescript building, like St. James's Palace or Windsor Castle, how much right Gothic element there is in it, and how much wanting. And I believe this inquiry to be a pleasant and profitable one; and that there will be found something more than usually interesting in tracing out this grey, shadowy, many pinnacled image of the Gothic spirit within us; and discerning what fellowship there is between it and our Northern hearts. And if, at any point of the inquiry, I should interfere with any of the reader's previously formed conceptions, and use the term Gothic in any sense which he would not willingly attach to it, I do not ask him to accept, but only to examine and understand my interpretation, as necessary to the intelligibility of what follows.
We have, then, the Gothic character submitted to our analysis, just as the rough mineral is substituted to that of the chemist, entangled with many other foreign substances, itself perhaps in no place pure, or ever to be obtained or seen in prurity for more than an instant; but nevertheless a thing of definite and separate nature, however inextricable or confused in appearance. Now observe: the chemist defines his mineral by two separate kinds of characters; one external, its crystalline form, hardness, lustre, &c.; the other, internal; the proportions and nature of its constituent atoms. Exactly in the same manner, we shall find that Gothic architecture has exter. nal forms, and internal elements. Its elements are certain mental tendencies of the builders, legibly expressed in it; as fancifulness, love of variety, love of richness, and such others. Its external forms are pointed arches, vaulted roofs, &c. And unless both the elements and the forms are there, we have no right to call the style Gothic. It is not enough that it has the Form, if it have not also the power and life. It is not enough that it has the Power, if it have not the form. We must therefore inquire into each of these characters successively; and determine, first, what is the Mental Expression, and secondly, what the Material Form, of Gothic Architecture, properly so called.
1st. Mental Power or Expression. What characters, we have to discover, did the Gothic builders love, or instinctively express in their work, as distinguished from all other builders?
Let us go back for a moment to our chemistry, and note that, in defining a mineral by its constituent parts, it is not ole nor another of them that can make up the mineral, but the union of all: for instance, it is neither in charcoal, nor in oxygen, nor in lime, that there is the making of chalk, but in the combination of all three in certain measures; they are all found in very different things from chalk, and there is nothing like chalk either in charcoal or in oxygen, but they are never. theless necessary to its existence.
So in various mental characters which make up the soul of Gothic. It is not one nor another that produces it, but their union in certain measures. Each one of them is found in many other architectures besides Gothic; but Gothic cannot exist where they are not found, or, at least, where their place is not in some way supplied. Only there is this great difference between the composition of the mineral, and of the architectu ral style, that if we withdraw one of its elements from the stone, its form is utterly changed, and its existence as such and such a mineral is destroyed; but if we withdraw one of its mental elements from the Gothic style, it is only a little less Gothic than it was before, and the union of two or three of its elements is enough already to bestow a certain Gothicness of character, which gains in intensity as we add the others, and loses as we again withdraw them.
I believe, then, that the characteristic or moral elements of Gothic are the following, placed in the order of their impor. ance:
These characters are here expressed as belonging to the buildings; as belonging to the builder, they would be expressed thus :-1. Savageness or Rudeness. 2. Love of Change. 3. Love of Nature. 4. Disturbed Imagination. 5. Obstinacy. 6. Generosity. And I repeat, that the withdrawal of any one, or any two, will not at once destroy the Gothic character of a building, but the removal of a majority of them will.
I am not sure when the word “Gothic” was first generically applied to the architecture of the North; but I presume that, whatever the date of its original usage, it was intended to imply reproach, and express the barbaric character of the nations among whom that architecture arose. It never implied that they were literally of Gothic lineage, far less that their architecture had been originally invented by the Goths themselves ; but it did imply that they and their buildings together exhibited a degree of sternness and rudeness which, in contradistinction to the character of Southern and Eastern nations, appeared like a perpetual reflection of the contrast between the Goth and Roman in their first encounter. And when that fallen Roman, in the utmost impotence of his luxury, and insolence of his guilt, became the model for the imitation of civilized Europe, at the close of the so-called Dark ages, the word Gothic became a term of unmitigated contempt, not unmixed with aversion. From that contempt, by the exertion of the antiquaries and architects of this century, Gothic architecture has been sufficiently vindicated; and perhaps some among us, in our admiration of the magnificent science of its structure and sacredness of its expression, might desire that the term of ancient reproach should be withdrawn, and some other, of more apparent honorableness, adopted in its place, There is no chance, as there is no need, of such a substitution, As far as the epithet was used scornfully, it was used falsely; but there is no reproach in the word rightly understood; on