Archive | July, 2011

Classical Eclecticism

31 Jul

Classical Eclecticism:

Relying on forms and motifs from classical antiquity renaissance, baroque, architectural compositions declare a classical or cosmopolitan European heritage

civic or national pride or personal culture and prosperity

richly decorated often authentic period rooms

emphasis upon professionalism, interior decoration becomes known as a profession


rejecting high victorian picturesque irregularity, polychrome, and loose borrowings from and revivals of the past

seeks to restore order, unity, and restraint to architecture and interiors

stylistic associations remain important

compositions are more archaeologically correct and reveal specific borrowings or form or details form particular prototypes


egg and dart, bead, dentil moldings, cartouches, roundels, and classical motifs such as pilasters lintels and stringcourses


monumental in scale and show an academic spirit  while drawing upon various classical traditions

either a specific prototype

variety of prototypes or particular style

some reveal no specific prototypes in favor of the designer’s or client’s person attitudes

four architectural styles develop – neo-renaissance, beaux-arts, neoclassical revival, Chateauesques



Follow two paths- Aesthetic Movement or Classical Eclecticism

Aesthetic or Artistic interiors- appear in more classical buildings, show visual complexity with decoration or pattern on all surfaces, borrowing from past styles and exotic cultures

Classical Eclecticism- simplification, reduces patterns and eliminates clutter


Classical Eclecticism gives rise to period styles that dominate popular furnishings throughout the early 20th century

large in scale, formal, majestic, carved or painted to suit the specific room


Romanesque Revival, Richardsonian Romanesque

31 Jul

Romanesque Revival, Richardsonian Romansque:

corbel tables, round arches distinguish buildings in the Romanesque or Round-arched style (originated in Germany 19th century)

Henry Hobson Richardson developed the Richardsonian Romanesque style in the 1870’s

based on Romanesque structures, massiveness, round arches, and rough-faced stone define the style


Heinrich Hubsch lays the theoretical foundation for Romanesque Revial in his 1828 work

declares  simpler to construct and more economical than Gothic Revival

style is rational like classicism, use German building materials, suiting the German climate

Richardsonian- draws from Spanish and southern French Romanesque, Norman, and Syrian Early Christian sources instead of German Rundogenstil


round arches, corbel tables, hood moldings, battlements,and rose windows – Romanesque

round arches, floral capitals, lozenges, chevrons, terra-cotta panels of floral ornament – Richardsonian


Romanesque and Richardsonian look to the past for inspiration

deriving from several styles

masonry walls, symmetry, columns, round arches, towers

Richardsonian defines more buildings than Romanesque does

including offices warehouses train stations

impenetrable and fortresslike character makes richardsonian suitable choice for statehouses, courthouses, and prisons

Marterials- brick in various colors, details and ornament may be different colored brick than walls or stone, terra-cotta, or ceramic tile


Medieval appearance using architectural elements

round arches

hooded fireplaces

Floors- stone polished marble encaustic tiles in colorful patterns or wood


have medieval style furniture

no exactly corresponding furniture style

Richardsonian- heavy, rugged appearance like exteriors

Stick, Queen Anne

31 Jul

Stick, Queen Anne:

Stick- combines character of medieval half-timbered buildings with the new balloon framing construction method

use of wooden planks or sticks that form decorative surface patterns or exteriors

Queen Anne- originates in England

create and image of home, tradition, and middle-class comfort

mixes elements from 16-18 centuries


Stick- creating half-timber appearance rendered in wood on American buildings

concepts of picturesque, historicism, and Gothic Revival theory

English Queen Anne- introduced in 1860’s

strives not to revive past style or create new historical style like Greek or Gothic Revival

American Queen Anne- american critics find the English Queen Anne appealing and ensures the style’s immediate adoption

variation is Victorian Vernacular (Queen Anne, Stick, and other styles)


sunflowers, pediments, columns, spindles, scrollwork, quoins, Flemish gables, swags


Architectural styles of Stick, English Queen Anne, and AMerican Queen Anne look to the middle ages, english renaissance and vernacular buildings for inspiration

all styles  adopt asymmetry, irregularity, verticality, forms, and  details, of earlier, buildings

Materials- wood is primary  building material for all building types

may mix brick, stone, masonry with wood


Stick- no corresponding interior style, but some rooms may reflect general exterior character through paneling with stick-like patterns

fashionable revivals such as Rococo, Renaissance, Medieval, Gothic

Queen Anne- do not replicate 18th century

follow revival styles

classical columns, pediments, low relief pasterwork in classical motifs and wall paneling


furniture has no corresponding style to architecture (eclecticism rules)

new and old furnishings in various styles characterizes most rooms

combining Japanese prints, English porcelain, oriental or Middle eastern folding screens, art furniture, cottage furniture and Sheraton, chippendale, Jacobean pieces, and/or over stuffed upholstery

Materials- mahogany and fruitwoods in dark finish (Queen Anne), oak or walnut (American), oak is cheaper


31 Jul


Inspired by revivalism, eclecticism, and a quest for novelty in 2nd half of the 19th century

looks to non-western cultures

borrowing forms, colors, and motifs


fascination with non-western cultures gives rise to egyptian revival, turkish or islamic styles an indian or mogul style

associated with particular building types, rooms, and furniture, and conveys particular image (timelessness, monumentality)


real or fake hieroglyphs, scarabs, egyptian figures or heads gods and goddesses, lotus, papyrus, crocodiles, cobra, sphinxes, sundisk


examples of Exoticism in architecture are few

especially rare in residences

exotic styles apply to few particular public building types

buildings should convey a purpose

Materials- stone brick wood (america), brick may be stuccoed to render the smooth walls desirable

columns and domes (cast iron, terracotta, ceramic tiles)


combine architectural details, motifs, furniture, or decorative arts of several cultures or styles

enhances their appeal

exotic interiors reflect current fashion trends combined with exotic elements, motifs, colors, furniture


same style furniture in the rooms (ex. Egyptian revival furniture in Egyptian Revival rooms)

exceptions are Turkish-style upholstery (which mixes with  other styles and wicker, used on porches, conservatories, and other rooms)

Western overstuffed upholstery has no prototype in the Middle East

Materials- darks woods, mahogany, rosewood

Second Empire, Rococo Revival

27 Jul

Second Empire, Rococo Revival:

developed in France second empire is an international architectural style (mansard roof, pavilions, bold details)

in Europe and America the style is elegant, sophisticated,  cosmopolitanism

Rococo Revival- based on French Rococo (18 century)

curving forms and feminine grace make it suitable for parlors, drawing rooms, boudoirs


Second Empire- expression of sophistication, cosmopolitanism, and french culture

England and America coincides with build boom and economic prosperity making the style symbolize affluence, elegance, sophisticated taste, authority, and power

Rococo Revival- depicts French look with noble tastes making it popular for home decoration in Western countries

portrays feminine character advanced with elegance


S.E.- columns, swags, cartouches, pediments, relief sculpture

R.R- female mask, vines, shells, roses, flowers, leaves, acorns, nuts


Second Empire- reflecting contemporary architectural developments in France

transform the city into a modern, elegant metropolis

clude wall and/or roof dormers, hood moldings, round arches, stringcourses, column, high-relief sculpture, and classical details

Materials- stone, granite, marble, brownstone, brick, and iron details


Second Empire- created for Napoleon III in Louvre and Tuileries

keep the majestic second empire image

display bold classical architectural details

Rococo Revival- style rooms appear in Greek Revival, Renaissance Revival, Italianate, and Second EMpire buildings

combine French Baroque and French ROcoco

bolder, more symmetrical, and more sculptural


Rococo Revival- curving silhouette, C and S scrolls cabriole legs, naturalistic ornament, larger and heavier with symmetrical, carved decoration

parts have elements that flow together with little interruption and no articulation

flamboyant curving and carved silhouettes

Materials- dark woods, costly woods are rosewood and mahogany, other pieces are walnut or maple, veneers are often used

Italianate, Renaissance Revival

27 Jul

Italianate, Renaissance Revival:

Italy provided the models for Italianate and Renaissance Revival (in architecture, interiors,furniture)

many titles for the architecture style- Italianate, Renaissance Revival, Palazzo Style, & Italian Villa Style

formal, classical urban palaces, picturesque, asymmetrical farmhouses

interiors are mix  various periods and countries with Renaissance Italy


Italianate and Italian Villa style are asymmetrical and picturesque

Renaissance Revival is classical, symmetrical, and refined

both associate with Italian culture and sophistication


pediments, stringcourses, quoins, hood moldings, brackets, columns on porches or verandas, swags (just to name a few)


John Nash’s Cronkhill in Shropshire showed Italian vernacular

Cronkhill was pictureesque, rambling forms highlight an asymmetry

Italianate style spread across England then North America

Materials- materials where picked to show heaviness and give rich texture and contrast

public builds where brick stone or cast iron

houses where stone brick brownstone or wood

Roofs- flat or low pitched, some with balustrades, tower roofs where hipped or gabled and low pitched


Renaissance Revival- wide variety of rooms: entry halls, atriums, court rooms, legislative chambers, dining room, bedrooms

classical or mannerist architectural details: deep moldings, beamed ceilings, rich warm colors

interior decoration and furniture  where symbols of wealth, taste, and civilization


massive proportions, irregular silhouette, architectural motifs, opulence and Renaissance or baroque motifs from 15-17 centuries

pediment, tapered legs, and carved or applied ornament

Materials- walnut, mahogany, and oak; veneer, marquetry, inlay, ormolu, gilding, or porcelian

Gothic Revival

26 Jul

Gothic Revival:

Gothic is back!

applies ecclesiastical architectural motifs to contemporary forms

style develops from medieval prototypes – forming a unique expression indicative of its time


nationalism, religious, literary, and historical associations weave with the ascent of Gothic Revival architecture and design

england, france, and germany claim to contrast medieval Gothic to classical antiquity (which comes from Greece and Rome)

Early Gothic Revival appeals to the senses and contrast with the rationality of classism

no emphasis on the correct use of form and motifs


stained glass, rose windows, trefoils, oak leaves (just a few)


forms and motifs from medieval churches, houses, and castles characterize Gothic Revival architecture of all phases and countries


stone, brick, stucco, cast iron

details- iron and terra-cotta


steep roofs with slate tiles (few flat or hipped roofs)


styles- bay, oriel, lancet, rose, or pointed


interiors relate to the exteriors

verticality, asymmetry, pointed arches, and deep moldings

colorful rooms and richly detailed/patterned

furniture and objects display Gothic details

contemporary rooms rely on fixed decorative details and furniture instead of moveable hangings and furnishings

Floors- wood or masonry; tiles in rich colors and medieval patterns

Ceilings- vaulted, timber, medieval manner, or flat


medieval architectural details (pointed arches)

few original Gothic pieces survive

less built-in furniture than in the Middle Ages

most furniture is custom designed and made for specific rooms in Gothic Revival houses

Materials- oak, mahogany, walnut, and rose-wood