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his ordinary education, which was not complete until he had made the Grand Tour.' In England, the Earl of Burlington, and in Ireland, the Earl of Charlemont, recur to memory for their skill and discrimination in architecture. How good was the taste of the Irish nobility and gentry, whatever else their faults were, in the latter half of the eighteenth century, our splendid old Georgian mansions of Dublin and throughout the country testify. They introduced into Ireland many skilled architects, and were patrons of the other arts. Architecture has been well described as the mistress art,' and so it is, for it dominates all the others, but the same principles apply to all.
Before many years of the early Victorian period had passed, there was seen a universal decline in the standard of taste, although it was in these years that Pugin's best work was done. One or two men, like J. S. Mulvanny, architect of the splendid and universally admired Broadstone Terminus Dublin (1850), kept alight the lamp of classical art for years after it had died generally throughout the land. By the middle of the nineteenth century the old classical traditions of Ireland were wholly lost, and the Gothic spirit, lost centuries before, was never re-assimilated in this country.
Generally speaking, too much was attempted in the building of churches. Furniture, stained-glass, and decoration were all too cheap and too pretentious, and the work of the commercial firms, not of artists.
As to the broad question of design, I think the choice of a particular style of architecture is of comparatively little importance. It has been well said that it is 'style' not styles' that matters.
It is, however, right that the architecture of churches, in particular, should be based upon national and local traditions and, as far as practicable, built with local materials; foreign and exotic treatments and materials being avoided or sparingly used, and then only for good reason. In this way a sound vernacular treatment, rather than a new style, might gradually be evolved, traditional, but adapted to modern requirements.
There has lately sprung up in this country a notion that Romanesque architecture is in some peculiar way distinctively Irish, and that Gothic is equally foreign. In Ireland architecture followed pretty much the same course as in other countries. A distinctly national type of Gothic was evolved after a transitional period. During the several
centuries of the Gothic period, the country endured a more or less continuous state of warfare, and was frequently ravaged with fire and sword. It was when the native chieftains began to get back some of their power, while Edward III was occupied with his French wars, that the late Irish Gothic reached its zenith, and many fine abbeys were built or enlarged. The arts could not, however, attain their full growth under such conditions, so Irish Gothic was comparatively humble and unpretentious. It is, however, quite suggestive for modern inspiration and development. The beautiful Cistercian Abbey of Holy Cross, Thurles, full of the Southern French, or Spanish and Portuguese influence, is indicative of what a high development the native Irish Gothic might have attained to under more favourable circumstances.
The Irish Romanesque undoubtedly affords suggestion for the creation of a national style of church building, but it must be remembered that architecture, like nearly everything else, has in modern times tended to become cosmopolitan, rendering it more difficult to pick up the threads of native art. This is all the greater reason for salving the native tradition.
It is regrettable that in the remarkable literary and artistic renaissance of the last twenty years in Ireland, architecture has found no place. I have lately read, that the past year has seen the largest literary output ever known from the Irish publishing houses.
In the past the inspiration which might have been derived from the beautiful, and in many ways remarkable Irish Romanesque, and the racy and suggestive late Irish Gothic, have been almost entirely overlooked. The great thing, however, is to ensure that whatever is done is good of its kind. The first essentials are to secure good sound building, and freedom from vulgarity.
Architecture naturally divides itself into three main considerations. First, sound construction; second, good proportion; third, good detail. By detail, I mean the elegance and suitability of the forms, the mouldings and enrichments, employed with imagination as well as with a scholarly knowledge. Here some knowledge of the principles laid down by such writers as Ruskin and Pugin, and an acquaintance with the best examples of ancient, medieval, or modern art become invaluable. Anyone possessed of such knowledge will not readily fall into the error of perpetrating a vulgarity. The very use and object of a church implies that it should be free of sham or pretension.
Good taste in architecture may be formed by the study of ancient, medieval and good modern work. At home we have many examples of medieval work, which are not as well known as they should be. In England and abroad such remains are common and should be visited whenever opportunity offers. The best modern church work is to be found in England; the churches of architects like the late J. F. Bentley, designer of Westminster Cathedral, the late G. F. Bodley, R.A.,1 or the late J. D. Sedding, etc., are always worthy of careful examination. It will be seen with what great taste the interiors are finished and furnished, and how well the true Gothic spirit has been understood, but not copied. Mr. Gilbert Scott, A.R.A., has designed for Liverpool a great Cathedral, which, when completed, will, I am sure, be the finest modern Gothic church in the world. Only a portion has, so far, been finished, but it gives some idea of what the whole will be like. The design has been handled in a most original and masterly fashion by the architect.
In America during the past few years, a most remarkable architectural revival has taken place. The recent public buildings reach a level of monumental classical dignity almost unapproached by modern work in Europe. Some of the best and most scholarly church work done anywhere is being carried on by a small group of architects, the pioneers in this ecclesiastical revival having been Mr. Ralph Adams Cram, of Boston, and his former partner, Mr. Bertram Goodhue, of New York. The noble Gothic chapel of the Military Academy at West Point, by Mr. Cram, and their many churches throughout the United States, are monuments to their scholarly knowledge and taste. In particular may be noted the elegance and originality with which the true Gothic spirit, as distinct from copyism, has been revived. The carved oak chancel screens, pulpits, and other fittings are especially worthy of attention.
The Plan of the Church.-The ground plan of the church is of considerable importance, and tradition still exerts a great influence on its form. It should be designed with due regard to comfort and convenience, and the plans of old churches may, with much advantage, be studied. The proportions of the plan materially contribute to the ultimate effect of the building, a fact often
1 Mr. Bodley's church at Hoar Cross, and others of his, and Mr. Bentley's Church of the Holy Rood, Watford (half-an-hour's journey from Euston), are amongst the most excellent examples I know.
lost sight of. The most common faults in modern Irish church plans are: the nave is almost always too wide and too short for the size of the church and is often too low; the columns of the nave are too thin and mean. These defects are probably in part brought about by the modern desire to obtain a good view of the altar from every point, and to build cheaply. Sometimes there are too many parts, such as nave, aisles, and transepts, for the size of the building, which would be bettered by the omission of one or other, and the space so gained added to the remainder. The most usual defect in Irish churches is the miserably small size of the chancel or sanctuary; even in the largest and most pretentious churches the chancel is often little better than a recess for the altar. No economy is so dearly bought, and none results in such loss of dignity and effect. Nothing tends more to give importance to an interior than a deep, spacious chancel, affording ample space for ceremonies and offices. Most modern churches in Ireland, would be vastly improved by the taking down of the eastern gable and the lengthening of the chancel. It is rare to find an old church, even in a country village, without a dignified chancel.
Sufficient thought is hardly given to the appropriate planning of such adjuncts as baptistery, mortuary chapel, sacristy, confessionals, etc., so as to make them, as it were, part of the plan, and not excrescences.
In many of the modern Irish churches it strikes one forcibly that too much proportionately has been expended upon the shell or fabric, and too little upon its interior decoration and furnishing, though actually, in point of fact, the reverse may be the case. One often sees a church of lofty size, with elaborate stone facing, much costly cut stone, lacking either points of concentrated interest, or uniform elegance of detail, with cheap and ugly Welsh slates, with a thin and poor varnished roof interiorly; mean looking benches, confessionals and stations, decorations chiefly consisting of stencil patterns promiscuously distributed, obviously not the work of artists; stained-glass of bad design and execution; marble altars in which the material is unsuitably applied, brass and other metal work of stock pattern, and so forth. How much better it were had a simpler structure been built, with a better roof and roof covering, and richer and more appropriate furniture and fittings provided.
To be continued.]
R. M. BUTLER.
EARLY JESUIT IN CHINA
BY REV. C. AHERNE
Now that the Missions to China are creating such widespread enthusiasm it may not be out of place to give some account of a remarkable early Jesuit Missionary in that country. With the exception of the first few pages the following paper is taken, in great measure, from the French of Le Christianisme en Chine en Tartaire et au Thibet, by the Abbé Huc, author of the celebrated Travels in Tartary, Thibet and China. Should the reader be led by the perusal of what follows to read the original four volumes of the author he is sure to enjoy an intellectual feast.
The subject of this article was called Nan-hoai-jen in China, and Father Ferdinand Verbiest, S.J., in Europe. He was born near Courtrai, in Belgium, in 1628, and after joining the Society of Jesus went through a most brilliant course of studies in Spain. Filled with zeal for the glory of God and the salvation of souls, his petition to be allowed to go out to the missions was acceded to, and he was sent by his superiors to China.
It will be remembered that Father Ricci and his companions, stimulated by the zeal and example of St. Francis Xavier, had succeeded in opening the door of China, by exciting the interest, first of the mandarins at the coast, then of a number of viceroys, and finally, of the court at Peking, by displaying maps, illustrated and beautifully-bound books, clocks and watches, mathematical instruments, and especially by their own virtues, philosophical, and mathematical attainments. Father Ricci had the advantage of being a pupil in Rome of the celebrated Father Clavius, S.J.,the Euclid of his time,' and the man who did most to bring about the reform of the calendar, and to ensure its success, under Gregory XIII.
Father Schall was one of the greatest successors of Father