By Nikolaus Pevsner
Some of the most extensively learn boks on ecu structure, Nikolaus Pevsner's landmark paintings was once first released in 1942. via numerous revisions and updates in the course of Pevsner's lifetime, it persevered to be a seminal essay at the topic, or even after his demise, it is still as stimulating because it was once again within the mid-twentieth century. Sir Nikolaus Pevsner (1902-1983) used to be one of many 20th century's such a lot realized and stimulating writers on artwork and structure. He confirmed his popularity with Pioneers of recent layout, although he's most likely top recognized for his celebrated sequence of publications, The structures of britain, stated as one of many nice achievements of twentieth-century scholarship. He used to be additionally founding editor of The Pelican historical past of paintings, the main complete and scholarly historical past of artwork ever released in English. A revised and up-to-date full-color version of the vintage examine of the background of eu structure
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DENIS: ABBEY CHURCH, CONSECRATED I 144. integral whole. Still, it may be justas well to recapitulate them and re-examine their meaning. They are the pointed arch, the flying buttress and the rib-vault. The pointed arch conveys weight down on to walls or piers at a more reasonable angle than the semicircular arch, and had for this purpose already been used frequendy in the Romanesque buildings of Burgundy and Poitou. ·-4 "31 THE EARLY AND CLASSIC GOTHIC STYLE C. I I 50-C. 12 50 St. Denis. With rouIlded arches the maSOll who is dealing with a narrow rectangular bay has to stilt some ofhis arches or depress some to achieve level heights.
This is most characteristic. Westem civilisation was only just beginning to take shape, but already at that early stage its architectural expression was· spatial, as against the sculptural spirit ofGreek and Roman art-and spatial in an organising, grouping, planning way, as against the magic floating ofspace in Early Christian and Byzantine art. In France the two chief plans for the east ends of Romanesque churches ~ere conceived; the radiating plan somewhere near the future centre of the country (probably at St.
Perhaps we should not speak at all of France concerning tIle lItll and 12th centuries. The country was still divided into separate territories fighting each other, and consequendy there was no one universally valid school of architecture, as, thanks to the Norman kings, there already was in England. The most important schools in France are those of Normandy, Burgundy, Provence,. Aquitaine (or rather, bro~dly speaking, the whole South-West), Auvergne and Poitou. Their comparatively static customs were crossed by a strong current from the North and West of France rigllt down to the far N orth-West of Spain, the current ofthe principal pilgrimage routes.
An Outline of European Architecture by Nikolaus Pevsner