Archive for the ‘Architecture’ Category

Renaissance Architecture

Monday, September 14th, 2009

The Renaissance was a time throughout Europe where attention was once more paid to the classic aesthetics of Ancient Greece and Rome and suddenly artists of all types desired to emulate these features.  These aesthetic appeals influenced both painting, sculpture, and even architecture.  While much of the influence of Ancient Greece and Rome on paintings started to die out during the 1520s, its influence on architecture lasted well into the 17th Century.  Symmetry, geometry, and proportion were all important qualities for the architecture to take on.  Columns, arches, and domes were common features which Renaissance architecture featured, replacing the starkness and irregularity of Medieval buildings.

The phase of Renaissance architecture went through a few phases, beginning with Quattrocentro, where the concepts of the architecture of the period were formed and certain rules were devised.  Space was first begun to be considered as an element of architecture.  The High Renaissance phase of architecture saw more elements from the classic architecture be used with certainty.  This led into Mannerism, where the architects began to experiment with forms as a way of emphasizing both spacial and solid relationships.  These architectural expressions began to filter out to the other countries across Europe, each country taking its own view on how to best represent the classic beauty of Ancient Greece and Rome in its own terms.

Baroque Architecture

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

The Baroque period affected Architecture in the 17th century and began in Italy. This style developed from Renaissance architecture, and developed into a more theatrical style. The objective was to express the triumph of the Catholic Church. Architects became concerned for color, lighting and grandeur in the Baroque style.

The Baroque came about because of the Catholic Church reformation in response to the protestant reformation. The point was to be more emotionally accessibly and yet, portray the grandeur and the power of the Catholic Church.  Later this architectural movement went on to affect the architecture within the nobility too. First it affected the grand palaces of France, and then followed throughout Europe.

Features of Baroque movement include, dramatic use of light, chiaroscuro effects, large scale ceilings on which frescoes are painted, long narrow naves, Ostentatious decorations including gilded ones, and the use of marble, and other faux finishes.

Often the interior of Baroque building were just large areas, which were only to be used to house more painting and sculpture of the period.  The Baroque movement spread quickly throughout Europe and Latin America.  This movement was a way of presenting grandeur for both the church and for the nobility, and today we have many beautiful representations that still exist of the movement.

Photo: Courtesy of R.Duran

Neoclassicism in Architecture

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

Neoclassicism - Architecture - Parthenon, ParisNeoclassicism was a movement that affected all art movements including architecture and came about because of many influences of the time. People were tired of the gaudiness, frivolity and innateness of the Rococo movement, and the archaeological findings during this century of the ancient Greek and Roman empires began to influence the art movements again.

Some anti Rococo influences in architecture can be detected as early as the 18th century as noted in the Palladin architecture of Britain and Ireland. Although the movement began in France, and continued on to England, Germany, it soon spread throughout the world. This architecture is noted for its strength, its classical lines, its simple characteristics, and much is modeled after the Roman fashion.

In France architects like Charles Perret even moved the column architecture into functional factory buildings.

By the mid 19th centuries cities like St Petersburg and Munich were literally transformed into neoclassical cities. The influence even reached American circle, the neoclassical movement in the United States was considered a part of the American renaissance and very large monuments like the Lincoln Monument were made in the style.

Other noted buildings were The National Gallery in Washington DC and the Museum of Natural History.

Rococo Architecture

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

Hermitage Winter Palace in St. Petesburg - Rococo architectureRococo architecture came about as a reflection of the times. It followed the Baroque style and was known for its feminine curves, intricate designs, and flamboyance. It was a much lighter style of architecture than the dark heavy Baroque style and emphasized by intricate details and very light colours. The style was meant to be a reflection of the times, meaning a time that was frivolous, happy and uneventful.

Rococo architecture became known as the French style and really did not do as well in other countries as it did in France. The Rococo architecture style took its creativity from nature, referring to clouds, flowers, shells, sea, coral, scrolls, spray, etc. Most of the colors that were used in the buildings of the times were pastels or very light colors.

Among some of the most noted buildings of the period and which are still standing are the Hotel de Matignon, and the Hotel d’Evreux, the Place Louis XV designed by Jacques Ange Gabriel which we now know as the Place de la Concorde.

Besides intricate designs and frivolous detail the Rococo architecture also brought many improvements to architecture; sanitation was improved, chimneys were made more efficient and rooms were better organized to offer more privacy.


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