Criticism and the Question of Originality in Eighteenth-Century Architecture

Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic


Session 120. Planning and Architecture
Abstract: The eighteenh century witnessed an increase in ‘architecture in print’ in both quality and quantity. Recent investigations have demonstrated how architecture, the most public of the arts, attracted a wide audience of practicians, ranging from craftsmen, builders, to architects, engineers and architects, but a growing readership among amateurs, dilettanti, cognoscenti and virtuosi, all accross Europe. Writers on architecture came from various backgrounds and often had very specific aims in mind. Up until now, the emergence of architectural criticism as a special genre has been hard to uncover. Rather than look for architectural criticism in periodicals and the popular press, this paper will concentrate on some architectural surveys and books that contain descriptions of important buildings and monuments from different times, including, but not limited to Vitruvius Brittanicus, Architecture Françoise, and Entwurff einer Historischen Architektur. On closer inspection works such as these, with their intermingling of historical description, spatial analysis and detailed engravings, can be seen as important instruments in the formation of professional judgment in architecture and were thus highly relevant for the development of contemporary architecture.
Period16 Jul 2019
Event titleISECS International Congress on the Enlightenment: 'Enlightenment Identities'
Event typeConference
LocationEdinburgh, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational