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Title: The Brochure Series of Architectural Illustration - Vol 1, No. 9 1895
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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No. 9.


The pulpits and ambos chosen for the illustrations in this issue of THE
BROCHURES are mainly interesting for their wonderful mosaic decorations
which are among the finest of their kind which have ever been executed.
The work of the family of Cosmati, by whose name the Roman mosaic or
inlay of this description is known, such as that in plate LXXI, is
similar in design and method of execution to that shown in the other
plates. There is one point, however, in which the Roman work is quite
different. In Sicily and southern Italy the bands and borders of
geometrical patterns are largely made up of glass or composition, while
the Cosmati confined themselves to the use of colored marbles. In the
south, and particularly in Sicily, gold is freely used, but this is
lacking in the work of the Cosmati. As a result of this difference in
material a wider range of color is possible in the southern mosaics than
in those of Rome; and this is especially noticeable in the use of blues,
which give much of the character to the beautiful examples shown in our
plates, which we regret we cannot reproduce in color. The altar, pulpit,
and bishop's throne in the churches of SS. Nerone ed Achille and S.
Cesario in Rome may be taken as additional examples.

This is a form of decoration which may be found in many of the Byzantine
churches of the eleventh and twelfth centuries and also in the Tuscan
churches of the same epoch, notably in the Baptistery at Pisa and in the
church of San Miniato al Monte in Florence.

The mosaic floors, dados, and solid railings of the Palermitan monuments
all seem to belong to this class: a ground of gray or white marble slabs
with large panels of colored marble, mosaic bands of geometrical pattern
let into the marble, and sometimes a plain framework of one member with
a carved row of conventional leaves. In Palermo a grayish veined Greek
marble similar to that used in Venice and Ravenna was almost exclusively
used as a background. It formed a most admirable setting for the inlaid
marble mosaics which were laid in rebated panels in the marble slabs,
making a perfectly smooth surface. In the floor mosaics green serpentine
and red or purple porphyry are the usual colors besides the gray, while
brighter reds, gold, blues, white, and a variety of other glasses
(_smalti_) are employed with the serpentine and porphyry in the mosaics
on walls, pulpits, and screens.

In all of the work referred to above, the separate pieces of marble or
glass are carefully shaped to fit the patterns they are intended to
form, and in this respect differ from the Byzantine and other wall
mosaics, and from the earlier Roman mosaic pavements such as those which
are familiar in the Pompeiian buildings. In the latter the shape and
often the size of the pieces making up the pattern were of comparatively
little importance, and the pieces were imbedded in a matrix which filled
up the interstices and gave a background of neutral color.

The marble pavements, made up of discs, squares, and other geometrical
forms of colored marbles surrounded by bands or borders of a smaller
scale, were similar in design to some of the mosaics shown in our
plates. This work is known as Opus Alexandrinum and is familiar from the
pavements of St. Mark's and the church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli in

   [Illustration: LXV. Ambo in the Capella Palatina, Palermo,

The Capella Palatina was built and dedicated to St. Peter by King Roger
the Second of Sicily. It must have been begun soon after Roger's
coronation, and was finished in the year 1143.

It is of the same period as the cloister of Monreale, which was
described and illustrated in the March number of THE BROCHURE SERIES;
and the work here shown distinctly recalls the mosaics upon the twisted
columns in this cloister.

The interior is famous as one of the most beautiful works of color
decoration extant. Its general tone is bluish green with mosaic walls
and floor and a wooden ceiling decorated in tempera with cufic
inscriptions. It is scantily lighted with small windows, giving a rather
sombre effect. The best mosaics are in the chancel and apses.

The beautiful ambo is one of its most attractive features. The famous
candelabrum of five tiers of figures, at the projecting angle, is of
white marble.

    [Illustration: LXVI. Ambo in the Cathedral, Salerno, Italy.]

    [Illustration: LXVII. Pulpit in the Cathedral, Salerno, Italy.]

Salerno and Ravello were both included under the Norman rule of the
kingdom of Naples and Sicily in the eleventh century, and the work here
shown all belongs to the Norman period.

The Cathedral of Salerno was founded and dedicated to St. Matthew in
1084 by Robert Guiscard, who plundered the temples of Paestum of their
marbles and sculptures to embellish it.

The two pulpits and that in the choir in front of the archbishop's
throne, which are said to have been executed by order of John of
Procida, are fine examples of the rich mosaic work of the period. The
two large pulpits are placed in the nave, before the choir, which here
has retained its original position in front of the high altar. Stairs
opening out of the choir, finely decorated in mosaic, lead to each
pulpit. In front of the larger one on the right is a fine Paschal
candelabrum, decorated in mosaic. The pulpit itself is supported on
twelve granite columns, while the four supports of the opposite ambo are
the very rare black porphyry called _Porfido Nero-Bianco._ The raised
space between is paved in Opus Alexandrinum.

    [Illustration: LXVIII. Pulpit in the Cathedral, Ravello.]

The Cathedral at Ravello, dedicated to S. Pantaleo, was founded by
Niccolo Rufolo, Duke of Sora and grand admiral under Count Roger of

The marble pulpit, or Gospel ambo, inlaid with mosaics, was built,
according to a Latin inscription which it bears, in the year 1272, at
the cost of Niccolo Rufolo, a descendant of the grand admiral. Another
inscription records the fact that it was the work of Nicholas, the son
of Bartolommeus of Foggia.

    [Illustration: LXIX. Ambo in the Cathedral, Ravello.]

The Epistle ambo, situated on the opposite side of the church from the
main pulpit, is of earlier date than the latter. The mosaics represent
on one side Jonah being swallowed by the whale, and on the other his
being ejected. It bears the name of Costantino Rogadeo, the second
bishop of Ravello, and probably dates from about 1130.

    [Illustration: LXX. Pulpit in the Church of S. Giovanni,

The church of San Giovanni del Toro also dates from the time of King
Roger. The story of Jonah will be seen again depicted here.

    [Illustration: LXXI. Ambo in S. Lorenzo fuori le Mura, Rome.]

The Basilica of S. Lorenzo fuori le Mura was originally only an oratory
over the Catacombs of S. Cyriaca, and was said to have been founded by
Constantine about A.D. 330. It was enlarged and partly rebuilt in the
fifth and sixth centuries, and in 1216 was again remodeled by Honorius
III, who built the present long nave and its portico, raised the
chancel, and filled up with rubbish the lower church. It is thus a grand
collection of details of various periods, but all of much interest.

Its two ambos stand on each side of the raised portion of the floor
which corresponds to the choir in the Basilica of Honorius. The Gospel
was chanted from the one on the south side with the reading desk turned
towards the choir; and the Epistle from the one on the north, with a
single desk towards the high altar. Before the Gospel ambo is a fine
mosaic candelabrum standing on a Roman cippus reversed, having an olive
branch and birds sculptured on it.

The pavement as well as the work upon these two ambos is in the style of
the Cosmati.

    [Illustration: LXXII. Pulpit in the Cathedral at Messina,

The Cathedral (S.M. Nuova) was founded by Count Roger in 1098, and was
finished by his son Roger. The interior is 305 feet in length, and is a
Latin cross with three aisles, separated by twenty-six columns of
Egyptian granite said to have been taken from the temple of Neptune at
Faro; they have gilt Corinthian capitals. The roof is of wood and is a
restoration by King Manfred of an ancient roof burned in 1254 at the
funeral of Conrad, son of Emperor Frederick II, the canopy over the
corpse having been so high that the lights by which it was crowned set
fire to the rafters. The three apses are filled with fine mosaics.

The pulpit of white marble is attributed to Gogini, and the font near it
to Gaddo Gaddi of Florence.

       *       *       *       *       *

Competition for Advertising Design.

The publishers of THE BROCHURE SERIES will give three prizes, valued at
$5.00 each, for the best three designs for a full-page advertisement of
the Boynton Furnace Co. These prizes will be:--

    1. A complete set of Volume I of the _Architectural Review_ (see
    advertisement in front pages of this number for description).

    2. A subscription to Volume IV of the _Architectural Review_.

    3. Details of Decorative Sculpture, both Italian and French
    Renaissance (2 books).

The authors of the best designs may have their choice of any of these
three prizes. A prize will be awarded for the best design received on or
before November 30, 1895. A second prize for the best design received
after November 20, and on or before December 10, 1895. A third prize for
the best design received after November 30, and on or before December
20, 1895.

It is probable that all acceptable designs will be used, in which case
payment will be made, the amount of which will be determined by
correspondence with the author; and all designs not accepted will be
returned to the authors.

The advertisements of the Boynton Furnace Co. may be referred to for
material, and the following data can be drawn upon:--

    The business was established in 1849; the company was
    incorporated in 1884. Over 100,000 heaters have been made and
    sold. Furnaces, hot water and steam heaters, ranges, and
    Baltimore heaters are manufactured. The Boynton goods have
    always ranked high, the company being one of the "old stand-bys"
    in the heating trade. Satisfactory service in carrying out
    architects' specifications is made a feature of their business.

The net size of the space allowed for advertisement is 5-1/2 inches wide
and 8 inches high. No restriction upon the design is made, except that
it shall not go beyond these dimensions. Drawings must be made one half
larger than the advertisement would be. They are not to bear the
designer's name, or any distinguishing device, but a sealed envelope
containing his name and address is to be securely attached to the back
of the drawing, or of each drawing should a designer submit two or more.
They must be in black ink upon white paper, and sent postpaid to the
Editor of THE BROCHURE SERIES, 6 Beacon Street, Boston, Mass.

The designing of effective architectural advertisements presents a good
field for draughtsmen to cultivate. In both THE BROCHURE SERIES and the
_Architectural Review_ a considerable quantity of such work could be
used if it were the right kind. The publishers are in hopes this
competition will bring out designs that will serve as a guide to
securing special work for which there is a more or less constant demand.
If this competition proves successful in bringing out the proper kind of
material, others will be arranged for in future, and larger prizes

       *       *       *       *       *

The Brochure Series

of Architectural Illustration.



    Subscription Rates per year                   50 cents, in advance
    Special Club Rates for five subscriptions     $2.00

Entered at the Boston Post Office as Second-class Matter.

       *        *        *        *        *


    Back numbers of THE BROCHURE SERIES _are not_ kept in stock. All
    subscriptions will be dated from the time received and
    subscribers who wish for the current numbers must place their
    subscriptions at once.

The placing in position of the great decorative wall painting of Puvis
de Chavannes in the Boston Public Library again directs public attention
to this remarkable building. To us this last addition to the
architectural work (for every feature of the building, whether
constructional, utilitarian, or purely decorative, is architectural in
the sense of forming an essential part of an otherwise incomplete
composition) is the one feature thus far introduced which does most to
bind together the varying elements in the decorative scheme of the
interior. It occupies the most important position in the building, at
the head of the monumental staircase, and forms not only a centre of
interest aesthetically, but serves as a connecting link between the other
features, which have before seemed more or less unrelated. The grand
staircase, built of Siena marble, the finest example of the intelligent
use of colored marble in this country, has until now lacked its foil,
which the dull blue walls now give. The added pleasure which is apparent
in viewing the stairway emphasizes the importance of the guiding
intelligence which has made all this possible. There is in our
experience only one other building in the country in the interior
treatment of which this intelligence is evident in anything like the
same degree. The house built by Messrs. McKim, Mead, and White for Mr.
Henry Villard is the most completely satisfying residence we have ever
seen, and its success is due to the element of restraint shown
throughout, and to the harmony between its parts. There are other houses
in which may be found just as effective single features, but there is
some discordant note which destroys the harmony. The Library is not an
expensive building; its single features may, with the exception of the
staircase, be equaled in beauty by many other buildings in this country,
but no other can compare with it in the sense of complete satisfaction
which it awakens on account of this harmony of parts.

We have pointed out only the harmony in color, which of course in itself
is of secondary importance, and if it were not accompanied by
intelligent harmony of plan, and treatment of detail in proportion and
scale could not make the composition a satisfactory one. The question of
decorative color treatment comes up at this time because of the
surprising effect which the addition of a little patch of colored wall
makes in the whole interior. Even the uneducated, superficial observer
is impressed with the feeling of completeness and thoughtful intention
in everything connected with the building.

       *       *       *       *       *

Brochure Series Competition.

Number One.


The object of this competition was not to secure designs for pianos at
the least possible cost, as is the object of many competitions in
design, but merely to attract the attention of designers to this special
problem, and take one more step towards a better condition of things in
the piano business. The Henry F. Miller Co. have for several years
followed a policy the results of which are seen in some of their later
designs. It has been the practice to turn special cases over to
furniture and cabinet makers, entailing an expense that has been
practically prohibitory for all but the richest clients architects have.
The Miller piano factory has been equipped with every facility for
executing work from architects' special designs and within a reasonable
cost. The prizes have been offered in the most liberal spirit, and while
a large number of the designs submitted were unsatisfactory, they have
been instructive and their shortcomings will be borne in mind in
preparing the program of another competition, with larger prizes, which
will shortly be announced in THE BROCHURE SERIES.

    [Illustration: First Prize. A.B. Le Boutillier.]

Seventy-five designs were submitted, several of which arrived too late
to be entered. The drawings were very carefully examined by the officers
of the company, assisted by Mr. C. Howard Walker, and the following
awards were made:--

    [Illustration: Second Prize. E.F. Maher]

First prize, $25, A.B. Le Boutillier, Boston; second prize, $15, Edward
F. Maher, Boston; third prize, $10, James C. Green, Brooklyn, N.Y.


In judging the designs for piano cases, the element of economy, though
recognized, played but a small part in the decision of the judges. The
qualities which made the premiated designs superior to others, were
those of refinement, beauty of line, and of general proportions.

A piano case presents, necessarily, but restricted opportunity for
design, and any attempt at great novelty is apt to be disastrous; if
originality appears, it will be in the smaller details.

    [Illustration: Third Prize. J.C. Green.]

There also exists the question of style, which is determined largely by
the character of the room in which the piano is to be placed, and yet,
if the element of style is forced too far, it prevents the use of the
design for any but one case.

Of the premiated designs those placed first and second are in distinct
styles, the one having almost the character of François I, the other
being of the time of the Empire. Both, however, are simple and could be
placed in rooms of other styles of architecture.

The first prize design is especially commended for the disposition of
its ornament, and the delicate but vigorous lines of the bracket beneath
the keyboard, or what is technically called the "truss."

The design placed second has excellent proportioning of panels and
Empire ornament in excellent relative scale, well disposed.

The design placed third is a most direct development of the
requirements, and is a very simple, practicable design with good
proportions and lines.

The three remaining designs published were considered worthy of mention,
each in its own way. The Gothic design could be made very rich and
interesting with panel colored decoration. The upper portion is well
proportioned, the lower portion somewhat too meagre. The Colonial design
is interesting above the keyboard; the arches below the "trusses" are
out of scale. The Baroque design would depend for its good or bad
quality entirely upon the delicacy and skill with which the carving was
done. Both the Gothic and Baroque designs could only be used in rooms of
their own respective styles.

    [Illustration: Design by E.B. Wells.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Club Notes.

It is encouraging to note that a new accession to the already imposing
list of architectural clubs has been made so early in the season by the
organization of a club in Detroit.

On Monday, September 16, thirty-five draughtsmen met at the Detroit
Museum of Art and effected a temporary organization of the Detroit
Architectural Sketch Club, Emil Lorch being elected Chairman and Alex.
Blumberg Secretary. A committee, consisting of W.E.N. Hunter, R.
Mildner, and G.H. Ropes, was appointed to draw up a Constitution and

The report of this committee was adopted at the second meeting, on
September 25, and the following officers and directors elected:
President, Emil Lorch; Vice-President, G.H. Ropes; Secretary, E.A.
Schilling; Treasurer, R. Mildner; Directors, W.E.N. Hunter, F.G. Baxter,
and Alex. Blumberg.

    [Illustration: Design by E.R. Clark.]

The object of the Club and its proposed methods of study are like those
of similar organizations elsewhere.

Few of the existing clubs have started under better auspices, and fewer
still could count as many members at their inception.

A number of the other clubs have begun early in the systematic work of
the year. The Philadelphia, Baltimore, Cleveland, and Chicago clubs in
particular are starting with unusual vigor and promise. Our next issue
will have more detailed account of these plans for the future.

    [Illustration: Design by A.H. Cox.]

       *       *       *       *       *


_Architecture for General Readers_: A Short Treatise on the
    Principles and Motives of Architectural Design. With an
    Historical Sketch. By H. Heathcote Statham, Fellow of the
    Institute of Architects, Editor of _The Builder_. With
    illustrations drawn by the Author. London, New York: Charles
    Scribner's Sons. 1895.

This work is, as its title indicates, a popular handbook of the
principles of architecture, and furnishes what has hitherto been
practically inaccessible to general readers--a concise explanation of
what architecture really means.

The greater part of the work is devoted to the explanation of the theory
of design and construction and the general principles in their simpler
applications. The subject of ornament including the use of mouldings,
sculpture, and plain surfaces, is taken up, and architectural working
drawings are explained.

The historical sketch is excellent, although in this direction there is
not the same lack of good handbooks as in the theoretical field. The
analysis is clear and more easily comprehended than is usual in such

       *       *       *       *       *


To an architect a convenient drawing table is one of the most important
requirements. There are many devices made to meet this requirement, but
none have proved more useful or given more general satisfaction than the
"Seldis," furnished by Messrs. Frost & Adams, 37 Cornhill, Boston. The
special advantages of this table are many, but among them is the fact
that the draughtsman can work in a natural position, as the board can be
adjusted, so that all parts may be easily reached. Any board can be used
and it will not tip over, and being self-locking will remain in any
position, and can be adjusted in height to suit the draughtsman. When
not in use it can be folded to occupy the same length and width as an
ordinary drawing-board. Descriptive circulars will be sent upon
application by Messrs. Frost & Adams.

    [Illustration: House in Brookline. Winslow & Wetherell,
    Architects. From Dexter Bros.' "Some Houses Near Boston."]

Messrs. Dexter Bros., of 55 Broad Street, Boston, are adopting a very
effective method of advertising their English Shingle Stains. We have
already referred to their collection of photographic prints published
under the title of "Some Houses Near Boston." The illustration on this
page is reduced from one of the plates in this collection. They have
followed this with an even more attractive pamphlet showing
Kennebunkport houses, on which their stains have been used, and they
have a third collection in preparation, illustrating Bar Harbor houses.
Either of the first two will be sent to any reader of THE BROCHURE
SERIES upon receipt of a two-cent stamp, and due notice of the issue of
the collection of Bar Harbor houses will be given in these columns. As
Dexter Bros.' Stains are used by leading architects throughout the
country they have plenty of subjects to choose from in each publication,
thus enabling them to publish work that is architecturally interesting.
This raises the character of their advertising above the ordinary trade
level. Usually publications representing the buildings in which a
certain material is used, show good, bad, and indifferent architecture,
the good being present in small quantity. The Dexter Bros.' collections
show intelligent discrimination, and it is this one thing that makes
them worthy of notice.

All who are in any way interested in suburban architecture will find
these pamphlets worth sending for. They should have a wide circulation,
for they have more than an advertising value.

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