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Title: The Brochure Series of Architectural Illustration, Volume 01, No. 08, August 1895 - Fragments of Greek Detail
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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THE BROCHURE SERIES

OF ARCHITECTURAL ILLUSTRATION.


VOL. I. AUGUST, 1895 No. 8.

FRAGMENTS OF GREEK DETAIL.


The Art of Greece during the fifth century, B.C., was developed in an
amazingly short time from a condition of almost archaic rudeness to that
of the greatest perfection which the world has ever seen.

At the close of the Persian wars the Athenians, under Pericles, began
rebuilding their city and perfecting themselves in all the arts of
civilization, and their progress in the next half century will always be
a subject for wonder. It is especially wonderful that works of art of
the character produced at this time should have been the outcome of
political maneuvering: for if Plutarch is to be credited the scheming of
Pericles to obtain and hold possession of the government of Athens was
the immediate cause of the erection of these marvellous monuments. In
order to increase his influence with the common people Pericles devoted
the treasure which had been contributed by the other Greek cities for
defence against the barbarians to the beautifying of Athens, and to
furnishing them with games and amusements, and especially to the
erection of the group of temples upon the Acropolis, in this way
distributing patronage and keeping his people employed much as a modern
political "boss" does the same in our day.

The Parthenon, which is esteemed the grandest of all monuments of Greek
art, embodying as it does the highest achievement in sculpture and
architecture, was built just after the middle of the fifth century,
although the precise date at which it was begun and finished is
uncertain. The Erechtheion and Propylæa were probably built a few years
later, but their exact dates are also in doubt.

The sculptor, Phidias, was the friend and adviser of Pericles and to him
was given the general charge of all matters relating to art. Under him
were grouped architects, sculptors, and artisans of all schools and
trades--Ictinus and Calicrates as architects of the Parthenon, Mnesicles
of the Propylæa, and many others--such an assemblage as only Greece in
her most glorious epoch could bring together. The work of this period
shows that happy union of technical perfection and the expression of
only the loftiest ideas, in which, as Plutarch says, the architect made
it his ambition to "surpass the magnificence of his design with the
elegance of its execution."

The skill and delicacy as well as the subtle appreciation of refinements
of form and finish exhibited in the treatment of details such as those
shown in our plates are almost beyond comprehension. The workmanship is
so perfect that it is difficult to see how it could be improved upon.
Stuart, in his account of the Parthenon, states that he found two
stones, one merely laid upon the other in the stylobate of this
building, which had been ground to so fine a joint that they had
actually united and become one. The refinements in measurements are such
that it has been asserted that a variation of one twentieth of an inch
from the dimensions intended is all that need be allowed--the width of
the two ends of the building agreeing to within this amount. The entasis
of columns and curvature of what would ordinarily be straight lines is
familiar to all students of architecture.

Photographs of Greek architecture are by no means common or easy to
obtain, and the subjects given as illustrations of the present issue of
THE BROCHURE SERIES are presented, not as in the preceding numbers,
either all from a single building, or of similar features from several
buildings, but merely as fragments of detail, representing the period of
Greek art when architecture and sculpture had reached their highest
development.



[Illustration: LVII. Capital from the Parthenon, Athens.]


LVII.

CAPITAL FROM THE PARTHENON, ATHENS.

The Parthenon of Pericles was built on the site of an older temple as a
treasury, and repository of the colossal statue of Athena, made by
Phidias from gold and ivory. The Doric order, the capital of which is
shown in our plate, needs no description here as probably no other
single order is so generally known. After various transformations the
building was blown up by the Venetians in 1687 and has since remained in
ruins.



[Illustration: LVIII. Capital from the Erechtheion, Athens.]

[Illustration: LIX. Base from the Erechtheion, Athens.]

[Illustration: LX. Capital of Anta, from the Erechtheion, Athens.]


LVIII.

CAPITAL FROM THE ERECHTHEION, ATHENS.

LIX.

BASE FROM THE ERECHTHEION, ATHENS.

LX.

CAP OF ANTA FROM THE ERECHTHEION, ATHENS.

The Ionic order of the Erechtheion is the one which is best known and
has been most frequently copied and adapted in modern work. It is at the
same time the richest and most delicately refined of the Greek Ionic
orders, and this is equivalent to saying of all orders whatsoever. This
order of which the cap and base are given in our plates belongs to the
north porch. There were two other fronts to the building which was, to
all intents and purposes, three temples united in one. The famous
caryatid porch faces the south, looking toward the Parthenon.



[Illustration: LXI. Fragment from South Side of the Acropolis, Athens.]


LXI.

FRAGMENT FROM SOUTH SIDE OF ACROPOLIS, ATHENS.

Although this fragment was found at some distance from the Erechtheion
it is without much doubt a portion of that building.



[Illustration: LXII. Capital from the Propylæa, Athens.]


LXII.

CAPITAL FROM THE PROPYLÆA, ATHENS.

The Propylæa, or gate to the Acropolis, was built at about the same time
as the Parthenon, between the years 436 and 431 B.C. It combines the
Doric and Ionic orders, but both are most skilfully used with equal
grace and nobleness of proportion.



[Illustration: LXIII. Fragment of Cyma from the Tholos, Epidauros.]


LXIII.

FRAGMENT OF CYMA FROM THE THOLOS AT EPIDAUROS.

The Tholos of Polykletos at Epidauros was a circular building 107 feet
in diameter, situated within the sacred enclosure. It had two concentric
rows of columns, the exterior order being Doric, and the interior Ionic,
but with Corinthian caps of the design shown in plate LXIV.



[Illustration: LXIV. Capital from the Tholos, Epidauros.]


LXIV.

CAP FROM THE THOLOS AT EPIDAUROS.

The two fragments shown are the result of recent excavations and are
among the most beautiful examples of Greek detail extant.



Architectural Schools.


HARVARD UNIVERSITY.

The writer of "The Point of View" in _Scribner's Magazine_ recently
called attention to the distinction between what he calls "cultivation"
and "civilization." As he very aptly states it, "culture according to
the common acceptance of it, is largely the cultivation of the mind;
civilization would seem to be the cultivation of the sympathies, the
tastes, and the capacity for giving and receiving sound pleasures. The
most civilized man is the man with the most catholic appreciation, the
man who can be the most things to the most people--the man, to put it
briefly, who knows best how to live. The man who is civilized can use
all the culture he can get, but he can get on and still be civilized
with a very moderate outfit of it. But the man who has culture and has
not civilization, is very badly handicapped."

Probably no walk of life offers more opportunities for the advantageous
application of what is meant in this quotation by civilization than that
of the architect; and probably in no other profession does the
"civilized" man have greater advantages over his less civilized fellows.

The successful architect requires a broad and catholic culture, but in
addition must be a man of the world in the best and most comprehensive
sense. Opportunities for social improvement will often make the
difference between success and failure in his professional life. On this
account too much stress can hardly be put upon the importance to a young
man of his social environment.

The life in an old university set in the midst of a community where the
traditions of generations of cultivated families have established a
social atmosphere, it might be said, is one of the best and most
powerful civilizing influences. Such an opportunity as this is offered
at Harvard, and it is this which gives to the architectural course at
Harvard its main advantage over that of other schools in this country.

The department itself is comparatively young, having only just completed
its second year. It is under the direction of the faculty of the
Lawrence Scientific School, one of the principal schools of the
University.

Its special corps of instructors consists of Prof. H. Langford Warren
assisted by Messrs. George F. Newton and John W. Bemis. In addition to
this, lectures and instruction are given by members of the Faculty of
Arts and Sciences, which includes the faculty of the Lawrence Scientific
School, Harvard College and the Graduate School, among whom are Prof.
Charles Eliot Norton, Prof. White, Prof. Greenough, Prof. Moore, Prof.
Hollis and others.

Although students in this department do much of their work in rooms
specially provided for them, in their general studies and lectures they
are associated with the other students of the University and thus reap
the advantages coming from such association.

Throughout, it has been the purpose in this school, to treat
architecture as a fine art and not merely as the science of
construction, and to this end instruction in the general history of the
Fine Arts and practice in design are made the central features about
which the other studies are grouped.

The course as laid out is intended to cover four years, and may be
supplemented by post-graduate work; while on the other hand a large
part of the general studies may be anticipated by students of the
College who wish to take the professional studies after completing the
usual course in the college proper. Especial stress is laid upon
educating the taste and discrimination of the student, and association
with cultivated men and familiarity with the best efforts of the past,
are the two most important influences to this end.



Personal.


Mr. C. D. Maginnis, recently returned from abroad, and who has for
several years been in the office of Mr. E. M. Wheelwright, city
architect, has opened an office at 27 School Street, Boston. He is
prepared to do all kinds of architectural drawing, in pen, pencil, or
water color, and will work up competition drawings and sketches.

Mr. W. H. Kilham, Mr. E. P. Dana, and several others have recently been
added to the working force of Messrs. Winslow & Wetherell, whose office
is now the largest in Boston.

Mr. W. T. Partridge, who has for several years been with Messrs. Eames &
Young, in St. Louis, has severed his connection with them and will
probably return to the East.



Club Notes.


The summer work of the Sketch Club of New York has been laid out to
include sketching trips in the outlying neighborhood of New York City.
On alternate Saturdays members of the Club meet at one of the piers and
take a small steam yacht to points along the East River and Long Island
Sound, spending the Sunday in sketching. On the intermediate Sundays,
rambles through West Chester occupy those who are disposed to join in
the excursions. These trips are laid out to include the time from July
13 to September 28.

The competition of the Chicago Architectural Club upon the subject
"Picturesque Chicago," closes September 2, and the club begins its
regular year's work on that date with an exhibition of the sketches
submitted in this competition together with other work of the summer.



The Brochure Series

of Architectural Illustration.

PUBLISHED MONTHLY BY

BATES & GUILD,

6 BEACON STREET, BOSTON, MASS.


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.

       *       *       *       *       *

SPECIAL NOTICE.

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 illustration which we give on another page, of a gala night of the
"P. D." club will appeal to the many friends of the P. D.'s who are
distributed from end to end of the country. The descriptive article by
one of the members which is begun in this number will also give an
indication to those who are not already familiar with this organization,
of its character and purpose. That a combination of serious work and
relaxation can be reconciled without sacrificing the former, has been
demonstrated in this case, for the P. D.'s are the mainstay of the
Boston Architectural Club and have accomplished considerable in other
directions, having done very notable work in several of the Beaux-Arts
Society's competitions. Their motto and seal shown in the other
illustration is a remarkable example of impromptu decoration.

       *       *       *       *       *

The August 22 issue of the _Journal of the Royal Institute of British
Architects_ contains a description of the School of Architecture and
Applied Arts of University College, Liverpool, and an address by Mr.
T. G. Jackson, the well-known English architect and author, delivered at
the inauguration of the school on May 10 last. Special provisions are
made for courses in Architecture, Sculpture and Modelling, Decorative
Painting, Wrought Iron Work, and Wood Carving, accompanying theoretical
instruction with actual work in the studios and shops.

Mr. Jackson's remarks are worthy careful attention and will be found as
valuable to American students as to those to whom they were addressed.
His opinions upon the study of architectural history are interesting in
connection with the views of the American writers to which we referred
last month. He says: "The reverence with which we have been taught to
regard old work has misled us into a slavish worship of precedent, and
an abject craving for authority by which to shape our own work. Close
imitation of old work has been regarded as the only safe course,
deceptive imitation of it the highest measure of success."...

"Above all it should be the student's object to discover the principles
of design by which the successive styles were governed, and in tracing
their history he should trace the influence of circumstance and
accident, which modify the current art of the day.... The history of
architecture, and the development of style out of style, should never be
taught without incessant reference to the constructional methods which
were employed, and which played the principal part in the changes
resulting from their employment."

       *       *       *       *       *

Apropos of the perennial discussion of the question of professional
ethics which from time to time comes into prominence in the meetings of
the American Institute of Architects the following may be of interest.
It is appended to the card of a certain architect which is published as
an advertisement in a local paper and reads: "Any kind of architectural
work promptly attended to and satisfaction guaranteed."

In the resolutions recently adopted by the Boston Society of Architects
concerning professional ethics it was maintained that architects should
not advertise. The advertisement above may savor somewhat of its
surroundings (above it a hair renewer is advertised and below it
penny-royal pills) and suggest too much the "shoes tapped while you
wait" order of advertising, but we fail to see why architects should be
restrained from advertising if there are any benefits to be derived
from it. And for our part we think that there are few architects whose
business or practice might not be improved by judicious advertising. It
is easy to lay down an arbitrary dictum and say that no professional man
shall advertise, but what argument can apply to architects in this
respect that does not equally apply to civil engineers and to landscape
architects? And no one objects to the advertisements of the latter. The
publication of architects' designs in the professional journals is in
many cases advertising, pure and simple, but is not on this account to
be condemned. The truth of the matter is that the exact point where
advertising begins and ends is impossible to determine. One kind of
advertising is considered allowable and dignified, another is not. In
consequence there is opportunity for many differences of opinion.



The "P. D.'s."


If Chimmie Fadden were asked to translate the letters P. D., he would
undoubtedly answer, "What 'ell?" and it must be acknowledged that this
answer does credit to Chames's insight; but at the same time we feel
sure that Chames would not be offended if he were informed that his
favorite expression is not nearly such an appropriate definition of
P. D. as it is of the play of Madame Sans Gêne, all rumors to the
contrary notwithstanding And if Chames could be induced to give up for
the while his everlasting search for a bull pup, we might proceed to
inform him to the best of our ability what it really does mean.

"The Lord gives good meat but the devil sends cooks," but Chames
apparently lending a willing ear, we take his life in our hands, and
firstly:--

And that is, that P. D. is not an abbreviation for Poor Debtors, as some
would have it, but for Poor Draughtsmen; which is after all, perhaps, a
distinction without a difference.

Poor in this case has no reference to the quality of the draughtsmen's
work, for, as our song truly says,--

    "The P. D. is a man
    Who does the best he can,
    No matter what the problem it may be.
    He can draw a quarter scale,
    He can draw a full detail,
    And draw his pay upon a Saturdee."

The club, for such it is, was at first overburdened with the name of The
Poor Draughtsmen's Saturday Night Club, but the member who wrote the
specification of the club, started in by writing the name and then
proceeded as follows: "The name of the club shall be the above (it is
too long to write again)." The hint was taken and it has since been
known as the P. D.'s.

The club resulted from the more or less accidental coming together of
men of congenial spirit, and the desire to cultivate each other's
acquaintance more intimately than was possible in the larger
Architectural Club of which they are all members, and over which are
their club rooms.

[Illustration: SEAL OF THE P. D.'S.]

The work of fitting up these rooms was done by the members themselves,
and an added interest is given them by the constantly changing
exhibitions on their walls. The bulletin board is also a never-ending
source of delight.

The club at present consists of thirteen members, all of whom on
entering it, as a sort of architectural baptism, receive new names, and,
ye gods, what names!

What more is to be desired when one may, when he dines or designs, touch
elbows with such choice spirits as Ictinus, Michael Angelo, Vitruvius,
Vignola, Piranesi, San Gallo, Bramante, Christopher Wren, Inigo Jones,
Charles Bulfinch, Viollet le Duc, Gamier Frères (N.B.--There is only
one of him), and Brian Boru.

[Illustration: A GALA NIGHT IN THE ROOMS OF THE "P. D.'S."]

The one requirement for admission is good fellowship with the saving
clause, that this good fellowship, like Faith, must be accompanied by
good works.

Its organization is of the simplest character, there being no
constitution or rules of any kind, except the joke known as the
specification be regarded as such. Much of the charm of the club is due
to this absolute freedom from restraint.

The officers are the president, treasurer, and secretary, who manage the
affairs of the club during their term of office. Each member presides in
turn, the term of office being one month, the succession being arranged
by lot.

A well-known writer deplores the lack of humor in the fiction of the
day, and the tendency of those who should know better, to constantly
preach us sermons upon our least admirable failings.

Alas! it is not fiction alone that has taken to the pulpit, for
Architecture has also its preachers, and our journals are loaded with
their sermons, which fortunately for architecture, very few ever read.

While acknowledging the fact that a little seriousness now and then may
be relished by even a P. D., a good hearty laugh is the one thing in
this dreary old world of ours that they most appreciate. No one realizes
more thoroughly than they that,--

    "Care to our coffin adds a nail, no doubt,
    And every grin so jolly draws one out."

The principal object of the members, then, is to amuse themselves. The
club is not intended as a workroom, but as our P. D. poet expresses it,
a place where,--

    "Freed from the fret of routine's slavish toil,
      They meet once more in freedom's jollity.
    No thought of care comes to them now to spoil
      The merry jest, the gay frivolity."

Nevertheless they have found time for much serious work, but inasmuch as
work is said to speak for itself, we will confine our attention to some
of the things by means of which the members have passed many happy
hours.

Upon entering the club the member not only receives a new name, but his
biography containing more or less of the truth about him is written and
placed in the records. A song is also composed in his honor, and on
festal occasions he is greeted with it upon his entrance.

Perhaps the greatest event of the year is the annual dinner, or the
"Centurial Dinner" as it is called, from the very general conviction
that "Better one year with the P. D.'s than a cycle of Cathay." Every
one is supposed to do something for this occasion, but he is given
perfect liberty as to what he shall do, and he may answer, for instance,
the toast of The Architecture of the Greeks with an essay on The Use and
Abuse of the Cocktail, with the assurance that his consistency will not
be doubted.

The menu card is usually of sufficient interest to furnish amusement
until the actual hostilities begin. Upon each guest at this dinner is
conferred the honorary title of "Draughtsman."

The installation of a new president, which occurs monthly, is also the
occasion of much mirth, as are also the departures for or the arrivals
from Europe of members.

But no matter how closely these events follow each other, one can depend
upon each of them being distinctly different; and after one has attended
a score or so of them he begins to wonder when this versatility will end
and they will begin to repeat themselves.

Notwithstanding the unvaried success of these affairs, none of them have
been attended with more than a slight expenditure of time or money.

In decorating the rooms the same old articles have been made to do
service any number of times, but always in such a manner as to obtain an
entirely different effect.

Many of the best things in this line have been done on the spur of the
moment. The club seal, for instance, was thrown together in a few
minutes, some one in the meantime looking up an appropriate motto, the
occasion being an impromptu festival of Gambrinus, which occurred one
Christmas eve.

At another time a wonderful chandelier was constructed of a stretcher, a
Chinese lantern, and twenty beer bottles, which were utilized to hold
candles, and a placard on each told that they were manufactured by the
P. D. Electric Co. and were each of one candle power; the whole being
draped with some brilliantly dyed stuffs that had served as costumes at
the Art Students' Festival.

_(To be continued.)_





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