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Title: Historic Ornament, Vol 1 (of 2) - Treatise on decorative art and architectural ornament
Author: Ward, James
Language: English
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                          Transcriber’s Note:

This version of the text cannot represent certain typographical effects.
Italics are delimited with the ‘_’ character as _italic_. Superscripted
characters are shown as, e.g., ‘I^{er}’.

The single footnote has been placed to follow the paragraph in which it
was referenced.

There are copious illustrations, which appear here as [Illustration:
], and have been moved slightly to fall on paragraph breaks.

Minor errors, attributable to the printer, have been corrected. Please
see the transcriber’s note at the end of this text for details regarding
the handling of any textual issues encountered during its preparation.

[Illustration: Choragic Monument of Lysikrates.]

                           HISTORIC ORNAMENT

                          =Treatise on=

                             DECORATIVE ART


                         ARCHITECTURAL ORNAMENT

                        RENAISSANCE ARCHITECTURE
                             AND ORNAMENT._


                               JAMES WARD



        =With Four Hundred and Thirty-Six Illustrations=




The comprehensive nature of the subject of this work renders it
impossible to deal with its various divisions and sub-divisions, except
in a very condensed manner, within the limits of a handbook for

I have endeavoured to present to the reader, and to the student of
ornamental and decorative art, some of the salient features which
characterize the historic styles of ornament, and those that seem to me
to show themselves as landmarks in the wide domain of Historic Ornament.

Realistic decoration was the earliest form of all art, as we find it in
the etchings on the bones drawn by the prehistoric cave-dwellers; but
ornamental design or pattern drawing is a kind of invention which
implies the orderly decoration of architectural forms and other objects,
and is generally applied to such objects with the view of adding some
enrichment that shall make them more pleasing to the sight.

The former belongs more to pictorial art, while the latter is purely

As the construction of ornament, in a great measure, ought to be based
on the laws that govern the design of good architecture—this we gather
from the design of the best ornament of the historic styles—it has been
thought necessary to give a slight sketch of each of the principal
orders and styles of architecture, placing them, as far as possible, in
a chronological sequence in regard to the periods of their existence,
and countries in which they flourished.

In some cases I have also thought it desirable to give a brief account
of the religion of those nations that have created distinct styles of
architecture and ornament; for in many cases, such as in the art of the
ancient world and of the Middle Ages, we find that the art of a country
was so bound up with the religion of its people, that to understand the
former it is indispensable to have some knowledge of their religious
ceremonies and beliefs.

I have here to express my indebtedness to various writers on ornamental
art whom I have named in the pages of these volumes for some useful
points of information, and to them and the publishers of this work for
the use of the greater portion of the blocks of illustrations.

I have also to thank Mr. T. M. Lindsay for the use of his drawing of the
monument of Lysikrates, and the Science and Art Department for
permission to use many of the illustrations of their excellent handbooks
on decorative art.

In a succeeding volume to this work, the various divisions of the
Industrial Arts and Crafts will be treated in their historical
developments of decoration and workmanship.

In conclusion, I trust that the contents of these pages will be helpful
to students in art schools, and to others who may desire to have an
introduction to the fascinating study of Historic Ornament.

                                                            J. WARD.



 INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER                                                  1

                               CHAPTER II.


                              CHAPTER III.

 NEOLITHIC STONE PERIOD                                               14

                               CHAPTER IV.

 THE BRONZE AGE                                                       21

                               CHAPTER V.

 THE IRON AGE                                                         35

                               CHAPTER VI.


                              CHAPTER VII.


                              CHAPTER VIII.


                               CHAPTER IX.


                               CHAPTER X.


                               CHAPTER XI.

 GRECIAN ART—PEOPLE—MYTHOLOGY                                        208

                              CHAPTER XII.

 ART IN PRIMITIVE                                                    225

                              CHAPTER XIII.


                              CHAPTER XIV.


                               CHAPTER XV.

 INDIAN ART AND ARCHITECTURE                                         271

                              CHAPTER XVI.

 CHINESE AND JAPANESE ARCHITECTURE                                   281

                              CHAPTER XVII.


                             CHAPTER XVIII.

 SARACENIC ARCHITECTURE AND ORNAMENT                                 301

                              CHAPTER XIX.

 ROMANESQUE ARCHITECTURE AND ORNAMENT                                330

                               CHAPTER XX.

 GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE AND ORNAMENT                                    348

                              CHAPTER XXI.

 RENAISSANCE ARCHITECTURE AND ORNAMENT                               369

                         LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

    FIG.                                                        PAGE

         Monument of Lysikrates                         _Frontispiece_
    278. Alabaster Frieze                                        227
    279. Alabaster Frieze Plan                                   227
    343. Alhambra Diaper, Superposed Ornament                    305
    331. Ambo or Pulpit from St. George’s at Salonica            287
     83. Amen or Ammon                                            58
     93. Amenophis III. Presenting an Offering to Amen            67
    319. Ancient Panel, Florence                                 267
    193. Andro-Sphinx, Robe of Assurbanipal                      144
    162. Anou, or Dagon, Nimroud                                 120
    314. Anthemion, Carved                                       264
     71. Animal Ornamented Patterns, Corrupted Figures            44
           of Lions
     72.    ”       ”        ”                   ”                44
     73.    ”       ”        ”                   ”                44
    132. Antelope and Papyrus                                     97
    270. Apollo Belvedere                                        218
    341. Arabesque Ornament from the Wekāla of Kāit Bey          302
    350. Arcades in the Mosque of Ibn-Tūlūn                      312
    352. Arches: _a_, Ogee; _b_, Horseshoe; _c_,                 313
    282. Architrave and Frieze, Mycenian Palace                  229
    161. Assyrian Standard                                       120
    180. Assyrian Base in Limestone                              136
    163. Assurbanipal Attacked by Lions                          121
    181. Assyrian Capital                                        137
    183. Assurbanipal and his Queen after his Victory            137
           over Teuman
    185. Assyrian Stool                                          139
    217. Astarte, Terra-cotta                                    164
    268. Athene Polias (Villa Albani)                            216
    169. Babylonian Brick                                        129
     62. Barbarian Copy of a Roman Medallion                      40
    253. Base of Pillar at Susa                                  196
    254. Base and Capital from Persepolis, Propylæa              198
    255. Base and Capital, from Hypostyle Hall of                199
           Xerxes, Persepolis
    307. Bas-Relief on the Arch of Titus                         258
    382. Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire                        341
   400A. Bishopstone Church, Wilts, Priests’ Entrance            361
    234. Bottle with Incised Ornament, from Cesnola              176
    235. Bottle with Geometric Decoration                        176
    237. Bowl in the Piot Collection                             178
    196. Bouquet of Flowers and Buds                             146
    125. Border from Thebes                                       93
     41. Breast-plate, with Spiral Ornaments                      24
     28. Bronze Axes, Paalstabs, and Moulds                       22
     29.      ”             ”                                     22
     30.      ”             ”                                     22
     31.      ”             ”                                     22
     32.      ”             ”                                     22
     33.      ”             ”                                     22
     34.      ”             ”                                     22
     35. Bronze Swords and Spear-head                             23
     36.      ”             ”                                     23
     37.      ”             ”                                     23
     38.      ”             ”                                     23
     39. Bronze Button for Sword Belt                             24
     40.      ”                ”                                  24
     45. Bronze Bowl found in Sweden                              26
     47. Bronze Hatchet found in Sweden                           27
     50. Bronze Horn                                              29
     54.      ”                                                   32
     57. Bronze and Gold Buttons                                  33
     58.    ”           ”                                         33
     63. Bracteate, Golden                                        40
     64.             ”                                            41
    186. Bronze Foot of a Piece of Furniture                     140
    204. Bronze Platter                                          153
    205. Bronze Cups                                             154
    206. Bronze Cup, Border of                                   155
    209. Bronze Bucket                                           157
    326. Brahminical Rock Temple at Ellora                       275
    170. Brick from Erech                                        129
    339. Byzantine Capital from Santa Sophia                     298
    264. Cameo of Athenion                                       211
    177. Capital of Temple, Assyrian                             135
    178.      ”               ”                                  135
    221. Capital, Cypriot                                        168
    222.      ”                                                  168
    223. Capital at Djezza, Limestone                            169
    224. Capital from Kition                                     169
    225. Capital from Golgos                                     170
    302. Capital of the Lysikrates Monument                      251
    336. Capital from Santa Sophia                               297
    337. Capital from St. Demetrius at Salonica                  297
    338. Capital from St. Demetrius                              297
    372. Capital from Wartburg                                   335
    378. Capital from Palace of Barbarossa                       338
    379. Capital from St. Cross, Winchester                      338
    148. Carpenters Making Chairs                                108
    212. Carthaginian Coin, Silver                               161
    213. Carthaginian Coin, Electrum                             161
    388. Cathedral of Nôtre Dame, Paris                          349
    123. Ceiling Decoration at Thebes                             92
    431. Ceiling by Serlio                                       401
    432. Ceiling by Sansovino                                    402
    410. Certosa of Pavia, portion of                            376
    146. Chair, Egyptian                                         107
    147.       ”                                                 107
    191. Chariot Horses                                          142
    426. Cinquecento Ornament                                    398
    428.       ”         ”                                       399
    429.       ”         ”                                       400
    430.       ”         ”                                       400
    216. Coin of Byblos, Enlarged, with Sacred Cone              163
    265. Coins of Elis, with the Phidian Zeus                    212
    149. Coffer in Wood                                          108
     55. Collar of Bronze                                         33
    390. Cologne Cathedral, Window Gable                         352
    109. Column of Thothmes III., from the Ambulatory             83
           of Thothmes
    110. Column from Hypostyle Hall of the Ramesseum              84
    118. Column from Bas-Relief                                   88
    252. Column with Volute Capital, Persepolis                  196
    189. Combat between a Lion and a Unicorn                     142
    335. Cornice from Santa Sophia                               296
     69. Corrupted Figures of Lions                               44
     70.      ”            ”                                      44
    397. Crockets, Lincoln                                       359
    258. Crowing Wall of the Staircase, Palace of                202
           Xerxes, at Persepolis
    353. Cusped Inter-Arching, Mosque of Cordova                 314
    363. Cursive Writing from the Alhambra                       323
    207. Cylinder from Soldi                                     156
    208. Cylinder, Assyrian. Worship of Sacred Tree              156
     56. Danish Bronze Knives                                     33
    317. Decorated Mouldings from Temple of Minerva,             266
    155. Demons, from the Palace of Assurbanipal                 115
    194. Detail from the Enamelled Archivolt, Khorsabad          145
    238. Detail of the Decoration of a Cup                       179
    273. Diana of Versailles                                     221
    441. Dietterlin’s Architecture                               408
    275. Dionysus and the Lion                                   223
     25. Dolmen at Hesbon                                         20
    359. Doorway of a Private House                              320
    384. Door of St. Gabriel’s, South of France                  342
    190. Dog used for Lion Hunting                               142
    399. Dog’s Tooth Ornament, Stone Church, Kent                360
     7A. Drawing of Human and Animal Forms by Bushmen             12
     7B. Drawing of Animals by Bushmen                            13
    157. Eagle-headed Divinity from Nimrod, with Sacred          117
    233. Earring, Gold, from Cesnola                             175
     21. Earthenware of the New Stone Age                         18
     22.    ”      ”      ”                                       18
     23.    ”      ”      ”                                       18
     24.    ”      ”      ”                                       18
    345. East Colonnade of the Mosque of 'Amr                    307
    152. Egyptian Ship                                           110
    248. Elevations and Sections of Doorways and                 192
           Windows of a Palace at Persepolis
   162A. Embroidery from a Royal Mantle, Assyrian                123
   163A. Embroidery on the Upper Part of a King’s                124
    164. Embroidery Detail of Upper Part of King’s               125
    165.      ”     ”     ”                                      125
    260. Enamelled Ornament on Bricks from Susa                  204
    140. Enamelled Earthenware Dish                              102
    141. Enamelled Earthenware Bowl                              102
    220. Entablature from a Temple at Byblos                     167
    283. Entablature Restored, Mycenian Palace                   230
    284. Entablature of C. Selinous’ Temple                      231
    301. Entablature, Capital, and Base of Greek Ionic           249
    306. Entablature of Jupiter Tonans                           257
     96. Entrance to Hypostyle, Hall of Temple Amen               71
      4. Esquimaux Carving                                         9
      5. Etching of Reindeer on Bone                              10
      6. Etching of Reindeer on Slate                             11
      7. Etching of Mammoth on a Piece of Mammoth Ivory           11
    303. Etruscan Door                                           252
     98. Façade of the Great Rock-cut Temple, Ipsamboul           73
    192. Fantastic Animal                                        143
    409. Farnese Palace, Upper Story of                          375
    184. Feast of Assurbanipal, Enlarged Detail                  138
     66. Fibula in Gilt Bronze                                    43
     67.      ”     ”                                             43
    158. Figure of a Goddess in Act of Adoration                 118
    245. Fire Altars at Naksh-i-Rustem                           189
    126. Flattened form of Lotus-Leaf Ornament                    93
    404. Flamboyant Panel                                        365
    405. Flamboyant Panelling                                    365
      8. Flint Implements of the Neolithic Period                 15
      9.      ”     ”     ”                                       15
     10.      ”     ”     ”                                       15
     11.      ”     ”     ”                                       15
     12.      ”     ”     ”                                       16
     13.      ”     ”     ”                                       16
     14.      ”     ”     ”                                       16
     15.      ”     ”     ”                                       17
     16.      ”     ”     ”                                       17
    424. Floral Ornament, Italian                                396
    396. Florence Cathedral, Window Gable                        358
    144. Fragment of an Ivory Castanet                           105
    167. Fragment of Border of Fig. 166; from a                  127
           Threshold of Khorsabad
    179. Fragment of an Assyrian Building, from a                136
    247. Fragment of Door Frame, from Hypostyle Hall,            191
    281. Fragment of Frieze, Mycenæ                              228
    310. Frets, Greek                                            262
    311. Fret, Greek, Carved                                     263
    244. Funeral Tower at Naksh-i-Rustem                         187
    171. Gates of the Harum at Dur Sargini                       130
    330. Gateway of Temple of Confucius                          282
     27. Giant’s Tomb, Sardinia                                   20
     86. Goddess Bast or Pasht                                    60
     53. Gold Bowl                                                32
     59. Gold-plated Ornament                                     38
    143. Golden Hawk, Egyptian                                   104
    230. Gold Bracelet, from Tharros                             174
    291. Gold Pendant, from Troy                                 237
    292. Gold Ornaments, from Troy                               237
    293. Gold Plate, from Troy                                   238
    294. Gold Disc, from Troy                                    238
    295.      ”     ”                                            239
    296. Gold Cup, from Troy                                     240
    297. Gold Ewer, from Troy                                    241
    101. “Gorge,” Egyptian                                        76
    406. Gothic Arches                                           366
    407. Gothic Tracery                                          367
    401. Gothic Mouldings                                        362
    102. General Appearance of an Egyptian Temple                 77
     87. Great Pyramid of Kheops                                  62
     91. Great Sphinx                                             65
    315. Greek Border with Fret Bands                            265
    316. Greek Ivy Meander Border                                265
    156. Griffin in Egyptian Style                               116
    200. Guilloche Ornament on Enamelled Brick                   149
    312. Guilloche, Treble Ornament                              263
    313. Guilloche, Ornament, Double                             264
    304. Half Capital, Mars Ultor                                254
     65. Harness in Gilt Bronze, Fibula Decorations               42
    114. Hathoric Pier                                            85
    120. Hathor-headed Campaniform Capital, Temple of             89
           Nectanebo, at Philæ
    263. Head of one of the Lions from Frieze at Susa            207
    267. Head of Hera                                            214
    272. Hermes, Statue of                                       220
    414. Holland House, Ancient Parlour of                       385
      1. Horse, Upper Cave Earth, Robin Hood Cave                  8
    127. Hunting in a Marsh, from a Bas-Relief in the             94
           Tomb of Ti
    131. Hunting in the Desert                                    96
      2. Ibex Carved on an Antler                                  8
     80. Ideal Lake Settlement                                    52
    360. Illuminated Koran of the Sultan Sha’ Ban                321
    241. Intaglio on Chalcedony                                  182
    427. Italian Panel                                           398
    172. Interior of a Temple after Layard’s                     131
    329. Interior of the Palace at Delhi                         279
    369. Intersecting Blind Arcade                               333
     82. Isis Nursing her Son Horus                               56
    145. Ivory Plaque                                            106
    201.      ”                                                  150
    202. Ivory Plaque found at Nimroud                           151
    203. Ivory Fragment in British Museum                        152
    280. Ivory Plaque from Mycenæ                                228
    308. Jewish Candlestick from Arch of Titus                   259
     97. Khita, Rout of the                                       72
    362. Kufic Writing, from the Alhambra                        323
     78. Lacustrine Habitation in Lake Mohrya, Central            49
     79. Lake Dwellings, Sections and Plans                       50
    385. Landgrave’s Room at Wartburg                            344
     81. Lake Dwellings, Objects from                             53
    356. Lattice-work, Saracenic                                 317
    357.      ”     ”                                            318
    358.      ”     ”                                            318
    138. Lion from a Theban Bas-Relief                           101
    187. Lion coming out of his Cage                             140
    188. Lion and Lioness in a Park                              141
    262. Lion from the Lion Frieze in Enamelled Bricks           206
           at Susa
    277. Lion’s Gate, Mycenæ                                     226
    122. Lotus, Drawing from the Tomb of Ptah-Hotep               91
    124. Lotus and Water-Leaf Ornament                            93
    106. Luxor, Plan of Temple                                    80
    107. Luxor, as Restored, Bird’s-eye View                      81
    298. Lycian Rock-built Tomb                                  243
    299.      ”     ”     ”                                      244
    395. Marienberg Town Hall                                    357
    290. Marseilles Ewer                                         236
    348. Mausoleum at Cairo                                      309
    228. Medallion from a Cup from Griffi                        173
    274. Melpomene, Vatican                                      222
     26. Menhirs, Sardinia                                        19
     92. Memnon at Thebes, Statues of, Colossi of                 66
           Amenophis III.
    347. Minaret of the Mosque at Kaloum, Cairo                  309
    105. Model of an Egyptian House                               79
     60. Mountings, Metal                                         39
     61.      ”     ”                                             39
    218. Model of a Small Temple in Terra Cotta                  165
    351. Moorish Capital                                         313
    349. Mosque of Kāit Bey, Cairo                               310
    130. Mummy-Case, Painting on                                  96
    420. Mural Painting, Pompeii                                 392
    323. Mural Painting, from Pompeii                            270
    242. Naksh-i-Rustem, General View of the Rock-cut            184
    416. Nest of Scroll, Roman                                   388
    133. Netting Birds, from a Tomb                               98
    381. Norman Doorway, Semperingham Church,                    340
    121. Nymphæa Nelumbo                                          90
    104. Oblong Building, Egyptian                                78
    239. Œnochœ, New York Museum                                 180
    240.      ”       ”   ”     ”                                181
    322. Ogee Decorated—Astragal, Jupiter Stator                 269
    324. Ornament from Asoka’s Pillar                            272
    361. Ornament from the Portal of Sultan Hasan                322
    422. Ornament, Ghiberti Gates                                393
    365. Ornament on an Arch of the Wekāla Kāit Bey              326
    439. Ornament from Doorway, Crewe Hall                       407
    321. Ogee and Fluted Cavetto Moulding; Jupiter               268
     85. Osiris                                                   60
    318. Ovolo with Egg and Tongue, from the Erectheum           266
    320. Ovolo and Astragal Mouldings, Roman                     268
    334. Opus Alexandrinum Pavement                              293
    198. Painted Ornament on Plaster                             148
    332. Painting from the Catacombs of St. Agnese               289
    269. Pallus Athene, Naples                                   217
    119. Palm Capital from Sesebi                                 88
    300. Parthenon; Greek Doric                                  247
    366. Panel from the Maristan of Kalaun                       328
    367.      ”       ”       ”       ”                          328
    434. Panel, Carved, Henri II. Style                          404
    435.   ”      ”        ”        ”                            404
    436.   ”      ”French, Sixteenth Century                     404
    437.   ”      ”from Louvre                                   405
    440.   ”      ”Elizabethan                                   407
    438. Panelling, Elizabethan                                  406
    227. Patera from Curium                                      172
    142. Pectoral; Egyptian                                      103
    402. Pedestal, Henry VII.'s Chapel                           363
    232. Pendant, Wild Goat; Gold                                175
    150. Perfume Spoons                                          109
    151.    ”      ”                                             109
    243. Persepolis; Tomb on the North-east                      185
    246. Persepolis; Staircase of the Palace of Darius           190
    249. Persepolis; Doorway to Royal Tomb                       193
    113. Pier with Capital                                        85
    433. Pilasters, Louis XII.                                   403
    421. Pilaster by Donatello                                   393
    287. Pilgrim Bottle                                          234
    115. Pillar, Octagonal, Beni-Hassan                           86
    116. Pillar, Sixteen-sided, Fluted                            86
    117. Pillar Osiride, from Medinet-Abou                        87
    328. Pillar and Bracket, Doorway of a Pagoda                 278
    210. Phœnician Merchant Galley                               159
    211. Phœnician War Galley                                    160
    226. Phœnician Silver Platter                                171
     51. Pinak or Plate, from Rhodes                              30
    139. Pitcher of Red Earth                                    102
    403. Place House, Cornwall                                   364
    168. Plan and Elevation of a part of a Façade at             128
    346. Plan of the Mosque of 'Amr                              308
    383. Pointed Arcading from the Cathedral of Palermo          341
     17. Polished Stone Hammer and Celts, Neolithic               17
     18.    ”      ”      ”      ”          ”                     17
     19.    ”      ”      ”      ”          ”                     17
     20.    ”      ”      ”      ”          ”                     17
    417. Pompeian Objects                                        389
    371. Porch of the Heilsbronn Monastery                       334
    380. Porch of St. Zeno at Verona                             339
     76. Pottery of the Iron Age                                  46
      3. Prehistoric Carving                                       9
     99. Principal Hall in the Great Temple                       74
    108. Principal Façade of the Temple of Luxor                  82
     84. Ptah                                                     58
    354. Pulpit of the Sultan Kāit Bey                           315
    364. Pulpit in the Mosque of Barkuk; Stone                   328
    111. Quadrangular Pier                                        84
    112. Quadrangular Pier, Tapering                              85
    134. Quadruped with Head of a Bird                            98
    136. Ram or Krisosphinx                                      100
    100. Rameses II., Louvre, Portrait of                         75
     68. Rim of Fig. 67, Part of                                  43
    153. River Transport of a Mummy                              110
    305. Roman Corinthian, Pantheon                              255
    373. Romanesque Shaft and Base                               335
    375. Romanesque Ornament, late                               335
    376. Romanesque Moulding Ornaments                           336
    386. Romanesque Ornament from Hinge from “Notre              345
    387. Romanesque Panel from a Church at Bonn                  346
    374. Roof Cornice of Church at Alstadt                       335
    370. Rose Window                                             333
    342. Rosette in Mosque of Suyurghatmish                      303
    195. Rosette of Lotus Flowers and Buds                       146
    415. Rosette from Trajan’s Scroll                            387
    368. Round-Arch Frieze                                       333
    309. Roman Composite Order; Arch of Titus                    260
    215. Sacred Emblems from Carthaginian Votive Stele           162
    411. San Marco Library                                       377
    325. Sanchi Tope; Bhopal, Central India                      274
    174. Sargon’s Palace                                         133
    175. Sargon’s Palace, a Bedroom in the Harem                 134
    251. Sarvistan, Palace of, Principal Façade                  195
     88. Section through the Great Pyramid of Kheops              63
     95. Seti with Attributes of Osiris between Amen              70
           and Chnoum
    166. Sill of a Door from Khorsabad                           126
    231. Silver Pin; Cesnola                                     175
     52. Silver Brooch                                            31
     74. Silver Goblet, with Gold-plated Decorations              45
     90. Southern Pyramid of Dashour                              64
     94. Solar-Disk, Adoration of, by Amenophis IV.               69
    103. Square Building; Egyptian                                78
    257. Staircase Wall of the Palace of Xerxes at               201
    344. Stalactite Vaulting                                     306
     89. Stepped Pyramid                                          64
    412. St. Paul and St. Louis façade                           381
    340. St. Nicholas at Moscow                                  299
    408. Strozzi Palace, portion of                              374
    355. Street in Cairo                                         316
     48. Sun Signs                                                27
     49. Sun Snakes                                               27
    400. Spandrel, Stone Church, Kent                            360
    135. Sphinx, or Man-headed Lion; from Tanis                   99
    137. Sphinx with Human Hands                                 101
    391. St. Lawrence, Porch of                                  353
    392. St. Lawrence, Interior of                               354
    393. St. Sebaldus, Shrine of                                 355
    394. St. Sebaldus, Bride’s Door of                           356
    197. Tabernacle from the Balâwât Gates                       147
    423. Tabernacle, Fifteenth Century                           395
    176. Temple on the Bank of a River, Khorsabad                135
    259. Temple in a Royal Park                                  203
    327. Temple of Biskurma at Ellora                            276
    398. Temple Church, From the                                 359
    219. Tomb at Amrit, restored                                 166
    377. Towers and Round-Arch Frieze, Abbey of Komberg          337
    199. Tree of Life, Upper Portion of                          149
    173. Triumphal Gate at Entrance of the Palace                132
    288. Three-handled Amphora                                   234
     75. Under Side of a Fibula                                   45
     42. Urns of the Bronze Age                                   25
     43.   ”    ”    ”    ”                                       25
     44.   ”    ”    ”    ”                                       25
     46. Urn of the Stone Age, found in Swedish Dolmen            26
    261. Upper Part of Parapet Wall of Staircase, Susa           205
    256. Upright of Royal Throne, Naksh-i-Rustem                 200
    285. Vase in Woman’s Form                                    232
    286.   ”    ”    ”    ”                                      233
    289. Vase with Geometric Decoration                          235
    271. Venus of Milo                                           220
    425. Venetian Panel                                          397
    229. Vessels Figured in Tomb of Rekhmara                     174
    236. Vessel in Shape of a Goat                               177
    276. Victory, Figure of                                      224
    250. View of a Group of Domed Buildings, from an             194
           Assyrian Bas-Relief
    214. Votive Stele from Carthage, with Sacred                 162
    128. Vultures on a Ceiling                                    95
    333. Wall Painting, from Catacombs of S. Calixtus            290
    418. Wall Painting, Pompeii                                  390
    419. Wall Painting, Herculaneum                              391
    389. Westminster Abbey                                       351
    129. Winged Globe with Uræus                                  95
    154. Winged Bull, Assyria                                    114
    159. Winged Globe, with the Figure of a God                  119
    160. Winged Globe                                            119
    182. Winged Sphinx carrying Base of Capital                  137
    413. Wollaton House                                          384
     77. Woollen Cloth with Gold and Silver Threads,              46
           Piece of
    266. Zeus of Otricoli                                        213

                           HISTORIC ORNAMENT.

                         INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER.

It can hardly be doubted that, for the education of the student in
ornamental design, or in architecture, a study of the history of
ornament and a knowledge of the principal historic styles of
architecture is indispensable.

Historic styles of ornament remain for us, vast accumulations of tried
experiments, for the most part in the character of conventional
renderings of natural forms; for however remote from nature some of
these may be, they can, as a general rule, be traced back without much
difficulty to their natural origin, where in most cases they were used
symbolically. Even the most arbitrary forms—for instance, those found in
Saracenic ornament—were only developments from natural forms, and the
innocent Greek key pattern, that has earned the reputation of being the
ornament most unlike anything in nature, is supposed by some to be but a
rectilineal development of the rippling waves; and, on the other hand,
there is the hypothesis that it is developed from the _fylfot_, a sacred
sign that is supposed to symbolize the rotary motion of the planets.

There is no ornament more common or so universal in prehistoric, savage,
Egyptian, Assyrian and Mediæval decoration than the ubiquitous zigzag,
or chevron, and though extremely simple in itself, at least two-thirds
of all conventional ornament is based or constructed on its lines: yet
this simple ornament has been used as a symbol of totally opposite and
different things, by nearly all the various tribes and nations that have
used it in decoration. With the Egyptians and Assyrians it has been a
symbol of water, with some savage tribes it denotes lightning, with
others it does duty for a serpent, with some others it represents a
series of bats, birds, and butterflies; as with the original tribes of
Brazil, with the magic-loving Semang tribes of East Malacca, it means a
frog, and in some instances the branches of trees; and lastly, with the
natives of the Hervey Islands, it symbolizes the human figure when
placed in duplicate parallel rows.

(For a fuller description, and illustrations of this and cognate savage
ornament, the reader is referred to Haddon’s “Evolution in Art,” 1895.)
We can hardly think of an ornament more simple or more common than the
zigzag, and yet how varied in different countries are the sources from
which it springs.

This may be taken as a warning that it is not safe to accept the same
forms as always having the same origin, when we find them in the art of
different countries.

Apart from the symbolic origin of ornamental forms, students of to-day
may learn, from examples of the past, how far they can go, in the
converting of natural forms to conventional ornament, without absolutely
adapting such examples to their present needs. The past styles in
ornament have, in one sense, died out with the nations that created
them, and can never be satisfactorily revived, although, as we have
often seen, a new style may be built on their foundations. The tendency
of to-day is to undervalue the teachings of historic art, and, as a
result, we see much work in which both fitness and beauty are
conspicuous by their absence.

In any notice of the historical development of ornamental art, the
concurrent styles of architecture should, in their general features at
least, be illustrated, for it is not always possible to divorce ornament
from architecture, and it is hardly possible to design or construct good
ornament otherwise than according to the laws that govern good
architecture. Of course, we must admit that some very beautiful
ornament, or rather decoration, has been designed otherwise than on
architectural lines, but this kind of decoration has its beauty of
technique and execution to recommend it, rather than its constructive
qualities. Chinese and Japanese ornament will occur to the reader as
examples of this kind of work, but the best ornament the world has ever
seen has been constructed and is based on the laws that govern good

Some of these laws, such as stability, repose, variety, and proportion,
are derived from nature. As all architectural styles, however, possess
them more or less in common, we must look elsewhere for the sources from
which the peculiar characteristics that distinguish the styles are
developed and derived. The causes and forces are so subtle and the
developments so gradual, that it is almost impossible to arrive at a
satisfactory explanation, as religions, inventive faculty, and symbolism
play an important _rôle_ in style development. It is rather to the
inventive faculties of man, than to hints supplied by nature, that we
must look for the origin and development of what is called style in
architecture or ornament. In every case this is arrived at by a slow
process, and by the extensive and persistent use of distinguishing
features selected according to the needs and requirements of the time,
to satisfy the prevailing tastes. “Style” is then the something that man
has invented or created; it may be called the soul of architecture,
without which, a building, however pretentious, ceases to exist as an
artistic conception.

Apart from the greatest or more striking features in the various
divisions of historic architecture, such as the horizontal beam in
Greek, the round arch in Roman and Romanesque, the pointed arch in
Gothic and Mohammadan buildings, there are the mouldings that are so
important in determining the period—they alone of themselves will often
determine the style or date of a building—and these features, above all
others, are the least derived from nature. On the other hand, the
decoration of mouldings, though suggested by their contours, is
generally derived from natural forms.

The “best period” in the life of historic styles and its duration
corresponds with that of the highest culture and religious thought of
the people, at their settled and most flourishing epochs. When a change
or revolution in the order of things sets in, we find generally the
style of architecture changing also to adapt itself to the new laws and
new thought. This illustrates, to a certain degree, the reason why the
so-called Victorian Gothic has not developed to any great extent in
England, although some of our best architects sought to revive the
earlier Gothic some years ago.

The Mediæval mysticism, love for symbolism, and reverence are wanting in
the mass of the people of this century, which characterized the people
of Europe in the palmy days of Gothic architecture.

It has always been found that whatever the people ask for the artist is
generally able to give, although he may not be always willing; but he
must satisfy the popular demand if he is to live by his work, otherwise
he must make way for others who are willing to produce work that will
reflect the taste of the period.

We are handicapped in the development of anything new in the way of an
architectural style by traditions of the past. Our knowledge of what has
been done in the past, paradoxical as it may appear, has proved itself a
great stumbling-block to the progress of new ideas. This partly accounts
for the slowness of style-development in the present century. If fashion
does not step in and disturb the march of events in the immediate
future, we may hope for something distinct, if not exactly new, as an
architectural style, in which a mixture of Gothic and Renaissance forms
will be seen, the latter perhaps predominating. It may happen that later
generations will look back and be able to discern something distinct in
the way of style in buildings erected in the last quarter of this
century, in the midst of much that is somewhat chaotic and confused.

In a book like this, which is intended chiefly as an introduction to the
study of historic ornament, one cannot pretend to criticise the various
styles of ornament, either from an artistic or scientific standpoint. It
will be enough to attempt to point out the principal beauties or
characteristics, to trace the history and overlapping of one style with
another, and to trace, where possible, some units of ornamental forms to
their symbolic ancestry. It is absurd to criticise the ornament of any
period or country dogmatically, for we must remember, that although
certain forms of art may not conform to the critics’ idiosyncrasy, they
may be quite orthodox and good art when judged by the artistic laws of
their own country. The difference in race, religion, manners, and
customs, must always be taken into account, before we begin to criticise
the art of a nation to which we do not belong.

As already remarked, we are hampered by tradition in our attempts to
produce originality in ornament, but there is very little tradition for
the absolute copying of a particular style, except from nations who have
had no decided art of their own. As far as we know of the history and
practice in the whole field of ornamental design, from its remote
beginnings it has been mostly all along a series of systems of
developments, sometimes for good and sometimes for the opposite, but
rarely, if ever, a system of copying. Some notable exceptions to this
may be noticed, as when, for the expediencies known as “tricks of the
trade,” the Phœnicians made ivory carvings in exact imitation of
Egyptian designs, and sold them to the Assyrians; and likewise bronze
bowls and platters in both Assyrian and Egyptian imitations, and traded
with them throughout the Ægean and Mediterranean, or when the
Siculo-Arabian silks were made at Palermo in imitation of Saracen
designs, with mock-Saracenic inscriptions, and sold for the real
articles. Other instances might be cited, but these were among the most

As regards the purity of styles it may be safely said, that, with rare
exceptions, it is well-nigh impossible to find a well-designed and
complete scheme of decoration, or a building that will stand the test of
having perfect unity in style; in fact, it may be more artistic on
account of its incompleteness in this respect, for any work of art that
is designed by receipt, like the Egyptian temples or Mohammadan
ornament, is rather wearisome. It is pleasant to see at times a little
bit showing here and there of the designer’s individuality. When the
monotonous repetition of the laws peculiar to any arbitrary style are
broken by a wilful and, perhaps, sinful artist, we often get a
refreshing and original rendering that is not by any means displeasing.

In transitional design from one style to another, much beautiful work
may be seen. In connection with this the Byzantine style may be
mentioned, with its Classic and Oriental forms, Elizabethan, Jacobean,
Lombard Gothic, and the French styles of Henri Deux and François 1^{er},
in most of which Gothic and Renaissance forms are happily blended; and
in the beautiful Siculo-Arabian textiles, where Italian and Saracenic
forms make an interesting union. We learn from these examples that the
successful designer of ornament should have a thorough knowledge of the
historic styles, not for the purpose of reproducing their forms, but in
order to discover for himself the methods by which the old artists
arrived at the successful treatment of nature and of former styles, so
that by the application of his knowledge, derived from the study of
nature and the works of former artists, he may be enabled to give to the
world some original and interesting work.

                              CHAPTER II.

The first indications of the presence of man in Britain was brought to
light in the shape of a flint flake found by the Rev. O. Fisher, in the
presence of Professor W. Boyd Dawkins, in the lower brick earth of the
Stoneham pit at Crayford, in Kent, in the year 1872. In the year 1876 a
second flake was found in a similar situation at Erith, in Kent,
considerably worn by use. This form of implement was used in the late
Pleistocene age, and also in the Neolithic (Newer Stone age) and Bronze
ages. It was employed in the historic ages by the Egyptians, and by the
Romanized Britons of Sussex, in whose tombs it has been found. This
implement is the latest survival of the Palæolithic age. Geologists have
proved that Ireland, England and Europe were united in the Palæolithic
age, and this accounts for the similarity of stone implements and other
remains found in the river-drift deposits, in caves, and other
situations in the river valley over this vast area. The roughly chipped
flint implements are termed Palæolithic, or of the Old Stone age, in
contradistinction to the smoother, finer chipped, or polished implements
of the Neolithic or Newer Stone age.

It seems highly probable that the Asiatic Palæolithic man first swarmed
off the great plateau of Central Asia, which in later times was the home
of all those tribes that invaded Europe, India, and China, and certainly
were of a race that is now as extinct as the prehistoric Mammoth itself.
The relation between the River-drift men of Asia and Europe is doubtful.
We may not be able to refer the Palæolithic Cave-men to any present
branch of the human race, but as regards their artistic abilities, the
only savage people that bear any analogy to them in the present day is
the South African tribe of Bushmen. These people, however, are much
inferior as artists to the early Cave-men, which may be seen by
comparing the work of both (Figs. 7A and 7B).

[Illustration: Fig. 1.—Horse, Upper Cave Earth, Robin Hood Cave.]

[Illustration: Fig. 2.—Ibex Carved on Antler.]

From the drawings of animals which have been found etched and carved on
bone, horn, and stones, we can judge of the high qualifications of the
Cave-men as artists. Their work in animal drawing ranks higher than that
of any historic savage race, and as artists they were infinitely of a
higher order than their more scientific successors, the Neolithic men,
or the men of the Bronze age.

[Illustration: Fig. 3.—Prehistoric Carving.]

[Illustration: Fig. 4.—Esquimaux Carving.]

It was owing to the discovery of these bone and ivory etchings that
geologists were able to definitely connect the Cave-men of the Thames
Valley with those of France, Belgium, and Switzerland. At Cresswell
Crags, in Derbyshire, in the caves, caverns, and fissures known as the
Pin Hole, Robin Hood’s Cave, Mother Grundy’s Parlour, a great quantity
of bones have been found, some of which were broken by the hand of man,
and amongst these some flint implements in the lower cave earth. Above
this in the stalagmatic breccia more bones were found and implements
made of quartzite and flint, together with fragments of charcoal. Lance
heads, flint borers, a bone awl, and a fragment of bone ornamented with
a zigzag or chevron pattern—probably the oldest bit of ornament
known—were found together with the most important find of all, namely, a
piece of rib bone with an etching of a horse’s head and neck with a
hogged mane (Fig. 1), the first instance of an animal form found in
England. These objects may be seen in the British Museum.

[Illustration: Fig. 5.—Etching of Reindeer on Bone, Kesslerloch Cavern.]

Evidences of the Palæolithic men have been found in the Mendip Hill
caves in Somerset, and at Kent’s Hole, near Torquay, Devon. Harpoons of
deers’ antlers, barbed on one or both sides, also hammer stones, half
spherical in shape, have been brought to light from these places.

[Illustration: Fig. 6.—Etching of Reindeer on Slate.]

[Illustration: Fig. 7.—Etching of Mammoth on a piece of Mammoth Ivory.]

The River-drift men preceded the Cave-men, as two different sets of
implements found at different depths testify. Those found at the
greatest depths are rougher, rounder, and more massive in character,
with the outer surface of flint or quartzite nodule still remaining, as
seen in some wedge-shaped hâches and hammer stones, they consequently
belong to the Older Drift period; while the oval carefully chipped all
round, and occasionally polished implements, belong to a much later and
higher cultured state of the Palæolithic period. Both the River-drift
men and the Cave-men lived in caverns in this country and in France, as
some savages do now. Implements of the Palæolithic age have been found
in Europe, North Africa, Asia Minor and India. The earlier River-drift
man was a savage and lived by hunting, as no evidence of culture has
been found that can be ascribed to him. After unknown ages perhaps had
elapsed the Cave-men appear with more perfect instruments, and at least
cultured in the knowledge of drawing and carving, which they did, as can
be judged by the illustration given, with astonishing ability. The
accurate forms of animals, as horses, mammoths, bears, aurochs, elks,
reindeers, fish, seals, &c., and even attempts at the human figure, are
evidences of this.

[Illustration: Fig. 7A.—Human and Animal Form, drawn by Bushmen of South

Some authors see a certain analogy between the Cave-men and the
Esquimaux of the present day. In artistic culture, however, the Cave-men
are immeasurably superior to the latter, as may be seen by comparing
their respective efforts (Figs. 2, 3, 4, 5).

The Cave-men disappeared from Britain after it became an island. Similar
discoveries of implements and other remains in Europe and Britain prove
that the Cave-men of both countries were in the same stage of culture.
Pottery has never been found in connection with the remains of these

In France many important finds have been brought to light illustrating
the art work of the European Cave-men. In the caves at Perigord, at
Bruniquel on the Aveyron, at Le Moustier, at La Madelaine in the
Dordogne, and in the Duruthy cave at Laugerie Basse, in the Western
Pyrenees, have been found many engravings of animals, and carvings on
bone, smooth teeth, and antlers, also on sandstone, slate, and schist.
Evidences of the Cave-men using skins for clothing is inferred from the
engraving of skin-gloves and other things found incised on the teeth of
the great cave-bear in the Duruthy caves. Hunting scenes were often
engraved with great fidelity, and carved dagger-handles made from the
antlers of deer, with the animal itself sometimes carved on them. One of
the highest art examples yet found is that of a reindeer grazing, and is
the only object on which an attempt is made to represent herbage, and
perhaps water (Fig. 5). This interesting relic was found in the
Kesslerloch Cavern.

[Illustration: Fig. 7B.—Animal Forms, drawn by Bushmen.]

                              CHAPTER III.
                        NEOLITHIC STONE PERIOD.

This period is divided from the Palæolithic Stone age by a great unknown
gap. It is sometimes called the Later or Newer Stone age. In this period
the flint implements were better shaped, many of them were ground and
polished (Figs. 17, 18). Some of the flint and other stone implements
were very like in form to those of the Bronze period, and as these
implements were made, and continued to be used, in Northern Europe after
the Bronze periods of the East had developed, it is quite possible that
they were copied from the bronze objects (Figs. 10, 11, 17, 18).

A remarkable sickle or knife fourteen inches long is seen at Fig. 11; a
flint saw (Fig. 12), semicircular knives or saws at Figs. 15, 16, and a
bone and flint harpoon at Fig. 9. Some of the stone hammers or axes are
of great beauty in shape and in workmanship (Figs. 17, 18); also pottery
slightly burnt, but well decorated by incised straight lines and zigzags
(Figs. 21 to 24).

[Illustration: Fig. 8.]

[Illustration: Fig. 9.]

[Illustration: Fig. 10.]

[Illustration: Fig. 11.]

 Figs. 8 to 11.—Flint Implements of the Neolithic Period (From _Danish

[Illustration: Fig. 12.]

[Illustration: Fig. 13.]

[Illustration: Fig. 14.]

   Figs. 12, 13, 14.—Flint Implements of the Neolithic Period. (From
                            _Danish Arts_.)

[Illustration: Fig. 15.]

[Illustration: Fig. 16.]

 Figs. 15, 16.—Flint Implements of the Neolithic Period. (From _Danish

[Illustration: Fig. 17.]

[Illustration: Fig. 18.]

[Illustration: Fig. 19.]

[Illustration: Fig. 20.]

  Figs. 17 to 20.—Polished Stone Hammers and Celts, Neolithic Period.
                         (From _Danish Arts_.)

[Illustration: Fig. 21.]

[Illustration: Fig. 22.]

[Illustration: Fig. 23.]

[Illustration: Fig. 24.]

  Figs. 21 to 24.—Pottery of the Neolithic Age. (From _Danish Arts_.)

The cultivation of land, the breeding and rearing of domestic animals,
plaiting, and weaving was known and practised by these people. Amber,
bone beads, and shells were used as personal adornments. Their burials
were with or without cremation. The burial-places of these people are
found all over the world, in Europe, Japan, India, and other parts of
Asia, and in North America. They are named “Cromlechs” (stone circles),
“Dolmen” (stone tables) (Fig. 25), “Menhir” (long stone). The
burial-place, called a “Tumulus,” is a great mound of earth, usually
containing a burial chamber constructed in stone in the centre of the
mound. The illustrations of the “Menhir” (long stones) (Fig. 26), and of
the so-called Giants’ Tombs (Fig. 27) belong to the Stone age, and are
found in the island of Sardinia.

[Illustration: Fig. 25.—Dolmen at Hesbon (P. & C.).]

[Illustration: Fig. 26.—Menhirs, Sardinia (P. & C.).]

We have seen that the Palæolithic men were hunters, and evidently had a
lot of leisure time on their hands, which they turned to good account by
devoting some of it to their artistic culture; while the Neolithic men
were more of a race of mechanics and farmers, who had neither time nor
inclination for the cultivation of art, but were altogether more
scientific and mechanical than the men of the Palæolithic period.

[Illustration: Fig. 27.—Giants’ Tomb, Sardinia (P. & C.).]

                              CHAPTER IV.
                            THE BRONZE AGE.

The people of the Bronze age introduced a higher civilisation into the
world than their predecessors of the Stone ages. There appears to be a
great overlap between the Neolithic, Bronze, and Iron ages of Central
and Northern Europe, and the historic periods of the Eastern countries
bordering on the Mediterranean. We have evidence that great periods of
time must have marked the epochs of the prehistoric ages, and that the
Bronze age, like the Stone and Iron ages, began at different times in
different countries. The tribes who brought with them the age of Bronze
into Europe composed the Celtic van of the Aryan race. The earliest
productions of this period were the simple wedges resembling flat stone
axes, the sides of which are slightly thickened to form ridges or
flanges; the centres are also raised, which produces a ridge to prevent
the head from going in too far in the handle; in some the flanges are
much developed, and have also a loop cast on the side for the purpose of
tying it on to the haft. Some are made with a socket and loop; these
have been called “Paalstabs,” and have a flat chisel-like shape (Figs.
28, 30).

[Illustration: Fig. 28.]

[Illustration: Fig. 29.]

[Illustration: Fig. 30.]

      Figs. 28 to 30.—Bronze and Paalstabs. (From _Danish Arts_.)

[Illustration: Fig. 31.]

[Illustration: Fig. 32.]

[Illustration: Fig. 33.]

[Illustration: Fig. 34.]

   Figs. 31 to 34.—Bronze Axes, Paalstabs, and Moulds. (From _Danish

[Illustration: Fig. 35.]

[Illustration: Fig. 36.]

[Illustration: Fig. 37.]

[Illustration: Fig. 38.]

  Figs. 35 to 38.—Bronze Swords and Spear-Head. (From _Danish Arts_.)


  Figs. 39 and 40.—Bronze Button for Sword Belt.
  (From _Danish Arts_.)

These earlier implements are often made of pure copper. Bronze is a
mixture of copper and tin, generally from two to four per cent. of tin,
and is consequently harder than copper. Knives, hammers, gouges,
sickles, daggers, spears, swords, shields, many kinds of vessels, and
articles of personal adornment made in bronze, belong to the earlier
time of the Bronze period, and similar articles were made in this
material in the prehistoric Bronze ages all over the known world (Figs.
35 to 40).

An interesting object is a breast-plate, belonging to this early Bronze
period; it is decorated with zigzags in bands, and a well-arranged
scheme of spiral ornamentation (Fig. 41). Urns of earthenware, sometimes
decorated with zigzags and sacred signs, have been found in graves.
These urns contained ashes of the dead (Figs. 43, 44).

[Illustration: Fig. 41.—Breast-plate, with Spiral Ornaments. (From
_Danish Arts_.)]

Many of the bronze implements and other articles have been found in
tombs, in caves in great quantities, both finished and unfinished, in
“Kitchen Middens,” or refuse heaps, in river-beds, and in bogs.

[Illustration: Fig. 42.]

[Illustration: Fig. 43.]

[Illustration: Fig. 44.]

   Figs. 42, 43, and 44.—Urns of the Bronze Age (From _Danish Arts_.)

[Illustration: Fig. 45.—Bronze Bowl found in Sweden. (_Scand. Arts._)]

[Illustration: Fig. 46.—Urn of the Stone Age found in Swedish Dolmen.
(_Scand. Arts._)]

Some of the objects found in North Germany, and particularly in Denmark,
Sweden, and Norway, are exceedingly beautiful in their shape and
decoration. From nowhere else in the world come so many objects, and so
much that is characteristic of the prehistoric Bronze age. This period
has been ably treated, and at great length, by Mr. J. J. A. Worsaae, in
his “Danish Arts,” and by Mr. Hans Hildebrand, in his “Arts of
Scandinavia,” to which books we are indebted for the accompanying
illustrations. It may be noticed that much of the decoration on these
objects consists of a few simple elements with much geometric
repetition. The varied forms are chiefly spirals interlocking at
regulated distances, concentric rings, triangles, zigzag lines, and
bands formed of lines which are reminiscences of the earlier withy
lashings, with which the stone celts were fastened to their hafts. The
raised, as well as the flat twisted-like bands, are derivatives from the
twisted strings that would naturally be tied around the pottery of an
early date to carry it by (Fig. 45).

[Illustration: Fig. 47.—Bronze Hatchet found in Sweden. (_Scand.

The spirals, zigzags, ring-crosses, wheels, triskeles, reciprocal
meanders, semicircles, &c., are geometrical developments of sun-snake,
lightning, the sun itself, cloud-forms, moon-forms, star-forms, and the
sacred fylfot or swastika, all of which had their origin in Egypt,
India, Central Asia, or Greece. At first they were used as isolated
signs, or pictographs, to represent physical phenomena, that were
objects of Nature-worship with almost all the nations of the world after
the dawn of civilisation, and when these signs migrated into the art of
other nations or later peoples, who were either ignorant of their
meaning or understood them in an imperfect way, they ceased to be
employed as isolated signs of the various divinities they originally
represented, and were copied, and repeated, as required, to fill in a
geometrical way the space at hand to be ornamented.


  Fig. 48.—Sun Signs.
  A, Wheel Cross or Wheel; B, Sun God Signs; C, Fylfot, or Swastika; D,
    Triskele; E, Stars or Sun Signs.

A beautiful piece of workmanship is the bronze horn (Fig. 50). Worsaae
thinks that this horn was used in the worship of the gods in the early
Bronze age, owing to the great number of sacred signs engraved on it.
Sun-wheels, sun-snakes, and sun-boats, developed into spiral ornament,
may be seen on it.


  Fig. 49.—Sun Signs. (From _Danish Arts_.)
  F, Sun-snakes; G. Swastika; H, Triskele; I, Star or Sun.
  N.B.—The Swastika here is evidently a double Sun-snake.

[Illustration: Fig. 50.—Bronze Horn or Trumpet, found at Wismar, in
Mecklenburg. (From _Danish Arts_.)]

There is one ornament that plays an important part in the Bronze and
Iron periods, of which much has been written, the “fylfot” or
“swastika.” It has been found in nearly every quarter of the ancient
world, except Egypt and Assyria, both in savage ornament and in the art
of cultured races. The “fylfot” or “many” or “full-footed” cross in
Anglo-Saxon, it is also known by the names of “gammadion,” “croix
gammée,” “croix cramponée,” “tetraskele,” &c. The Indian name for it is
the “swastika” or “svastika,” which means “good luck,” or “it is well.”
The fylfot, according to the opinion of many archæologists, was
originally the sign of the sun, and used as a sacred symbol in the
worship of the sun; others think it was a sign used to symbolize the
rotatory motion of the planets; it is quite likely it has been used by
different early peoples for both. It has been associated with other sun
signs, as the circle, concentric circles, with the S-shaped sun-snakes,
as on the prehistoric whorls from Hissarlik, and very frequently with
the solar divinities, as the horse, boar, ram, lion, ibex, and goose,
&c. It is found on Cyprian and Rhodian pottery and on the “geometric”
pottery of Greece. Its appearance on many objects of early Christian art
can be accounted for. In these cases the Christian missionaries
permitted the continued use of it to their pagan converts, but they
themselves attached a new meaning to it, regarding it as merely a
substitute for the symbol of the cross.

[Illustration: Fig. 51.—Pinak or Plate, Archaic Period, from Camiros,
Rhodes, showing Fylfot, and Sun Signs, and Sacred Boar. (British

Some writers have argued, with a good deal of plausibility, that the
Greek fret pattern, Chinese and Japanese frets, were only developments
from the fylfot. This is purely conjectural, for as regards the Greek
fret, it is more likely that it had an Egyptian source, as so many of
the Greek ornaments are but developments of Egyptian and Assyrian forms.
The fret used by the Greeks has been found in Egypt in the ceiling
ornament of tombs more than a thousand years before it appeared in
Greece. The Chinese frets may have in some instances a fylfot origin,
but at present this is doubtful, as it has not yet been proved. The
drawing of the archaic Greek plate (_pinak_), in the British Museum,
given at Fig. 51, from the Greek colony of Rhodes, is very interesting,
as it shows a well-developed fylfot between the legs of the boar, and an
early Greek fret band; the fret here may only be a water-sign, or a
river-edge representation. The spaces around the boar (animal sacred to
the sun) are filled up with sun-signs and star-signs; even the large
segment of radiating lines, and the form over the animal’s back may
typify the sun. The whole decoration has a high religious meaning in
reference to sun-worship, and is evidently a copy by a Greek artist of
an oriental embroidery motive.

[Illustration: Fig. 52.—Silver Brooch, Plated with Gold, in the form of
a Double Sun-snake or Swastika; found in Iceland. (_Danish Arts._)]

[Illustration: Fig. 53.—Gold Bowl, with Bronze Handle and Sacred Horse’s
Head. (_Danish Arts._)]

[Illustration: Fig. 54.—Bronze Horn found in Denmark. (_Danish Arts._)]

The fylfot has been found stamped on the pottery of the lake dwellings
of the Zuni, Yucatan, and other American pottery, and on objects from
Iceland, Ireland, and Scandinavia. A circular form of it is seen on the
gold Scandinavian ornament (Fig. 52).

Whether it originally was a pure sun-sign, or whether it signified the
axial rotation of the earth round the North Pole, it is full of
remarkable interest, and enters more than any other symbolic sign into
historic ornament generally. In India, China, and Japan, it has been
much used; this was owing to the spread of the Buddhist religion in
these countries. It is found on the toes of the “Footprint” of Buddha,
at the Amarávati Tope, India; and owing to its great religious
significance in China, Japan, and Ceylon, we find it stamped on the
account books, coins and dresses of both the living and the dead, as a
universal sign of good luck.

[Illustration: Fig. 55.—Collar of Bronze found in Sweden. (_Scand.

[Illustration: Fig. 56.—Danish Bronze Knives, decorated with Sun-ships
and other Sacred Figures. (_Danish Arts._)]

[Illustration: Fig. 57.]

[Illustration: Fig. 58.]

 Figs. 57 and 58.—Bronze and Gold Buttons found in Women’s Graves, with
       the Triskele, Moon-Signs, and Sun Snakes. (_Danish Arts._)

The swastika, both straight and curved-armed variety, was used
indiscriminately in the decoration of objects of the Iron age, whether
in bronze, iron, gold, silver, wood, or stone. It was the sign among the
Romans of Jupiter Tonans, who wielded the thunder and lightning; was the
sign used for Thor, the god of thunder and lightning, with the early
German peoples, and the curved variety of it was used as a symbol of
their highest divinity by the northern nations of Scandinavia. From this
widespread use of the swastika it is conjectured that it is an Aryan
symbol, brought by the people of the Bronze age from their primitive
home in the plateau of Central Asia.

                               CHAPTER V.
                             THE IRON AGE.

The age of Iron, like the Bronze ages, varies very much in point of time
in Europe as compared with Asia, and also there is a great overlapping
between the times of the Iron age in the northern, middle, and southern
parts of Europe. It is safe to say that the early part of this age
belongs to prehistoric times as far as Central and Northern Europe is
concerned, and although the Grecian Archipelago and Western Asia were in
a high state of civilised culture five or six centuries before the
Christian era, and were acquainted with the use of iron, it is clear
that the extensive employment and decoration of iron implements and arms
were chiefly in Switzerland, Northern Italy, and in the Valley of the
Danube. This iron culture soon spread over to Gaul and Spain, and to the
British Islands in the West, and Scandinavia in the North. The Romans,
under their first emperors, imported their swords and other arms from
Spain and the West on account of their good workmanship. From the many
“finds” that have been brought to light in the above countries it is
evident that, for five or six centuries before the commencement of the
Christian era, there was a great activity going on in the manufacture of
iron objects in these countries, principally swords and other warlike
arms. The two most important “finds” are the “Halstaat” in Austria, and
the La Têne “finds” near Marin, Lake Neuchâtel. The Halstaat find was
composed of many gold and bronze articles, pottery, and a few iron
weapons. The place where these things were found was a Celtic tomb, and
the iron articles found in it are among the earliest known in Europe,
which proves them to have been made at the transition period from the
Bronze to the Iron ages. Besides the purely geometric work the
decoration on these articles consists of sun and moon signs, wheel
crosses, half moons, the sacred ship, the swastika, triskele, &c.; crude
representations of men and animals, as horses, oxen, stags, he-goats,
and geese, all of which have a religious and symbolic meaning. All these
forms were used in the Bronze and Iron ages alike. The find at La Têne,
near Marin, Lake Neuchâtel, belongs to a later period and is more
important from an art point of view, for besides the usual sacred
decorations engraved on the objects, some of the sword handles and
sheaths are beautifully sculptured or chiselled in iron, with
well-designed ornament and animal forms. (See Fig. 81, D, of Gaulish or
late Celtic workmanship.)

The shapes and materials of the weapons found at La Têne, or of what is
called the “La Têne Period,” do not bear much resemblance to the weapons
of the Bronze age, and the sheaths of the swords and daggers are
sometimes bronze and sometimes iron, but the blades are of iron.

Communication with the Etruscans and the Greeks by the people of Central
Europe is proved by the coins, vases, and objects of personal ornament,
and by the imitations of Greek and Macedonian coins found in great
quantities in Middle and Western Europe and in Britain, that belong to
this late Celtic period. This accounts for the more “advanced” nature of
the decoration on the Marin swords and daggers of the “La Têne Period,”
and this particular culture-wave brought with it the beginnings of that
ornament which, in later centuries, developed into the peculiar Celtic
and Runic twistings and interlacings that are so common to Danish,
Norwegian, Swedish, Anglo-Saxon and Irish phases of decorative art, that
was practised so largely from the first to the twelfth centuries of our
era. This Celtic interlacing, though often more distressing than a
Chinese puzzle, and in some instances barbarous in the extreme, yet is
often very interesting and beautiful in execution. Most of it can be
traced to its origin in sacred signs and animal forms in classical

It will be interesting to trace briefly some of these developments of
the Northern Runic and Celtic art of the Iron age. In the development of
nearly all historic art, we find that the religious aspirations of man
were the chief factors. In Egypt, Asia, Europe, or America, wherever art
had an individuality, the greatest monuments were erected, and the
finest works of art were created for the honour of the nation’s gods. We
have seen how the forms of ornament were generally derived from the
figurative signs of sacred animals, plants, and other mystic symbols of
a religious meaning, and were in the end converted in meaningless but
æsthetic ornament. This is the history of nine-tenths of historic
ornament that has survived the decay of nations. The ancient religion
and beliefs of the pre-Christian peoples were those which they had
brought with them when they first migrated from their Asiatic home,
namely, the worship of the sun, moon, and lightning. Cæsar mentions in
his “De Bello Gallico,” VI., 21, that the “Germani people worshipped the
visible helping gods, the sun, moon, and fire, and knew nothing whatever
of other divinities.” The symbolic signs and animal forms sacred to
these phenomena, already mentioned, are found more or less on the
utensils and weapons of the Gallic-German peoples of the Iron age, and
in addition to these we see the representation of the Northern gods, the
Trinity of the North, Thor, Odin and Frey, with and without the sacred
animals peculiar to each. In the earlier times close intercourse with
the Romans brought about a high degree of culture to the barbarian
people of the Rhine Valley and more northern places; many statuettes of
bronze inlaid with gold and silver, representing Roman gods, have been
dug up in Denmark and other places in the north.

[Illustration: Fig. 59.—Gold-plated Ornament found at Thorsberg.
(_Danish Arts._)]

These statuettes were transformations of the Roman and Etruscan gods
that served for the Gallo-Germanic gods. An illustration of the Roman
influence is seen in a round ornament of this period plated with gold,
found at Thorsberg, Slesvig. It is the decoration of an iron coat of
mail. The illustration of this (Fig. 59) is taken from Worsaae’s “Danish
Arts,” and is thus described by him:

“Five suns are placed crosswise, and between two of the outer ones is
seen a barbarised figure of Jupiter with horns on his helmet; the sun in
the centre is surrounded by a circle of helmeted heads. Just as this
recalls to our minds the Germanic and Scandinavian god of thunder, Thor,
who, later, was often represented with a helmet on his head, so the thin
barbaric golden figures of horses, geese, and fish, riveted on the
ornament or brooch itself, remind us of the sun-god Frey.” The Figs. 60
and 61 are metal mountings decorated with the triskele formed of
sun-snakes, the swastika with straight arms, and the compound variety of
the fylfot on the larger mounting. These illustrate a transition of the
sacred sun form to more purely ornamental designs.

[Illustration: Fig. 60]

[Illustration: Fig.61]

   Figs. 60 and 61.—Metal Mountings from Thorsberg. (_Danish Arts._)

The imitation of Roman coins and medallions of the time of Constantine
to ornaments that have been called “bracteates” was extensively carried
on by the Germanic people. These bracteates have the design on one side
only, with a loop or ring at the top to suspend them around the neck as
an amulet. These golden bracteates have been found in great numbers in
Scandinavia and Denmark, and scarcely anywhere else, which proves they
were indigenous to these countries.

It is interesting to notice how they have been transformed from their
Roman and Byzantine originals to purely sacred Celtic amulets of a new
national type of ornament. Fig. 62, from Hildebrand’s “Scandinavian
Arts,” is a barbaric copy of a Roman medallion. It is a poor attempt to
copy the Imperial head, and the inscription is badly and meaninglessly
copied. On the reverse is a figure of Victory, with signs of the cross,
surrounded by a wreath and legend.


  Fig. 62.—Barbarian Copy of a Roman Medallion found in Sweden.
  (_Scand. Arts._)

It appears that after the age of the Constantines, the intercourse of
the Germanic people with the Romans was broken, owing to the invasion of
the Huns, and for a long time afterwards they were left to themselves
without foreign influence, and were enabled to develop their national
art on the foundation of Roman culture, at the same time substituting
their own emblems of their national gods in place of the classic ones in
their decorative work. We can safely gather from this that the Hunnic
invasion of the Roman Empire was the indirect means of giving to
Northern Europe a distinct national style of art.

[Illustration: Fig. 63.—Golden Bracteate from Scandinavia. (_Danish

The illustrations of the golden bracteates here given (Figs. 63, 64)
partly show how this development began. On Fig. 63 is Thor’s head with
his tiara or helmet, the he-goat sacred to Thor, the triad three dots,
and the swastika. On the border is the triskele (Odin’s sign), Frey’s
cross, and the zigzag or lightning.

[Illustration: Fig. 64.—Golden Bracteate from Scandinavia. (_Danish

The larger bracteate (Fig. 64) has Thor with the he-goat surrounded by
the swastika, triskele, and the cross (four suns forming the cross), the
signs for Thor, Odin, and Frey. The inner border has the three dots, or
triad; next border, Thor’s head; and the outer border is composed of
he-goats. On the loop are signs of the sun and moon, and under it
sun-snakes (developed into spirals). The above descriptions of the
bracteates are chiefly taken from the “Danish Arts.”

[Illustration: Fig. 65.—Parts of Harness in Gilt Bronze, Gotland.
(_Scand. Arts._)]

Characteristic ornament of this period is shown at Fig. 65, which are
parts of a harness in gilt bronze from a tomb in Gotland; the patterns
are composed of corrupted animal and bird forms.

[Illustration: Fig. 66.—Fibula in Gilt Bronze, Gotland. (_Scand.

[Illustration: Fig. 67.—Fibula in Gilt Bronze, Gotland. (_Scand.

Figs. 66 to 68 are fibula decorations of the interlacing animal forms,
which are characteristic of the more attenuated and later development of
Scandinavian art.

[Illustration: Fig. 68.—Part of Rim of Fig. 67.]

The series of designs, Figs. 69 to 73, are of great interest in showing
the development of patterns from lion forms to the twisted snake
ornament. The figures are taken from Hildebrand’s “Scandinavian Arts.”
According to that author, Fig. 69 is a Scandinavian copy or adaptation
of a Roman design, which consists of two lions _couchant_. The other
patterns (Figs. 70 to 73) are further developments of corrupted lion
forms. It is quite possible that the peculiar interlacings of
Scandinavian ornament may have been the result of imperfect copying of
lion and bird forms. They were never intended for snake forms, as many
of these have legs and feet, and serpents and snakes were unknown in the
north. Many stranger derivatives of ornament have existed in the
ornament of savage tribes.[A] When the Gotlandic artist had reduced his
lion forms to snakes he carried his work to the verge of monotony with
interminable interlacings.

Footnote A:

  See Haddon’s “Evolution of Ornamental Art,” 1895.

[Illustration: Fig. 69.]

[Illustration: Fig. 70.]

     Figs. 69 and 70.—Corrupted Figures of Lions. (_Scand. Arts._)

[Illustration: Fig. 71.]

[Illustration: Fig. 72.]

[Illustration: Fig. 73.]

   Figs. 71, 72, 73.—Animal Ornamental Patterns, Corrupted Figures of
                        Lions. (_Scand. Arts._)


  Fig. 74.—Silver Goblet, with Gold-plated Decoration, found in Zeeland.
  (_Danish Arts._)

[Illustration: Fig. 75.—Under Side of a Fibula. (_Scand. Arts._)]

The decoration on the goblet (Fig. 74) is the sun-god Frey, with his
horse and geese; the masks are intended for those of Thor; his he-goat
and sun signs are also seen. This goblet was evidently used in the
sun-worship festivals.

[Illustration: Fig. 76.—Pottery of the Iron Age. (_Danish Arts._)]


  Fig. 77.—Piece of Woollen Cloth with Gold and Silver Threads, Viking
  (_Danish Arts._)

A restrained and agreeable design is seen on the under side of a fibula
(Fig. 75); a well-shaped earthen pot is decorated with zigzag work, and
has the symbolical triad mark impressed on it (Fig. 76); and a remnant
of woollen cloth, woven with silver and gold threads, has the swastika
and the hammer of Thor as decoration. This was found in a grave at
Randers of the tenth century. It belongs to the Viking period of the
Iron age (Fig. 77).

                              CHAPTER VI.

In Switzerland and in Upper Italy evidences have been found of numerous
lake dwellings, and in Ireland and Scotland analogous dwellings on
islands in lakes and morasses have been found, to which the name of
“crannoges” (“wooden islands”) has been given. The exact age of these
dwellings has not been accurately defined, but an approximate date has
been assigned to them. From the nature, kind, and decoration of the
numerous articles that have been dug up from the foundation relic beds
in the lakes of Switzerland, it appears that the duration of the “lake
dwellings” period was from about the time of the later Stone age to the
early Iron age; it therefore embraces portions of the Stone age, the
Bronze age, and early Iron ages of Europe.

The lake dwellings were erected by certain tribes of the early
inhabitants of Europe, for the better security of themselves and their
property from the savage animals of the mainland, and from their
enemies, the still more savage fellow-men. As far as can be made out
from the remains found in the lakes, the lake dwellers were more
civilised and less warlike than their neighbours that lived on land. The
lake dwellings are the most ancient evidences of man’s first
constructive capabilities in the art of building. Herodotus tells us of
a settlement on Lake Prasias (Tachyus), in Rumelia, where “men live on
platforms supported by tall piles.” Some tribes of the Papuans of New
Guinea still live on pile dwellings. The lacustrine habitation (Fig.
78), from “Les Races Sauvages,” by M. Bertillon, is a representation of
a pile dwelling on the Lake Mohrya, in Central Africa, of the present

[Illustration: Fig. 78.—Lacustrine Habitation in Lake Mohrya, Central
Africa. (From _Les Races Sauvages_, by M. Bertillon.)]

The substructures, Fig. 79, A, B, and C, taken from Keller’s “Lake
Dwellings,” will give general ideas of the foundations of the dwellings
in Switzerland and Upper Italy. At A is seen the earliest type, which
reveals the section of the piles, upper flooring, water-line, and
sloping bank of the lake. The piles were sometimes composed of split
trees or stems, but more often of stems with the bark on, and were of
various kinds of wood; they were sharpened at the end by stone hatchets,
and in later times by bronze or iron axes, and were driven into the sand
or mud at a short distance from the shore. The heads of the piles were
brought to a level, and planks or whole trees were fastened on them as
beams; sometimes they were fastened on by wooden pins, and sometimes
were “notched” into the heads of the piles. Cross-beams were often
forced in between the uprights under the platform to steady the
structure, and outside there was often fastened a clothing of
wattle-work to act as a fender from various accidents. If it were found
difficult to drive the piles into the bed of the lake to any great
depth, artificial raising of the bottom was resorted to, by bringing
cargoes of stones in boats and dropping them between the piles, thereby
securing a perfectly secure substructure (Fig. 79, B). These artificial
risings are called “stein-bergs.”

[Illustration: Fig. 79.—Section and Plans, Lake Dwelling Substructures
from Keller.]

A, General idea of arrangement of Piles; B, shows the Piles driven into
    the mud, with stones thrown between them; C, Section of Fascine
    Dwelling; D, Diagram of Floor Fascine Construction from Niederwyl;
    E, Section of Irish Crannoge in Ardakillin Lough; F, Construction of
    Wooden Form (Niederwyl); G, Section of Lake Dwelling Beds at

Another and later variety of substructure is known as “fascine-work”
(Fig. 79, C). Probably this fascine construction was the safest when the
water of the lake rose in height. It consisted of layers of small trees
or stems laid lengthwise, built from the bottom of the lake; these
sticks or trees were interwoven, and at intervals upright piles were
driven in to keep them in position, and on the top of this structure,
above high-water mark, the flooring platform was laid.

[Illustration: Fig. 80.—An Ideal Lake Settlement or Town. (From Keller’s
_Lake Dwellings_.)]

The “crannoges” or “wooden islands,” of Ireland and Scotland, resemble
very much the Swiss fascine dwellings. The Irish “crannoges” were often
placed on natural islands, or on shallows or loughs, but sometimes were
built up, like those in Switzerland, from the bottom of the lake. These
“crannoges” were used as chieftains’ fastnesses or places of retreat.
They were built chiefly in the Stone age, and were used long after the
age of Iron. At Fig. 79, E, may be seen a section of an Irish “crannoge”
in Ardakillin Lough. At Fig. 79, F and D, are shown diagrams of platform
and floor construction respectively of a lake dwelling at Niederwyl,
Switzerland. On the top of this floor a plaster made of mud, loam, and
gravel, was laid and beaten firmly down. As far as can be ascertained
from the remains of upright corner posts that have been found in
position, the houses were rectangular, though some may have been round
like the huts of the contemporary people on the mainland. The walls of
the houses are supposed to have been built of wattle-work plastered over
with mud and thatched, as evidences of this are seen in the large pieces
of burnt clay with wattle impression on it that have been found; this
also points out the fact of the houses or settlements being burnt down.
In some cases the walls were of fascine construction. Every hut was
provided with its hearth, which consisted of three or four large flat
stones. Clay weights used for the loom have been found in great
quantities, which proves, together with many fragments of flax cloth and
woven “bast” which have come to light, that weaving was known and
practised by the lake dwellers (Fig. 81, K). Pottery has been found in
the relic beds, but is usually of a very coarse description. Many broken
bits of pottery have been found ornamented with lines, chevrons, or
zigzags, and often with the “rope” ornament, raised or impressed by a
twisted string or rope; this kind of decoration is evidently suggested
by the band of string tied around the primitive vessels of clay to keep
them together, or for carrying purposes. See Fig. 81, B, F, G, H, I, and

[Illustration: Fig. 81.—Objects from the Lake Dwellings (from Keller).]

A, Bronze Knife (Lake of Bienne); B, Ornamented Pottery; C, Moon Image
    of earthenware; D, Part of an Iron Sword (Gaulish work); E, Moon
    Image of bronze; F, G, H, I, J, Earthenware Vessels; K, Embroidered

The builders of the lake dwellings are supposed to have been a branch of
the Celtic population of Switzerland, belonging to prehistoric times,
and was in its last stage of decadence before the Celts took their place
in the history of Europe. Although many remains of bronze and iron
implements have been brought to light from the relic beds of the lake
dwellings, this does not prove that the inhabitants were acquainted with
their manufacture, for most of the articles were probably obtained by
barter from the people of the mainland.

A beautiful bronze knife is seen at Fig. 81, A, found in the lake of
Bienne, and part of a sword in iron, of Gaulish, or “late Celtic”
workmanship, from Marin, Lake Neuchâtel (Fig. 81, D).

Highly interesting are the “moon-stones” and “moon-images” of this
period, made in stone, earthenware, and bronze. These crescent
moon-images have a religious significance, and have doubtless been used
to decorate the tops of their entrance doors (_Keller_) or other
conspicuous places in their dwellings, as emblematic images of their
worship of the moon.

The figure at C represents an earthenware moon-image with a flat base
for standing purposes. The decoration on this is peculiarly interesting,
as showing one of the earliest fascine patterns, doubtless derived from
the floor construction of the dwellings, or from the lashings of withy
bands used to fasten the stone axes and celts to their hafts. This kind
of ornament has been used very much in the Bronze age weapons,
implements, and other objects. The moon-image at E is made of bronze,
with a handle and a ring to hang it by. It was probably worn as an
amulet or decoration suspended from the neck of a Celtic priest. Remains
of many kinds of plants, seeds, corn, and fruit have been found, usually
in coarse earthen pots; also cakes and loaves of bread, and mill-stone
“crushers” for grinding corn. Domestic animals, such as cows, goats, and
dogs, were kept by the lake dwellers. Fishing and fish-curing, as may be
easily inferred, was an important industry with these interesting

                              CHAPTER VII.
                             EGYPTIAN ART.

According to their most ancient traditions, the Egyptian race descended
from a point high up on the Nile, or the land of Ethiopia, but modern
science proves them to belong to a Caucasian race, and not of the Negro
type. The name Egypt has been derived from “Het-ka-Ptah,” one of the
titles of the city of Memphis, which means “The Temple of the Genius of
Ptah,” and has been interpreted by the Greeks as “Aiguptos,” the latter
being the old name for the Nile.

On the south of Egypt dwelt the Nubians or Ethiopians; on the west the
Libyans, a fair-skinned race, who, being a warlike people, were employed
by the Egyptians as mercenary troops; and on the north-east the nomadic
Semitic tribes of Edom and Southern Syria. The latter people often
wandered west to feed their flocks in the Delta of Lower Egypt, and in
course of time formed, with the Phœnician traders, a large proportion of
the population of the lower kingdom of Egypt. It was on the north-east
frontier, on the Isthmus of Suez, that Egypt had most to fear from her
foreign enemies.

Nearly all the art of the various peoples and nations of the world was
developed in relation to their religion, and most of it—as elsewhere
stated—originated in symbolic signs that represented, under various
forms, human or otherwise, the original objects or phenomena which they
worshipped. This was the case especially so in Egypt; and this must be
our plea to describe here briefly the principal outlines of the Egyptian

[Illustration: Fig. 82.—Isis nursing her Son, Horus. (P. & C.) Height,
19 ins.]

The religion of the Egyptians had two developments, one tending towards
Monotheism, and the other to Polytheism. They believed in one god, who
was the king of all gods; and, on the other hand, they had their
mythical gods, who personified whatever was permanent in natural
phenomena, such as the sun, moon, sky, stars, earth, light, darkness,
floods, the seasons, the year, and the hours. The goddess Nut
represented the sky, and was known also under the names of Neith, Isis,
Hathor, Sekhet, &c., which were the names of the sky at sunrise or
sunset (Fig. 82). The sun had names without number, as Rā, Horus, Ptah,
Tmu, Setek, Amen, &c. (Figs. 83, 84). Osiris and Sekru are names of the
sun after he has set, or is “dead and buried” (Fig. 85). Osiris is king
of the dead, and, in mythological language, he is slain by his brother
Set, who personified night, who in his turn is slain by Horus (Fig. 82),
who is the heir of Osiris. Horus signifies the “one above,” and Amen-Rā,
the great king of all the gods, signifies “the one who hides himself.”
The great Amen-Rā was the mightiest god in all the Egyptian pantheon. He
was the great god of Thebes.

The gods were represented in human shape, and also m animal form. The
animals, or animal combinations, were simply symbolical of the gods on
account of certain attributes common to each, or in some cases because
they bore the same name.

The Egyptians were intense believers in a future state, hence the great
care bestowed on their dead, for they believed that the body should be
preserved in order to insure a state of bliss for the soul in the future
world. Every human being had its “double,” or ghost “Ka,” as well as its
ghost “Ba,” which we often find represented under the form of a human
being with a hawk’s head. Sometimes the image of a man was buried with
him. This was to represent his “double,” and is, therefore, called a
“Ka” statue, or image. The “Ba,” or soul, was supposed to be “luminous.”

[Illustration: Fig. 83.—Amen, or Ammon, bronze. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 84.—Ptah, from a bronze Actual Size. (P. & C.)]

It is supposed that many of the animals and animal forms buried with and
painted on the coffins of the Egyptian dead were, in remote times, the
sacred animals or “Totems” belonging to the dead man’s family. “Totem
worship” may have been the most ancient form of the Egyptian religion.
The Temple of Bubastis (in the Delta) was sacred to the goddess Bast, or
Pasht, the cat-headed goddess (Fig. 86). The cat was, therefore, a
sacred animal or a “Totem,” in ancient Egypt, like the ibis, hawk, asp,
beetle, &c., totems; and so in the district or town of Bubastis the Cat
Clan, or worshippers of the cat-headed goddess Pasht, built the rock-cut
temple called Speos Artemidos, near Beni-Hasan, and dedicated it to her

[Illustration: Fig. 85.—Osiris. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 86.—The Goddess Bast, or Pasht. Actual Size. (P. &

The writing of the Egyptians is classified under three heads: the
“Hieroglyphic,” or the form in which it appears on the monuments; the
“Hieratic,” or priestly writing, as used on the papyrus documents; and
the “Demotic,” a cursive or running kind of writing similar to the
Hieratic, and a later development of it. In the year 1798 the famous
“Rosetta Stone,” now in the British Museum, was found near the Rosetta
mouth of the Nile by a French officer. It passed into the hands of the
British in 1802. On this stone is inscribed a decree of the priests of
Memphis conferring divine honours on Ptolemy V., King of Egypt, B.C.
195. The inscription is in three forms, the Hieroglyphic, the Demotic,
and in Greek characters. From this inscription was first obtained the
key to the decipherment of the hieroglyphics, and interpretation of the
ancient language of Egypt, and the names of the kings which in the
hieroglyphics are enclosed in cartouches or oblong rings. Thus the clue
was obtained to the identification of the letters of the Egyptian
alphabet, which had hitherto baffled all the attempts of Egyptologists
to find out. The credit of the identification is chiefly due to the
French savant, Champollion, but a considerable share of the honour must
be given to Thomas Young, who was the first to find out the correct
value of many of the phonetic signs. The Egyptians, from the earliest
period known, were acquainted with and skilled in medicine, in
astronomy, in mathematics, philosophy, poetry, and fiction. The oldest
literary papyrus at present known dates from the Third to the Fifth
Dynasties (3966 to 3333 B.C.).

Egyptian art was at its best in the earliest Dynasties. The Fourth
Dynasty was the great pyramid-building period, and the statues of this
great epoch were more natural and artistic, and altogether were less
conventional than those of later times.

It is notable that in the Eighteenth and Twenty-sixth Dynasties, after a
long period of art depression, the artists went back for inspiration and
better models to the work of the men of the Fourth and Twelfth

The history of Egypt can be traced back from 4,400 years before the
Christian era, and is divided into thirty Dynasties, whose succession
was the result of failure in any of the original lines of marriage, or
marriage with a female of lower rank, or of a revolution. The thirty
Dynasties are divided into three groups:—

       Dynasties   I.-XI.   (B.C. 4400-2466) The Ancient Empire.
          ”   XII.-XIX.     (B.C. 2466-1200) The Middle Empire.
          ”   XX.-XXX.      (B.C. 1200-340)  The New Empire.

These dates and arrangements are formulated chiefly on the basis of a
work written in Greek, and compiled by Manetho, an Egyptian priest who
lived in the third century B.C.

The kings of Egypt have been named Pharaohs from the title
“Peraa”—"great house." The seat or centre of the government shifted its
position according to dynastic reasons, or from policy. During the
ancient empire it was first at Memphis, and then moved to Abydos and
other places in the south as the empire extended. When Egypt was in the
height of its glory the centre of government was chiefly at Thebes, but
moving often according to revolution or foreign oppression. Rameses and
his near successors held their court at the northern city of San, or
Tanis. The time of the New Empire was chiefly a period of foreign rule
and slow decadence, the seat of the empire shifted to nearly all the
former places or capitals and to Bubastis or Sais with each political

[Illustration: Fig. 87.—The Great Pyramid of Kheops, and Small Pyramids;
from Perring. (P. & C.)]

Menes was the first historical king of Egypt, and was supposed to have
founded Memphis, where the worship of the god Ptah, “Creator of gods and
men,” was first instituted, as well as that of Apis or Hapi, the sacred
bull—the Serapis of the Greeks. For the next six hundred years we know
scarcely anything of Egyptian history except the names of the kings,
until we come to the great period of the Fourth Dynasty (B.C.
3766-3566). Seneferu was the founder of this Dynasty. He conquered the
peninsula of Sinai, and worked the valuable mines of copper and
turquoise found in that country. His son and successor, Khufu, better
known as Kheops (B.C. 3733-3700), was the builder of the Great Pyramid
at Gizeh (Fig. 87), which he erected for his tomb. The king Kha-f-Rā
(Kephren) (B.C. 3666-3600), built the Second Pyramid, and his son,
Men-kau-Rā (Mykerinos) was the builder of the Third Pyramid. Men-kau-Rā
was a wise and humane sovereign, and it is recorded to his honour, as an
exceptional qualification, that “he did not oppress his people.” In this
he was different to most of the Pharaohs. His mummified remains are now
in the British Museum. The Sphinx, or man-headed lion, carved out of the
solid rock, is near the Great Pyramid, and is supposed to be the work of
a much earlier period (Fig. 91).

[Illustration: Fig. 88.—Section through the Great Pyramid of Kheops. (P.
& C.)]

The Fifth Dynasty (B.C. 3566-3300) is not an important one as far as art
is concerned.

The Sixth (B.C. 3300-3100) was noted for the erection of its pyramid
tombs and for the religious texts that were inscribed on their interior

[Illustration: Fig. 89.—The Stepped Pyramid. (P. & C.) Supposed to be
the most ancient building in Egypt.]

[Illustration: Fig. 90.—The Southern Pyramid of Dashour. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 91.—The Great Sphinx. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 92.—Colossi of Amenophis III. Statues of Memnon at
Thebes. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 93.—Amenophis III. Presenting an Offering to Amen.
(P. & C.)]

From the Seventh to the Eleventh Dynasty (B.C. 3100-2466) is a period
whose history is almost lost. It meant to the Egyptians a period of more
than six hundred years of tribal jealousies and fighting, at the end of
which Egypt was consolidated from north to south, and a powerful Dynasty
succeeded these internal struggles. The Twelfth Dynasty was a brilliant
one for the arts, and for great works of engineering skill. The names of
the Pharaohs of this dynasty, Amenemhāt and Usertsen, are among the most
renowned in Egyptian history. Great temples were restored or newly built
at Thebes, Heliopolis, Tanis, and Abydos. The great artificial lake,
Mauur (Moeris of the Greeks), or “great water,” was constructed to
receive the surplus waters of the Nile, and to control its floods. The
Arabs call this lake “El-Fayyum,” from another of its Egyptian names
“Phiom,” the sea. It was completed in the reign of Amenemhāt III. (B.C.
2300-2266). The same king built the celebrated Labyrinth, the
“Erpa-re-hent,” or “Temple at the entrance of the Lake,” in which the
king himself was interred. His successor was the last king of the
Twelfth Dynasty. The Thirteenth and Fourteenth Dynasties are dark
periods in which the invasion of the Elamites and the Nomad tribes from
Syria and Western Asia took place. The Fifteenth and Sixteenth Dynasties
are the “Hyksos” dynasties. The Hyksos, or Shepherd Kings, were the
chief of the above Nomad Asiatic tribes, and consequently usurpers of
the native rule. A revolt took place in the reign of one of these kings
of the Seventeenth Dynasty, and under Amāsis I., the founder of the
Eighteenth Dynasty, the Shepherd Kings were finally driven out of Egypt.

About the end of the Hyksos rule the patriarch Joseph was sold into
Egypt. King Nubti (B.C. 1750) is supposed to have been the Pharaoh of
that time, and the Hyksos king, Apepa II., is supposed to have been the
king that raised Joseph to power. The explorer, M. Jacques de Morgan,
expresses the opinion that the Shepherd Kings were the tomb-robbers,
who, either from cupidity, or a wish to annihilate the last traces of a
conquered race, pillaged every pyramid of its dead, and the treasures
there concealed, for not a single pyramid has been found unviolated that
was built before the Hyksos Dynasty. Thothmes III. (B.C. 1600) was a
powerful and warlike king who compelled Assyria to pay him tribute. In
the Eighteenth Dynasty, Egypt was more powerful than at any other period
of her history. The great Temples of Thebes, Karnak, and Luxor were
built during this dynasty.

A later monarch of this dynasty, Amenophis III., erected on the west of
the Nile at Thebes two colossal statues of himself, that the Greeks have
named the statues of Memnon, the fabled king of Egypt that was supposed
to have been slain in the Trojan wars (Fig. 92).

Another king of this dynasty, Amenophis IV., made himself exceedingly
notorious by trying to introduce a new religion, and for this he had his
memory execrated, and was deeply cursed as a heretic by priests and
people of the succeeding generations. It appears he had imbibed from his
mother, Ti, who was an Assyrian princess, certain religious opinions
which he determined to force on his own people. In order to do this he
removed his capital from Thebes, where the national worship of the great
god Amen was celebrated, to Khu-en-aten, the modern Tell-el-Amarna,
which name he took for himself, and which means the “splendour of the
sun-disk”; there he set up the sun-disk god, Aten (the radiant sun). The
new religion, however, was obnoxious to the conservative Egyptians, and
soon died out (Fig. 94).

The Nineteenth Dynasty (B.C. 1400-1200) was founded by Rameses I. He was
a successful king, but his son Seti (Fig. 95) was a greater one, and had
the reputation of being a great builder. It was he who built the great
“Hall of Columns,” at Karnak, which joins the pylon of Amenophis III.
(Fig. 96).

[Illustration: Fig. 94.—The Adoration of the Solar-disk by Amenophis IV.

He also built the temple at Kûrnah, and remains of his work is seen at
Abydos, Memphis, and Heliopolis. He was succeeded by his famous son
Rameses II., the Sesostris of the Greeks, the supposed oppressor of the
Israelites. He was a very powerful monarch, and, from all accounts, in
order to glorify himself in the eyes of posterity, did not scruple to
erase the names of former kings from off their cartouches on their
monuments and inscribe his own in their place. That he has accomplished
the end he had in view by so doing there is not the slightest doubt, for
no monarch of Egypt is better known than he. But apart from this he was
certainly a mighty chieftain, who “enriched the land with memorials of
his name.”

[Illustration: Fig. 95.—Seti with Attributes of Osiris between Amen and
Chuoam. (P. & C.)]]

The greatest of his many battles (he was always fighting) was fought
with the Khita (Hittites), under the walls of Kadesh, in the valley of
the Orontes. His forces were almost defeated when by his personal valour
he turned the tide of the battle and entirely routed the Khita (Fig.

[Illustration: Fig. 96.—Entrance to the Hypostyle Hall of the Temple of
Amen at Karnak. (M.)]

The most famous building of his time is the rock-hewn temple, the “Great
Temple,” that he built and dedicated to Amen, Ptah, and Harmachis, which
faces the Nile at Ipsamboul, in Nubia.

[Illustration: Fig. 97.—The Rout of the Khita; Egyptians to the left,
the Khita to the right. (M.)]

On the façade of this temple are sculptured _in situ_ four seated
colossal figures of Rameses, two on each side of the doorway. From the
soles of the feet to the top of the pschent on the head measures
sixty-five feet; they are the largest statues in Egypt, and the
workmanship is careful in finish. Over the entrance is carved in relief
on the rock a colossal figure of the god Rā, and on either side of it
are single figures in low-relief of Rameses in the act of adoration
(Fig. 98).

[Illustration: Fig. 98.—Façade of the Great Rock-cut Temple at

[Illustration: Fig. 99.—Principal Hall in the Great Temple. (H.; P. &

Menephthah (B.C. 1300-1266) was the successor of Rameses II. and his
successor was Seti II. The latter was the last king of the Middle
Empire. With the commencement of the Twentieth Dynasty the New Empire
dates (about B.C. 1200-358). Towards the Twenty-second Dynasty (B.C.
966-776) Egypt began to pass into a state of dissolution. In the
Twenty-fourth Dynasty (B.C. 733-700) she was at the mercy of Assyria on
the north and Ethiopia on the south. In 672 B.C. the Assyrian King
Esarhaddon invaded Egypt and occupied the whole of the Delta, afterwards
capturing Memphis and Thebes, which he pillaged. The Assyrian king died
suddenly, and Taharka, a native usurper, succeeded in driving out the
Assyrians, but soon after Egypt was again conquered by Ashurbanipal, a
powerful Assyrian King (B.C. 666). The Assyrians, however, after a short
time of occupation withdrew from Egypt, owing to their troubles at home
with the Medes, who were laying siege to Nineveh, and Egypt again
revived. Under Amāsis the country enjoyed peace for about forty years
(B.C. 572-528). The Egyptians possessed a fleet at this time with which
they advanced to the Phœnician coast and took the city of Sidon, and
also annexed the island of Cyprus to Egyptian rule.

[Illustration: Fig. 100.—Portrait of Rameses II. (Louvre; P. & C.)]

Egypt submitted to the Persian army under Cambyses in B.C. 527, and was
for more than one hundred years afterwards a mere vassal of Persia. The
Twenty-seventh Dynasty (B.C. 527-424) was composed solely of Persian
kings. A successful revolt broke out in the last Persian king’s reign,
Darius II., when Egypt was free once more. Amenrut was the only king of
the Twenty-eighth Dynasty, and after the Twenty-ninth and Thirtieth
Dynasties were ended, the latter, by the conquest of Egypt once more by
the Persians under Artaxerxes III. (B.C. 340), we find the country under
Persian rule for the space of eight years. About this time the Persian
monarch was defeated by Alexander the Great, which brought Egypt under
the Greek rule. At the death of Alexander Egypt was governed by the
Macedonian kings, the Ptolemies, from 330 to 30 B.C. After the Roman
wars and the death of Cleopatra, Egypt found itself a Roman province.

[Illustration: Fig. 101.—The Egyptian “Gorge.”]

In A.D. 638 the Arabs under Omar conquered the country, and it was ruled
by them till 1517, when it passed into the hands of the Turks.

[Illustration: Fig. 102.—General Appearance of an Egyptian Temple.]

The Pyramids of Egypt have doubtless derived their shape from the
prehistoric grave mounds. Although elaborately and ingeniously contrived
for the concealment of the remains of the kings, and are stupendous
monuments of building skill, they are not examples of architecture in
the true sense of the word. Perhaps the earliest examples of Egyptian
architecture, properly speaking, are seen in the ancient shrines, with
sloping walls and flat roof, and having the peculiar cavetto cornice
moulding called the Egyptian “Gorge” (Figs. 101 and 109). Horizontally
is the great feature of Egyptian architecture, which is typically
expressed by the illustration Fig. 102, an ideal generalisation of an
Egyptian temple.

[Illustration: Fig. 103.—Square Building.]

[Illustration: Fig. 104.—Oblong Building.]

As hardly any, or no, rain falls in most parts of Egypt, a sloping roof
was not a necessity. The external walls in the case of a square building
are in the form of a trapezium, making the whole edifice of the shape of
a truncated pyramid, and pyramid-like in either the square or
rectangular-planned buildings (Figs. 103 and 104), except when the end
walls are vertical (Fig. 104), then it tends toward the ridge-form.

[Illustration: Fig. 105.—Model of an Egyptian House. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 106.—Plan of the Temple of Luxor. (P. & C.)]

In regard to the scarcity of voids and narrow sloping doorways, the
similarity in Egyptian buildings of every kind is very striking (Fig.
105). This absence of voids gives a dark and gloomy character to the
buildings, when compared with the architecture of other countries. The
horizontal element and solidity of construction impart a look of
powerful strength and of deep repose to the Egyptian temple. Even the
tall and slender obelisks placed in front of the mighty pylons have
little, if any, effect in removing the horizontal appearance of the
whole building. We give the ground plan, perspective view, and front
elevation of the great Temple of Luxor, as a typical illustration of an
Egyptian temple from restorations by Chipiez (Figs. 106, 107, and 108).
Its construction is described by Champollion as the “Architecture of

This double-temple was the work of two kings. From the second pylon to
the further end of the Temple is the portion built first, by the King
Amenophis III. The other portion, from first to the second pylon, is the
part built by Rameses II. The sanctuary is placed in the centre of a
hall, surrounded by small chambers. It has two doors, one at either end,
and on the axis of the building it has a vestibule in front and a hall
beyond, supported by twelve columns. Another hall in front of the _Naos_
(or interior apartment) is supported by thirty-two lofty columns. In
front of this again is a large square open court. This court is
connected to the larger front peristylar court by a grand and lofty
gallery, similar to a hypostyle hall. It is 176 ft. long, enclosed and
covered, and richly decorated like the hypostyle hall at Karnak (Fig.
96). Four colossal seated statues are in front of the first pylon, and
two obelisks, one on each side of the door-way. Four large flagstaffs
and a double row of sphinxes in front of the temple complete the
accessories to this great edifice. The whole building and obelisks were
covered over with bas-reliefs and inscriptions.

[Illustration: Fig. 107.—Bird’s-eye View of Luxor, as restored by
Chipiez. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 108.—Principal Façade of the Temple of Luxor,
restored by Chipiez. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 109.—Column of Thothmes III.; from the Ambulatory of
Thothmes at Karnak. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 110.—Column of the Hypostyle Hall of the Ramesseum;
from Horeau. (P. & C.)]

The typical Egyptian columns or supports are of two distinct and
well-marked kinds, the _lotus-headed_ and the campaniform or
bell-shaped. The former is so called from its resemblance to a closed
lotus-bud (Fig. 109), and the latter from its resemblance to a bell with
the mouth uppermost (Fig. 110). An earlier and simpler form of column or
support is the quadrangular pier (Fig. 111), and the next development is
the tapering quadrangular pier (Fig. 112), both undecorated. Next we
have the pier with a capital which, in profile, is a simple cavetto or
“gorge,” and square abacus (Fig. 113).

[Illustration: Fig. 111.—Quadrangular Pier (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 112.—Tapering Quadrangular Pier. (P. & C.)]

Between the abacus and the entablature or beam is a square thickness of
stone; this is the great defect in the Egyptian orders, and
distinguishes the latter from the Greek orders. This space between the
abacus and the architrave is bad, both from a scientific and artistic
point of view. It robs the capital of its legitimate appearance as a
supporting member. This pier, with capital and the Hathoric pier (Fig.
114), with the head of the goddess Hathor, are both decorated.

[Illustration: Fig. 113.—Pier with Capital. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 114.—Hathoric Pier. (P. & C.)]

We next come to the octagonal (Fig. 115), and the sixteen-sided pillars
(Fig. 116), which are almost Greek in their classic simplicity; the
latter is fluted. All forms of Egyptian columns have either square slabs
or circular discs as bases, on which the column rests. The two latter
mentioned pillars are exceptional, and therefore not typical Egyptian,
in having the abacus directly under the architrave; the sixteen-sided
pillar is especially Doric-like in this respect, and also in its fluted
shaft (Fig. 116).

[Illustration: Fig. 115.—Octagonal Pillar, Beni-Hassan. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 116.—Sixteen-sided Pillar; Fluted. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 117.—Osiride Pillar from Medinet-Abou. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 118.—Column from Bas-Relief. (P. & C.)]

The supports known as “Osiride” pillars are chiefly of the date of the
Nineteenth Dynasty. They have a kind of analogy to the caryatid Grecian
pillars, but are unlike them in respect that they do not support the
entablature, as they are only placed in front of the quadrangular
supporting pier for purposes of decoration, and are usually meant as
representations of the kings who erected the temples they decorate, with
a head-dress ornament consisting of the attributes of Osiris (Fig. 117).

Another variety of column has a fanciful combination of floral forms for
its capital (Fig. 118). This and others of fanciful design are from the
bas-reliefs and wall-paintings, and remind us of similar creations of
the artist’s pencil, as seen in the Pompeian wall decorations.

The upper parts of the capital are developments from the calyx of the
lotus, with the sepals curled outwards, and look very much like the
first notions of the Greek Ionic capital, as indeed we shall find the
Ionic volute to be a development of the lotus calyx more than anything
else. An example of the faggot-shaped column, with its base,
lotus-capital, and entablature, is given at Fig. 109. The ornamental
parts of this column were painted in bright yellow and blue, and, as a
rule, the sculptured ornament of the Egyptian columns, architrave, and
cornices were relieved by the painter in bright colours.

[Illustration: Fig. 119.—Palm-Capital from Sesebi. (P. & C.)]

The illustration at Fig. 119 is that of the palm-shaped capital from
Sesebi. This type of capital is a frank imitation of a bunch of
palm-leaves tied by the circular bands around the top of a column. A
later development of the palm capital shows the bell shape with a more
complicated decoration, and has the Hathor-headed abacus, surmounted by
a _Naos_ (Fig. 120).


[Illustration: Fig. 120.—Hathor-headed Campaniform Capitals, Temple of
Neetanebo, at Philæ. (P. & C.)]

A great part of Egyptian ornament and decoration is composed of symbolic
forms, the remainder is made up of geometrical ornament, such as
checkers, meanders, frets, rosettes, diapers of lotus and other forms.
Natural forms of flowers and foliage were not copied direct, but only
used in shape of geometric abstractions, and their arrangement as
diapers in surface decoration was derived, in the first instance, from
the older arts of weaving and matting. The old Egyptians were skilled in
weaving both plain and figured fabrics, chiefly from flax and hemp
fibre. The lotus form was pre-eminently the leading motive in Egyptian
floral ornament. The papyrus (from which our word paper is derived) and
the palm are next in importance as motives from which Egyptian ornament
is derived.

The lotus-plant (_Nymphæa nelumbo_) the variety in which the leaves grow
up out of the water and do not lie on its surface, is shown at Fig. 121,
and drawings, evidently from nature, at Fig. 122, from the tomb of

The lotus flower in ornament may be seen in the ceiling decorations from
tombs at Fig. 123, Nos. 3 and 5; at Figs. 118, 124; and in the painted
frieze from Thebes (Fig. 125), where the similarity between this and the
Assyrian lotus, fir-cone and daisy may be noticed (see Fig. 167).

[Illustration: Fig. 121.—The Nymphæa nelumbo; Flower, Leaf, and Fruit.
(P. & C.)]

The bi-lateral rendering of the lotus plant is not common in Egyptian
ornament, though it is the oldest form of the lotus known, as it occurs
on the prehistoric pottery of Koptos, and on tombs of the Fourth Dynasty
(Fig. 126), and earlier. Two lotus flowers are here seen tied together;
the general outline of the flower is only rendered which would enclose
the sepals and petals when seen in a side view.

[Illustration: Fig. 122.—Drawings of the Lotus from the Tomb of
Ptah-Hotep. (P. & C.)]

The lotus flower and bud alternating in a border ornament may be
regarded as the prototype of the Greek palmate borders. We are inclined
to believe in Professor Goodyear’s theory, that the egg and tongue
decoration on the Greek ovolo moulding is nothing more than a disrupted
lotus and bud ornament developed in transition through the Rhodian
pottery decoration. The shells and the tongue were originally the lotus
calyx, and the egg or pebble the lotus bud.

[Illustration: Fig. 123.—Specimens of Ceiling Decoration at Thebes; from
Prisse. (P. & C.)]

Other plants, as the thistle, convolvulus, daisy, vines, and grapes,
&c., were used very much in decoration, especially during the Akhenaten
period (Eighteenth and Nineteenth Dynasties), when the decoration was of
a florid kind. The papyrus is seen in the ceiling ornament Fig. 123, No
6, at Fig. 127, and on the perfume spoon of carved wood (Fig. 151). The
ceiling decorations (Fig. 123), from the Theban tombs, show the fine
sense and feeling the Egyptians had for the appropriate decoration of
flat surfaces, and the judicious balance maintained in the contrasting
units of the ornament.

[Illustration: Fig. 124.—Lotus and Water Ornament.]

[Illustration: Fig. 125.—Painted Border: from Thebes, after Prisse. (P.
& C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 126.—Flattened Form of Lotus-leaf Ornament; Front
View and Section 1. (P. & C.)]

In animal forms found in Egyptian decoration there are a few distinct
and typical varieties, that have been used times without number, both in
painting and in carving in the round, and in the bas-reliefs of stone,
wood, and in gold, silver, ivory, and bronze. Among the most frequent is
the vulture, with outstretched wings, having sacred symbols in his
claws. It has been used appropriately in this form as ceiling decoration
in the great temples at Thebes, on a blue ground diapered with golden
stars; the ceilings thus are symbolic representations of the heavens at
night (Fig. 128).

[Illustration: Fig. 127.—Hunting in a Marsh; from a Bas-Relief in the
Tomb of Ti. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 128.—Vultures on a Ceiling. (P. & C.)]

Similar outstretched wings have been added to the scarabs or sacred
beetles. These winged scarabs, together with similar winged-globe and
uræus creations, have been used as ceiling decorations in tombs and on
mummy-cases, and sometimes the goddess Isis, or Nepththys, was furnished
with these wings as guardian of the tomb (Figs. 129 and 130).

[Illustration: Fig. 129.—Winged-Globe with Uræus. (P. & C.)]

The Uræus and winged-globe was a favourite decoration for cornices and
for heads of doorways (Fig. 108). The colouring of the winged-globe
decoration was generally, in the case of the globe, a red colour, as the
emblem of the sun; the wings green, and the striped ground behind the
figure was painted in alternating stripes of red, blue, and white, which
produced an effective arrangement of colour. The Egyptians excelled in
the drawing of animals and birds in outline, and in bas-relief carvings
of them, some examples of which are given at Figs. 131, 132, 133.

[Illustration: Fig. 130.—Painting on Mummy-Case. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 131.—Hunting in the Desert. (M.)]

Many chimerical animals or monsters were used in Egyptian decoration, as
sphinxes, or imaginary animals of the desert, which were really fanciful
creations of the artist’s pencil (Figs. 134, 135, 136, 137).

Their representations of lions always have an expression of dignity,
though more mild in aspect than the Assyrian lion in art (Fig. 138).

[Illustration: Fig. 132.—Antelope and Papyrus. (P. & C.)]

Pottery, glass, and earthenware were manufactured in Egypt from the
earliest times. The country was well supplied with good potter’s clay;
bricks were made and dried in the sun, not burned, and were used very
much in building. The common pottery was unglazed, and their decorated
pottery was in glazed earthenware, but not so highly decorated as many
other objects of industrial art. Fig. 139 is a common pitcher of fairly
good form, in red earth. The decoration on the enamelled earthenware
dish (Fig. 140) is composed of bouquets of lotus flowers; and that on
the larger basin or bowl is a design of lotus and mystic signs (Fig.
141). The three objects are in the British Museum.

[Illustration: Fig. 133.—Netting Birds; from a Tomb. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 134.—Quadruped with Head of a Bird. (P. & C.)]

Rosettes and plaques have been found enamelled in colours, and probably
used for floor or wall tiles. The doorway to the stepped pyramid at
Sakkarah is decorated with rows of convex-shaped rectangular plaques of
enamelled earthenware of a greenish-blue glaze. Some are black in

[Illustration: Fig. 135.—Sphinx or Man-Headed Lion, in Black Granite,
from Tanis. (P. & C.)]

The Egyptians were particularly skilful in glass making, but they never
produced quite a clear glass; it was always slightly opaque, but
generally bright and rich in colour. Vases, cups, pateræ, statuettes,
necklaces, goblets, bracelets, and, above all, enormous quantities of
beads, which they used to make a network of to cover their dead. Great
quantities of glass objects were exported in trade with the Phœnicians.

[Illustration: Fig. 136.—Ram, or Kriosphinx, from Karnak. (P. & C.)]

The Venetians during the Middle Ages imported soda in large quantities
from Alexandria, for purposes of glass making, the soda of Egypt being
famed for this purpose, as it was prepared from the many marsh-loving
plants that grew luxuriantly in the Delta.

[Illustration: Fig. 137.—Sphinx with Human Hands; Bas-Relief from
Prisse. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 138.—Lion from a Theban Bas-Relief. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 139.—Pitcher of Red Earth, British Museum. (P. &

[Illustration: Fig. 140.—Enamelled Earthenware Dish, British Museum. (P.
& C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 141.—Enamelled Earthenware Bowl, British Museum. (P.
& C.)]

Gold had always been more plentiful than silver in ancient Egypt. It was
found in the hills of Ethiopia, but silver had to be imported from Asia.
This accounts for the great quantities of gold objects and ornaments
that have been found in the tombs, and the scarcity of silver ornaments.
The Egyptian goldsmiths made all kinds of vessels and personal jewellery
in gold, set with lapis lazuli and other precious stones. We shall have
to be content with giving, as examples of this art, the famous pectoral
of Kha-em-uas, son of Rameses II. (Fig. 142), and the golden hawk (Fig.

[Illustration: Fig. 142.—Pectoral; Actual Size. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 143.—Golden Hawk; Actual Size. (P. & C.)]

The former is a splendid and unique specimen of a pectoral, or breast
ornament for the dead. These pectorals have been found in great numbers,
made of wood, metal, and earthenware. The general shape is that of a
_naos_, or little temple. The Kha-em-uas pectoral is made of gold inlaid
with lapis lazuli, and is thus described by M. Pierret: “Jewel in the
form of a naos, in which a vulture and an uræus are placed side by side;
above them floats a hawk with extended wings, in his claws are seals,
emblems of eternity. Under the frieze of the naos an oval, with the
prenomen of Rameses II., is introduced. Two _tet_ (or _dad_, symbol of
stability) are placed in the lower angles of the frame.” The golden hawk
is a similar kind of ornament, with crescent wings and seals in its
claws, emblems of reproduction and eternity. The workmanship in these
articles looks like that of _cloisonné_ enamels, but they are not
enamels. The thin ribs of gold that surround the lapis lazuli stones in
the pectoral and hawk are _cloisons_, but the stones are cut to fit into
the spaces accurately, and are therefore inlaid, while in the true
enamels the enamel is put in the cells and fused to the metal by fire
afterwards. Enamelling as known to the Chinese was not practised in

As ivory could be obtained from Ethiopia in great quantities, it was
natural that the Egyptians would make good use of it. It was a favourite
material with the sculptors, and many fine examples of ivory carvings
and incised work have been found in the tombs. The incised outlines on
the ivory were usually filled in with black (Figs. 144 and 145).

[Illustration: Fig. 144.—Fragment of an Ivory Castanet, Louvre.]

[Illustration: Fig. 145.—Ivory Plaque; Late Work. (P. & C.)]

Gold, silver, ivory, and ebony were worked in usually by the same
Egyptian artist, as we learn from an inscription on a stele of Iritesen,
an Egyptian sculptor, thus translated by Maspero: “Ah! there is no one
excels at this work except myself, and the eldest of my legitimate sons.
God decided that he should excel, and I have seen the perfection of his
handiwork as an artist, as the chief of those who work in precious
stones, in gold, silver, ivory, and ebony.”

[Illustration: Fig. 146.—Egyptian Chair. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 147.—Chair or Throne. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 148.—The Carpenters Making Chairs. (M.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 149.—Coffer in Wood. (P. & C.)]

Judging from the small remains left to us, the furniture and woodwork of
the Egyptians must have been of an excellent description. We have
evidence also of this in the wall paintings and bas-reliefs that give
representations of tables, chairs, and couches. Some of the chairs or
thrones are of special beauty (Figs. 146 and 147). A carpenter’s shop
showing the workmen making chairs is seen at Fig. 148, and a coffer
(Fig. 149). The feet of chairs and thrones were usually imitated from
those of animals.

[Illustration: Figs. 150-51.—Perfume Spoons, Louvre. (P. & C.)]

In wood-carving nothing could be daintier than the perfume spoons with
figures and water plants decoratively treated (Figs. 150, 151).

[Illustration: Fig. 152.—An Egyptian Ship, Sailing and Rowing. (M.)]

The Egyptian ships were singularly beautiful in their outlines, with
their prows and sterns ending usually in a metal stalk and carved lotus
flower or ram’s head (Figs. 152, 153). The “bari,” or sacred boat which
transported the dead, decorated at each end with the carved metal lotus,
and pavilion or chapel in the centre, with its freight of the mummy and
the mourners (Fig. 152), is represented as it sails off towards Abydos,
the city of the dead, to the west of Thebes, and the crowds of friends
on the banks of the river will salute the dead, saying: “In peace, in
peace towards Abydos! Descend in peace towards Abydos, towards the
Western Sea!”

[Illustration: Fig. 153.—The River Transport of a Mummy from Maspero.]

                             CHAPTER VIII.
                       CHALDEAN AND ASSYRIAN ART.

The Chaldeans or Babylonians and the Assyrians came from one great
stock, the Assyrians being mostly colonists from Babylonia. The original
inhabitants of Chaldea spoke a Semitic dialect. At an early date Eastern
Chaldea was invaded by the Sumerians or Accadians, a Turanian race which
is supposed to have come from the plateau of Central Asia. The two
languages were used side by side, the Semitic as the common tongue, and
the Accadian as a literary language. The earliest known king of Chaldea
was named Eannadu (B.C. 4500). The Chaldeans advanced slowly along the
Tigris and pushed their kingdom towards Assyria in the north, where they
built the cities of Ashur (Kal’at Sherkât), Calah (Nimroud), and Ninua

The northern portion of the Chaldeo-Assyrian empire asserted its
independence about 1700 B.C., and Assyria became a separate kingdom.
From B.C. 1275, when Tukulti-Adar I., the Assyrian king, conquered
Babylonia, down to the destruction of Nineveh, B.C. 609, the Chaldean
kingdom took a place of secondary importance, while Assyria became the
greatest power of Western Asia.

Tiglath-Pileser I. (B.C. 1100), and Ashur-nasir-pal (B.C. 885), were
amongst the greatest kings of Assyria. The latter was a great builder.
He built the great palace at Calah (Nimroud), the place to which he
removed his seat of government from Ashur. Assyrian art reached a high
state of development in his reign. His son and successor, Shalmaneser
II. (B.C. 860-825) was no less powerful; he extended his kingdom by wars
from the Persian Gulf to the Armenian mountains, and from Media to the
Mediterranean. Jehu, King of Israel, sent him tribute. After his death
Assyria declined and shrank within its borders, but under
Tiglath-Pileser III. regained its lost ground again (B.C. 745). Sargon,
the “Son of no one” (B.C. 722-705), usurps the throne, makes great wars,
is the first King of Assyria that comes in contact with the Egyptians.
He built the great palace at Khorsabad, which in late years has been
excavated. Sennacherib, his son, succeeded him, whose wars with
Hezekiah, King of Judah, are recorded in the Bible in the Book of Kings.
He built a great palace at Nineveh, many of the wall slabs of which are
now in the British Museum.

The death of the succeeding monarch, Esarhaddon, took place before he
had completed his great palace at Calah (Nimroud). Another palace
supposed to be his has lately been excavated at Nineveh. It lies buried
under the mound of Nebi Yunus. The Assyrian kings were great builders of
palaces. Each one, it appears, thought it his duty either to add a large
portion to a palace of his predecessor, or to build a new one for
himself. Ashur-bani-pal, who reigned for forty-two years (B.C. 668-626),
was one of the most powerful and most cruel of all the Assyrian
monarchs. His victory over the Elamites is depicted on the sculptured
slabs that enrich the Ninevite gallery of the British Museum. At his
death the Assyrian power was broken up, partly by the Scythian hordes
that swept over that part of Asia, and partly by the Medes. Nineveh was
besieged by Cyaxares of Media, and by Nabopolassar, an Assyrian general
who held command in Babylonia. It was at length captured and destroyed
(B.C. 609). The whole empire was then divided between the Medes and the
Babylonians. The new Babylonian empire lasted seventy years, and in the
reign of its last king, Nabonidus, when under the command of Belshazzar,
his son, Babylon was captured by Cyrus of Persia (B.C. 539). From this
time until its subjugation by Alexander the Great Babylon was under the

[Illustration: Fig. 154.—A Winged Bull, Assyria. (M)]

The religion of the Chaldeo-Assyrian nation was the worship of the sun,
moon, stars, and the various powers of nature. Their chief gods were
Shamash, the sun; Sin, the moon; Marduk, a sun-god, the carrier of
prayers from earth to heaven; Anum, the sky god; Bel, the god of the
earth; and Ea, the god of great knowledge: the last three were the
Trinity. Other gods were Dagon, the fish-god; Ishtar, their Venus; Nabu,
their Mercury and scribe of the gods; Rammânu, the god of wind and
thunder; and Negral, the god of war and hunting.

The Assyrian and Babylonian people have a proverbial name for being a
warlike and cruel race, in opposition to their contemporaries, the more
peaceful and gentle Egyptians. At the same time they have the reputation
of being highly skilled in arts and sciences.

[Illustration: Fig. 155.—Demons, from the Palace of Assurbanipal,
British Museum. (P. & C.)]

The greatness of the Chaldeans in astronomy, in astrology, and as wise
men generally, is too well known to be repeated. Their skill in the arts
of building, sculpture, in the use of metals, in pottery, tiles, gem
cutting, painting, embroidery and weaving, excites our wonder and

[Illustration: Fig. 156.—A Griffon in the Egyptian Style. (M.)]

The art of the Assyrians is intensely earnest and full of realism,
vigorous in the highest degree, and true art of its kind. It is the art
of a people who were brave and powerful, and of princes that were
despotic and stern. The keynote of their art was _force_, whether
displayed in its physical and realistic aspects, in the sculptural
representations of ferocious animals, as their lions and dogs, or
embodied in their mysterious and wonderful creations of human-headed
bulls, and other monsters and demons (Figs. 154, 155), or in the haughty
self-consciousness of strength and power, with which their sculptors
sought to invest the representations of the monarchs going forth to
battle or to the lion hunt (Fig. 163); everywhere, in the higher aspects
of Assyrian art, physical force, or personal force of will, is the
culminating point of expression aimed at in all their efforts.

The sculptured lion of the Egyptians is _couchant_, half slumbering; the
Assyrian lion is _rampant_ and roaring for his prey. The simile may be
used to illustrate the characteristic difference of the Art of both
countries. The Assyrian made his art minister to his worldly uses and
delights, the Egyptian lavished his on the tomb and for the hereafter.

The Assyrian religion and the Chaldean magicians’ and astrologers’
exposition of its mysteries, doubtless gave the subject-matter for the
creation of those strange combinations of chimeras, monsters, and
bi-form deities that are so common in Assyrian art.

The griffons and other curious hybrid creatures of the Middle Ages, and
those that adorn the Gothic buildings of our own days, can be traced to
their birthplace in Assyrian art.

[Illustration: Fig. 157—Eagle-headed Divinity from Nimroud, with the
Sacred Tree. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 158.—Figure of a Goddess in Act of Adoration,
British Museum. (P. & C.)]

The great god of the Assyrians was named Assur, the all-powerful god of
battles. In his name all kinds of cruelty and torture were practised on
heretics and apostates, and in his name, and to extend his kingdom of
Assyria, the Ninevite kings found their excuses to make war with nations
far and near. He seems to have been a later creation of the Assyrian
gods, but became supreme as Nineveh rose in power. He was supposed to
have descended from Sin, the moon-god. The winged-globe, with the god in
the centre holding the bow and arrow, or thunder-bolt (Fig. 159), is by
some thought to be a representation of Assur. A similar figure is seen
at the top of the Assyrian standard, as the “Director of Armies” (Fig.
161). This figure in the centre of the ring or solar disk, who is
evidently divine, by reason of his feathered lower garment, and his
wings that raise him in mid-air, above all humanity, is quite likely to
be the original type of the later Persian supreme god, Athurâ-Mazda (see
Fig. 243), and the emblematic symbol of his divinity is quite likely to
have been designed and adapted from the winged disk or “globe” of the

[Illustration: Fig. 159—The Winged Globe with the Figure of a God. (P. &

[Illustration: Fig. 160.—The Winged Globe; from Layard. (P. & C.)]

The winged globe (Fig. 160) of the Assyrians is an imitation of that of
Egypt; this emblem having found its way into Assyria on many carvings in
ivory and on articles in bronze, carried hither by the trading
Phœnicians from Egypt, and the emblem in question was, according to
Perrot, appropriated by the Assyrians.

[Illustration: Fig. 161.—The Assyrian Standard. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 162.—Dagon, the Fish-God. (P. & C.)]

In their ornament and decoration they were more free and natural than
the Egyptians, and the execution was careful and refined, as witnessed
by their bronze bowls, gem-engraving, and the patterns on the enamelled

[Illustration: Fig. 163.—Assurbanipal Attacked by Lions, British Museum.
(P. & C.)]

The bronze gates from Balâwât in the British Museum are examples of
highly skilful repoussé work. Their palaces must have presented a
gorgeous and glittering appearance in their rich colouring and enamelled
brilliancy. Although not a single specimen of Assyrian weaving has been
discovered, we have abundant and sufficient evidence from the sculptured
patterns of textiles and embroideries on the kings’ robes and wall
decorations that both weaving and embroidery must have been one of their
most glorious arts.

The Asiatic love of colour would lead us to suppose that these
embroideries were excessively rich in colour (Figs. 162A, 163A, 164,
165) as they were in design.

The details of this embroidery design (Fig. 162A) are well drawn, and
the design is full of rich variety without heaviness or too much
crowding. The king is seen twice represented in the circle doing homage
to the sacred tree and to the winged disk; and in other places he is
between two genii or deities; combats of lions and bulls, palmate
borders, fir-cones, and spirals, with bands that divide the work in
varied spaces, complete these rich designs in embroidery, which are
among the very finest efforts of Assyrian decorative art.

[Illustration: Fig. 162A.—Embroidery upon a Royal Mantle; from Layard.
(P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 163A.—Embroidery on the upper part of a Royal
Mantle; from Layard. (P. & C.)]

Details of embroidery patterns are shown at Figs. 164, 165.

The sills or thresholds of the doors of the palaces were sometimes
sculptured in low relief on large slabs of alabaster stone. The design
is evidently copied from an embroidered carpet; perhaps the central part
of the one given (Fig. 166) is a copy from a fabric woven in the loom,
and the border, enlarged at Fig. 167, would have its original in

[Illustration: Fig. 164.—Detail of Embroidery; from Layard. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 165.—Detail of Embroidery; from Layard. (P. & C.)]

The figure of the plan and elevation of part of a Chaldean façade in
enamelled bricks, from Warka, is decorated with patterns that, no doubt,
had their origin in weaving and matting (Fig. 168). The surface of this
façade is composed of terra-cotta cones, with their bases turned
outwards. These bases were previously dipped in enamelled colours before
they were inserted into the clay cement; so they form a kind of
terra-cotta mosaic work (_Loftus_).

[Illustration: Fig. 166.—Sill of a Door from Khorsabad: Length, 40 ins.
(P. & C.)]

The land of Chaldea was devoid of stone for building purposes, but
extremely rich in immense banks of clay, which was used for brick making
from the earliest times in Chaldea. The Chaldean brick is rather more
than one English foot square, and about four inches in thickness; of a
dark red colour to light yellow. Nearly all of them have an inscription
with the name of the king, &c. (Fig. 169).

[Illustration: Fig. 167.—Fragment of Border of Fig. 166; from a
Threshold of Khorsabad. (P. & C.)]

The brick from Erech, or ancient Warka, gives a good idea of one of the
oldest forms of Chaldean writing known (Fig. 170). It consists of an
abridgment of the representation of natural objects, as all alphabets in
their original state were merely pictures or pictographs. This
inscription shows the stage of conventional signs or ideographic writing
before it underwent the change into the _cuneiform_, or wedge-shaped
writing of the Assyrians.

[Illustration: Fig. 168.—Plan and Elevation of Part of a Façade at
Warka; from Loftus. (P. & C.)]

Some of the bricks were made wedge-shaped, for use in the building of
arches and vaults. The common bricks were sometimes used in the crude
state, or unburnt, and burnt. Enamelled bricks were greatly used in
Chaldea, but the clay of which they were made was softer and more
friable. This was used purposely, so that the enamel would sink deeper
into the soft material, and thereby make a more lasting surface

[Illustration: Fig. 169.—Babylonian Brick, 16 ins. square, 4 ins. thick.
(P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 170.—Brick from Erech. (P. & C.)]

Assyria copied most of her art and sciences from her older sister in
civilisation, and had the advantage over Chaldea in a good supply of
building stone, that formed the substructural bed for the clay deposits.
This was a sulphate of chalk known as alabaster, grey in colour, and
easy to work. The great wall slabs used for the bas-reliefs and the
winged bulls and other statuary, were carved out of this material; but
the Assyrians used bricks for the main structure of their buildings,
like the Chaldeans. Timber was scarce in Assyria, but was used very much
in the palaces. It was brought from the mountains of Upper Mesopotamia,
on the left bank of the Tigris, and, later, cedar and other woods were
transported from the forests of Lebanon for the beams of the palaces and
temples. All kinds of metals, burnished and unburnished, were used as
decorative accessories, especially by the Chaldeans.

[Illustration: Fig. 171.—One of the Gates of the Harumat, Dur-Sarginu.

The historians’ descriptions, the foundations that have been excavated,
and the sculptured buildings on the bas-reliefs, are the materials,
together with well-preserved fragments of architecture, which
archæologists and architects have used to enable them to restore some of
the wonderful temples and palaces of ancient Assyria (Fig. 172).

[Illustration: Fig. 172.—Interior of a Temple, after Layard’s

The bird’s-eye view of the palace of Dur-Sarginu will give a good idea
of the typical Assyrian palaces (Fig. 174), and the triumphal gate with
its man-headed winged bulls at the base and sides (Fig. 173), and also
the other gate at Fig. 172, both with their crenallated battlements,
serve to show the imposing character of these edifices. It will be
noticed from the bird’s-eye view and the gateways that the general
character of Assyrian architecture was rectangular in the highest
degree. The arch and vaulted structures were known to the Assyrians, who
used them to great advantage (Figs. 175 and 250), and much more so than
the Egyptians, although the latter people occasionally employed them.

[Illustration: Fig. 173.—Triumphal Gate at the entrance of the Palace.

The Chaldeans, as would naturally be expected, used the arch
construction very much in their brick buildings, as it would be the only
means of carrying roofs and upper floors, where stone and timber could
not easily be obtained (Fig. 175).

[Illustration: Fig. 174.—The Royal Palace of Dur-Sarginu (Sargon’s
Palace); restored by Chipiez. (M.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 175.—A Bedroom in the Harem at Dur-Sarginu (Sargon’s
Palace). (M.)]

The use of the column in Chaldea is proved by the bas-reliefs before it
developed itself in Assyria; but in either country it was not an
important feature in the architecture, being mostly used for awnings
supporting light tents or tabernacles; sometimes, indeed, used in a
disengaged way, as proved by the views of small temples on the
bas-reliefs (Figs. 176, 177, 178). The use of the column was not in
accord with the principles of their architecture, and was only to be
found in small porches, or in an engaged way against outer walls and
piers (Fig. 179). The only capital found in a fragment, and restored by
Place, is shown at Fig. 181, and two bases (Figs. 180 and 182). From
these remains it is assumed that the shaft was smooth and cylindrical.

[Illustration: Fig. 176.—Temple on the bank of a river, Khorsabad, from
Batta. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 177.—Capital of Temple at Fig. 176. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 178.—Capital. (P. & C.)]

An incipient form of the Ionic volute is seen at Fig. 177 in the capital
of the small columns to the little temple (Fig. 176).

The kings of Assyria had in their palaces a great deal of luxurious
furniture. The couches, chairs, and tables were made of wood, with
bronze fittings, and decorated with ivory, gold, and lapis lazuli. The
bas-relief in the British Museum representing Assurbanipal and his queen
at a banquet (Figs. 183 and 184) will give a good idea of the extreme
richness in design and decoration of these sumptuous articles of
furniture (Fig. 185).

Bronze sockets (Fig. 186) and all kinds of fragments in metal and ivory
fittings, and decorations corresponding to the designs on the
bas-reliefs, all indicate that the anathemas of the prophet Nahum (Nahum
ii. 9) gave a good picture of Nineveh’s richness in the sumptuary arts.
“Take ye the spoil of silver,” he exclaims, “take the spoil of gold; for
there is none end of the store and glory out of all the pleasant

[Illustration: Fig. 179.—Fragment of an Assyrian Building from a
bas-relief, B.M. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 180.—Ornamented Base of Limestone. (P. & C.)]

Animals have been represented with such faithfulness, especially in
their most vigorous and ferocious aspects, by the sculptors of Assyria,
that in any notice of Assyrian art they must have a place. Lions
especially were rendered in all their ferociousness, and were the
favourite game for kingly sport (Figs. 187, 188, 189). Lions were kept
in cages, and let out when the monarch decided to have a day’s hunting
(Fig. 187). Dogs were specially trained for lion-hunting (Fig. 190).

[Illustration: Fig. 181.—Assyrian Capital compiled from Place. (P. &

[Illustration: Fig. 182.—Winged Sphinx carrying Base of Capital. Layard.
(P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 183.—Assurbanipal and his Queen feasting in the
gardens of the Harem after the battle. The head of Teuman, the Elamite
King, hangs on the left on the sacred tree. (M.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 184.—The Feast of Assurbanipal. (B.M.) (P. & C.)
Enlarged detail of Fig. 183, showing the Assyrian Furniture. Drawn by

[Illustration: Fig. 185.—Assyrian Stool; from Layard. (P. & C.)]

We add two illustrations of the sphinx variety of fantastic animals; one
is the most remarkable creation of all the fantastic animals of Assyria
(Fig. 192). It has the horns of a ram, a bull’s head, a bird’s beak;
body, tail, and fore-legs of a lion; and the hind-legs and wings of the
eagle. The Andro-Sphinx (Fig. 193) from the robe of Assurbanipal
foreshadows the fabulous centaurs of Grecian art. Other bi-form
creations have been found in Assyrian art bearing a close resemblance to
the Greek centaur.

[Illustration: Fig. 186.—Bronze Foot of a Piece of Furniture.]

[Illustration: Fig. 187.—Lion coming out of his Cage. (B.M.) (P. & C.)]

The purely ornamental forms from the vegetable world that have been used
in Assyrian and Chaldean art are limited in number. The daisy or rosette
is the commonest (Figs. 194 and 198). In the illustration of the “Lion
and Lioness in a Park” (Fig. 188) the daisy is beautifully though
conventionally rendered; the large leaves at the bottom are typically
the common daisy leaves; the vine is no less well executed, and the
lioness on the same bas-relief is treated with consummate skill. The
vine is also seen to great advantage in its conventional treatment at
Figs. 184 and 188.

[Illustration: Fig. 188.—Lion and Lioness in a Park. (B.M.) (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 189.—Combat between a Lion and a Unicorn; from
Layard. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 190.—Dog used for Lion Hunting. (M.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 191.—Chariot Horses; from Layard. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 192.—Fantastic Animal, drawn by Gautier. (P. & C.)]

There is an Assyrian ornament called the “knop and flower” ornament,
which occurs in various forms and in endless profusion in Egyptian,
Assyrian, Persian, and Greek, and even is copied down to Indian and
Roman ornament. It may be native, or some forms of it at least, to
Assyrian ornament, but is undoubtedly Egyptian in its earliest source;
we have spoken of it before in our notice of Egyptian ornament as being
derived from the lotus (page 90). It appears on the rich border of the
carved threshold (Fig. 167); the flower there is undoubtedly a lotus,
and the bud or “knop” may be a representation of a “fir-cone,” or may be
meant for the closed lotus-bud. Another form of the same elements occurs
at Fig. 195, in a beautiful design enclosed in a square, forming one of
the central patterns of a similar sill or threshold, and this form of it
would doubtless also be used for a ceiling decoration of the palaces. A
bouquet of similar flowers is seen at Fig. 196 of the date of
Assurbanipal (885-860 B.C.). It is very difficult to say whether this
bouquet represents the lotus or not, as, according to the testimony of
Layard, the lotus flower is only to be found on the most recent of
Assyrian monuments dating from the eighth and seventh centuries B.C., at
the time when Assyria had invaded and occupied the Delta of Egypt. If
not the lotus flower, something very like has been found on monuments in
Assyria much older than these dates.

[Illustration: Fig. 193.—Andro-Sphinx, Robe of Assurbanipal; from
Layard. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 194.—Detail from the Enamelled Archivolt, Khorsabad;
from Place. (P. & C.)]

As the result of some recent scientific examinations into the origin of
pattern, some investigators have decided that the “knop and flower”
patterns of Assyrian ornament (Figs. 167, 195, and 198) are but
evolutions of tassels, and knotted fringes of matting and embroideries,
just because they bear a not very clear resemblance to such trimmings as
we see on the tabernacle on the Balâwât gates (Fig. 197), &c. We admit
that there is a fancied resemblance in many ornamental forms to patterns
that have been evolved from constructed articles, especially from woven
and matted examples, but it is an insult to the intelligence of an
artist to ask him to believe that the beautiful and clearly distinctive
floral bud and palmate borders in Egyptian, Assyrian, and Greek art have
resulted from tyings and knottings of the fringed ends of mats, when one
can clearly see the daisy—in some cases turned to a disk—the palm, and,
above all, the lotus, almost naturally drawn and modelled; even the
connecting lines of flower and buds, where scientific connection with
the fringed-end idea seems the strongest in the eyes of the
evolutionist, will be found on examination to be always used in the
exact reverse way to that which is formed by the constructive joinings
of the knotted fringe. (See Figs. 198 and 167.)

[Illustration: Fig. 195.—Rosette of Lotus Flowers and Buds. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 196.—Bouquet of Flowers and Buds; from Layard. (P. &


  Fig. 197.—Tabernacle from the Balâwât Gates. (B.M.) (P. & C.)
  Date, B.C. 859 to 824.]

It will require an amazing quantity of scientific proof to get rid of
the lotus in Egyptian ornament, and much also to turn it and the daisy
into tassel knots in Assyrian ornament, when we have overwhelming
evidence as to the natural representations of such floral forms, as well
as the conventional designs derived from them, on the very oldest
monuments in both countries.

[Illustration: Fig. 198.—Painted Ornament on Plaster; from Layard. (P. &

The “Sacred Tree,” or “Tree of Life,” is often represented in Assyrian
art, and under different forms, but generally with a king or some
divinity on either side of it, paying homage (Figs. 157, 162A, 208).

An enlarged portion of it is seen at Fig. 199.

[Illustration: Fig. 199.—Upper Portion of a Tree of Life; from Layard.
(P. & C.)]

The exact meaning of the “Sacred Tree” has not yet been satisfactorily
explained, but, at any rate, it seems likely enough that it represents a
palm-tree, shown by the palmate head and by the conventional markings on
the trunk, no doubt meant for the bark roughening lines. The surrounding
palmates may be meant to represent a leafy enclosure for the sacred tree
in the centre, or the whole thing may be a conventional picture of a
sacred grove.

Owing to the comparative lateness of the universal use of the lotus in
Assyrian art, we can well imagine that this flower form was introduced
into Assyria by the articles in bronze, ivory, and other material by the
Phœnician traders, that were both of Egyptian and Phœnician design, as
there was scarcely an article of commerce on which the lotus was not
represented in those early days of Phœnician trade (900 to 300 B.C.)

[Illustration: Fig. 200.—Guilloche Ornament on Enamelled Brick. (B.M.)
(P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 201.—Ivory Plaque; Actual Size. Drawn by Gautier.
(P. & C.)]

Another very characteristic ornament of the Assyrian decorations is the
double-interlacing meander, or guilloche (Figs. 200 and 201). It is
generally found in combination with the other ornaments just spoken of,
both on tiles and in ivory engraving. It is sometimes called “cable
ornament” or “snare-work,” from the appearance it has to a rope or cable
twisted around the eyes of posts. It has been used very much by the
Greeks and Romans.

[Illustration: Fig. 202.—Ivory Plaque found at Nimroud. (B.M.) (P. &

The art of ivory carving and engraving was practised in Assyria, judging
from some plaques and carvings that have been found that are distinctly
Assyrian in motive and design (Fig. 201), and from many elephants’ tusks
that have come to light from the ruins of the buried palaces; but it has
been clearly established that the art was first introduced into Assyria
by the importation of the Egyptian plaques and other carvings, and also
by the imitations of Egyptian articles made by Phœnician artists, and
probably sold to the Assyrians as the product of Egypt.

Fig. 202, a small plaque, is quite likely to be one of these imitations
of Egyptian design with the lotus-tree of life which rests on a support
or top of a capital. This form of lotus capital is found everywhere in
Cyprus, and in all countries where Phœnician trade extended. It is
distinctly Egyptian in origin, and more than likely is the origin of the
Ionic volute capital of the Greeks. The small and beautifully carved
sphinx (Fig. 203) is one of the many Egyptian ivories that had found its
way to Assyria, and is immeasurably superior in workmanship to any of
the Assyrian carvings.

[Illustration: Fig. 203.—Ivory Fragment in British Museum; Actual Size.
Drawn by Gautier. (P. & C.)]

It may be remarked here that the Assyrian artist excelled in the flat or
engraved treatment of his designs in nearly every branch of art, but was
inferior in workmanship to the Egyptian in carved work in the round;
though in expressing intense life, virility, and movement, especially in
the representation of animals, he was superior to the Egyptian artist.

[Illustration: Fig. 204.—Bronze Platter, 9 ins. diameter. (B.M.) Drawn
by Wallet. (P. & C.)]

There is one important product of Assyrian art that deserves notice—the
exquisite bronze bowls, cups, and platters, made in repoussé and
finished off with the engraver’s burin (Fig. 204, 205). In these
products we may recognise the renaissance of Assyrian art, based on the
art of the Egyptians. That they must have had their origin in Assyria no
one can doubt, when we think that the working in bronze was so well
known in Assyria and Babylonia; for example, we quote the magnificent
Balâwât plates, of repoussé bronze, of Shalmaneser II. (B.C. 859-824)
now in the British Museum; and although the designs on some of them are
distinctly Egyptian (Fig. 204), not one specimen of such bowls or
platters has yet been found in the Valley of the Nile.

[Illustration: Fig. 205.—Bronze Cup, diameter 11 ins.; from Layard.]

It may be reasonably assumed that the Egyptian motives were copied from
ivories or painted vases brought to Assyria by the Phœnicians, and that
those master workers in bronze, the Assyrians, copied such designs on
their platters and cups, and afterwards introduced their own distinctive
designs, as may be seen in Fig. 205, a design which is Assyrian in every
detail, with no Egyptian trace. Designs like the latter disprove the
theory that these bronze bowls and dishes were altogether made in
workshops of Tyre and Byblos, but undoubtedly the Phœnician artists—who
really invented nothing—may have in their turn copied these designs on
their wares, when they found such handy and portable goods might be
easily transported, and would be sure to find a ready market in other
countries bordering on the Mediterranean, as we shall see when treating
of Phœnician Art. The importance of the design on such handy and
indestructible articles on the art of the Greeks, Cypriots, and
Etruscans, not only from the workmanship point of view, but from the
themes portrayed on them suggesting ornament, and other subject matter,
perhaps religious motives as well, to the rising civilisation of the
countries named, can hardly be exaggerated.

[Illustration: Fig. 206.—Border of a Bronze Cup; from Layard. (P. & C.)]

In painting on plaster (Fig. 198) or enamelling on tiles (Figs. 194 and
200) and bricks, the Babylonians and Assyrians used very few colours,
not more than five or six, but they used them with great advantage and
decorative effect, and always in flat tints. Their painted figures were,
as a rule, not intended for any other meaning than their geometric
ornament, and merely used as units in the ornamental scheme (Fig. 194).
The colours were: blue from the lapis lazuli; yellow, an antimoniate of
lead and a little tin; white, an oxide of tin; black, an animal
charcoal; red, an oxide of iron; and another blue from the oxide of
copper completes, as near as possible, the range of their palette.


  Fig. 207.
  Cylinder; from Soldi.
  (P. & C.)

[Illustration: Fig. 208.—Assyrian Cylinder. Worship of Sacred Tree.
(B.M.) (P. & C.)]

The nearly universal colour of the groundwork was blue, a deep dark blue
from the lapis lazuli. At Khorsabad M. Place found a mass of powdered
blue, over two pounds in weight, that was found to be made from the
lapis lazuli for the purpose of enamelling. The main portion of the
decoration was yellow, but often white was used with black outlines, and
red sparingly. A green tint was less common, but was supposed to be
obtained from a mixture of the yellow and copper blue oxide.

Remains of pottery are not very plentiful, and the forms have nothing
distinctive that calls for special notice. The vessels, such as vases,
cups, and buckets of bronze, are elegant in form and decoration (Fig.

Jewellery and personal decoration have only been found in a limited
quantity, and not of a very good quality in design or material: the
bas-reliefs furnish our best information on what existed in these

[Illustration: Fig. 209.—Bronze Bucket; from Layard. (P. & C.)]

Gem cutting and cylinder engraving were arts very much practised in
Babylonia and Assyria (Fig. 208). The cylinders usually were engraved
with subjects of a religious character. The illustration shows one of
the best engraved Assyrian cylinders that has yet been found. It
represents the king and deities at the worship of the Sacred Tree, and
the God Assur. In the hands of the deities may be seen the bronze
buckets shown at Fig 209.

This subject is supposed to be a copy from a bas-relief. The material of
these cylinders was generally of serpentine, chalcedony, agate, black
marble, jasper, &c., and they were used to impress clay documents with,
in a similar way as in the use of ordinary seals (Fig. 207).

                              CHAPTER IX.
                             PHŒNICIAN ART.

The origin of the Phœnician people remains in obscurity. According to
Herodotus, we learn that they came as an Eastern branch of the
Canaanitish peoples, of which race the Greeks were also a part, and who
settled at the foot of Lebanon, on the Syrian sea-coast, between Mounts
Carmel and Casius.

The Phœnician and Hebrew languages resembled each other very closely,
and from this it has been argued that the Phœnicians belonged to the
Semitic race of the Hebrews. Ancient Phœnicia was a narrow strip of
land, 130 miles long by only a few miles in width at its widest part.
The three principal towns in ancient times were Tyre, Sidon, and Joppa;
three others of importance were Arvad, Gebal or Byblos, and Accho or

Arvad in the north, was, like Tyre in the south, built on a rock some
little distance from the mainland. Tyre was for a long time impregnable
on its rocky seat, with a channel of about three-quarters of a mile
dividing it from the coast of the mainland. Owing to its peculiar
position, it could defy all unmaritime nations, and it was not until
Alexander the Great built an isthmus connecting it with the Phœnician
coast that it fell. The inhabitants of Gebal or Byblos were, according
to Rénan, more Jewish-like than any other Phœnician people.

Sidon was the first town of Phœnicia to rise to importance, and Tyre
afterwards, with greater vigour, rose to power and greatness; and both,
from being originally colonies of poor fishermen, became the famous
ports which sent forth ships to all points of the Mediterranean, and
even to the British Isles, carrying all kinds of merchandise to barter
for silver, gold, and tin, as well as for other raw materials from the
barbarians beyond the seas, and carrying these raw materials back to
supply the artists and artificers of the East. No two cities of the
ancient world did so much for the spread and progress of human
civilisation as the maritime cities of Tyre and Sidon.

[Illustration: Fig. 210.—Phœnician Merchant Galley; from Layard. (P. &

Like the rest of Phœnicia, Sidon, the first in power, accepted without
resistance the supremacy of Egypt. This was indeed to her great
advantage, for the ships of Sidon could fly the Egyptian flag in any
part of the Mediterranean or other seas, and so exist secure under the
protection of the mighty monarchs of that great country. In return for
this protection the Phœnicians carried on a successful trade with
Egyptian goods, thus benefiting themselves, and their masters to even a
greater degree.

The Phœnician fleets were, in fact, at the entire disposal of the
Egyptians, who possessed, in the early days, no fleet of their own.

Sidon was sacked and taken by the Philistines about B.C. 1000 or 900,
and from that period Tyre rose in supremacy. The first Tyrian king known
by name was Abibaal, the contemporary of David; his son was Hiram, the
friend of Solomon.

[Illustration: Fig. 211.—Phœnician War Galley; from Layard. (P. & C.)]

Afterwards Tyre, with its close intercourse with Egypt, established
colonies on the Delta of the Nile, the most renowned of which was called
the “New City,” _Karthadast_, called by the Greeks Carchedon, and by the
Romans Carthage.

This daughter of Tyre rose to great prosperity, but never forgot her
allegiance to the mother city. Their combined fleets sailed to, and
founded, colonies in Sardinia, Cyprus, the Grecian Archipelago, and to
Spain, doing enormous trade with both East and West. The Phœnician ships
that are known to us from the relief representations are of two kinds,
the round-prowed galleys, or cargo-carriers (Fig. 210), and the
ram-stemmed vessels, or war galleys (Fig. 211). There is no record that
has been found of their larger sea-going “merchantmen” ships.

[Illustration: Fig. 212.—Carthaginian Coin, Silver. (P. & C.)]

The growing power of the Greeks and Etruscans, and their improvement in
shipbuilding, was a new competition with the ships of Tyre in the East,
and at length forced the Tyrians to find new markets in the West.

[Illustration: Fig. 213.—Carthaginian Coin, Electrum. (P. & C.)]

The staple trade of the Tyrians had now become that of metals, the chief
of which was tin, owing to the great demand for it in the manufacture of
bronze in this period.

Their ships went as far as the Scilly Isles, to Cornwall, and to
Ireland. Diodorus mentions that the inhabitants of Great Britain were
much softened in their manners by their intercourse with the “strangers”
who came to their shores for tin. It is supposed that the strangers
alluded to were the Phœnician Carthaginians.

[Illustration: Fig. 214.—Votive Stele, from Carthage, with Sacred
Emblems. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 215.—Sacred Emblems, from a Carthaginian Votive
Stele. (P. & C.)]

In the fourth century B.C. the Carthaginians waged a war against the
Sicilian Greeks, and carried off the statues of gods from their temples,
and went so far as to copy their money the early Phœnician coins being
copies of Greek ones (Figs. 212, 213). The votive stele (Fig. 214), from
Carthage, shows the Greek Ionic-like columns, with the “blessing hand,”
and a collection of sacred Phœnician emblems. Greek architects were
employed in Carthage about this time. Phœnician architecture in every
case consisted of borrowed forms from surrounding nations.

[Illustration: Fig. 216.—Coin of Byblos, with Sacred Cone, enlarged. (P.
& C.)]

The sacred emblems (Fig. 215) are supposed to represent the cone-shaped
stones, _betylæ_, from Bethel, the “House of God,” the great worship of
the Phœnicians. The sign at the top is meant for a rude idea of the head
and arms of a god (Tanit, face of Baal?). The figure on the right is the
cone again, with the emblems of the goddess Astarte (Aphrodite), the
lunar signs. The sacred cone is seen surrounded by the temple court on
the coin of Byblos (Fig. 216).

[Illustration: Fig. 217.—Astarte, terra-cotta, height 10½ ins. (P. &

The small statuettes of the Phœnician gods and goddesses (Fig. 217) were
the originals from which the Greeks developed their sculptured figures
in the round. Among the gods of the Phœnicians were: Baal, _the Master_,
the _Bel_ of Assyria, which seems to be a generic title for any chief
divinity of a town or place, such as _Baal Peor_, _Baal-Sidon_,
_Baal-Tsour_, or the _Baal_ of Tyre; _Tanit_, or the _face of Baal_,
worshipped at Carthage; _Moloch_, or _Melek_. Melkart-Baal-Tsour was the
full name of the Great God of Tyre, which means “Melkart, Master of
Tyre.” _Baalat_ was the title for “mistress,” the goddess who shared the
throne of Baal. Sidon-Astoret was the _Baalat_ of Sidon, the goddess
Astarte, the Istar of the Assyrians, and the Aphrodite or Venus of the
Greeks and Romans (Fig. 217). She was a favourite divinity with the
Phœnicians, and more personal than any of their other divinities. She
was nature itself, the great goddess of life, presiding over creation
and also destruction. This Syro-Phœnician goddess of the Sidonians was
adopted by Cyprus, Cythera, Paphos, and Eryx, in Sicily. She is also
supposed to be the Moon-Goddess. The dove was sacred to her, and was
offered to her in sacrifice; a Phœnician statuette (Fig. 217) represents
her with a dove in her hand. The Phœnicians had many other minor gods.

[Illustration: Fig. 218.—Model of a Small Temple, in terra-cotta,
Louvre. (P. & C)]

A terra-cotta model of a small temple is peculiar in design (Fig. 218);
it was found in Cyprus, and may have been the model of the shrine sacred
to Astarte. As before mentioned, Phœnician architecture, from the few
remains of it that have been found, consists of borrowed forms from
other nations, and if any development even in the ornamental forms is
noticeable, it can generally be traced to the rising influence of the
Greeks, especially in Cyprus and Carthage. The tomb at Amrit (Fig. 219)
is, on the other hand, decidedly Assyrian in every detail, and is a
happy example of architectural proportion.

The fragment of an entablature from a temple at Byblos (Fig. 220) is of
a later date, and has for design and decoration of the moulding the
strongly marked features of Græco-Roman work, with the addition of the
Egyptian winged globe and asps.

[Illustration: Fig. 219.—Tomb of Amrit, restored from Renan. (P. & C.)]

Cyprus was a Phœnician dependency; many vases, and a great multitude of
other objects of art and treasures, have been brought to light from
tombs and from the subterranean chambers of former temples, mainly
through the instrumentality of General di Cesnola.

[Illustration: Fig. 220.—Entablature, from a Temple at Byblos. Drawn by
Wallet. (P. & C.)]]

The series of capitals (Figs. 221 to 224) show strongly the principle of
the Ionic volutes. The first (Fig. 221) is the simplest, the next (Fig.
222) has the triangular point between the lower volutes that we see in
so many lotus forms in Egyptian work (see Fig. 202), and has besides the
curious double boat-shaped volutes above, with other lotus-buds under
the abacus. Another capital (Fig. 223) has all the elements of the
Erectheum Ionic capital, but arranged in a totally different order, and
is more Byzantine than anything else. The capital found at Kition, in
Cyprus, is decidedly Ionic Greek, but in its earlier stage, just before
the period of the fully developed Ionic (Fig. 224). It can hardly be
doubted that the first two of decidedly Egyptian elements are derived
from the lotus, and may certainly be taken as the forerunners of the
pure Ionic Greek. The capital from Kition belonged to a temple of
Astarte, that once stood on the mound at Kition.

[Illustration: Fig. 221.—Cypriot Capital. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 222.—Cypriot Capital. (P. & C.)]

The capital found at Golgos (Fig. 225) is distinctly an early form of
Greek Doric. If little remains of Phœnician architecture have been
found, on the other hand many objects of minor art have been brought to
light, bearing on their face the unmistakable stamp of Phœnician

[Illustration: Fig. 223.—Capital at Djezza, limestone. Drawn by Saladin.
Height, 26 ins. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 224.—Capital from Kition, height 18 ins. Drawn by
Saladin. (P. & C.)]

Some of the bronze bowls and platters, and cups of silver, and also
carvings in ivory, although generally composed of Egyptian or Assyrian
design, were really the work of Phœnician artificers. The latter were
not slow in copying the motives of the above-named nations, but the
workmanship, especially in bronze and silver, was their own. The
Phœnicians were highly skilled in metal work, and we have proof that
they were employed in the building and decorating of the Temple at
Jerusalem. The bronze and silver bowls and platters were carried to all
countries where the Phœnicians had trading transactions, and they have
been found at Mycenæ, Etruria, Cyprus, Sardinia, &c. As stated before in
our notice of these objects in Assyrian art, the Assyrians were the
first to make these articles from copies of Egyptian design, and then
producing others with purely Assyrian designs. The Phœnicians in their
turn imitated both, and did a great trade with them. The silver platter
(Fig. 226) was found, in 1876, in the Necropolis of ancient Præneste, in
Latium, and in the same tomb was found a quantity of vases, diadems, and
jewels, all of Phœnician workmanship. On this platter a clearly engraved
inscription occurs in Phœnician characters, giving the name of the first
owner, Esmunjair-ben-Asto. The Phœnician inscriptions, and above all,
the want of method or arrangement of themes or motives on the articles,
stamp them to be of Phœnician origin. The silver platter has more
meaning in the use of the Egyptian motives than some others, but the
hieroglyphics are not to be relied on as correctly Egyptian.

[Illustration: Fig. 225.—Capital from Golgos (Ceccaldi). (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 226.—Phœnician Platter, Silver, diameter 7 ins.
Drawn by Wallet. (P. & C.)]

The silver-gilt cup or patera from Curium (Fig. 227) is a fair
illustration of this mixture of Egyptian and Assyrian ideas put together
from a multitude of stock-in-trade subjects or patterns. The centre
piece is Assyrian, and also the cable ornament. The inner row of animals
are Assyrian in feeling, but an Egyptian sphinx is introduced amongst
them; but the outer border is the most curious of all, as it contains
six or seven distinct Egyptian scenes, each divided by the tree of life
or palmates, taken at haphazard from designs of bas-reliefs. The
Phœnician goldsmith, evidently not understanding the story of these
Egyptian mysteries, used them merely as decorative units. The
workmanship is admirable; first the work is beaten up in repoussé and
then chased afterwards, and may be described as a mixture of the two

[Illustration: Fig. 227.—Patera from Curium, diameter 8 ins. (P. & C.)]

A beautiful Egyptian design of a cow and calf in a papyrus brake forms
the centre medallion of a Phœnician cup found at Caere (Fig. 228).

[Illustration: Fig. 228.—Centre Medallion; from a Cup from Griffi. (P. &

The Egyptian vessels figured in the tomb of Rekhmara (Fig. 229) are
mostly made in metal and are of Phœnician design. They would be sold to
the Egyptians, as the former supplied the latter in most articles of
metal workmanship; many rims and handles of elaborate workmanship have
been found, but scarcely any whole forms of these vases, though we have
many of their forms preserved in Greek and Etruscan work.

[Illustration: Fig. 229.—Vessels figured in the Tomb of Rekhmara; from

In articles of personal jewellery the Phœnicians were as skilful as the
Greeks and Etruscans; it was only in the matter of higher motives in
design that the Greeks excelled the Phœnicians. We give one or two
specimens of their jewellery at Figs. 230 to 233.

[Illustration: Fig. 230.—Gold Bracelet; from Tharros. (B.M.) (P. & C.)]

Cyprus was inhabited from the earliest time with a mixture of races in
which the Greek or Hellenic element was represented, and though
nominally a Phœnician dependency, the Greek superiority of artistic
genius asserted itself at a very early date in the art of the country.
Some of the architectural features already noticed, notably the Ionic
capitals, may be given as examples of this; and another very important
branch, the minor art of pottery, may furnish further examples of the
Greek art tendency, though infused with a mixture of Phœnician

[Illustration: Fig. 231. Silver Pin, Cesnola.]

[Illustration: Fig. 232.—Pendant, Wild Goat, Gold. (B.M.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 233. Earring, Gold, from Cesnola.]

Cyprus has always been particularly noted for its ceramic products. The
island is rich in potter’s clay of two kinds—a black earth, and a red
kind. The oldest kind of Cyprian known is of a good shape, and is
generally furnished with handles according to the uses of the vase. The
making and fitting on of handles is only achieved when the art of the
potter has been well advanced.

[Illustration: Fig. 234.—Bottle with Incised Ornament, from Cesnola. (P.
& C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 235.—Bottle with Geometric Decoration. (P. & C.)]

The two vases (Figs. 234, 235) are of the oldest dates, and are
decorated purely in the oldest form of geometric ornament. The one with
the handle is particularly good in form, and has the decoration incised
like sgraffito work. Fantastic shapes of animals made as vases and
drinking vessels were very common in Cyprus. Although not many of them
can be called beautiful, still it required considerable skill and
knowledge to model them (Fig. 236). The goat-shaped vessel is very
lifelike. The bowl or crater (Fig. 237) has the lotus flower and
geometric bands and divisions for its decoration; it is painted with
light brown and red on a cream-coloured ground. The decoration from a
cup is more elaborate, it has a new element in the shape of some kind of
water bird arranged Assyrian-like on each side of the sacred tree, and
has a sun sign filling up a space close to one of the bird’s legs (Fig.
238). Another very interesting and beautiful vase is the Œnochoé (Fig.
239). Another bird is painted on this, and at the same time the
geometric checkers and lines still cling to it as part of the
decoration. On this vase, also, may be seen two moon signs, and the
sacred sun sign, the fylfot, or swastika, repeated four times. These
sacred signs are often found on Cyprian pottery. The latter vase in
shape and decoration is more Greek in feeling than most Cyprian vases.
The larger Œnochoé (Fig. 240) has the human figure with some kind of
water fowls; it has a sacred sign on its lips. Though the subject
recalls Egypt, the design and execution might have been done by a clever
Greek artist. The style of execution and drawing on these vases may be a
little archaic, but the design and bold manner of execution is eminently
correct and could not be better for the decoration of pottery.

[Illustration: Fig. 236.—Vessel in the Shape of a Goat. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 237.—Bowl in the Piot Collection, height 6¾ ins. (P.
& C.)]

The discovery of glass making has been attributed to the Phœnicians, but
this is not correct; the Egyptians made glass articles, and used glass
in their vitreous enamelled tiles and bricks long before the Phœnicians
had any connection with Egypt. It was most likely because the Phœnicians
traded so much in glass, and for the reasons also that they had large
glass manufactories at Tyre and other places, that they have received
the credit from early times of being the inventors of glass. The oldest
dated glass bottle or vase in the world is one from Egypt, and now in
the British Museum. It bears the name of Thothmes III. (B.C. 1600). The
body is turquoise blue with yellow details of decoration and
hieroglyphics; the handle is dark blue with yellow and white markings.

The Phœnicians at a later period were extensive makers of glass
articles, and made glass of three kinds, the clear and transparent, but
always with a slight greenish hue, the coloured and transparent, and the

[Illustration: Fig. 238.—Detail of the Decoration of a Cup. (P. & C.)]

A great quantity of glass bottles, statuettes, vases, plaques, and beads
have been found in Cyprus. The bottles and vases that were prized most
highly were decorated chiefly in alternating lines of bright colours,
such as blues, greens, yellows, white, and purple. Beads, cones,
amulets, scarabs, heads of animals, and statuettes, as well as bottles
and vases, were made both by Phœnician and Egyptian workmen, some cast
in moulds and some blown. There is a cup in the French National Library
called the cup of Chosroes II., made of glass, and decorated with
artificial gems. The finest work of art in glass is the famous Portland
vase in the British Museum. The decoration on this vase is in relief in
cameo glass.

[Illustration: Fig. 239.—Œnochoé, New York Museum. (P. & C.)]

The small cylindrical perfume bottles in glass known as _alabastrons_
are of the highest antiquity; they were usually placed in the hands of
the dead.

In the art of weaving and making textiles the Phœnicians are not
credited with making anything different from the Orientals or Egyptians,
and perhaps supplied themselves with the Egyptian muslins and linens,
and had their rugs and carpets from the East, which were famed then as
now for their soft nature and brightness of colouring. We have evidence
from Homer that the Sidonian slaves were very skilful at embroidery.
“With threads of gold, or with a colour contrasting with that of the
ground, they drew fantastic beasts of every kind.”

These embroideries would likely have similar decoration to that which is
found on the metal platters, and perhaps imitations of those decorations
we see on the embroidered robes of the Assyrian kings’ mantles (Figs.
162A, 163A), and the scheme of decoration would likely be a division of
the field into bands and circles, each filled with Egyptian or Assyrian

[Illustration: Fig. 240.—Œnochoé, New York Museum. (P. & C.)]

In Cyprus, we can easily infer that the textiles would be strongly
influenced, as other manufactures were, by Egyptian art. The Phœnicians
were noted for their famous purple dye obtained from the _Murex_ and
_Purpura_ families of shell-fish. This purple dye was of world-wide
renown. Its great advantage was that on its exposure to light and
sunshine it became more fast and more intense in colour, which is
contrary to most dyes. It was very costly by reason of the difficulty in
extracting it from the fish, and of the enormous quantities required to
produce even a small quantity of the dye. The city of Tyre had extensive
factories for the manufacture of the Tyrian purple. It is not obtained
now from the shell-fish, as, of course, many other ways and cheaper have
been found to produce a similar colour.


  Fig. 241.—Intaglio on Chalcedony.
  (P. & C.)

The Phœnicians were adepts at ivory-carving, shell-engraving, and
gem-cutting (Fig. 241), as many examples of these arts have been found,
but we regret that the limitations of this volume prevent us from going
into these subjects as fully as we might wish.

                               CHAPTER X.
                         ART IN ANCIENT PERSIA.

Persia occupies what is known as the tableland of Iran, and is a plateau
bounded on the north by the Elburz Mountains, Armenia, and Afghanistan;
the Bol-ur and Hindu-Kush in the east; the heights that are parallel to
the Indian Ocean in the south; and the Persian Gulf, the chains of
Zagros, and Ararat in the west.

The Zagros Mountains separated Persia on that portion of the Iran
plateau from Assyria, which was known as part of Media. The Assyrians
under Tiglath-Pileser scaled these mountains and conquered the Medes.

The Medes have always been considered with the Persians as forming part
of one nation, being closely related to each other in language,
religion, manners, and customs.

The Medes were the first to emerge from barbarism, owing to their
nearness to the Assyrians. After the conquest of Babylon (B.C. 539) the
Medes and the Persians descended from their mountains into the valley of
the Tigris, under Cyrus, the first Persian king of the Achæmenidæan
dynasty. The name Achæmenidæ was given by the Greeks to the descendants
of a native chief called Akhamanish, and one of the oldest families of
Persia. Cyrus marched through Asia Minor to Asiatic Greece, seized all
the cities on his way, and made them pay tribute. Under Cambyses (B.C.
527) the countries of Syria, Palestine, Phœnicia, Assyria, Babylonia,
and Egypt—nearly all the old-world civilisation from the Mediterranean
to the Indus—belonged to the Persian Empire. Hostilities were kept up
between the Asiatics and Hellenes for two hundred years, until Alexander
the Great ended them at the battles of Issus and Arbela (334-330 B.C.).
For nearly a century Persia was under the vassalage of the Greeks, but
still kept her ancient customs and her ancient cult of fire-worship, the
national religion, although this was in a great measure undermined and
weakened by the teachings of the Greek conquerors.

[Illustration: Fig. 242.—Naksh-i-Rustem, General View of the Rock-cut
Tombs. (F.C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 243.—Persepolis. Tomb on the North-east. Elevation.

The Greeks were, in turn, overthrown by the Parthians, a northern
Asiatic tribe who ruled in Persia down to B.C. 226, when the native
Sassanidæ family of the south restored Persia to her former freedom, and
installed again the ancient worship of Ahurâ-Mazda, and also tried to
restore the art of the First Dynasty. The Greek and Roman influence was,
however, too strong at this period to be entirely shaken off, in spite
of the renewed display of patriotism. For instance, a great quantity of
Greek furniture, utensils, and figures of Greek gods must have found
their way into Persia during the reign of the Seleucidæ—the Greek
rulers—and must have influenced the native Persian art; besides borrowed
ideas from the art objects and other things that the Persians at a
former time pillaged from the Greek temples and carried home with them.
When the Arabs finally overthrew the Sassanid Dynasty and conquered
Persia, the state religion of fire-worship was proscribed, but the
Moslem religion never took the same hold in Persia as it did in other
countries, the Persians adopting the secular form of it—the Shiah—as
opposed to the more devout form, the Sunni. To this reason is assigned
the independence of Persia to the present day amongst the other Moslem
countries of the world.

[Illustration: Fig. 244.—Funeral Tower at Naksh-i-Rustem. (D.) (P. &

It was during the period of the First Empire that the greatest works in
architecture first appeared in Persia. It is clear from the remains of
this period that the national architecture of Persia was composed of a
mixture of Assyrian, Egyptian, and Greek elements, blended together in
an original way. The artists and architects who produced the national
Persian style were hardly native Persians, as there was no previous
style of any importance in Persia on which such great works as the
famous palaces could be founded or developed from. It is, therefore,
quite likely that the artists and architects were of Phœnician or Greek
nationality. Indeed, records of Greek names appear on the buildings as
architects of some of the palaces of the best periods, and ancient
history mentions the names of more than one Greek sculptor that was
brought to Persia for this purpose by the victorious kings, and induced
to work for them by being well treated and cared for. Many of the Greek
artists were also political refugees who found employment and a hearty
welcome in Persia.

It was when Cyrus had become master of Western Asia that the Persians
began to think of building the famous palaces at Persepolis, Susa, and
Pasargadæ. Most of these palaces and the tombs were built of a
close-grained limestone that is found very plentiful in the mountainous
country of Persia. The royal tombs were, as a rule, cut out of the
living limestone rock (Fig. 242). They are of the time of Darius, and
are all of one type that seems to have been invented by one mind, and,
after the first was cut, _speos_-like, out of the native rock—probably
that of Darius itself—the rest were copied faithfully from it. The great
height from the ground of the tomb itself was arranged for safety from
violation. The sculptured figure of the king is represented near the
top, in the act of worshipping the sacred fire seen on the right; at the
centre of the top of the field is seen the emblem of the god Ahurâ-Mazda
and the sun disk (Fig. 243). An older form of tomb, the “built” tomb, is
seen at the right of the rock-cut tombs, and a larger illustration of
this rectangular cemetery is seen at Fig. 244. The latter type of tomb
belongs to the time of Cyrus.

We must not look for much in the way of religious architecture in
Ancient Persia. Where temples in other countries were required,
fire-altars took their place in Persia (Fig. 245). These altars, by
reason of their uses, were generally found in “high places,” on summits
of hills and on rocks.

[Illustration: Fig. 245.—Fire Altars, Naksh-i-Rustem. (F.C.) (P. & C.)]

The fire-altars at Naksh-i-Rustem are really one with the rock on which
they stand. Remains of a fire-temple have been discovered at Ferûz-abad,
which is supposed to have had a roof; but the ends of the temple would
be open, with the sacred hearth on the top and centre of a lofty flight
of steps, on a quadrangular plan.

[Illustration: Fig. 246.—Persepolis; Staircase of the Palace of Darius.
(D.) (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 247.—Fragment of a Door-Frame from a Hypostyle Hall,
Sausa. (D.) (P. & C.)]

The buildings in Persia of the Achæmenidæ Dynasty, both palaces and
tombs, are of the pillar and beam, or the architrave system of
construction. The horizontal ceilings were of wood, and were panelled
very elaborately, and rested on stone supports. The doorways and windows
are square-headed, upholding a lintel (Fig. 248).


  Face and Profile of Principle Doorways. Face and Profile of Lateral
    Doorways. Profile of Window. Face of Cornice. Profile of Niche.
  Fig. 248.—Elevations and Sections of Doorways and Windows of a Palace
    at Persepolis. (F.C.) (P. & C.)

[Illustration: Fig. 249.—Persepolis, Doorway to Royal Tomb. (D.) (P. &

The doorway, at Fig. 249, of a royal tomb, is a very rich specimen of a
decorated Persian doorway. The Egyptian “gorge” is seen in the cornice,
but the Persian treatment of this feature is shown in the channelled
grooves, with imbricated markings between each channel. The rosettes,
too numerous here to be in good taste, are evidently borrowed from the
Assyrians. The door-frame, from Susa (Fig. 247), restored by Dieulafoy,
is, on the contrary, a beautiful example of good proportion and
restraint in decoration. It would pass for an example of Greek work in
its classic simplicity.


  Fig. 250.—View of a Group of Domed Buildings, from an Assyrian
  Layard. (P. & C.)

The walls of the palaces were usually crenellated or embattled (Figs.
246 and 261).

[Illustration: Fig. 251.—Palace at Sarvistan, Principal Façade. (F.C.)
(P. & C.) Example of Domed and Vaulted Structure.]

The staircase walls and other parts of the buildings were often covered
with tiles made of a white cement, and enamelled in colour decoration.
These have been found chiefly at Susa. The principal parts or body of
the building were of stone or brick, and the upper parts were supposed
to be of wood. This is correctly inferred by the stepped notches still
to be seen in the antæ, or corner piers of stone, which must have been
cut in this way to receive the ends of the ceiling beams (_Perrot &
Chipiez_). Wood was a scarce material in Persia, and must have been
brought from the Elburz Mountains at a great cost of time and labour;
but this would be nothing to a king like Darius, whose revenue was
reckoned at about £27,000,000 of English money.

[Illustration: Fig. 252.—Column with Volute Capital, Persepolis.]

[Illustration: Fig. 253.—Base of Pillar at Susa. (D.) (P. & C.)]

Remains of Persian buildings of another order, the vaulted structures
(Fig. 251), have been found at Sarvistan and Ferūz-abad, in the province
of Fars (Ancient Persia), which some archæologists have ascribed to the
time of the Sassinid Dynasty, the construction of which is supposed to
have been derived from their prototypes, the domed and vaulted buildings
of Assyria (see Fig. 250).

[Illustration: Fig. 254.—Base and Capital from Persepolis; Propylæa.
(F.C.) (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 255.—Capital and Base from Hypostyle Hall of Xerxes,
Persepolis. (F.C.) (P. & C.)]]

[Illustration: Fig. 256.—Upright of Royal Throne, Naksh-i-Rustem. (F.C.)
(P. & C.)]

The most distinctly Persian feature in all the architecture of Persia is
undoubtedly the column with its double-bull-headed capital (Fig. 254).
Archæologists are divided in opinion as to whether it is derived from
Egyptian or from Assyrian sources. If it is a borrowed idea, the
Persians may certainly be credited with developing the supposed idea
into something wonderfully unique and interesting as a capital. The name
_Zoophoros_ (life-bearing) has been given to it. Perrot and Chipiez
(from whom the illustrations are taken) say that the capital was in
design an inspiration from the Assyrian national standard (Fig. 161),
while Dieulafoy ascribes to it an Egyptian origin. The former appear to
have the best of the argument, for there is nothing in Egyptian ornament
that comes so near it as the animals of the Assyrian standard, as
regards position, but the supposed resemblance of idea even is not very
clear in this case.

[Illustration: Fig. 257.—Staircase Wall of the Palace of Xerxes at
Persepolis. (F.C.) (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 258.—Crowning Wall of Staircase, Palace of Xerxes,

The base of the Persian bull-headed columns is almost as unique in its
way as the capital. It is of the shape known as _Campaniform_, and
consists of an inverted bell of beautiful contour, richly decorated with
falling leaves, a torus moulding and fillet connecting it with the shaft
(Fig. 253).

[Illustration: Fig. 259.—Temple in a Royal Park. (B.M.) (P. & C.)]

Another capital has, instead of the bull heads, a lion’s head, with the
horn of a unicorn. This capital is wanting in the volutes and lower
capital. It is as poor, in this respect, as the voluted capital is
doubly rich, and can hardly be called beautiful (Fig. 255). It belongs
to the hypostyle hall of Xerxes, at Persepolis.

The shaft of the Persian column is channelled or fluted in nearly all
cases, and the number of flutings is very great, being from thirty-two
to fifty-two, while the Egyptian column has never more than sixteen, and
the Greek from sixteen to twenty-four. The great characteristic of the
Persian column is its slender and airy appearance. At Persepolis the
total height is twelve diameters of its shaft. Some are even more
slender than this. The Egyptian averages, in contrast, from five to six
diameters, and the Greek seven to nine. The Persian column had its
origin in timber supports.

[Illustration: Fig. 260.—Enamelled Ornament on Bricks from Susa. Drawn
by Gautier. (P. & C.)]

Besides the unique capitals and bases in Persian art there is not much
of the ancient Persian ornament and decoration that does not strongly
partake of foreign influences. The upright support of the royal throne
(Fig. 256) is distinctly Assyrian in feeling, and the upper horizontal
moulding is very like Greek work. A moulding is seen on the upper
rounded edges of the staircase (Fig. 246) and on the inner portion of
the parapet wall (Fig. 257) of an elongated egg shape, which is one of
the rare exceptions of ornament that is really Persian.

[Illustration: Fig. 261.—Upper Part of Parapet Wall, Susa. (P. & C.)]

The Assyrian daisy, patera, or rosette is a very characteristic ornament
in Persian decoration (Figs. 249, 258). This is also a typical ornament
in Greek architecture. Two well-known ornamental forms of Assyrian
ornament occur on the crowning wall of the staircase of the Palace of
Xerxes (Fig. 258), the cone-shaped pine-tree form, and the
palmate-crowned tree stem. The prototype of the former may be seen as an
ideal rendering from nature of the cypress or pine-tree (Fig. 259) in
the Assyrian illustration of a royal park. The contour of this ornament
may have reminded the Persian fire-worshippers of the flame shape, which
circumstance may have accounted for their fondness for using it so much.
The other adjoining palmate ornament is distinctly Assyrian; as also are
the daisy borders. A common form of ornament is seen on the enamelled
bricks from Susa (Fig. 260) consisting of a double palmate or lotus form
of flower, alternating and joined to concentric circles to form a band.
Below is an Egyptian chevron rather out of proportion to the rest of the
design. The whole thing has a decided Egyptian look, and may be a copy
of the enamelled ornament of that country.

[Illustration: Fig. 262.—Lion, from the Lion Frieze in Enamelled Bricks
at Susa. (P. & C.)]

The Persian palaces were richly decorated with enamelled bricks and
tiles, in strong blue, orange, white, and brown colouring, as the
archer’s and lion’s friezes from Susa (now in the Louvre) testify. These
two works are reproduced in colours in Perrot and Chipiez’ “History of
Art in Persia.” The upper part of the crenellated parapet wall of the
staircase at Susa gives an idea of the extreme richness of the
decoration in glazed tiles with enamelled covering (Fig. 261). The
Persians learnt their art of enamelling tiles and bricks from the
Chaldeans, and they have never lost it. Under the Moslem rule in the
fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the tiles and majolica that were
made for the decoration of the mosques reached a high stage of
perfection, especially in the colouring. This beauty is seen more
particularly in the deep azure grounds, and in their treatment of
conventional flower decoration that has never been surpassed in any
country. This subject will be further treated in the future notice of
modern Persian ornament.

[Illustration: Fig. 263.—Head of one of the Lions from the Frieze at
Susa. (P. & C.)]

In animal and figure design, the Persians closely imitated the Assyrians
and Chaldeans, but were not so successful in their general treatment of
them. The lion was one of the most favourite animals in Persian art. The
lions in the “lion frieze” at Susa were represented with more than usual
vigour and ability. This frieze remains the finest work of Persian
design that is yet known to us, and probably was the work of a Chaldean
artist employed by the great Persian king, Darius, to decorate his
palace at Susa. (See Figs. 262, 263).

                              CHAPTER XI.
                     GRECIAN PEOPLE AND MYTHOLOGY.

The early inhabitants of Greece were the Pelasgians, a people who had
the reputation of being great builders. At Athens, around the Acropolis,
and at other places, remains of huge walls, made of unsquared stones
laid in mud, have been found; these are the remains of the Pelasgian
walls. The oldest historians were not disposed to make any difference
between the Hellenes and the Pelasgians, but see in the former a
continuation merely of the old Pelasgi stock. The Dorians came from the
mountains of Thessaly, and steadily gained an ascendancy over the other
tribes of Greece.

The Ionians in the East gave an Oriental colouring to Hellas, both in
manners, customs, and in art. There were three dialects in the language
of the Greeks: the Doric, broad and soft; the Ionic, melodious and rich;
and the Æolic, a mixture to which nothing of a special character is
given, except that it is the nearest to the Latin.

The Greeks were a light-hearted and joyous race: they worshipped their
gods in everything they did—in running, wrestling and dancing, in
building, carving, and painting, in writing and reciting of poetry;
their whole life was one of intense artistic devotion, and all their
works of art were so many prayers to their gods. Whatever may have been
the racial differences of the Hellenic peoples, they united all their
physical and intellectual efforts to perfect their civilisation. They
emerged from archaic barbarism step by step, to such a refinement of
culture that has had no parallel in the history of nations.

It would be impossible to give an outline of Grecian or Roman art
without describing at least the outlines of their religious beliefs as
shadowed forth in their myths and in their plastic representations of
the same. It would be advisable, therefore, to sketch, in as brief a
manner as possible, some of the superior deities and their attributes,
in order to understand better the art that was the glory of Greece and
the grandeur of Rome.

The Theogony, or myths that relate to the origin of the Greek gods,
includes that of the Romans, since the latter did not trouble themselves
with the inventing of any origins for their gods, but simply borrowed
them, as they did all their art, direct from the Greeks, merely
substituting Latin names for their borrowed deities, instead of the
original Greek ones.

Zeus (Jupiter) was the Supreme god of the Greeks, chief of the Olympian
deities, the “Sky Father,” the ruler and controller of the universe,
dispenser of the thunder and lightning, rain, hail, and fertilising dew.
Before the birth of Zeus, the Greek poets tell us that Ge (the earth)
first emerged from Chaos, and separated itself immediately from Tartarus
(the abyss beneath), and that Eros, or love, then first sprang into
existence. Ge (the earth) then begat Uranus (the mountains and the
heavens), and Pontus (the sea).

By the union of the earth and Uranus, the twelve Titans came into
existence. They represented the elementary forces of nature; there were
also from this union the three Cyclops, thunder, lightning, and
sheet-lightning, and the three Centimanes (hundred-handed), which are
supposed to represent the stormy winds, the stormy sea, and the

By union with Pontus, the earth became the mother of many fabulous
sea-deities. Other deities, offspring of the Titans, are Helios, the
Sun; Selene, the Moon; Eos, the dawn. From Cœus and Phœbe, deities of
the night, are Leto (dark night) and Asteria, (starry night). Cronus and
Rhea, of the family of the Titans, had six children, the youngest of
whom was the great god Zeus. He was rescued from the fate of being
swallowed by his father, as his five brothers and sisters had been, and
was brought up secretly in a grotto, on Mount Dicte, in Crete, was
nursed by nymphs and the she-goat Amalthea, whilst the bees brought him
honey to eat. Thus the youthful Zeus grew up in secrecy until he became
a mighty god. The first of his exploits was to attack his father, and
compel him to restore to life again his five brothers and sisters. He
then found it was necessary for his supremacy to fight the Titans, who
disputed his authority, which he did from his stand on Mount Olympus, in
Thessaly, while the Titans fought from the opposite Mount Othrys. This
fight lasted for ten years, and ended in the defeat of the Titans.

After this battle Zeus shared the ruling of the world with his two
brothers, Poseidon (Neptune) and Hades (Pluto); the former he set as
ruler over the sea, and the latter as king of the infernal regions.
About this time the earth had produced another enemy to vex the peace of
Zeus—Typhœus, a monster with a hundred fire-breathing dragons’ heads,
which Zeus was obliged to fight also. After a mighty battle the
thunderbolts of Zeus prevailed, and the monster was cast into Tartarus,
or as Virgil and Pindar have it, into Mount Ætna, in Sicily, where he
still shows his anger at times, by breathing out fire and flames against
the majesty of heaven. Another battle still is recorded to the credit of
Zeus before he was able to enjoy his undisputed dominion over the world,
that is the battle with the Giants, when they attempted to scale the
sacred Olympus by “piling Ossa on Pelion.” Zeus and his adherent gods
were again victorious, and remained ever after the undisputed lords of

The story of the battle with the Giants, the Giganto-Machia, formed a
favourite subject for illustration with the Greek sculptors. The cameo
of Athenion depicts Zeus in his chariot, and the Giants attacking,
having snakes for their legs (Fig. 264).

Zeus was the national god of the Greeks, and was first worshipped on
high places and mountain tops long before any temples were raised to his
honour. He was worshipped all over Greece, and one of his earliest
shrines was at Dordona, in Epirus. The greatest of all his shrines was
at Olympia, on the northern banks of the Alpheus. It was here that the
Olympian games were celebrated.

[Illustration: Fig. 264.—Cameo of Athenion.]

It was also here that the great statue of Zeus was set up, which was the
work of the renowned Greek sculptor Phidias (B.C. 500-432). This famous
statue of the supreme god of the Greeks was a seated figure on a lofty
throne, and was more than 40 feet high. It was made of, or probably
covered over with, plates of ivory and gold (chryselephantine); the
ivory plates covered the exposed parts of the flesh. In his right hand
he held a figure of Victory, also made of ivory and gold. The sculptor
sought to give his statue a look of sublime majesty, as the ruler of
gods and men, and, at the same time, a kindly expression of benevolence,
as the gracious father and dispenser of good gifts to mankind. Thousands
are said to have come from great distances in order to gaze on this
masterpiece of the greatest sculptor of Greece. It remained in its place
for more than eight hundred years, and was supposed to have been
destroyed by fire in the time of Theodosius III. The coins of Elis have
a seated figure, and the head of Zeus on them (Fig. 265).

[Illustration: Fig. 265.—Coins of Elis with the Phidian Zeus (after

A supposed copy of the head of the god is in the Vatican Museum. It was
found at Otricoli in the last century (Fig. 266).

The worship of Jupiter was also universal in Italy; many temples have
been erected to his honour. The most famous of these was the one erected
by Tarquin on the Capitol at Rome. It had a statue of Jupiter, the work
of the Greek artist Apollonius, made of ivory and gold, and said to be a
copy of the Phidian Zeus.

[Illustration: Fig. 266.—Zeus of Otricoli, Vatican Museum.]

Zeus is credited with a numerous family. He produced Pallas Athene from
his own head; the birth of Athene is supposed to have formed part of the
subject of the sculptures on the pediment of the Parthenon (Temple of
Athene at Athens) the remains of which are in the British Museum, but
unfortunately the central figures of the pediment are wanting which
depicted the event.

One of his goddess-wives was Themis, of the Titan family, whose children
are the Fates. Dione was his Dodonian wife, by whom he had as daughter
Aphrodite (Venus). The Arcadian Zeus had for his wife Maia, who was the
mother of Hermes (Mercury). By Demeter (Ceres) he had a daughter
Persephone (Proserpina), the flower goddess. By Eurynome, the Graces,
and by Leto (Latona) Apollo and Artemis (Diana).

Later mythology recognises Hera (Juno), his sister, to be his only
legitimate wife (Fig. 267), and by her he had his children Ares (Mars),
Hephæstus (Vulcan), and Hebe.

[Illustration: Fig. 267.—Head of Hera, perhaps after Polycletus.]

His earthly mistresses were Semele, daughter of Cadmus, King of the
Greek Thebes, and mother of Dionysus (Bacchus) and others; Leda, Danaë,
Alcmene, Europa, and Io.

The Roman Jupiter had at first no family, nor wives, but later, when the
Greek influences were more strongly developed in Roman mythology, he was
made to be the son of Saturn, and had Juno for his wife, and Minerva
(Athene) for his daughter.

Hera (Juno) is the feminine counterpart of Zeus (Jupiter). She
represents air or atmosphere, is the queen of heaven, and is the
guardian goddess of marriage ties with both Greeks and Romans. The
peacock, goose, and the cuckoo as the herald of spring, are sacred to
her. The beautiful head (Fig. 267) of Hera is supposed to be the work of
Polycletus, a celebrated Greek sculptor.

Pallas Athene (Minerva) is the great virgin goddess of wisdom, of the
dawn, and of war. According to some Greek accounts she sprang forth to
life from her father’s head (Zeus) fully armed with helmet and spear,
chanting a war song, at which event the whole earth and sea trembled
with commotion. She is represented in sculpture as the war goddess, in
flowing robes with helmet and spear, and wearing the dreadful ægis, the
breastplate of mail, with the snakes and head of Medusa, that “turned
all men to stone who gazed on it” (Fig. 268). The serpent, the owl, and
the cock are sacred to her.

Apollo was the favourite son of Zeus, and was a great god with both
Greeks and Romans. He is the god of light, of music, and of healing. He
is sometimes the god of death, sending out his arrows of sunshine that
often breeds pestilence, as well as giving health. His favourite
instrument is the lyre, which he plays at the feasts of the gods. His
sons were Orpheus, the god of music, and Asclepius (Æsculapius), god of
healing. Delphi was the chief seat of his worship, where a gorgeous
temple was erected to him.

There the priestess Pythia uttered the oracles that were supposed to
come to her ears alone, from out of a cleft in the rock under the sacred
tripod, from which also issued gaseous vapours. These oracles were
sacred words of advice or warning for those who came to consult them.
Other oracles of Apollo were at Didyma near Miletus, at Clarus, and at

[Illustration: Fig. 268.—Athene Polias (Villa Albani).]

The Roman Emperor Augustus erected a great temple to Apollo on the
Palatine Hill, in which was placed the celebrated statue of Apollo
Citharædus (Apollo with the lyre), a work by the famous Greek sculptor
Scopas. The statues of Apollo are of two kinds: one represents him as a
conquering deity, strong and handsome, of youthful beauty both in face
and body (Fig. 270); the other is in the more benign character of the
Pythian lute player, with long flowing garments of a feminine nature,
and with a pleasing expression. Scopas and Praxiteles made many statues
of Apollo; copies of some of these are still in existence. These
sculptors flourished about B.C. 400. The celebrated statue of the
youthful Apollo known as the Apollo Sauroctonus (the lizard slayer) is a
work of Praxiteles.

[Illustration: Fig. 269.—Pallas Athene, Naples.]

[Illustration: Fig. 270.—Apollo Belvedere, Vatican.]

Aphrodite (Venus) was “born of the sea foam,” as some say near to the
island of Cyprus, where she was first supposed to touch the land; many
temples were built to her worship in this island. She was the goddess of
love and beauty, and of the generative and creative forces in nature;
the goddess of spring, and all kinds of fertility, both in celestial and
terrestrial regions. She was the favourite deity of the Grecian
mariners, and was worshipped in Cyprus and the isles of Greece more than
any other divinity. Iris in the _Tempest_, in referring to Venus, says—

                     “I met her deity
             Cutting the clouds towards Paphos, and her son
             Dove-drawn with her.”

The story of her love for Adonis, and of his death and coming to life
again, is but the decay of nature in autumn, and its resuscitation in
the spring. The Seasons and the Graces are her attendants, who dress and
adorn her. She is accompanied by Eros and Hymen, the gods of love and
marriage. Venus of the Romans is the goddess of spring, and the month of
April was held sacred to her by the early Italians. She was also, with
them, the goddess of love and marriage.

The best artists of Greece put forth all their powers in painting and
sculpture in their representations of the seaborn Aphrodite, and if we
except Zeus himself, there is no other divinity of the Greek mythology
that has served so much as a model for the loveliest creations of the
plastic genius of the Greeks. The grandest conception of the goddess as
a work of art is the Venus of Milo, found in 1820 in the island of Melos
(Milo) (Fig. 271), and now in the Louvre. The grandeur and majesty of
this famous piece of sculpture is beyond praise. It ought to be seen in
the Louvre, to be appreciated at its worth, as drawings and casts do not
give an adequate idea of its beauty. The Medicean Venus is a work of the
Athenian artist Cleomenes, of the later Attic school, in the second
century B.C. A statue of Venus Anadyomene (rising from the sea), of
“Venus crouching in the Bath” (Vatican collection), and of “Venus
loosing her Sandal,” are all of this later and declining period of Greek
sculpture, where the goddess is represented undraped and more realistic
in conception. Venus had many attributes. The dove, sparrow, and the
dolphin, and in plants the myrtle, rose, apple, poppy, and lime-tree,
were sacred to her, but varied according to the locality and times.

[Illustration: Fig. 271.—Venus of Milo.]

[Illustration: Fig. 272.—Statue of Hermes, Capitol.]

Hermes (Mercury) is the god of shepherds and of pastures, and also of
commerce and trade. When a child he invented the lyre from a
tortoise-shell which he was forced to give up to Apollo. He is
represented with wings on his cap and feet, and a herald’s staff as the
messenger of the gods, and with a well-filled purse as an emblem of
trade (Fig. 272).

[Illustration: Fig. 273.—Diana of Versailles.]

Artemis (Diana) was the twin-sister of Apollo, and was at first the
goddess of the moon. Her favourite amusement is the chase, but in the
statue (Fig. 273) from the Villa Hadrian, now in the Louvre, she is
represented as the protectress of wild animals.

[Illustration: Fig. 274.—Melpomene, Vatican.]

Mnemosyne (Memory) is the mother of the Muses. The nine Muses are—Clio
(history), Melpomene (tragedy) (Fig. 274), Terpsichore (dancing),
Polyhymnia (religious service), Thalia (comedy), Urania (astronomy),
Euterpe (lyric poetry), Erato (erotic poetry and geometry), and Calliope
(epic poetry and science generally).

[Illustration: Fig. 275.—Dionysus and the Lion, from the Monument of

Dionysus or Bacchus is, with both Greeks and Romans, the god of wine, of
vineyards, and of autumn blessings. Naxos was the chief seat of his
worship. It was on this island that he met and married Ariadne, the
daughter of Minos, King of Crete, who had been deserted here by Theseus,
her former lover. The story of Dionysus punishing the Tyrrhenian pirates
who took him prisoner, intending to sell him as a slave, and of his
changing himself to a lion and so terrifying the sailors, who jumped
overboard and were changed into dolphins, is the subject of the fine
relief on the frieze of the Lysikrates monument (Fig. 275 and

The lion, tiger, bull, and ram are his favourite animal attributes.
Among plants, the vine, the ivy, and the laurel were sacred to him.

Bacchanalian subjects and festivals of Dionysus occupy a large and
important place in the art of Greece, Rome, and Pompeii.

[Illustration: Fig. 276.—Victory, Munich Collection.]

Nice, Victoria, or Victory is always represented with wings, a palm
branch, and holding a laurel wreath, and, as would be expected, was more
extensively venerated at Rome than in Greece. In the latter country her
statues are generally of a small size, and she is an accompanying
goddess to Athene and Zeus (Fig. 276).

                              CHAPTER XII.
                        ART IN PRIMITIVE GREECE.

It was not only on their temples and images of their gods that the
Greeks put their best efforts in art; but in their vases, jewellery,
furniture, and humbler utensils of the household and of every-day life,
we find the Greek artist pouring out some of his richest fancies, and
the same spell of beauty is cast over them all. And did not Pericles,
the son of Xanthippus, eulogise his countrymen in his famous speech on
those who had fallen in the Peleponnesian War, as “lovers of justice and
wisdom,” “philosophers, lovers of _beauty_, and foremost among men”?

In Egypt, Assyria, and Persia we find all the artistic knowledge of
these countries was lavished on the temples, and to the glorification of
their autocratic rulers; but scarcely any remains are found that would
imply a fostering of the minor arts among the common people. On the
contrary, in Greece art impregnated the life and work of all classes,
from the highest to the lowest in the state. This was only possible when
entire freedom prevailed, as it did in the mass of the Greek people.

Some of the oldest monuments of primitive Greece have been found at
Mycenæ, Troy (Hissarlik), and Tiryns. These consist of domed tombs, such
as the tomb of Agamemnon, or the so-called “Treasure-house” of Atreus,
and others, as the rock-cut tombs. The site of ancient “Troy divine” was
discovered by Dr. Schliemann in the year 1875, under the mound of the
modern Hissarlik, in the Trojan plain, in the north-west corner of Asia
Minor. The character of the stone, clay, wood, and lime materials, and
similarity of the construction, enable the archæologist to place the
remains found at these three places as belonging to the same epoch of
time and style of art which has been called Mycenian. The oldest
monument of Greek sculpture yet discovered is supposed to be the Lion’s
Gate of the Mycenian Acropolis (Fig. 277).

[Illustration: Fig. 277.—Perspective View of the Lion’s Gate. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 278.—Alabaster Frieze, Tiryns. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 279.—Plan of Fig. 278, Alabaster Frieze. (P. & C.)]

Pausanias thus alludes to Mycenæ and Tiryns:—"A portion of the enclosure
wall still remains, and the principal gate, with the lions over it.
These (the walls) were built by the Cyclops who made the wall at Tiryns
for Præteus. Among the ruins at Mycenæ is the fountain called Perseia,
and the subterraneous buildings of Atreus and his children, in which
their treasures were stored."

[Illustration: Fig. 280.—Ivory Plaque from Mycenæ. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 281.—Fragment of Frieze from Mycenæ. (P. & C.)]

The sculptured lions are still there, so is the spring Perseia, and the
wonderful treasure-house of Atreus is still the best preserved of all
the domed tomb buildings of Mycenæ.

[Illustration: Fig. 282.—Mycenian Palace, Second Epoch. Architrave and
Frieze. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 283.—Mycenian Palace, Second Epoch. Restoration of
Entablature. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 284.—Entablature of C. Selinous Temple. (P. & C.)]

From the remains of Mycenian architecture, Messrs. Perrot and Chipiez
have ingeniously restored some of the wooden construction of the palaces
of that early period, and have assumed that, from these early wooden
constructions of Mycenæ, the Greeks developed the renowned order of
Doric architecture. We have seen that, in most countries, stone
architecture, in its earliest stages, was but copies of the earlier
wooden construction. The Doric order seems to have been no exception to
this rule, for here again the stone-cutter has borrowed from the
carpenter. To go back for some of the supposed beginnings of the Doric
frieze, the alabaster frieze, shown in plan and elevation at Figs. 278
and 279, has been found in the ruins of a palace at Tiryns.

[Illustration: Fig. 285.—Vase of Woman’s Form, Troy. (P. & C.)]

The pattern of this frieze is the same as that which has been frequently
found on other fragments from Mycenæ. It resembles the Doric triglyphs
and metopes in consisting of a double design; two semicircles back to
back, divided by a vertical rectangular band, which is subdivided by a
vertical central division, having rosettes arranged vertically on either
side. Two similar designs are seen on the ivory plaque (Figs. 280 and
281) and fragment of frieze from Mycenæ. The same design appears also on
the red porphyry fragments of the façade decoration on the Mycenian
beehive tombs.

[Illustration: Fig. 286.—Vase from Troy. (P. & C.)]

An illustration from Perrot and Chipiez shows an assemblage of the
component parts of this frieze pattern, with a portion of the architrave
in wood (Fig. 282).

We refer the reader for a fuller description of the transition of the
Doric entablature from the Mycenian wood construction to Perrot and
Chipiez’ “Art in Primitive Greece,” Vol. II. We extract a portion in
explanation of the illustrations (Figs. 282 and 283), where the analogy
between the wooden construction of the former and the stone construction
of the latter is clearly established.

[Illustration: Fig. 287.—Pilgrim’s Bottle, Ialysos. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 288.—Three-Handled Amphora, Ialysos. (P. & C.)]

In Fig. 284 we have the entablature of the C. Temple of Selinous (one of
the oldest examples of Doric architecture), rendered famous by the
archaic sculptures embellishing its metopes. There is not one of all the
members we have passed in review but which appears in it. Thus, a pair
of stone beams, corresponding with the like number of timbers in the
Mycenian wood frame, constitute the architrave; and under listel C
surmounting it, peers, flush with the triglyphs, the small plank B.

[Illustration: Fig. 289.—Vase with Geometric Decoration. (P. & C.)]

Its lower section is adorned by the ornament known as guttæ, the origin
and meaning of which had hitherto been unsatisfactorily explained. The
guttæ are cylindrical in shape detached from the walls, and in every
respect identical with the wooden pegs which occur in this situation
below the timber entablature. These same pegs again appear above the
frieze in the semblance of another ornamental form, the “mutules” which,
until lately, had seemed every whit as strange and problematical as the
guttæ. The stone table N, in the lower surface of which the guttæ are
carved, is no other than our old wood-plate, which in the Mycenian
carpentry work exhibits these same saliences or pegs, and served to fix
the lining of the joists below. If the Selinous mutules are sloped, it
is because they are associated with a ridged roof; but as a flat
covering has been assumed for Mycenæ, it involved—without prejudice to
the system—a horizontal position for the mutules. As regards the frieze,
both here and in every Doric building, it invariably consists, like the
alabaster frieze, of pillars D alternating with slabs E. The function of
the pillars (triglyphs) is to maintain the slabs (metopes) in place.

[Illustration: Fig. 290.—The Marseilles Ewer. (P. & C.)]

Comparison between these two figures will further show all the details,
with slight modifications, to be practically similar. Thus, the whole of
the Doric order, the basis of all Greek architecture, including the
column, longitudinal beams, and joists supporting the roof, as well as
the secondary decorative construction, had its origin in wooden
construction, and there is hardly any doubt but that the Mycenian palace
was its prototype. The Greeks of later days forgot the borrowing of the
timber construction, and have given names to some parts, such as “guttæ”
(drops), which ought to be more correctly pegs.

[Illustration: Fig. 291.—Gold Pendant, from Troy. (P. & C.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 292.—Gold Ornaments, from Troy. (P. & C.)]

Great quantities of pottery and objects of industrial art in metal—more
especially in gold—have been found in the excavations at Mycenæ, Tiryns,
and Troy. The earthenware pottery is generally decorated in colours of
brown, red, and greyish white. The patterns are very simple, bands and
squares arranged in rows, some animal forms, leaves with wavy stems, and
spirals; some of the pottery is decorated with marine animals, such as
the octopus, cuttle-fish, argonaut, and with seaweed. Some curious
shaped vases of woman forms (Figs. 285, 286) have been found by Dr.

[Illustration: Fig. 293.—Gold Plate Ornament, from Troy.]

[Illustration: Fig. 294.—Gold Disc. (P. & C.)]

A pilgrim’s bottle from Ialysos decorated with circular bands, and an
amphora with three handles, from the same place, decorated with bands
and lily forms with curled-back petals, are very beautiful, and a small
vessel with geometric ornament are all of the same character (Figs. 287,
288, and 289). The most beautiful form of Mycenian pottery is the
Marseilles vase or ewer, in the Borély collection (Fig. 290).

[Illustration: Fig. 295.—Gold Disc. (P. & C.)]

The decoration is a brown-black on a light ground, and consists of the
argonaut shellfish and seaweed. It is likely to have been a copy from a
metal object owing to its shape, which is characteristic of metal.

[Illustration: Fig. 296.—Gold Cup, Troy. (P. & C.)]

In metal-work generally, and in the inlaying of gold and electrum in a
bronze ground, the Mycenian artists have produced some splendid work.
There are six chromolithographs in Messrs. Perrot and Chipiez’s “Art in
Primitive Greece” of bronze Mycenian daggers inlaid with gold and
electrum of various shades: one has the representation of panthers
hunting birds on a river-bank—the river is stocked with fish; another
has a lion hunt by armed men; a third, lions hunting gazelles; a fourth
has running lions; a fifth, spiral ornamentation; and the sixth a free
rendering of lilies both on handle and blade. The art and workmanship of
them all are of a high order.

Some gold ornaments from Troy (Figs. 291 and 292) show their skill in
hand-wrought jewellery.

[Illustration: Fig. 297.—Gold Ewer, Troy. (P. & C.)]

The golden butterfly (Fig. 293) and the two gold discs (Figs. 294 and
295) are stamped on the metal, and were used as dress decorations; they
were found in great quantities in the tombs of the women at Mycenæ. One
is an octopus design, and the other a butterfly.

The gold cup (Fig. 296) and ewer (Fig. 297), found at Troy along with
many others in silver, gold, and bronze, give a fair idea of the beauty
of shape and design of such articles of this period. They show marks of
injury by fire.

                             CHAPTER XIII.

Although Egypt and Assyria are justly credited with the creation of the
models and the invention of the methods that subsequently aroused to
life the artistic genius of the Greeks, yet the fact remains that, from
all the wealth of artistic forms bequeathed to succeeding ages by the
nations of hoary antiquity, prior to the Grecian period, nothing has
survived except those forms which Greece has selected from her
predecessors, and after remodelling them by her own standards of beauty
and fitness, has left them as imperishable models of art for all nations
that follow her. All historic art and architecture, whether classic or
what not, since the days of Pericles, is based on Greek art,
notwithstanding the many modifications which we see in Byzantine,
Saracenic, Romanesque, and their offshoots. All of them owe their life
and vitality to Greek traditions and to Greek principles.

We have seen that in the earlier Greek buildings, such as Mycenian
palaces, timber construction must have largely entered into the
architecture of that period, and it is quite likely that timber was used
for the greater part of the Greek domestic dwellings, which may account
for no remains of them having been found.

The rock-cut tombs of Lycia, in Asia Minor, afford to us a further proof
of timber construction which may have been in use in the Early Greek
period in Europe, and these tombs of Lycia tend to throw a side light on
the probable forms of Greek construction that existed between the date
of the Mycenian buildings and that of the oldest Doric remains that are
at present known, for the Lycians had free intercourse with the Ionians
and European Greeks. The earlier Lycian tombs are of a great antiquity,
and the same form of tomb has been used in Lycia down to periods when
Greece was far advanced in art (Figs. 298 and 299).

[Illustration: Fig. 298.—Lycian Rock-built Tomb at Pinara. (P. & C.)]

The Lycians formed a connecting link with the Anterior Asiatics and the
Ionian Greeks. Their origin and their language were Asiatic, but the
greater part of their art was the product of Hellenic artists from
Ionian Greece, and, therefore, the Lycians must have been intimately
connected with the Greeks, and must have played an important part in the
development of Hellenic culture.

[Illustration: Fig. 299.—Lycian Rock-built Tomb at Pinara. (P. & C.)]

The Greek temples were in some respects related to the Egyptian temple.
The pillar and beam construction was copied from Egypt, and also the
rectangular plan. The great distinction between the two was that rows of
columns were placed outside the temples of the Greeks, which gave to
them a light and airy appearance, while in contradistinction the
Egyptians had their rows of columns inside the great hypostyle halls and
galleries of their temples which gave to them the effect of oppressive
gloominess. Broadly speaking, the Greek temple was something of the
model of an Egyptian temple turned inside out.

The interior of a Greek temple was simply a rectangular _cella_ or cell
where the statue of the god or goddess was set up, and sometimes a
smaller chamber behind called the treasury. The smaller temples
consisted of the cella only. A row of lighter columns sometimes
supported the roof of the cella, as in the case of the Parthenon. It was
only in the case of the larger temples that we find more than one cell,
while the Egyptian temple was often a maze of large and small chambers,
the multitude adding to the mystery sought for in all Egyptian
architecture. The Greek temples were usually placed on a basement of
steps, and built on elevated positions. The Greeks sought all publicity
in the honouring of their deities, and in pleasing the passer-by with
the sight of their beautiful buildings, on which their best decoration
was shown on the outside.

Greek architecture dates from the end of the Archaic age down to the
death of Alexander the Great, from about B.C. 600 to B.C. 333.

It is usually divided into three Styles or, as they are called,
“Orders,” namely, the Doric, the Ionic, and the Corinthian. The Doric
represents the European phase of the Greek style, the Ionic and
Corinthian having more of the Asiatic features. The three orders were in
use in Greece at the same time, that is to say, a more severe and
correct phase of the Doric—the older order—was used after buildings in
the newer orders had appeared. Thomson, in his “Ode to Liberty,” has
alluded to the orders in the lines—

                           “First, unadorn’d
             And nobly plain, the manly Doric rose;
             The Ionic then, with decent matron grace,
             Her airy pillar heaved; luxuriant last,
             The rich Corinthian spread her wanton wealth.”

The Greeks made use of the vertical and horizontal line in their
architecture; the curved line was not used, except, of course, in
decoration. The half-diameter of the column was the module or unit by
which the whole building was measured, and the column was limited in
height according to the diameter of its base. This did not preclude
freedom in design; on the contrary, freedom was allowed and practised to
such an extent that hardly two Grecian buildings of any one order were
alike in proportion or design. Even the mouldings were varied in curve
and proportion; these members that were with the Romans merely segments
of circles, were in section with the Greeks either parts of the curve of
the ellipse or parabola, and in many cases were designed by freehand.
Some very subtle devices to overcome natural optical effects when
viewing the buildings have been discovered by Mr. Pennethorne and Mr.
Penrose, more especially in the Parthenon.

It is well known that the _entasis_, or slight swelling made in Greek
columns, which makes a convex line of their profiles, is done to prevent
the column from looking hollowed in the centre, which it would do if it
were perfectly straight; but in addition to this the architects above
named have discovered in the Parthenon a correction in the vertical
lines, to prevent the apparent tendency which all high vertical lines
have to spread out at the top, in the making of the columns to incline
slightly inwards; and the steps of the basement and horizontal lines of
the architraves are found to be slightly curved upwards in the middle to
prevent the tendency that all long horizontal lines have to droop in the

Thus we learn how admirably painstaking, and how well the Greeks applied
their profound knowledge to their architecture, as they did in
everything else.

The joints of their marble masonry were as a rule so fine and accurate
in the fitting together, that it has been said a razor edge could not be
inserted between them.

[Illustration: Fig. 300.—The Parthenon. Greek Doric, enlarged Section of
Annulets at A.]

The Greek Doric order (Fig. 300) is without a base; the shaft of the
column has twenty flutings; sunk lines or rings encircle the shaft a
little below the moulding of the capital. This moulding—the echinus—is
of the best possible profile that a supporting member could have; it is
divided from the shaft by three or five annulets. Above the echinus
rests the square tile-like cap—the abacus—which carries the architrave.
The latter is a marble beam with square ends, and above the architrave
is the frieze separated by a band (_taenia_). The frieze has triglyphs
alternating with metopes. The former consists of channelled pier-like
forms one over and one between each column, and the metopes are square
panels between two triglyphs on which are usually found sculptured
subjects. At the bottom of each triglyph, separated by a fillet, is a
row of pegs, cylindrical or conical in shape, called “guttæ” or drops.

Above the frieze the cornice projects, which in profile consists of a
flat band—the corona—and the crowning member, an ovolo moulding. Under
the projecting eave of the cornice are slanting slabs of marble—parallel
to the roof tiles—placed one over each triglyph, and one over each
metope. These are called mutules, and they have rows of guttæ on their
under surface.

The crowning members of the cornice are carried around the sloping lines
of the triangular pediments at each end of the building. On the
pediments were sculptured the figure subjects that had usually some
relation to the divinity to whom the temple was dedicated; as, for
example, on the Parthenon pediment the story of the birth of Athene was
the subject executed and designed by Phidias, who also was the sculptor
of the celebrated Panathenic frieze that adorned the outer part of the
cella of the Parthenon. Ictinus was the architect of the Parthenon and
also of the temples of Apollo Epicurius at Bassæ and at Phigallia, both
in Arcadia. The Parthenon was finished about B.C. 438.

[Illustration: Fig. 301.—Temple on the Ilissus; Greek Ionic.]

The Greek Ionic order in its capital and ornaments is quite distinct
from the Doric, and has more mouldings. The general plan of the temple
is the same as in the Doric, but the proportions of the various parts
are more slender. It has been generally thought that the Ionic volute
was a development of the volutes from the Persian capital at Persepolis,
but it is more likely, as before stated (on page 87), that their
prototype is found on capitals derived from the Egyptian lotus. The
architrave is sometimes plain and sometimes divided into three facias.
The frieze was usually occupied with sculpture, and the base of the
column was composed of a double torus, with a hollow between; the lower
torus was plain, and the upper one fluted (Fig. 301).

The Temple of Diana at Ephesus, the Erectheum, and the Mausoleum of
Halicarnassus were among the finest examples of the Ionic order.

The Corinthian order was more Roman than Greek, though of Greek
invention, and was a rich type of architecture that suited the growing
vanity for love of display with the Romans, who eagerly appropriated it
in the second century B.C., and erected many fine buildings in this
order; but often enriching the mouldings and all plain spaces almost
beyond recognition.

The most perfect and truly beautiful example of the Greek Corinthian is
the small Choragic monument of Lysikrates at Athens (Frontispiece). Its
praises and merits have been spoken and written of by almost every
architect of eminence; it may be said of it and of the Parthenon that
for proportion, and for marvellous unity of parts, and also for the
perfect marriage of sculpture with architecture, no buildings have ever
been erected to equal them.

The bell of the Corinthian capital, as in the Lysikrates monument, is
surrounded at the base by a row of water-plant leaves; acanthus leaves
spring from these, and out of the latter spring volutes (_cauliculi_),
the larger ones of which meet at the upper corners; the four smaller
ones meet in the middle, and from the junction of the upper middle ones
an upright palmate appears; rosettes are placed between each of the
eight acanthus leaves. The abacus is moulded and curved in plan. The
capital, as a whole, is designed in a masterly way, so as to give the
utmost variety and contrast of beautiful forms (Fig. 302). The frieze is
sculptured with figures which illustrate the story of Dionysus and the
Tyrrhenian pirates (Frontispiece).

[Illustration: Fig. 302.—Capital of the Lysikrates Monument; Greek

The Etruscans were a race of people who settled in the west of Italy,
between the Arno and the Tiber, at a very early date. Their origin is
uncertain, but they are supposed to have come from Asia Minor. They were
known as great builders, and were well skilled in all the arts. In their
larger works of fortifications and great walls they used stones of an
enormous size (Cyclopean). Many places in Italy still attest to the
presence of the Etruscans by the remains of these Cyclopean walls.

[Illustration: Fig. 303.—Etruscan Door from Perugia.]

They were considerably advanced in architecture and the minor arts at
the time when Rome was first beginning to show its signs of power, and
were the architects and builders who executed all the works for the
early Romans. The Etruscans used the arch very much in building, a
feature that the Greeks, although they were acquainted with its use, did
not think it necessary in their trabeated system of building. It was, on
the other hand, a very favourite feature with the Etruscans, from whom
the Romans learnt the use of it. The Tarquins were an Etruscan family
who were masters of Rome in the sixth century B.C., and it was under
these Emperors that the great sewer, known as the Cloaca Maxima, was
built, part of which is still in existence.

This work consists of an arched waterway built in three concentric rings
of large wedge-shaped stones (_voussoirs_). The Etruscans constructed
temples, palaces, and dwelling-houses, all of which have perished or
have been destroyed, and only a few remains of their walled cities
survive. The gate of Perugia (Fig. 303) is the remains of a
characteristic Etruscan building. The arch is seen in perfect
construction, and the Doric frieze; above is seen a little Ionic column.
Etruscan architecture was mostly a kind of Doric with a round shaft.
According to Vitruvius the Etruscan temple consisted of three cells,
with one or more rows of columns in front, the distance between the
columns, or intercolumniation, being much greater than in Greek temples.
Sometimes the temple consisted of a circular cell only and a porch, like
the later development of this form in the Roman temple at Tivoli, and
the Mausoleum of Hadrian. Many Etruscan tombs have been found,
consisting of rock-built and detached structures. Some of the rock-built
tombs at Castel d’Asso have beams and rafters cut out of the rock in
imitation of wooden construction, and also figures cut out in high
relief all around the chambers. Great quantities of vessels in pottery
and metal-work objects, and also jewellery, have been found in recesses
of the walls and roofs of these chambers. The temple of Jupiter
Capitolinus at Rome was an Etruscan building. The Etruscan religion was
dark and full of superstition; their gods were mostly deities of the
thunder and lightning and subterranean spirits rather than divinities of
comfort and mercy, and the Romans adopted most of them in their
mythology. The Romans having mastered the principle of the arch, made
very good use of it. The greater number of their principal buildings
were erected in a mixture of the arch and trabeated system.

The Roman Doric and Ionic orders were ill-proportioned in their various
members, bad in profiling, and also very heavy in appearance. The
Theatre of Marcellus is an example of the former in its lower columns,
and the Temple of Fortuna Virilis an example of the latter.

[Illustration: Fig. 304.—Roman Corinthian, half Capital of Mars Ultor.]

The Tuscan order is noted for a more elegant development of the Etruscan
smooth column, and a great projection of cornice. A good example of this
order may be seen in the portico of St. Paul’s Church in Covent Garden,
London, designed by Inigo Jones.

[Illustration: Fig 305.—Roman Corinthian, Entablature, Capital, and Base
of the Pantheon.]

The Corinthian order received better treatment at the hands of the
Romans; some of their buildings are fine examples of this order.

Some of the Roman Corinthian capitals are well designed, and have a very
grand and imposing effect, as that of the Mars Ultor (Fig. 304) and the
Pantheon. The Mars Ultor capital is undoubtedly fine and rich in the
extreme; that of the Pantheon is more restrained; and in both of them is
used the olive-leaf variety of acanthus, each tine or leaflet of which
is hollowed out; and thus the whole capital in a full light would have a
sparkling effect of light and shade, so that even at a great height and
distance from the eye none of the modelling would be lost to sight.

The Roman Corinthian has more mouldings, and has modillions or brackets
in the cornice instead of the usual Greek dentils (Fig. 305). The
entablature from the Temple of Jupiter Tonans (Fig. 306) is an example
of the inordinate love of over-richness and display that was so
characteristic of the Romans.

The Baths of Caracalla and of Diocletian are the only ones that have
remained to us in any state of preservation, and show from the remains
what splendid examples of public buildings they must have been. They
were built of brick mostly, and lined with stucco on which frescoes were

[Illustration: Fig. 306.—Roman Corinthian, Entablature of Jupiter

The Baths of Caracalla, at the foot of the Aventine Hill, were erected
A.D. 217. They covered a rectangular piece of ground about 1,150 feet
each way, and were a great assemblage of bath-rooms, public and private,
of cold, vapour, and hot baths; swimming and other kinds of bath,
gymnasium hall, libraries, reading-rooms, assembly halls, &c., all
comprised under the one roof, surrounding the open courtyard in which
was the principal swimming bath, in a building 730 ft. by 380 ft. in
dimension. In the centre and at the back of this group of buildings was
a circular hall, with a domed roof, called the Solar cell, the walls of
which were lined with brass. Some of the finest of Roman statuary
adorned these halls. The principal hall of the Baths of Diocletian,
erected at the beginning of the fourth century A.D. is called the
Ephebeum, and is still used as the Church of Santa Maria Degli Angeli.
It is almost 300 ft. long by 90 ft. wide, and was restored by
Michelangelo. Its roof consists of three great cross vaults supported by
eight granite columns, 45 ft. in height. Another class of buildings that
the Romans were fond of was the amphitheatres. Remains of them have been
found throughout the Roman Empire, the most stupendous of which was the
Coliseum or Flavian Amphitheatre. It was begun by the Emperor Vespasian
and finished by his son Titus, and its ruins still attest to its

[Illustration: Fig. 307.—Bas-relief on the Arch of Titus. (P. & C.)]

It is elliptical in plan, is four stories in height; the three lowest
are pierced with eighty openings, semi-circular arched, with columns and
piers between. The first story is Doric, the second Ionic, and the third
Corinthian. Each column and pier is raised on a stylobate, and the
columns carry entablatures continuously around the building.

[Illustration: Fig. 308.—Jewish Candlestick, Arch of Titus. (P. & C.)]

An almost solid wall is the feature of the fourth story, which has a
series of Corinthian pilasters, and projecting brackets for carrying the
awning poles. The façade is built of stone quarried from the
neighbouring hills, and the interior portions are built of brick. The
dimensions are 620 ft. in length, 513 ft. wide, and 162 ft. in height.
Double corridors run around the building on each floor, and it had seats
for more than 80,000 spectators. Chariot races, mimic sea-fights, when
the arena would be flooded artificially with water, gladiatorial
combats, and fights with wild animals and bulls, were among the
amusements of the Romans that were performed in the amphitheatres.

[Illustration: Fig. 309.—Roman Composite Order, from the Arch of Titus.]

Other monuments, such as triumphal columns and arches, were erected by
the Emperors to commemorate their victories, and these were of the most
elaborate and rich description. The column of Marcus Aurelius, known as
the Antonine column, and the column of Trajan set up by that Emperor in
Trajan’s Forum at Rome in commemoration of his victory over the Dacians,
are the two best known of these commemorative monuments. The latter
column has been reproduced, and a cast of it may be seen in the South
Kensington Museum. The original is nearly 133 ft. high, and is richly
sculptured with bas-reliefs on marble slabs fastened together in a
spiral form around the central structure. The order is Doric, the shaft
being set up on a large pedestal with very fine sculptures of figures,
armour, and inscriptions.

The triumphal arches are rectangular masses of masonry with arched
openings, sometimes with one arch and sometimes three, a large one and
two smaller ones, as the arches of Constantine and Septimus Severus; and
sometimes smaller ones had piers and pilasters with a lintel entablature
instead of an arch, as in the Goldsmith’s Arch in Rome. The arch of
Titus (erected to commemorate the taking of Jerusalem A.D. 70), which is
one of the finest of these monuments, is interesting for two reasons:
one is that it has reliefs on it recording the capture of Jerusalem,
with the representation of the seven-branched golden candlestick of the
Temple (Figs. 307, 308), and the other is that the arch itself is one of
the finest examples of the architectural order that was created by the
Romans—the Composite—(Fig. 309), which is a grafting of the Ionic on the

The decoration of this order is extremely rich in character: the lower
half of the capital has the Corinthian leaves, while the upper half is
almost the whole of the Ionic voluted capital added; the cornice has
both the Ionic dentils and the Corinthian modillions. The arch of
Septimus Severus and the Baths of Diocletian are of the Composite order.

                              CHAPTER XIV.
                       GREEK AND ROMAN ORNAMENT.

Greek ornament—as found on the carved mouldings, friezes, acroteria,
antifexes, and capitals, or, as in the painted variety, found on vases,
plain mouldings, bands, plates, and other surface decorations, or
incised on the bronze cistæ and mirrors—was of a severe and refined
order, almost all of which had its birthplace in Egyptian and Assyrian
forms, that in the first instances were used in a symbolic sense, but
under the hands of Greek artists had lost all their former meaning, and
were developed and partly transformed into a wealth of purely æsthetic

[Illustration: Fig. 310.—Greek Frets.]

The simplest forms were frets or the so-called key pattern (Figs. 310,
311, and 315).

The word meander is sometimes applied to the Greek frets; this is not
correct, as the word implies a curved line, not a rectangular one.

[Illustration: Fig. 311.—Greek Carved Fret.]

The guilloche, snare-work, or cable ornament, is used on flat bands, and
also as the decoration of torus mouldings (Figs. 312 and 313).

[Illustration: Fig. 312.—Treble Guilloche Ornament.]

The Greeks used the honeysuckle pattern in an endless variety of forms
both in carving and in painting, examples of which are at Figs. 314 and

The ivy was used very much in borders of their painted vases (Fig. 316).

The ogee moulding was usually decorated with the water-leaf and tongue
ornament, and the ovolo with the characteristic egg and tongue, and the
round fillets with beads and reels. A fine example of this group of
decorated mouldings comes from the Temple of Minerva Polias at Athens
(Fig 317).

[Illustration: Fig. 313.—Double Guilloche.]

An elongated type of the egg and tongue comes from the Erectheum (Fig.

[Illustration: Fig. 314.—Anthemion (carved), from Apollo Epicurius.]

The Greeks seldom used large scrolls in ornament; an exception is the
scroll ornament from the roof of the Lysikrates monument, and in the
Corinthian cauliculi or volutes (see Fig. 302).

The Greek variety of acanthus foliage is seen in the capital from the
same monument.

[Illustration: Fig. 315.—Greek Border with Fret Bands.]

Roman architectural ornament was simply Greek with a few variations, not
always improvements. It was less refined, but in some cases, especially
in the examples of large acanthus scrolls on friezes, panels, and
pilasters (Fig. 319), and in their large capitals, the ornament was
designed with great skill and virility. They used the softer-leaved
variety of acanthus—the mollis—while the Greeks used the spinosus, or
prickly-leaved variety.

[Illustration: Fig. 316.—Greek Ivy Meander Border.]

The decorations of the Roman mouldings were less elegant than those of
the Greeks, owing to the contours being segments of circles where the
Greeks used forms like conic sections, and the execution was less
artistic in the Roman mouldings (Figs. 320, 321, 322).

[Illustration: Fig. 317.—Decorated Mouldings from the Temple of Minerva
Polias; Ogee Ovolo, and Beads.]

[Illustration: Fig. 318.—The Ovolo, with Egg and Tongue, from the

The domestic architecture of Greece is guessed at by the remains of
Pompeii and Herculaneum, which, though Roman provincial cities, were in
style and decoration a fair reflection of Greek art. The remains of the
art found in these cities have been styled Greco-Roman. The destruction
of Pompeii was in the year A.D. 79.

[Illustration: Fig. 319.—Ancient Roman Panel, Florence.]

[Illustration: Fig. 320.—Ovolo and Astragal Mouldings; Roman.]

[Illustration: Fig. 321.—Ogee and Fluted Cavetto Moulding; Jupiter

The general arrangement of a Roman house was rectangular in plan, with,
and sometimes without, a vestibule in front. The front door opened on a
passage called the _prothyrum_ which led to the _atrium_, an open court
partly roofed; the opening was in the centre, and was called the
_impluvium_; exactly under it in the floor was a tank called the
_compluvium_; this received the rain water. In large houses the atrium
roof was supported by columns, then the atrium was sometimes called the
_cavædium_, at the end of which opened out three rooms the larger and
central one was called the _tablinum_, and the two side ones _alæ_;
these were the rooms where the family records, documents, histories,
deeds, &c., were kept. A passage led from the atrium to the principal
private reception-room, called the _peristylium_, which had a roof
partly open to the sky. This room was the finest in the house, and was
richly decorated with rare marbles, bronzes, and fresco paintings where
the owner was wealthy. Round the peristyle were arranged the smaller
rooms, such as the parlours called _exedræ_, the chapels _lararia_, and
the picture galleries _pinacothecæ_. Kitchens and other offices were
behind, as also were the various sleeping-rooms. Some of the rooms were
badly lighted, and had to depend for the light from the doors or
artificial light, but in some cases windows, rather small in size, were
placed high up in the walls.

[Illustration: Fig. 322.—Ogee Decorated, and Astragal; Jupiter Stator.]

The walls of the Pompeian houses were richly decorated in strong
colouring, where vermilion, black, green, and orange predominated. The
subjects were figure groups, animals, birds, and grotesques of all
kinds, encased in fantastic architectural framings (Fig. 323). Sometimes
a dead wall of the yard would be painted elaborately to represent a
garden. Sculpture also decorated the apartments, the floors were in
mosaic, and the ceiling richly panelled and decorated. Roman, Greek, and
Pompeian ornament will again be noticed in the second volume under the
minor arts of these countries.

[Illustration: Fig. 323.—Mural Painting from Pompeii.]

                              CHAPTER XV.
                      INDIAN ART AND ARCHITECTURE.

An Aryan race of people came into India about B.C. 2000 across the Upper
Indus. They settled in the first instance in the Punjab, in the
watershed of the Sutlej and the Jumna, and finally in Oude and the east.
After one thousand years they lost their purity of race by mixing with
the aboriginal natives.

About this time the prophet Sakya Muni, or Buddha, arose, and apparently
succeeded in converting nearly the whole of Northern India to Buddhism.
He died in B.C. 543, and three hundred years after his death, or about
B.C. 250, King Asoka proclaimed Buddhism as the state religion, and for
about one thousand years after it continued as the state religion of
India, although at the present day there are said to be no native
Buddhists in India.

Historic art in India began in Asoka’s reign. The earlier rock-tombs and
other architecture of Asoka’s time are evidently stone copies of still
earlier wooden constructions.

Monuments consisting of edict columns or _lats_, peculiar to this
period, have been found in isolated positions erected to the honour of
Buddha in the neighbourhood of Allahabad and Delhi; they are above
thirty-three feet in height, and have a curved, inverted, bell-shaped
capital on which probably stood a wheel, the emblem, or a lion, the
symbol, of Buddha. This capital is similar in form to the base of a
Persian column, and some of the ornamentation around the neck of the
column is composed of Greek and Assyrian forms, all of which proves that
the early Indian art owes something to Assyria, Persia, and Greece (Fig.
324). Probably this came about by the subjugation of Persia by Alexander
the Great, who is said to have pushed his conquests as far as the banks
of the Indus.

[Illustration: Fig. 324.—Ornament from Asoka’s Pillar, Allahabad. (B.)]

The next great immigration that we hear about is that of the Southern
Dravidian people, who crossed the Lower Indus to Guzerat, and in course
of time had settled themselves in the southern angle of India, in the
Madras Presidency. They were a great building race of people. Another
immigration took place in the first or second century B.C., and
continued for some centuries after the Christian era. These people
occupied nearly the western half of India, and erected buildings from
Mysore in the south to Delhi in the north. This architecture is known as
the Chalukya and Jaina styles. The fourth great immigration was that of
the Mohammedans from the eleventh to the fourteenth centuries.

The four principal styles of Indian architecture are the Buddhist, the
Dravidian, the Northern Hindoo, and the Chalukyan or Jaina.

In addition to the edict-pillars as illustrations of Buddhist
architecture, many solid mounds of masonry, called topes, dagobas, or
stupas, are found in some parts of the Punjab and north of India. These
are relic-mounds, erected over the supposed relics of Buddha and of
Buddhist priests, and are sometimes erected alone to the honour of
Buddha. One of the most important is the Sanchi Tope in Bhopal, Central
India (Fig. 325). Mr. Ferguson, in his “Study of Indian Architecture,”
describes this remarkable monument as follows: “It was built probably
(the tope) B.C. 500, the stone railing B.C. 250, and the gateways A.D.
19 to 37. The principal part of the building consists of a dome 106 feet
in diameter and 42 feet in height. The fence by which this tope is
surrounded is extremely curious. It consists of stone posts 8 feet 8
inches in height, and a little more than 2 feet apart, surmounted by a
plain architrave, and between every two uprights three horizontal
cross-pieces of stone are inserted.

Still more curious are the four stone torans or gateways, one of
which—the eastern—is shown at Fig. 325. It consists of two square
pillars covered with sculptures, and with bold elephant capitals, rising
to a height of 18 feet 4 inches. Above these are four lintels slightly
curved upwards in the centre, and ending in Ionic scrolls; they are
supported by continuations of the columns, and three uprights are
inserted between the lintels. All this construction is covered over with
elaborate sculpture, and surmounted by emblems. The total height is 33
feet 6 inches.” Sir G. Birdwood says: “The symbols are the _trisula_,
the _wheel_, and the _lion_, representing the Buddhistic triad, Buddha,
the law, and the congregation. The ground plan of the stupas or topes,
with the return railings and the projecting doorways or entrances, form
a gigantic swastika (‘auspicious'’), the mystic cross (fylfot) of the
Buddhists.” Ferguson says the Buddhist dagoba is a direct descendant of
the sepulchral tumulus of the Turanian races, like those found in
Etruria, Lydia, and among the Scyths of the Northern Steppes.

It is plainly seen that the details of Buddhistic ornament are derived
from Greek and Assyrian sources mixed with Buddhist emblems; a few
native ideas may be seen in the construction, and in the substituting of
the Indian elephant for the Assyrian or Persian bull. A fine cast of the
Sanchi gateway may be seen in the South Kensington Museum.

[Illustration: Fig. 325.—The Sanchi Tope, Bhopal, Central India.]

As an example of Hindu or Brahminical architecture the rock-cut temple
at Ellora, called the Kylas, or “Paradise,” is one of the finest and
most wonderful (Fig. 326). The interior of the temple is not only cut
out of the solid rock, but the exterior also, with its wonderfully rich
square porch, and its two great square pillars or deepdans (lamposts)
left standing in front, all literally cut out of the solid rock.

[Illustration: Fig. 326.—Brahminical Rock-Temple at Ellora.]

The interior, which has excited the wonder and admiration of all
travellers, is rectangular in plan; the pillars are square and very
short in proportion to their breadth; the bases are composed of plinth,
circular hollows, and a torus moulding; the square shaft is fluted, the
upper extremity of which is convex and ornamented with foliage; and
above this are rings, neck, and a capital in the shape of a depressed
sphere. Above the capital are bracket supports, on which the beams rest.
The roof is panelled, and each panel has a central floral decoration.
The Kylas was supposed to have been cut out of the rock by the Southern
Dravidians. The Hindu or Brahminical temples of the earliest type
exhibit a marked imitation of timber construction in almost every detail
(Fig. 327).

[Illustration: Fig. 327.—Temple of Biskurma at Ellora.]

Brahminical architecture has three varieties—the Dravidian, which is
common to the Dakhan, south of the Kistna; the Chalukyan, between the
Kistna and the Mahanuddi; and the Indo-Aryan, which prevails in
Hindustan. The Dravidian temple is characterized by a horizontal system
of storied towers, and has a grand and imposing look of solemnity.
Examples of Dravidian architecture occur in the temples at Seringham,
Tinnevelly, Madura, Perin, Vellore, &c.

The Chalukyan is distinguished by its star-like plan and pyramidal
tower. The great double temple of Siva at Hullabeed, Mysore, is an
example of this architecture. It is remarkable for its rich system of
sculptured friezes. The building is raised from the ground by a terrace
five or six feet in height; above this is an extraordinary frieze of two
thousand sculptured elephants; the next frieze above is composed of
lions, then a band of rich floriated scroll-work; above this is a frieze
of horsemen, then another band of scroll-work; and over this appears the
frieze with the conquest of Ceylon by Rama; other friezes and bands
above this are divided by mouldings, and have celestial birds and
beasts; a scroll-work cornice over all supporting a rail divided into
panels, in each of which are two figures. Windows of pierced stone are
over these, and groups of sculptured gods of the Hindu pantheon at
regular intervals. The usual towers are wanting in this wonderful
building, and doubtless would have been added afterwards had not the
work been stopped owing to the Mohammedan invasion in A.D. 1310. Other
temples of the Chalukyan style are seen at Somnathpur, at Baillur, in
Mysore, and at Buchropully.

The Jainas sect makes its appearance in India about the seventh or eight
century. They did not believe in the divine inspiration of the Vedas, or
sacred books of the Hindus, but as long as they observed caste and
acknowledged the gods of the Hindu pantheon—which they strictly did—the
Brahmans did not question any other of their particular beliefs, and
refrained from persecuting them. If the Buddhists, for instance, had
only conformed to the observance of caste, they would never have been
driven out of India by the Hindu devotees of caste.

The Jainas are peculiar in their worship of their four-and-twenty saints
called “Jins.”

The architecture of the Jainas began when the Buddhist was dying out.
One of the characteristics of Jaina architecture is the horizontal
archway, and another is the bracket form of capital (Fig. 328).


  Fig. 328.—Pillar and Bracket,
  Doorway of a Pagoda.

Jaina temples are found at Palatina and Girnar in Gujarat, and the
famous “Tower of Victory,” erected to commemorate the victory of the
Rajput raja Khambo over Mahmud of Malwa, A.D. 1439.

An interesting illustration of the transition of Indian architecture to
Mohammedan forms occurs in the Mosque of Moháfiz Khan, at Ahmedabad.
This mosque was built in the sixteenth century, and is Hindu in
character, with a Saracenic influence in the decoration and other
details. The great omissions in the sculptures are the animal and figure
forms, so dear to the Hindu artist, but the Moslem religion forbids the
representation of these, and in place of figures in the window spaces we
see some of the first indications of Saracenic tracery, executed most
likely by Hindu workmen. These windows are typical of, and similar to,
the exceedingly fine tracery of the windows of the Buddha at Ahmedabad,
which consist of beautiful stems and floral tracery.

From the eighth to the eighteenth centuries India was subject to the
invasions of the Arabs, the Afghans, and Mongols, who devastated the
country and sacked and pillaged many of the finest Hindu shrines, and,
on the other hand, built some magnificent mosques and palaces, in which
the Saracenic influences are predominant.

The palace of Delhi was built in 1627-1658 by the Mongol Emperor Shah
Jehan, the king who built the present city of Delhi, which city contains
the finest examples of the Mohammedan style in India. The Dewanne Khas,
or principal hall of the palace of Delhi (Fig. 329), is a very rich and
ornate example of this style. It is vaulted like a Gothic cathedral and
is inlaid throughout with rich marbles and mosaic work. It has a niche
inlaid with precious stones in which once stood the famous peacock
throne of Delhi. The throne was made in enamelled work, in the shape of
a peacock with a spread-out tail, and was set with diamonds and precious
stones to imitate the natural colours of the peacock. It was carried off
by Nadir Shah at the sacking of Delhi, A.D. 1738.

[Illustration: Fig. 329.—Interior of the Palace at Delhi; Seventeenth

Around the frieze of one of the halls of this palace runs the famous
inscription, “If there is a heaven on earth, it is this, it is this.”

One of the loveliest and most impressive buildings in India is the Taj
Mehal at Agra, on the river Jumna. It is in Mohammedan style with domes
and minarets, and is erected on a platform 300 feet square and 18 feet
in height. It was erected by the Emperor Shah Jehan about 1645 as the
tomb of his favourite wife. The Emperor himself is also buried in the
Taj. On the centre of the platform is the tomb, 186 feet square, with
the corners cut off; over this rises the dome, 58 feet in diameter and
80 feet in height. The outside of the building is faced with white
marble, inlaid with beautiful designs in coloured marbles and precious
stones. The effect of this beautiful building in its dazzling whiteness
surrounded by luxuriant vegetation, as seen under a moonlit sky, is said
to be enchanting and beyond description.

The industrial arts of India will be noticed in the second volume of
this work.

                              CHAPTER XVI.

The architecture of China does not possess what we might call a serious
character. Founded mainly on Buddhistic elements, as far as the more
important efforts of their temple architecture is concerned, the only
original development that marks the Chinese structural design is the
pagoda tower—in itself really a Buddhistic idea—but the Chinese have the
credit of carrying it further in their Taas or Pagodas by placing story
upon story until sometimes a great height was attained; as, for example,
in the great porcelain tower at Nankin, which is 200 feet in height,
consists of nine stories, and is 40 feet in diameter at the base. Each
story diminishes in size, and the concave roof of every lower story is
in front of the receding one above. Varnished pillars, resting on a deep
stone basement, support the verandah-like roof of the lowest story, and
a fence of gilded trellis-work surrounds the lower half of the pillars.
The eaves of the roofs curl upwards and end in points from which bells
are suspended. Carved dragons peer out from under the rafters, and the
whole building, inside and out, as well as the roof tiles, is faced with
white porcelain slabs or tiles fastened to the inner brick structure;
some parts—the roofs especially—are painted in alternating bands of
green, yellow, and red.

The greater part of the Chinese houses are wooden constructions, and
have movable walls of various materials, which slide in framework. The
walls do not support the roof, which is, as a rule, supported on posts,
independent of them.

In the gateways to the Confucian temples some attempts at architectural
construction are seen, where a column would have a proper capital and a
base, and a lintel or arched opening would appear. These Pae-lus or
triumphal gates have the usual fantastic curled roofs so peculiar to
Chinese architecture (Fig. 330).

[Illustration: Fig. 330.—Gateway of the Temple of Confucius, Shanghai.]

The genius of the Chinese as great builders and engineers is expressed
better in their works of public utility, as in their finely-constructed
bridges, their canals, and more particularly in the Great Wall, built to
protect their country from the incursions of the Northern hordes, and
which is a monument at the same time to their native love of
exclusiveness from surrounding nations.

The Great Wall was built about B.C. 200, is 1,400 miles long, 15 to 30
feet in height, 25 feet thick at the base, and slopes upwards to 20 feet
in width at the top. It has bastions or towers of defence at intervals,
which are 40 feet square at the base, and the wall is carried over hills
and mountains regardless of all obstacles. Their country is a network of
canals, some of which are 700 miles in length.

Notwithstanding all this, they are no further advanced in architecture
than they were two thousand years ago, or, indeed, in hardly any of the
arts. At the same time the Chinese are remarkably skilled in porcelain
manufacture, silk weaving, embroidery, colour printing, ivory and jade
carving, enamelling, metal-working, casting, and decorative painting.
Their ornament is very conventional and rich in colouring, but their
ornamental forms are limited, and their decoration so full of repetition
that it becomes very monotonous when judged by a European standard.

The architecture of Japan differs very slightly from that of China, as
it is either an offshoot from the older civilisation of China, or has
been derived from the same sources, through the Buddhist religion. Some
changes have occurred in the architecture of Japan in recent years owing
to the more extended use of stone in their buildings, which has been
brought about by their interchange of ideas with Western nations.

Their Buddhist temples are similar to the Chinese, with their curious
turned-up roofs, but the Shinto temples are usually covered with roofs
that have great projecting eaves, which do not turn up at the angles.
The porches or gateways (Torii) to the temples are built in stone, but
in imitation of their earlier wooden construction; they are of the
pillar-and-beam order, and recall somewhat the construction, on a
smaller scale, of the “torans” or gateways of the Sanchi Tope in India
(Fig. 325).

The Japanese carve their wooden rafters, beams, posts, lintels, and
stringcourses very skilfully, with conventional ornament, dragons, and
grotesque animals. The better class of Japanese dwellings are usually of
two stories; the lower story has a verandah, and the upper one is
recessed back, and is smaller than the lower, which produces a pleasing
effect. Their walls are, like the Chinese, more or less movable

Japanese ornament and industrial art (which will be treated in another
place) is more virile, has more variety, and is more artistic in
execution, though governed less by architectural arrangement, than the
art of the Chinese. The Japanese are, however, every day becoming more
impregnated with Western ideas, and, as a consequence, their wonderful
artistic feeling and native refinement of design, execution, and
colouring are in a fair way of losing those seductive qualities that
hitherto have characterized the artistic productions of these
interesting people.

                             CHAPTER XVII.

For the first three centuries after the birth of Christ the early
Christians suffered much persecution and martyrdom. The new religion was
ridiculed and despised, and the converts of the new faith were obliged
to hold their meetings and to worship in secret, which they did in the
narrow but extensive catacombs in which they secretly buried their dead.
The catacombs are found chiefly in the neighbourhood of Rome and Naples,
and are cut in the dark soft tufa stone, in the nature of long passages,
winding and doubling in their labyrinthine twistings. Some of these
passages are so narrow as to barely admit of one person to pass in
height or width. On either side of these narrow ways are cut out
openings just large enough for the bodies of deceased persons to be

The body of the deceased was thus thrust into the narrow tomb, and with
it was buried a flask of sacred oil. The entrance was then closed with a
stone, on which would be engraved the name or initials of the dead.

Some of the catacombs were hollowed out in places into lofty and
capacious chambers and niches. These were used as chapels for the early
Christian worship, the walls and ceilings of which were decorated with
paintings of a very primitive character.

The more important of these catacombs in which chapel-like rooms are
found are those of S. Calisto, S. Sebastiano, S. Lorenzo, and S. Agnese,
at Rome; and at Naples those of S. Mario della Sanita, S. Gennara de
Poveri, and S. Maria della Vita.

Constantine became Emperor of the Romans (A.D. 312-337), and in the
course of his reign embraced, or professed, Christianity, and proclaimed
it the state religion. After this event freedom was allowed the converts
of the new faith to celebrate their love-feasts in a public and open

It was found difficult all at once to provide the necessary buildings
for this purpose, and we hear of the heathen temples and great halls of
the Roman baths being used as Christian churches—the Pantheon at Rome
was used for this purpose—but few of these buildings were large enough
or of the right shape to hold large masses of the faithful, and at the
same time to provide for the celebration of the worship by the bishops
and priests in presence of the congregation, besides the objection of
having the odour of heathenism still clinging to them. The supposed
model for the early Christian churches was found in the halls of justice
and commerce of the Roman times. It is doubtful, however, whether the
early Christian architecture owed so much to the basilica form of
justice halls as has been so generally supposed.

The general plan of the basilica churches was rectangular, with a
semicircular portion added to the back, as the plan of the apse; in the
front was the atrium, a free quadrangular fore-court surrounded with
pillars. This was usually roofed on the four sides, with an opening in
the centre, like the atrium of a Roman house.

Next to the atrium was the narthex, or porch, which led to the church
direct. Sometimes there was only the narthex without the atrium.

A central avenue, or nave, with two aisles, and the semicircular apse at
the end of the nave, was the usual interior form of the early basilicas.

The nave was wide and lofty, and was usually divided from the aisles by
two rows of columns, and from the apse by a large semicircular arch.

The capitals of the columns carried the arcaded upper story, in the
walls of which were the windows that lighted the church. In the oldest
type of the basilica there was no window in the apse, so this portion of
the church was bathed in a mysterious twilight, adding a poetic charm to
the gold mosaics with which the roof of the apse was decorated.

Sometimes windows were introduced into the low walls of the aisles; the
aisles were covered with shed-like wooden roofs, which were supported on
trussed framework.

[Illustration: Fig. 331.—Ambo or Pulpit from St. George’s at Salonica.]

Sometimes the trusses were ceiled, and on the ceilings were painted
scriptural subjects. The wall spaces of the second story in the nave
were also occupied with paintings of sacred subjects. The floor of the
apse was raised higher than that of the nave, and was approached by
steps; seats were placed around the wall of the apse for the priests,
and in the centre was the elevated throne for the bishops. A portion of
the nave space was sometimes appropriated for the choir, screened off by
a marble structure, and at either end of the choir were placed the
“ambos” or pulpits (Fig. 331).

The altar was in the centre of the apse, generally over the tomb of a
Christian martyr, and underneath all, or sometimes a portion only of the
church, was the crypt.

The nave usually had three entrance doors, and the aisles one or more
each. As the heathen religions, and consequently the ancient temples,
fell into disuse, there was plenty of building materials ready formed
and dressed, which the architects of the new buildings appropriated for
their own purposes in the erection of the basilicas. This accounts for
the great number of Roman Corinthian and Ionic columns found in the
buildings of the early Christian architecture, and we often find that
when an ancient column was too short, it was simply raised on a higher
base, and if too long it was cut down to fit its new position. It was
generally in the later basilicas that this occurred, as might be
expected, for the earlier basilicas are richer and better decorated in
their beautiful details, seeing that the early Christian builders had
the first choice of the rich ornamental work of architectural sculpture
that had belonged to the ancient Roman temples. The church of S.
Apollinare in Classe at Ravenna may be cited as one of the most finished
and most beautiful of the early basilicas, which was erected with much
of this old material. Although the Christian architects and artists were
slow in producing new forms of plastic art, as long as they could adapt
the existing fragments of architectural sculpture to their uses; on the
other hand, the art of painting and decorating by mosaic pictures on the
great spaces of the walls and ceilings of the basilicas was developed to
a high degree of monumental splendour, and brilliant effects were gained
by the use of gold and bright colours.

Mosaics as wall decoration in the basilicas were suggested by the
paintings in the catacombs. These primitive paintings were borrowed in
their form and essence from ancient mythological works. At first, some
of the earliest efforts at decoration in the catacombs consisted merely
of monograms and symbols, such as the Greek letters Alpha and Omega, and
the initials or monogram of Christ.

[Illustration: Fig. 332.—Painting from the Catacomb of S. Agnese.]

The use of these doubtless arose from the desire to deprecate anything
that savoured of the images of heathendom, but evidently the early
Christians soon arrived at the idea that painting might be admissible in
a church where sculptured images could not be tolerated—the latter
reminding them too much of the sculptured deities of the ancients—and
consequently we find that the painted subjects from the heathen Pantheon
were adapted by the artists who decorated the catacombs, but the figure
of Christ was introduced where formerly a Roman god was the personage,
thereby giving the mythological subject a new Christian meaning. In the
catacombs of S. Agnese Christ is represented as the “Good Shepherd,”
carrying on his shoulders the lamb that had been lost (Fig. 332); and in
the catacombs of S. Calixtus, on a wall painting, he is portrayed under
the type and figure of Orpheus, charming all nature with his music (Fig.
333). In the central octagonal panel he is represented with a harp,
surrounded by the beasts and birds of the field. In the eight
compartments around the central panel, four landscapes alternate with
four figure subjects:—Moses striking water out of the rock, and
opposite, Christ raising Lazarus, who is represented as a mummy; Daniel
in the lions’ den, and opposite this, David with the sling. The heathen
subjects of Cupid and Psyche, and others, have been used to represent
Christian symbols. In sculpture, there are some remains of early
Christian art in which the figures of Christ and his Apostles are
clothed in the dress, and worked somewhat in the spirit, of the antique.
The sarcophagus under the pulpit of S. Ambrogio at Milan is a good
example of this kind of art. Some ivory carvings of this period have
been executed as tablets, with scriptural subjects, after the manner of
the Roman Consular diptychs. These ivory carvings, that exhibit a true
spirit of the antique in their design, are not to be confounded with the
later Byzantine diptychs that were executed in a more archaic style.

[Illustration: Fig. 333.—Wall Painting from the Catacombs of S.

During the fifth century, and even in the latter part of the fourth, we
see the more cheerful spirit of the antique character dying out, and the
art of the time exhibits a greater importance and attention which is
given to large masses, while smaller or minor surfaces are left empty,
and decorative detail suppressed. There is an apparent striving to
render the figure of the Redeemer—the chief personage—larger and more
important in the scale of the decoration, and at the same time to give
him more individuality. As the technical qualities of the Christian art
diminished, the majesty and sublimity of the Great Teacher was expressed
in a more spiritual conception of his divinity.

Several examples of decoration illustrating this phase of Christian art
occur in the wall paintings in the catacombs of S. Ponziano at Rome. The
face of Christ in these representations is full of earnest and mild
serenity; the right hand is raised as if in blessing, and the left holds
the book of life.

In the fourth century, mosaic was used in the basilicas as a means of
decorating the apse and walls, as the Romans before had used it in their
floors and dados.

In the hands of the early and inexperienced artists, the character of
the material in mosaic had a great deal to do, but not all, in the
creating of the type of angular and rigid forms of the figures, which
was transmitted to all subsequent Christian mosaics. At the same time
there was the intense desire to make the figures of Christ and of other
sacred personages of a sorrowful and austere character. We can, however,
trace in these figures the magisterial dignity that invests the
sculptured figures of the Emperors and Senators of Roman art.

In Italy, the Christian mosaics assumed more and more a decided breaking
away from the traditions of the antique. Large masses as single figures
were symmetrically arranged, ornamental details were suppressed, and
bands with inscriptions framed the large spaces of the walls and the
apse. The figures were more isolated, attenuated, severe of expression,
and leaving much to be desired in their anatomical construction or in
the natural movement of the body; but all this tended to give them that
expression of devotional simplicity aimed for by those early mystics,
who only looked on the world as a “vale of tears.” In the vaulted roof
of the funeral chapel erected to the memory of the daughter of
Constantine at Rome—Sta. Costanza—some of the earliest mosaic work is to
be found, consisting of an antique treatment of the vine and tendrils
used in a symbolic sense; and in another chapel, that of the Empress
Galla Placida, at Ravenna, similar work is seen, mixed with symbolic
signs, as the hart—"panting for water brooks"—a symbol of the soul
thirsting for salvation. This chapel was erected A.D. 440.

After this time, and towards the end of the fifth century, we find the
characteristic features of Christian art more insisted in: such as the
colossal portraits and figures of Christ, the isolation of single
figures, the symmetrical grouping of crowds of smaller figures, and of
the representatives of the angel, bull, eagle, and lion, as winged
symbols of the Evangelists, all rendered the more impressive by the
architectural spacing, and the plain blue ground which surrounded most
of the figures. Two churches may be mentioned that contained fine
examples of the above type of early Christian mosaics; one is the great
basilica of St. Paul, without the walls at Rome, built under Theodosius
and Honorius about A.D. 386, and the other that of St. Cosmo e Damiano
in Rome. The great mosaics in the apse of the latter church were
executed between A.D. 526 and 530 by Pope Felix IV. The floors of these
churches are made of what is known as “Opus Alexandrinum,” the finest
and grandest floor decoration that exists (Fig. 334). Circular slabs of
porphyry and serpentine marble sawn in disks from antique columns are
laid down, and twisted interlacings and rings surround them as bands
composed of triangular bits of white, black, or coloured marble, forming
simple and effective patterns in a quiet harmony of colour. Some of this
work may be seen in Westminster Abbey.

[Illustration: Fig. 334.—Opus Alexandrinum Pavement, San Marco, Rome.]

In the early part of the sixth century Christian art in Italy was at a
low ebb, as by this time nearly all the antique remains and culture had
been used up; but fortunately, the Eastern and Western Churches were not
as yet divided in doctrine, and a fresh life had been imparted to
Italian art from the Byzantine culture of the Eastern Empire.

Besides the basilica form of building, another antique form of early
Christian architecture was developed, called a “baptistery,” which
generally took the form of a detached building, with a circular or
polygonal plan. In some cases the baptistery adjoins the atrium of the
basilica, but often is a detached building of considerable importance.
The structure is supposed to have been suggested by the circular portion
of the Roman baths, and consists of a circular row of columns supporting
the upper structure; the central portion is surrounded by a low
cloister-like aisle, and the fountain is in the middle of the building.
The circular building known as the Church of Santa Costanza in Rome—the
funeral chapel before mentioned—the octagonal baptistery of Constantine,
and the fine baptistery at Ravenna, are examples of this kind of
building. Another beautiful example is the octagonal baptistery of the
Lateran, belonging to the fifth century; it has eight large antique
columns, which support an architrave, upon which rest another series of
eight smaller columns, carrying another architrave and the domed roof.
The whole building has a pleasant and agreeable effect of extreme

                        BYZANTINE ARCHITECTURE.

The ancient town of Byzantium, the modern Constantinople, was mostly in
ruins when Constantine the Great selected it for the new capital of the
Roman Empire. He rebuilt the old town and named it after himself, and in
the year A.D. 330 the inauguration of the new capital was celebrated.
Later on, under Theodosius, the Roman Empire was divided, and
Constantinople became the capital of the Eastern portion.

It was the great connecting-point between the countries of the East and
the West. The inhabitants of the new city being mostly Greeks, the
native artists and architects employed by Constantine imparted a decided
Grecian character to the ornament and decoration, especially of the
churches and other buildings that were erected by this emperor.

The occasion of the new political change and the rapid spread of the
Christian religion served to give a great impetus to the building and
lavish decoration of churches and public edifices. Although the new
architecture was founded on the Roman originals, yet in the hands of the
Greeks both architecture and ornament assumed a new and original
character. From the time of the founding of Constantinople to the date
of Justinian’s reign (A.D. 527-565), when the great church of Santa
Sophia—holy wisdom—was built, on the ruins of an older church that was
said to have been burnt down, we can guess that it must have been a time
of experiments and developments from the basilica type of building to
the well-defined domed style of architecture known as the Byzantine.

The timber-roofed and vaulted style of structure now gave place to the
dome, which resulted also in a change of the plan to the square form,
instead of the rectangle. During the two hundred years previous to the
building of Santa Sophia, the problem of dome construction, with others
of a difficult nature in building, had been successfully solved by the
Greek architects of the Eastern Empire. Justinian employed the Greeks,
Anthemius of Thralles and Isidorus of Miletus, as the architects of
Santa Sophia, and they succeeded in erecting a marvellous structure that
may justly be reckoned as one of the wonders of the world.

Four vast piers, arranged on a square plan, support four solid arches of
masonry, semicircular in shape, and 100 feet span each. The four
triangular spaces at the corners and the spaces formed by the angles,
the semicircular arches and portions of the ring of the dome, are filled
with “pendentives,” which may be described as continuations of the dome.
These pendentives partly support the dome, and the other points of
support are on the backs of the great arches. The four pendentives meet
in the circular ring from which the dome springs. The dome is 46 feet in
height from the level of its base, and 107 feet in diameter, and is
rather flattish in shape.

On the side of the dome, east and west, are two half-domes, which crown
apsidal walls. Other small apses are domed over at lower levels, and
vaulted aisles of two stories run round the higher portions of the
building, the whole forming almost a cube-like shape.

After Constantinople was captured by the Turks (A.D. 1453), Santa Sophia
was converted into a mosque and four minarets, or Moslem towers, were
added to its outer angles. The interior of this church, besides the
stupendous effect of its unrivalled architectural construction, has its
added beauties and splendour in its inlaid marbles, its richly carved
cornices and arcades (Fig. 335), and its vaults and domes glittering
with gold mosaics of cherubim, and dignified though gaunt and archaic
figures. In the capitals of the columns was used the sharply-edged and
undercut acanthus foliage, more in accordance with the old Greek type
than the Roman, but have a distinctly Byzantine character of its own.
Sacred signs, emblems, and birds were often introduced into the
capitals; the general shape of the latter was a cubical form, the four
faces slanting inwards from above, this form giving a decided appearance
of great supporting and sustaining power (Figs. 336 and 338). Sometimes
they were bossed out, and often contained the elements of the Ionic and
Corinthian orders (Figs. 336, 337, 339). The wedge-shaped portion on the
top of the capital is an ugly but distinctive feature of the Byzantine
style (Fig. 338).

[Illustration: Fig. 335.—Cornice from Santa Sophia.]

The splendour and magnificence of the decoration in Byzantine churches
is proverbial: the columns were often of porphyry and serpentine marble,
and the supports to the altar canopy (_baldacchino_), the screen
(_iconostasis_) and the pulpit (_ambo_) were often inlaid with gold,
silver, and precious stones. The altar itself was a gorgeous piece of
workmanship, resplendent with gold and enamels, decorated with hanging
lamps, vases, and candlesticks, all wrought in precious metal work,
though the actual design and workmanship was rough and less refined than
antique work.

[Illustration: Fig. 336.—Capital from Santa Sophia, showing the
bossing-out of the ornament.]

[Illustration: Fig. 337.—Capital from St. Demetrius at Salonica.]

[Illustration: Fig. 338.—Capital from St. Demetrius.]

The floor mosaics had patterns consisting of the cross, the circle, and
the cube, with interlacing lines, the ornamental forms here as elsewhere
being of a symbolical character. Reliquaries, shrines, and chalices in
gold, and enamels, crosses, and other accessories of the altar, and
sculptured ivories of a devotional character, of Byzantine workmanship,
were made in great abundance. The larger churches especially, such as
Santa Sophia, and St. Mark’s at Venice, possessed great quantities of
these treasures. Sculpture was subordinate to painting as plastic art
was not encouraged, because of the dislike to images shown by the early
Christians, and so painting which led to the mosaic picture, which in
its turn led to enamelling on metals, was favoured to a great extent by
the Byzantine artists. Even flat bands with inscriptions and ornament
were used instead of mouldings in relief.

[Illustration: Fig. 339.—Byzantine Capital from Santa Sophia, showing
the bossing-out of the ornament.]

The city of Ravenna being situated between Constantinople and Rome
possessed some remarkable buildings, that do not belong exactly to the
Eastern or Western type of architecture; but on the other hand have
strongly marked influences of each.

[Illustration: Fig. 340.—St. Nicholas at Moscow.]

The most important is that of the Church of St. Vitale; it is octagonal
in plan, and is like Santa Sophia in having a principal central dome,
half-domes, and vaulted aisles. It is resplendent in elaborate
decoration and carvings. The cathedral of St. Mark’s at Venice is so
well known from illustrations and photographs that it requires very
little description. It was built in the years A.D. 977-1071, and its
plans are said to have been drawn by Greek architects at Constantinople.
Originally it possessed all the features of a genuine Byzantine edifice,
but has been altered externally, and in some places internally in both
Gothic and Renaissance periods. The Byzantine domes have had bulbous
coverings placed over them in later times. St. Mark’s like Santa Sophia
is square in plan, but has five principal domes, one in the centre, and
one at each angle or end of the Greek cross plan. The aisles, with their
series of low-level dome roofs, make the whole building nearly square.
The surrounding countries of Bulgaria, Servia, Roumania, Armenia, and
Russia, which embraced the Christian religion of the Greek Church,
possess examples of Byzantine architecture. The Russian type in its
later developments has distinctive characteristics of its own,
particularly in the use and shape of the dome. Russian churches consist
usually of a storied tower on which is placed five small domes of a
bulbous shape; these are built on the tops of elongated drums. The
bulbous tops of the domes grow into points, on which are placed tall
crosses. These and other fantastic elements are derived from the timber
edifices of Persia and other Asiatic countries (Fig. 340).

                             CHAPTER XVIII.

The architecture of the Saracens in its most perfect examples has a
thoroughly distinctive style of its own, and their ornament in its pure
form is unlike the ornament of any style that has hitherto existed.

The originality of the latter arose from the experimenting in ornamental
patterns that should have no likeness to plants, animals, or other
natural forms.

This prohibition of the use of objects from nature in their ornament was
one of the articles of the Moslem religion; but to get any pleasing
variety in ornament and leave out all natural reminiscences in the
designs is out of human power, so consequently we have, even in
Saracenic ornament, natural forms put through a geometrical process of
draughtsmanship. Saracenic ornament in what is sometimes called Arabian
has leaf and bud-like forms interlaced with strap-work, which is often
very beautiful and is known under the name of “Arabesque” (Figs. 341,

[Illustration: Fig. 341.—Arabesque Ornament from the Wekāla of Kāit Bey.

The Saracens were originally composed of Arab herdsmen, nomadic
wanderers of the desert, carriers or merchants, and dwellers in
villages, who cultivated the land around them. The earliest building of
any importance that can be called Saracenic is the “Kaaba” or Moslem
temple at Mecca, which contained the sacred brownish-black stone placed
by Mahomet in the south-east angle of this square temple. This black
stone is supposed to be a meteorolite, hemispherical in shape, and about
6 by 8 inches in the widest dimension. Some hundreds of stone images or
“gods” used to be worshipped at Mecca by the Mohammedans in their early
days, or in what they call their “days of ignorance,” but these were
destroyed by the prophet’s orders. Mohammed himself was a fanatic that
could neither read nor write; he made up the Korân from many sources,
such as the Bible, the Apocryphal gospels, the Talmud, and possibly a
good many original passages of his own, which he says he received from
the mouth of the angel Gabriel in visions. The Mohammedan creed contains
its essence in the words:—"There is no God, but God, and Mohammed is his
Prophet." This text is found very frequently as a decorative legend on
the walls of the mosques and on painted tiles. At first Mohammed’s new
religion was not favourably received, for, after converting his near
relations and a few other followers, he had to fly from Mecca to Medina,
to escape assassination.

[Illustration: Fig. 342.—Rosette in Mosque of Suyurghatmish; Seventeenth
Century. (L.-P.)]

The “Hegira,” or flight of Mohammed, took place A.D. 622. He compiled
more of his Korân at Medina, and altered parts of it, especially as
regards the punishment of idolaters, which naturally included his late

The punishment was to be of an eternal nature in the next world, and
extirpation in this, unless they embraced Islâmism. Mohammed very soon
began to make his power felt; he made a few marauding expeditions
throughout the country, and gained many converts, especially when they
became convinced that Islâm was to conquer the whole world by the sword.
His army, however, was nearly annihilated by the Byzantine emperor,
Heraclius, in a battle at Muta, but he recovered himself, and marched on
to Mecca, where he put to the sword all those that did not embrace his
religion, and destroyed all the remaining idols in the city. He allowed
his army all the plunder they could get, after he had a tithe to
himself, but it is said that he led a very abstemious life, dressed
poorly, and resided with his wives in the shabbiest type of dwellings.
He died in A.D. 632, or ten years after the Hegira, from which event is
dated the Mohammedan era. After his death many of the converts became
backsliders, but his successor, Abu-Bekr, and more especially the
renowned Omar—the second caliph—brought the Saracens to a great power.
They were very warlike, and capable of enduring great hardships, and as
they had everything to gain and nothing to lose, they made war their
sole trade, and carried their successful arms to India, Persia,
Mesopotamia, Syria, Palestine, and Egypt.

The islands of the Mediterranean, the northern coast of Africa, Spain,
and the south-east of France, were by them also invaded, ravaged, and
partly conquered.

[Illustration: Fig. 343.—Alhambra Diaper, Superposed Ornament.]

[Illustration: Fig. 344.—Stalactite Vaulting.]

In the youthful days of Saracenic power, as early as the second
caliphate, Persia and Asia Minor had been plundered and pillaged of
their costly and valuable objects in silver, gold, embroidered carpets,
and silken goods. The wealth of the Moslem conquerors was now
considerable, and was accumulating fast; the sight of so much that was
fine and striking in the arts and architecture of the countries they had
conquered, in the eyes of these people—who were no better than
barbarians or banditti—began to have a more civilising effect on them.
Add to this the influence of the Byzantine architecture, especially at
Constantinople, with the Saracens, whose religion was in some respects
not unlike the Christian, especially as in both cases there was the
stern prohibition of idols or graven images; and so it was quite natural
that the Moslem mosque should be built and decorated on the main lines
of the Byzantine Christian church. The dome and the niche (_mehrab_)
came from the Byzantine; the minarets—which are not strictly essential
in Moslem architecture—probably from the Perseopolitan columns. The
Moslem dome, however, may have had its origin in the domed palaces of
Persia, of the Achæmedian dynasty. Saracenic ornament is mostly,
however, derived from the geometric Byzantine with a strong dash of
Indian forms in its mixture. The super-posing in their ornament of
different planes (Fig. 343), the class of ornament known as “mnemonic”
(Figs. 362, 363), and the stalactite decoration of vaults and domes
(Fig. 344)—all these three classes deserve the credit of being
distinctly Saracenic, although some say that the stalactite ornament was
known in Persia before the days of Mahomet.

Among the earliest mosques we may mention that of Omar at Jerusalem,
which was supposed to be a small wooden mosque, now destroyed. Ferguson
says it was the Mosque of El Aksah.

The Mosque of ’Amr at Old Cairo was built A.D. 641 by Amru-Ibn-al-Aās,
the general and governor who conquered Egypt, A.H. 21 (after the
Hegira). It has been frequently restored and enlarged. The columns which
support the arcaded arches are classical in character, the arches are
slightly horseshoe in the curve, and are tied together. The building is
nearly square in plan (Figs. 345, 346).

[Illustration: Fig. 345.—East Colonnade of the Mosque of ’Amr. (L.-P.)]

The mosque of Ibn-Tūlūn (Son of Tūlūn) in Old Cairo was built by
Ahmad-ibn-Tūlūn, founder of the house of the Tūlūn governors of Egypt,
A.H. 263-5. This mosque and that of ’Amr are what are known as
“cloistered” mosques. The plan of the latter (Fig. 346) gives a general
idea of a cloistered mosque. The essential requirements of a mosque are
very few and simple. Mahomet’s mosque at Medina was a small square
brick-built structure, with a wooden roof plastered over: the chief
thing required was retirement from the public for meditation and prayer.

[Illustration: Fig. 346.—Plan of the Mosque of ’Amr. (L.-P.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 347.—Minaret of the Mosque of Kaloum at Cairo.]

It was not essential that all the rectangular or square court that forms
the mosque should be covered with a roof, provided there was sufficient
shelter for the number of worshippers, which was generally small at a
time, and if a larger space were required, a portion or all of the open
court could be roofed in. What we would call the east end of a church
corresponded to that part of a mosque where the _kibla_, or line of
direction, would be indicated—towards Mecca—there the _mihrab_ or niche
would be fixed. Close to the mihrab is the mimbar, or pulpit, for the
sermon, and in close vicinity the _dikka_ or tribune, a raised platform,
from which the imām intones the prayers and reads passages from the
Korān. The minaret is a later addition, but is seen on every mosque; it
is used by the Muezzin, who ascends to its galleries and calls the
faithful to prayer five times a day (Fig. 347). A fountain is necessary
for the lawful ablutions before prayer.

[Illustration: Fig. 348.—Mausoleum at Cairo.]

The dome is not a necessary feature to a mosque; it only occurs over the
tomb of some sultan or other dignitary, and may be used as a chapel, but
only when it covers a tomb. The majority of mosques, however, have a
dome, either as a principal feature, or attached to some part of the
building. Cairo is particularly rich in domed mausoleum structures (Fig.

The domes or cupolas in Moslem buildings generally swell up beyond the
semicircle, and are raised considerably by having their lower parts
straight-sided or cylindrical; this part is sometimes pierced with a row
of small windows, and is recessed back on a pyramid-like story, with a
square or polygonal base, which in its turn rests on the top of a square
embattled tower. The dome is usually built of brick, the courses
projecting roughly one over the other, diminishing towards the top, and
thickly plastered over inside and out to get an even surface; sometimes
the mortar is thicker than the bricks in Saracen buildings.

[Illustration: Fig. 349.—Mosque of Kāit Bey, Cairo. (L.-P.)]

Wooden frames are often used in the construction of domes which support
the plaster work. Some domes are built with slabs of stones on which a
geometric pattern is carved on the outside (Figs. 348, 349); these are
generally of a late period, as the tomb mosque of Kāit Bey, built about
A.D. 1468 (Fig. 349). The oldest mosque in Cairo is that of Ibn Tūlūn
(Fig. 350). It is a cloistered mosque, is built in a massive style, and
has a high plain wall around it; it covers about four hundred square
feet of ground. In the centre of the inner courtyard is a square stone
building surmounted by a dome, one of the earliest carried on
stalactites. This building is a century later than the cloisters, and is
built over a well or fountain.

The great court is surrounded by arcades of pointed arches, that have a
slight tendency to turn inwards at the base, and are built as piers of
plastered brick; it is said to be the first mosque built on piers,
instead of the usual round columns.

The Saracens did not make columns themselves, but took them from the
ruins of Roman buildings, or even from existing Christian churches, and
as often as not used the capitals turned upside down as bases.

The Saracens have a form of capital of Moorish design which harmonizes
with their architecture; it has a slightly tapering, smooth, long neck,
a heavy projecting head, and is well covered with characteristic
foliated work (Fig. 351).

In the mosque of Ibn-Tūlūn there are only two columns; these are placed
at the niche or mihrab. Three sides of this mosque have two rows of
arches, and the fourth—the side towards Mecca—which is the _liwān_ or
sanctuary, has five. The architect of this mosque was a Coptic
Christian, who received £5,000 and a costly dress of honour as his fee.
The total cost of the building was £60,000 (_Lane-Poole_). Around the
arches and the windows, which were placed high up between the arches,
are bands of palmated ornament. These borders, according to Mr. Stanley
Lane-Poole, are the earliest examples of geometrical design and
scroll-work that afterwards became so characteristic of Saracenic

They were made in plaster or stucco-work by hand, while the plaster was
wet, and not cast in moulds, which was the case of later Moorish plaster

[Illustration: Fig. 350.—Arcades in the Mosque of Ibn-Tūlūn. (L.-P.)]

The arcades were roofed over with sycamore planks resting on heavy
beams, and the whole structure was crowned with crenellations or
embattlements. One of the back walls of the arcades is pierced with
grilles of stone, of beautiful tracery design.

The Arabian or Saracen arches are of three kinds—the Ogee, the
Horseshoe, and the Pointed (Fig. 352, _a_, _b_, _c_).

[Illustration: Fig. 351.—Moorish Capital.]

A peculiar arrangement of cusped inter-arching, combined with the
horseshoe arch, is seen in the _maksura_, or space in front of the
mihrab, of the mosque of Cordova, built A.D. 786 (Fig. 353).

This arrangement of cusping, though characteristically Moorish, is
anything but beautiful. The Mosque of Cordova was begun by the Caliph
Abd-al-Rahman in the year before he died, and was continued by his son
Hisham, and his grandson El-Hakim. It is one of the great congregational
mosques, and occupied a space of ground 580 feet by 435 feet.

[Illustration: Fig. 352.—Arches; _a_, ogee; _b_, horseshoe; _c_,

The minaret is often a feature of great beauty, and is pre-eminently
distinctive of Saracenic mosque architecture; it may be called the
belfry of the mosque. Sometimes it is engaged to the main building, and
sometimes starts from the roof of the mosque. The base plan is generally
polygonal, and the upper stories above the main gallery are often
circular; the top is crowned with a pear-shaped cupola. That of the
mosque of Sultan Hasan is one of the highest, being about 330 feet in
height. One of the most ornate and beautiful is the minaret that adorns
the mosque of Kāit Bey, at Cairo (see Fig. 349). From the roof of the
mosque it starts on a solid square base, and develops into an octagon
story, which is pierced with window openings, and has an elaborate
cornice gallery, consisting of a pierced balustrade, supported by
stalactite brackets. The next upper division is cylindrical, decorated
with geometrical interlaced ornament; another story is above this,
crowned with a cupola, on the top of which is placed a pear-shaped ball,
ending in a finial. Wooden bracket-like forms project out of this, from
which lamps are suspended at festivals. The minaret and dome are covered
with elaborate carvings.

[Illustration: Fig. 353.—Cusped inter-arching, Mosque of Cordova.]

The _mimbars_ or pulpits are singular in construction, and are usually
well covered with decoration (Fig. 354).

[Illustration: Fig. 354.—Pulpit of the Sultan Kāit Bey: Fifteenth
Century. (L.-P.)]

The remains of domestic architecture are not very plentiful—at least, of
any examples of the best period of the Saracen style. The main idea in
the design of the houses was to have them built so that people outside
should see as little as possible of the inmates or inside, and that the
women especially should see as little of street life as possible; so the
first row of the windows was placed high up, and all the windows were
thickly latticed, so that little could be seen from the inside and
nothing from the outside (Fig. 355). An interesting and picturesque
feature was the _meshrebiyas_, or drinking-places, so called because
they were little projecting shaded structures of lattice-work, supported
on brackets, that contained the water in vessels and other drinks; the
currents of air that rushed through the lattice-work served to keep the
drinking water cool.

[Illustration: Fig. 355.—A Street in Cairo. (L.-P.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 356.—Lattice-work, S.K.M. (L.-P.)]

The meshrebiyas are often very beautiful with their varied patterns of
elaborate lattice-work, which is peculiarly Arabian in design. It is
composed of many pieces of turned and carved pieces that are ingeniously
fitted into each other to form the pattern (Figs. 356-7-8). In the
museum at Kensington many examples of these lattice patterns may be
seen, and also some of the meshrebiyas.

[Illustration: Fig. 357.—Lattice-work, S.K.M. (L.-P.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 358.—Lattice-work, S.K.M. (L.-P.)]

In the illustration of a “Street in Cairo” (Fig. 355), two of these
meshrebiyas project on brackets from a house front.

A richer style of the lattice-work decoration was used in open panels
and balustrades of the pulpits, where the triangles and hexagons that
form part of the design are carved on the surface, and inlaid back and
front with ivory or ebony.

The houses in Cairo of the purest Saracen style have the best part of
the carvings and decoration in the inside; they are generally two or
three stories in height, but were much higher in the fourteenth and
fifteenth centuries. The lower parts are built of stone, and the upper
stories of brick and wood, plastered white.

The lower story has the stones coloured in alternate courses of red
ochre and white limewash. The doorways are sometimes decorated by having
peculiar voussoirs and interlaced ornament (Fig. 359).

[Illustration: Fig. 359.—Doorway of a Private House. (L.-P.)]

There is an illustration of a shop-front in M. Bourgoin’s “Eléments de
l’Art Arabe” which is an exquisite example of Saracen work of good
proportion and design in its doors and windows. Saracenic ornament, as
it appears in plaster, stone, wood, and mosaic decoration, of the
mosques, pulpits, and wekālas or khans, deserves special notice on
account of its extreme originality of design and treatment, inasmuch as,
whatever may be its true origin, we must certainly admit that there is a
marked difference between it and the ornament of any other historic

The mosques built anterior to that of Suyurghatmish (A.D. 1356) were
decorated in plaster. The rosette (Fig. 342) shows a transitional piece
of work of great beauty, that looks like a copy in stone of low-relief
plaster-work, and has every sign of a Byzantine-like origin, seen more
especially in the leaf-like markings and general treatment of the six
large central flowers; the interlacing and other details are also
Byzantine. It is quite likely that this example was designed by a
Christian Coptic artist, as, indeed, nearly all the Saracen art in Egypt
of this period was designed by Coptic Egyptians. Compare with this the
illuminated Korān of the Sultan Sha’ Ban, of a year or two later (A.D.
1368). All the floral work in this is distinctly Persian in character,
without any reminiscence of Byzantine, but shows rather a Chinese or
Indian influence (Fig. 360). It is probably copied from a Persian

[Illustration: Fig. 360.—Illuminated Korān of the Sultan Sha’ Ban;
Fourteenth Century. (L.-P.)]

Another example of Saracenic ornament is the stone sculptured decoration
from the portal of the mosque of Sultan Hasan, in Cairo (A.D. 1358),
(Fig. 361). From being carved in stone the ornament is much stiffer than
the two previous examples, but it is more thoroughly Saracenic or
Arabian than either of them; the large flower-like forms in elevation
are evidently developments of the Assyrian form of the lotus, and have
here almost the form of the fleur-de-lis. This type of design was
successfully developed in the Moresque diapers of the Alhambra, where
the conventional leaves and flower forms were mixed with Saracenic
inscriptions, and were redeemed from their aridity by the almost
sensuous character of the colouring, which has a combination of red,
blue, white, and gold, and further by the superimposed planes of the
ornamental composition (see Fig. 343). It may be noticed that some of
the leaf-work in these diapers have a feather-like decoration, which
gives richness and variety to the ornament: these markings are evidently
derived from the parallel veining of Byzantine acanthus leaf-work. The
larger strap-work running through is interlaced in the form of pointed
and horseshoe arches, which makes the ornament in appropriate harmony
with the Moorish architecture, while the flat treatment of the whole is
distinctively characteristic of all Saracenic ornament.

[Illustration: Fig. 361.—Ornament from the Portal of Sultan Hasan.]

Two examples of Mnemonic ornament are given at Figs. 362 and 363. The
former is a Kufic inscription arranged so as to form a band ornament.
This is in the angular and older form of writing. The latter is an
example of the cursive Arabian hand which was more generally adopted,
and is termed the Vaskhy: it is more round and flowing than the Kufic.
The typical feather ornament forms a background to most of these

[Illustration: Fig. 362.—Kufic Writing, from the Alhambra.]

[Illustration: Fig. 363.—Arabian Cursive Writing, from the Alhambra.]

Some of the finest specimens of purely Saracenic ornament are found on
the singularly ornate mimbars or pulpits (Figs. 354 and 364). The
simplicity of their straight-lined silhouettes is in restrained contrast
to the extreme elaboration of their carved surfaces. The stone pulpit
from the mosque of Barkuk is early fifteenth century work. It is made of
solid stone slabs, with doorway, staircase, and canopy raised on small
pillars and surmounted by the usual pear-shaped cupola. The stone slabs
are elaborately carved with geometrical patterns, arabesques, and
inscriptions, and are said to be the finest examples of stone carving in
Cairo. Another pulpit (Fig. 354) of the fifteenth century, made by order
of the Sultan Kāit Bey, is built in wood; it is now in the South
Kensington Museum, and bears the name of this Mamlūk Sultan, who was the
ruler of Egypt at the end of that century. The folding doors and the
niche of this pulpit are decorated with stalactite ornament; the cupola
is copper; the carving is most elaborate, and is also inlaid with ebony
and ivory. Some of the carved panels from the building known as the
wekāla or khan of Kāit Bey, show Saracenic ornament in its purest
form—both the geometrical variety and arabesques. This Sultan and his
artists have shown the most refined taste of all the great Saracen
builders. The wekāla or khan is a rectangular building with an open
court in the centre, and consists of numerous chambers that were
occupied by merchants for a short season when they came to buy and sell
in Cairo, and was, in fact, a sort of Eastern hotel.

[Illustration: Fig. 364.—Stone Pulpit in Mosque of Barkuk; Fifteenth

The stabling was placed behind on the ground floor, and the exterior
consisted of a row of small shops. The wekāla of Kāit Bey had thirteen
of these shops on one exterior, and between the seventh and eighth was
placed a splendid arched gateway. It is a pointed arch of eight feet in
width, the edge of which is decorated with three tiers of stalactites
that are carved on the sides of the archway, and has a fine band of
carved scroll-work running round the face of the archway and spandrels.
One of the most beautiful examples of alternating interlacing and
arabesque ornament is that which forms an arch over a horizontal panel
of carved ornament. This arch is shown at Fig. 365. A fine
characteristic piece of carved ornament from the same building is the
subject of the illustration Fig. 341.

Figure and animal representation, though prohibited by the Moslem
religion, was in many cases practised by the Saracen sculptors; for
instance, in the Baptistery of St. Louis is a large copper bowl inlaid
with silver figures (Mōsil work) made at Mōsil in the thirteenth
century. These figure and animal designs are from Mesopotamian sources,
as may easily be seen in the examples given—from the Marīstan of Kalaun
(Figs. 366 and 367), where on the last a centaur is shooting an arrow at
a unicorn, balanced by a similar animal on the opposite side; and on the
other example is a peacock in the centre, with figures of men on either
side having drinking vessels and musical instruments, an evident
representation of a concert and dances.

[Illustration: Fig. 365.—Ornament on an Arch of the Wekāla Kāit Bey.

The scroll borders around this panel, and the execution of the work, are
in the Saracenic manner, but the motives of the designs are Persian.
Other similar carvings in which animals figure and birds are introduced
are to be seen in the same building, and are of late thirteenth century
work. These illustrations are taken from Mr. Stanley Lane-Poole’s
“Saracenic Art in Egypt,” after “Prisse d’Avennes,” to which the student
is referred for an exhaustive account of the Saracen art in Egypt. We
extract the following summary of this art from the above author, who
quotes from Franz Pasha, the architect to the Government of the Khedive.
“While bestowing their full meed of praise on the wonderfully rich
ornamentation and other details of Arabian architecture, one cannot help
feeling that the style fails to give entire æsthetic satisfaction; want
of symmetry of plan, poverty of articulation, insufficiency of plastic
decoration, and an incongruous mingling of wood and stone are the
imperfections which strike most Northern critics. The architects, in
fact, bestowed the whole of their attention on the decoration of
surfaces; and down to the present day the Arabian artists have always
displayed far greater ability in designing the most complicated ornament
and geometrical figures on plane surfaces than in the treatment and
proportioning of masses. Although we occasionally see difficulties of
construction well overcome ... these instances seem rather to be
successful experiments than the result of scientific workmanship. The
real excellence of the Arabian architects lay in their skill in masking
abrupt angles by the use of stalactites, or brackets,” &c.

[Illustration: Figs. 366, 367.—Carved Panels from the Maristan of Kalaun
(after Prisse d’Avennes): Late Thirteenth Century. (L.-P.)]

This architect is right, generally speaking, in his admirable remarks,
but we think, although it is admitted that Saracenic architecture lacks
the cohesion and unity of parts that is the chief beauty in Greek and
best examples of the Gothic, that in some instances, in the mosques and
more particularly in the wekālas and in domestic architecture, the
Saracen architects have proved themselves masters in the creation of
architectural works second to none in point of beauty, while in their
architectural application of ornament to the decoration of the various
surfaces and other features of their buildings they are unrivalled. They
have not only invented a new style of ornament, but in their correct
application of it they have scarcely ever been equalled.

The decoration of surfaces, which is the chief glory of all Saracenic
art and architecture, was the first and last lesson they learnt from
their Persian masters in art, for Persian art, like the manners and
customs of the people, has all its beauty and politeness on the surface.

                              CHAPTER XIX.

Romanesque is the name given to the architectural style developed by the
Western barbarians who overran the Roman Empire, after their partial
civilisation, when they had learned the art of building. The style arose
chiefly from the copying of Roman buildings and their remains, with some
added features of Byzantine buildings.

Out of this Romanesque, in its turn, there sprang another style which
was founded on the Romanesque and on the architecture of the Saracens.
Towards the end of the eleventh century the new masters of the Roman
Empire, in the course of their military expeditions to Asia Minor,
Syria, and Palestine, were brought in contact with the Saracens and
their architecture, and in coming back to Europe they brought with them
new ideas of building, such as the pointed arch of the Saracens, which
feature together with new forms of ornament were added by them to the
prevalent Romanesque style, the mixture producing an entirely new style,
which has been curiously named after the early Northern barbarians—the

The subsequent Crusades against the Mohammedans had the effect, among
others, of extending the knowledge of mathematics and geometry among the
Crusaders, sciences in which the Saracens excelled; and in coming home
again to the West, they applied their geometrical knowledge to the
development of Gothic architecture to such an extent that, towards the
end of the fourteenth century, this architecture could show examples of
the most lofty and daring constructions in stone that were marvels in
the science of building. Some Gothic buildings present with their
fretted pinnacles, spires, flying buttresses, intersecting and pierced
work, in flamboyant tracery, daring vaulting, and inter-penetrating
mouldings, a worked-out solution of some intricate mathematical problem.
In its complicated phases Gothic construction is more scientific than
artistic, however much one may admire the grouping or design of the
Gothic pile as a picturesque conception.

Returning to the Romanesque style, we find that in the sixth century
Theodoric the Ostrogoth had, in the erections of churches, palaces, and
of his tomb in Ravenna—his capital—sown the first seeds of the future
developments of the German Romanesque, and in some degree of the later
German Gothic style. In producing these works his ambition was to
emulate the grandeur of Imperial Rome. The Longobards, the successors of
the Ostrogoths, continued this building activity through the Middle
Ages, and have left to us monuments of their genius in the early and
rude Duomo Vecchio of Brescia, and amongst many others of their noblest
works were Sant’ Ambrogio at Milan, and San Zeno at Verona.

Prior to the Carlovingian era, the Germanic people began to cultivate
the fine arts in a tentative manner. This was brought about by the
contact of German chiefs and warriors with Italian pomp and splendour,
which also bred in them a love for personal adornment, that strongly
marked the nobles and warriors of this period.

Charlemagne was crowned Emperor of Germany at Rome, on Christmas Day in
the year A.D. 800. The dream and ambition of this great German Prince
was to establish a mighty Christian Empire in the West of Europe that
should rival pagan Rome itself, not only in military power, but in a
widespread culture of literature, science, and artistic excellence.

These were the days of Chivalry, of the Crusaders; the days when men
were rich in high and lofty ideals; when those knightly mystics, Wolfram
von Eschenbach and Vogelweide, sang of the Parsival and the Quest of the
Holy Graal, of songs of love and chivalry, of deliverance from wrongs,
and of many stirring and tuneful themes.

Though Charlemagne never learned to read or write, he thoroughly
appreciated the value of learning. He gathered together learned men,
architects, and artists, and established a school of religious music. He
built many churches, palaces, and bridges, and collected many statues
from Rome and elsewhere for the adornment of his great church at
Aix-la-Chapelle; he organized and encouraged the professions and trades
of his towns and cities.

The great tomb-church at Aix-la-Chapelle—or Aachen—was built by
Charlemagne, and became the prototype of all subsequent churches erected
in the Romanesque style in Germany.

It was in the region bordering on the Rhine that the great church
building activity was developed in Germany. The cities of the powerful
bishoprics rivalled each other in pomp and splendour, as we see in such
buildings as the Doms of Spiers, Mayence, and Cologne, and in the
Romanesque churches of Swabia, Franconia, Westphalia, and Lower Saxony.
The Romanesque style is also found in the churches or Doms of Bamberg,
Brunswick, and Osnabruck; the Godehardi and Michael’s churches at
Hildesheim, the carving in which excels that in the churches of the

The distinctive characteristics of the German Romanesque are the great
octagonal dome-like towers that arise from the crossing of the nave and
transept, and the flanking towers at each end that are sometimes united
to the central tower by an outside western gallery or façade. A fine
modern church, built in the Romanesque style, is that of the Cathedral
of Fourvière, on the hill overlooking the city of Lyons in France.

[Illustration: Fig. 368.—Round Arch Frieze.]

[Illustration: 369.—Intersecting Blind Arcade.]

Some German Romanesque churches have a western as well as an eastern
apse, and the church known as the Apostelkirche in Cologne has the
transept, both of which features are disturbing elements in any church
where the chief attention should be directed to the culminating point
where the choir, reredos, or altar are usually found—in the apse or
chancel, and at the eastern end only.

[Illustration: Fig. 370.—Rose Window.]

The church architecture of the West—the Romanesque followed closely the
requirements of the Western ritual, while the churches which observed
the Eastern ritual kept to the Greek or Byzantine models.

Romanesque churches of the tenth century are distinguished by the
basilica plan, the apsidal east end, round-headed arches, and single or
double-light windows. The walls have generally a decoration, consisting
of a series of flat pilasters—reminiscences of classic architecture—and
the roofs in many cases were vaulted. Arcaded decoration, with or
without small columnar supports (Figs. 368 and 369) and rose windows
(Fig. 370) are features of the Romanesque. Some of the round-headed
doorways are especially rich in character, and have often five or six
recessed columns (Fig. 371) that carry richly moulded heads, and carved
capitals of quaint animal and bird decoration (Fig. 372).

[Illustration: Fig. 371.—Porch of the Heilsbronn Monastery, near

The shafts of the columns are usually plain, though in some instances,
for the sake of contrast, they are twisted or imbricated, and the bases
are copies of the classic orders (Fig. 373). Above the lintel and under
the round arch mouldings is the lunette or tympanum; this space often
has rich decoration of figures and ornament; sometimes it is divided
into two spaces, when the entrance doorway is divided by a central

[Illustration: Fig. 372.—Capital from Wartburg.]

[Illustration: Fig. 373.—Romanesque Shaft and Base.]

The details and motives of Romanesque decoration are derived from
classic ornament—mostly Roman—and are, as a rule, debased forms of the

[Illustration: Fig. 374.—Roof Cornice of Church at Alstadt-Rottweil.]

[Illustration: Fig. 375.—Later Romanesque Ornament.]

The cable or rope torus-ornament, the scale or imbricated work, the
chevron or zigzag, bead and reel, scroll, billet, checkers, and diapers,
were all extensively used in the Romanesque, many of which have been
retained in the later forms of Gothic ornament. Figs. 374, 375, and 376
are examples of the above ornaments.


_a_, Arcaded.

_b_, Checkers.

_c_, Waved ribbon.

_d_, Cable or Torus.

_e_, Chevron or Zigzag.

_f_, Billet.

_g_, Nail-head.

_h_, Scales or Imbrication.

_i_, Lozenge.

_k_, Tooth Ornament.

Fig. 376.—Various Romanesque Moulding Ornaments.

The tower was a feature of later Romanesque work, which marked the broad
difference between the latter and Byzantine architecture; these towers
had their stories decorated with semicircular arches on corbels or on
small pillars (Fig. 377).

The corbels usually consisted of masks or grotesque figures, animals,
dragons, or twisted snakes. These forms of decoration were also used in
the capitals and cornices, both in the Romanesque transitional and
Gothic periods. Grotesque forms were used very much as sculptural
decoration in the Lombardic Gothic architecture. In Scandinavia and in
Ireland this kind of ornament assumed the forms of snakes, serpents, and
interlacings developed from them. (See Fig. 65, 69, 70.) The capitals
were at first rude copies of the Roman Corinthian order (Fig. 309),
developed later—after the character of the Byzantine cubical forms—to a
solid cubic shape, called in the Norman style of Romanesque in England,
the “cushion-headed” capital.

[Illustration: Fig. 377.—Towers and Round-arched Frieze, Abbey of

Window-openings were usually small, and the grouping of two or more
lights under one arcaded head occurs in Byzantine, Romanesque, and
Gothic buildings. The light came usually from the clerestory, but
sometimes smaller circular windows were introduced into the end gables,
which subsequently were developed into windows of greater importance and
intricacy of design in the great Gothic chancels and in western lights.

[Illustration: Fig. 378.—Capital from Palace of Barbarossa, Gelnhausen.]

[Illustration: Fig. 379.—Capital from St. Cross, Winchester.]

Romanesque architecture, and especially its decorative ornamentation,
was never quite free from Byzantine or Saracenic influences. It was of
itself an incongruous mixture, out of which, when the pointed arch of
the Saracens was adopted, and the ornamental features modified to
conform with it, the new ogival or Gothic style arose.

In every part of Europe in which the Romanesque took root, there may be
noticed so many distinct varieties. The style in Rome and Central Italy
naturally followed, as we have seen, the antique Roman forms. In the
cathedral of Pisa the capitals are Corinthian, and there is a greater
display here of mosaics and coloured marbles, both on the exterior and
in the interior, than in most Romanesque buildings.

[Illustration: Fig. 380.—Porch of St. Zeno at Verona.]

The style in Lombardy and Upper Italy is, on the other hand, different
to that of Central Italy, as it there inherited the German traditions.
The columns had in their capitals leafage of a different character to
that of the classic orders, and had birds and animals carved amongst it,
and the bases of the columns rested on animals. Doorways were
square-headed, and had also a circular arch, over which was a pedimented
canopy (Fig. 380). One of the finest examples of Lombardic Romanesque is
the St. Zeno Church at Verona, which has a doorway of this description.
The Church of Monreale in Sicily (_A.D._ 1174), and the Cathedral of
Palermo, exhibit a mixture in which Byzantine and Saracenic influences
are well defined; this was owing to the successive powers that were at
different periods masters of that country.

The Normans at a later date made changes in the architecture of Sicily,
and Norman architecture was developed to a great extent in this place.

It was in Sicily that Norman architecture first developed the
characteristic zigzag feature that is seen so much in the Norman portals
and window-heads in England (Figs. 381 and 382).

[Illustration: Fig. 381.—Norman Doorway, Semperingham Church,
Lincolnshire. (G.)]

The pointed arch of the Saracens was added to the Norman Romanesque in
Sicily. The Cathedral of Cefalu (1132), and the palace of La Ziza at
Palermo, are examples. Nowhere else was the Romanesque of so mixed a
character. The illustration from Palermo (Fig. 383) clearly shows the
pointed Saracenic arch, used after the manner of the Romanesque round
arching, while some other portions of the details are distinctly
Byzantine. In the south of France Romanesque architecture is far more
ornate than that of the Norman style in Normandy, or other parts of the
North; in fact, the latter style in France has its ornament confined to
purely linear decoration; but the churches that were built at the end of
the eleventh and beginning of the twelfth centuries, which represent
Norman architecture in its purest phases, were noble edifices, plain and
solidly built, of which the church of St. Etienne is a good example. Its
arcades rest on piers, it has a vaulted nave and aisles, and has a fine
transept. The gable of the nave is flanked by two western towers, the
western front is built in three stories, and has two ranges of
five-light windows. The Cathedrals of Bayeux and Evreux may be mentioned
as two other fine examples of Norman architecture.

[Illustration: Fig. 382.—Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire.]

[Illustration: Fig. 383.—Pointed Arcading from the Cathedral of

The Romanesque doorway (Fig. 384) from the South of France illustrates
the somewhat motley character of this architecture in that part of the
country. Some churches of this locality show the receding arches in the
doors and arcading, supported by engaged columns, which feature was
developed very much in the later Gothic.

The Romanesque style in England is seen in buildings that were erected
before the Norman Conquest.

[Illustration: Fig. 384.—Door of St. Gabriel’s, South of France.]

The buildings of this period—the eleventh century—have received the name
of “Anglo-Saxon.” They are characterized by the round openings of doors
and windows, the latter being sometimes triangular-headed. The tower of
Earl’s Barton, in Northamptonshire, is an example of Anglo-Saxon. It has
pilaster-like strips of stone decorating and tying the masonry together;
small triangular and circular stone-work connecting the perpendicular
strips—a reminiscence of arcading—gives a distinctive appearance of
wood-framing to the whole work, which is probably a copy of the earlier
timber construction.

The Anglo-Saxon tower at Sompting, Sussex, and the Saxon church at
Bradford-on-Avon (A.D. 705), are also examples of early work executed in
England prior to the Norman Conquest (1066).

The work we understand as Norman in England was in existence long before
the Conqueror’s time, and it is quite likely that the subsequent English
Gothic would have developed just the same if the Normans had not invaded

The English Romanesque, or Early Norman style, dates, as near as
possible, from Edward the Confessor’s time (1041-1065). This king
founded the great Abbey of Westminster, of which the Dormitory
substructure walls and vaulting still remain, but the rest of the
original church has disappeared. On the Continent and in England, just
after the year 1000, a great building period set in, as for many years
prior to this date a corresponding period of an opposite kind, or a
lethargy in the life of the Christian peoples, and consequently an
inactivity in all building operations, was manifested, owing to the
prophecy that the end of the world would come in the year 1000. When
this was found to be a delusion, a building craze spread over Europe,
and the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth centuries were the great
building ages, when both Christian and Saracenic architecture advanced
with leaps and bounds.

The Normans in England after the Conquest, no doubt, hastened the
advancement of architecture; for the rule seems to have been that
wherever they found a small or old church of the Anglo-Saxon type or
period, they invariably pulled it down, re-dressed the stones, and built
a much larger and better church on the same site, using up the old
material when available, besides building many churches on new sites.
The Normans were also much better builders than the Saxons, and at this
time great numbers of Norman masons were brought over from France.

The strongholds, or castles, with their massive keeps, were built at
this period by the new Norman barons, in order not only to have stately
dwellings for themselves, but to protect their newly-acquired honours
and possessions from their Saxon foemen. Remains of many of these
strongholds, especially of the keeps, are still to be seen at Hedingham
Castle at Rochester; Gundulph’s Tower—the oldest—at Malling, Kent;
Newcastle, Guildford, Colchester, Richmond, and Conisborough in
Yorkshire, &c. One of the earliest is the great White Tower of London,
in which is found the beautiful little Norman Chapel, one of the best
and most perfect examples of Norman architecture in England. The Norman
keeps, or towers, are uniform in design, having a square plan, with a
square projecting turret at each angle, and a flat, thin buttress in the
centre of the walls; windows were small, and were round or
square-headed. The doorways were round-headed, recessed, and were
generally ornamented.

[Illustration: Fig. 385.—The Landgrave’s Room at the Wartburg.]

Portions of Canterbury Cathedral, as indeed, of almost all the principal
English cathedrals, and many old churches, were built in the Norman
period, which shows how extensively church building must have been
carried on from the Conquest (1066) to the commencement of the reign of
Richard I. (1189). The Norman and oldest parts of Canterbury Cathedral,
built by Archbishop Lanfranc (1070-1089), are the towers forming the
choir transepts.

[Illustration: Fig. 386.—Romanesque Ornament, Iron Hinge from
Notre-Dame, Paris.]

Prior Ernulf, under St. Anselm, rebuilt much of Canterbury Cathedral
(1130), and added richer elements to the ornamentation. The peculiar
plain cushion, or cubic capital, found so much in England in Norman
work, was meant to be carved or enriched afterwards, but often the want
of funds, or haste and carelessness in after years, were the causes that
left them plain, until it was too late, when the style had changed, and
they were superseded by later developments. It is certain that they were
not intended to remain so, for many have been left half-finished in the
carving, and some plain ones are found to alternate with others of the
same type, but richly carved, as at Canterbury and some other places.
Sometimes the intention seems to have been to decorate them with painted

[Illustration: Fig. 387.—Romanesque Panel from a Church at Bonn.]

At Winchester and Rochester Cathedrals, St. Peter’s Church, Northampton,
the transepts of Exeter, Peterborough, and, above all, at Durham, the
Norman style is seen both in its best earlier and later developments.

The ornaments are very few, the zigzag being the chief. The lozenge and
billet are also used in the early work, but in the later, as in the rich
doorways, such as that at Iffley, Oxfordshire (1160), grotesque masks,
frets, interlacings, birds, dragons, fishes, and the quadruple form of
the zigzag are added. The columns in some cases are twisted and banded,
and Ionic volutes appear in the capitals. In some late Norman work the
tympana are richly carved with figures and ornament. Many examples of
Romanesque non-ecclesiastical buildings are still in existence in
Germany, or have been skilfully restored as such, which give a tolerably
good idea of the private dwellings of this period. The illustration
(Fig. 385) is an example of the domestic Romanesque. It is the interior
of the Landgrave’s room at the Wartburg, Germany.

Examples of Romanesque ornament are given in the iron hinge from the
Church of Nôtre Dame, Paris (Fig. 386), and the panel from Bonn (Fig.

                              CHAPTER XX.

The Gothic or “Pointed” style grew, as we have seen, out of the
Romanesque. Churches were built in which the pointed arch was used side
by side with the round arch of Romanesque. These were the buildings of
the transitional period. In France, Germany, and in England some of the
earlier Gothic buildings were purer in style than those of the later
period. The work of the thirteenth century is more correct in artistic
principles, more restrained, and less bewildering in the principles of
construction than the work of any subsequent period. The true home of
the Gothic style was in France, from which country it extended to
Germany and England almost simultaneously. The Cathedral of Soissons in
France may be mentioned as one of the transitional buildings (1212),
though portions of it are of a still earlier date. It is noted for its
early plate tracery and very ornate foliated capitals. The hall of the
Hospital of St. John at Angers shows many features of the transitional
style. Its vaulted roofs and arching are in the Gothic or Pointed style,
and the windows are in the round-headed Romanesque. The hospital was
built by Henry II., and completed A.D. 1184.

In England, portions of Canterbury Cathedral, the hall at Oakham Castle,
Rutlandshire, and the Temple Church, London, may be given as examples of
the transitional Romanesque or Norman to the Early English Gothic. In
all the above examples, the square-moulded abacus with debased
Corinthian foliage on the bell underneath may be seen, which indicates
the transitional type of capital. The buildings of the transitional
style may be distinguished from those of the earlier one by being much
lighter in construction: the masons, having learned their trade better,
found they could economise the material—which was a great thing in those
days of rapid church building—by having more slender proportions, which
led to the more refined and elegant style of the Early Gothic both in
England and on the Continent.

[Illustration: Fig. 388.—Cathedral of Notre-Dame Paris.]

The Church of Nôtre-Dame in Paris is a fine example of the Early French
style (Fig. 388). The towers look unfinished, but they had at one time
wooden spires. Chartres (1260), Rheims (1250), and Rouen (1280) are
other typical examples of this period.

The period of the Early English style lasted from about A.D. 1190 to
1270, embracing the reigns of Richard I., John, and Henry III. This
style is distinguished from the Norman transitional by the light and
lofty pillars used singly or in groups and clusters, lancet windows,
pointed arches, and by the additional use made of buttresses and

The slope or pitch of the roof is in harmony with the pointed arches and
lancet windows, and also the pyramidal towers or spires. The greatest
possible difference is thus exhibited between the Norman Romanesque and
the Early English Gothic. Although the ground plan is hardly altered in
the latter style, the general lightness and soaring vertical character
of almost every detail, and the multiplication of buttresses and
pinnacles, give to the Gothic erections of this period a triumphal look
of mastery over the material that in the science of building was
hitherto unknown.

The Early Pointed style in England is seen at its best in Lincoln, York,
and Salisbury Cathedrals and in Westminster Abbey (Fig. 389).

[Illustration: Fig. 389.—Westminster Abbey.]

The Cathedral of Cologne founded by Conrad von Hochstaden—that wonderful
and huge pile of Gothic architecture—belongs partly to the thirteenth
but more properly to the fourteenth century, having its foundations laid
in 1248 and consecrated in 1327. It has been added to considerably even
until modern days. It presents a slightly wearisome repetition of parts,
especially in the buttresses, pinnacles, and other vertical forms of the
exterior, that in a measure robs it of some part of the grandeur and
sublimity which we should naturally expect in an edifice of its size and
proportions. It is based partly on the design of the great Cathedral of
Amiens in France. The very rich canopies and windows of geometrical
tracery (Fig. 390) are later than the thirteenth century, and correspond
closely to the Decorated period in England (1270 to 1380).

[Illustration: Fig. 390.—Window, Gable, and Parapet in Cologne

The interior of the Cologne Cathedral is strikingly illustrative of the
real spirit of the Gothic style. The consistent unity and simplicity of
its stupendous and upward-soaring nave, and its still simpler
choir—which has only as its ornamental features the stringcourse below
the triforium and the carved capitals of the shafts—combine to produce
in the spectator that feeling of reverence and deep respect, not only
for the sacred associations of the building, but for the great
master-spirits who conceived the design, and who were able to work out
to such a degree of perfection this great mathematical problem in stone.
This triumphal achievement of “stylistic orthodoxy” on German soil is as
much, if not more so than any other Gothic building in Germany, indebted
to French inspiration and French models. There are also many other
churches in Germany, in the country bordering on the Rhine—Strasburg
Cathedral for instance—that have strongly marked features of the French
ogival style.

[Illustration: Fig. 391.—Porch of St. Lawrence, at Nüremberg.]

The towers of St. Lawrence’s at Nüremberg are somewhat Romanesque; but
the windows, door openings, buttresses, and pinnacles are in the Gothic
style. The recessed porch has a square-headed double doorway, richly
decorated (Fig. 391). The interior (Fig. 392) of this church is
extremely artistic in its general effect. The stonework is of that dark
brown colour that is seen in so many German churches; the rich colour of
the stained glass, the pictures, and shields hung up round the piers and
on the walls, with their rich tones of gold and colours, the graceful
piers ending in the ribs and supporting the vaulting of the ceilings,
the carved rood-cross and pulpit, and above all the great carved wood
medallion of the Annunciation, by Veit Stoss (1518), make up the richest
of pictures, which is a sample of what may be seen in many interiors of
German churches.

[Illustration: Fig. 392.—Interior of St. Lawrence, at Nüremberg.]

Another interesting church in Nüremberg is that of St. Sebaldus, more
from its association with the name and works of Adam Kraft, who carved
the figure work on the exterior, and Peter Vischer, whose celebrated
work is the chief glory of this church—the Shrine of St. Sebaldus (Fig.
393), one of the most important works of the fifteenth century—than from
its merits as an architectural work. The plan of this church is bad in
having its nave and aisles of equal width, which is at utter variance
with all ideas of good proportion and of the Gothic style. The shrine of
St. Sebaldus is modelled and cast in bronze; Peter Vischer and his five
sons laboured on it for twelve years before it was completed. It is
Gothic entirely in construction, but most of the forms and details of
the ornament and figure work are purely Italian; for at this time—the
beginning of the sixteenth century—Germanic artists were fascinated and
strongly influenced by the art that flourished beyond the Alps. A fine
cast of this monument is in the Kensington Museum. The “Bride’s Door” of
St. Sebaldus (Fig. 394) has an interesting canopy of German tracery.

[Illustration: Fig. 393.—Shrine of St. Sebaldus, at Nüremberg.]

[Illustration: Fig. 394.—The “Bride’s Door” of St. Sebaldus, at

Art having gradually passed into the hands of the bourgeois element, the
principal cities in Germany, especially those of the north, vied with
each other in the erection of town halls and civic buildings (Fig. 395).

In the Netherlands, in Brussels, Bruges, Antwerp, Louvain, Nüremberg,
Augsberg, and Marienberg, many quaint edifices are still found of the
fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, consisting often of brick glazed
black and red, and wide-jointed, or of stone throughout. They have
mostly steep roofs, battlemented cornices, and stepped gables. They are
decorated with little spires or pinnacles, and have horizontal or
pointed openings to doorways and windows, richly decorated friezes and
stringcourses, open arcades under the first story, picturesques
balconies, and corner turrets ending in corbels, which were often richly

[Illustration: Fig. 395.—Town Hall, Marienberg.]

[Illustration: Fig. 396.—Window Gable, from the Cathedral of Florence.]

The Gothic style was introduced into Italy in the twelfth and thirteenth
centuries, but it never took any great root in that country. In Rome
there are no Gothic buildings of this period: there is one of the
fifteenth century, the Church of Minerva, but is a bad example of the
style. On the other hand, there are some exceptionally fine examples of
Gothic canopies, of tombs and altars in several churches in Italy. It is
believed that they were copies of French or English Gothic and were all
the work of one family of artists called the Cosmati. Mixed with these
Gothic forms in stonework they introduced bands and panels of coloured
mosaic, and also are credited with the execution of much of the mosaic
beautiful pavement work known as _opus Alexandrinum_. A particular form
of the Gothic style appears in the north of Italy, and has been called
the “Lombardic” or the “Pisan” style. This style of Italian Gothic was
never quite free from classical influences. It is distinguished by
having numerous small columns employed to decorate exteriors and
interiors. Examples occur in the neighbourhood of Pisa, Lucca, and in
places bordering on the Rhine. The Leaning Tower of Pisa (1174-1350) is
an example. Part of the Baptistery (1278) and the earlier portion of the
Duomo or Cathedral of Pisa are built in this style. Lombard Gothic was
therefore contemporary with the Early English and French.

[Illustration: Fig. 397.—Crockets, Lincoln.]

[Illustration: Fig. 398.—From the Temple Church.]

In Florence a very beautiful mixture of the dome feature with Gothic is
seen in the Duomo or Cathedral, a well-known and magnificent building.
The window gable (Fig. 396) gives a good idea of Italian Gothic. The
Cathedrals of Orvieto are other examples of Italian churches in which
Gothic forms are used. In all these churches the façades are inlaid with
coloured marbles of elaborate panelling.

The Cathedral of Milan is the finest example of a church in the Gothic
style in Italy, though it is by no means pure Gothic. It is built of
white marble and has some remarkably good stained-glass windows. The
Palazzo Publico at Florence and that of Siena are built in the Italian
Gothic style.

[Illustration: Fig. 399.—Dog’s Tooth or Nail-head Ornament, from Stone
Church, Kent.]

[Illustration: Fig. 400.—Spandrel, from Stone Church, Kent.]

[Illustration: Fig. 400A.—Priests’ Entrance, Bishopstone Church, Wilts.]


  Fig. 401.—Norman and Gothic Mouldings.
  _a_ _b_ _c_, Norman; _d_ _e_ _f_, Early English; _g_ _h_, Decorated;
    _i_ _j_ _k_, Perpendicular.

[Illustration: Fig. 402.—Pedestal, Henry VII.'s Chapel.]

One of the most beautiful buildings in the world is the well-known
Doges’ Palace at Venice. The predominant forms are Gothic, especially
the lower arcading and the pointed window openings. It rests on columns
and arches which compose the lower story, and has also the second story
arcaded, and pierced in its upper part with quatre-foiled openings.
Above this is a high rectangular story, built with lozenge-shaped slabs
of pink marble, and pierced with a row of large pointed windows, and has
smaller circular openings above these. A richly designed battlement
crowns the walls of the upper story. The caps of the columns are
beautifully carved, and sculptured figure subjects decorate the corners
of the building. This palace was a long time in building; before it was
completed the style had perceptibly changed, so in consequence the
portico in some parts belongs to the fourteenth and some to the
fifteenth century.

[Illustration: Fig. 403.—Place House, Cornwall.]

Throughout Venice the architecture with Gothic pretensions is mixed very
much with fifteenth and sixteenth Venetian or Renaissance forms. The
ogee arch was used very much, and the Decorated style of windows and
doorways, arcadings, and balconies with Italian forms made a quaint
mixture that gives a very pleasing appearance to some of the Venetian


  Fig. 404.—Flamboyant Panel.
  French, Fifteenth Century.


  Fig. 405.—Flamboyant Panelling.

Gothic architecture in England has been divided into three styles; the
Early English, which lasted from about A.D. 1189-1272, in the reigns of
Richard I., John, and Henry III.; the Decorated, A.D. 1272-1377, in the
reigns of Edward I., II., and III.; and the Perpendicular style, A.D.
1377-1547, from the time of Richard II. to Henry VIII. After this it
became debased, and finally merged into the Tudor or English
Renaissance, sometimes called the “Elizabethan.” A still later mixture
of English Gothic with Italian or Flemish Renaissance details was
developed in the reign of James I., which has been called “Jacobean.”
The two latter styles never found much favour in ecclesiastical
architecture, but were developed mostly in domestic and civic buildings,
and used in the designs of pulpits, screens, and church furniture. A
great quantity of carved oak and chestnut furniture was made in the
Jacobean style.


  Fig. 406.—Forms of Gothic Arches.
  _a_, Pointed; _b_, Cusped; _c_, Depressed; _d_, Flamboyant.

The various styles of English Gothic have their transitional periods
that extend and overlap them so much, that makes it extremely difficult
in some buildings to determine which style they belong to; the
difficulty is usually got over by assigning them to their respective
periods as the beginning, middle, or end of a style. We have already
noticed Early English, which is the best and purest form of the Gothic
in England. In it we see the finest development of window tracery based
on geometric lines. Mullions take the place of piers, windows have two
or more lights, the beginnings of the flying buttress, pinnacles,
crockets (Fig. 397), columns in clusters, round-headed capitals with or
without the characteristic trefoil foliage (Fig. 398) known as Early
English foliage (Fig. 398), which has been developed from the
Romanesque. The ornament called “dog’s tooth” is common to the early
examples of this style, and is also a Romanesque decoration (Fig. 399).

The Decorated style is a rich and more ornate phase of the preceding
style, and is further marked by the extensive use of the ogee arch in
doorways and windows (see Fig. 400A), and by the greater profusion of
sculptured foliage, flowers, and ornament in the decoration. The ball
flower used in the hollow mouldings is characteristic of this style, as
the tooth ornament is of the Early English.


  Fig. 407.—Forms of Gothic Tracery.
  _a_, Trefoil; _b_, Quartrefoil; _c_, Cinquefoil; _d_, Cusped
    Quartrefoil; _e_, Pointed and Cusped; _f_, Flamboyant.

The Perpendicular style, as its name denotes, is characterized by its
long and narrowly divided windows and similar panellings. Instead of the
flowing lines of tracery in the windows, the mullions are of a straight
lined and vertical character, and are divided at intervals by transoms,
or horizontal divisions. The pedestal (Fig. 402) from Henry VII.’s
Chapel is of Perpendicular panelling. The beautiful fan tracery seen in
Henry VII.’s Chapel in Westminster Abbey and in Gloucester Cathedral is
a variety of this panelling. The doorways in this style have pointed but
depressed arches, and as a rule are enclosed with square-headed
mouldings or labels. The spandrels formed by this arrangement are filled
with tracery and shields. Towers and cornices have battlements, &c.
(Fig. 403). A general squareness is given to all the ornaments, and a
more severe and dry character is the chief feature of the Perpendicular

The Flamboyant Gothic style of the Continent is contemporaneous with the
English Perpendicular. The panels at Figs. 404 and 405 are very good
examples of Flamboyant panel decoration. Forms of Gothic arches and
tracery are given at Figs. 406 and 407.

                              CHAPTER XXI.

Many things tended to bring about the art of the Renaissance. The great
impulse given to learning by the study of the writings of the Greek and
Roman poets, lawyers, and philosophers, and the keen study of the rich
legacy of art and architecture left by Greece and Rome, may be reckoned
among the chief causes which led to the development during the fifteenth
and sixteenth centuries of the Re-Birth or Renaissance both of
literature and art.

Dante, and his successors Petrarch and Boccaccio, were called
“Humanists,” for the reason that they studied and advocated the
knowledge that was needful to man in his progress and in relation to his
life in this world, and did not confine themselves wholly to theology,
which was the case with those who devoted themselves to learning in the
Middle Ages. This led to a wider spread of knowledge among the people,
which was greatly stimulated by the invention of printing. The rulers of
the people also encouraged learning and promoted the arts to an extent
unknown before. In Florence, especially, under the powerful and
beneficent rule of the Medici family, art and literature received every
attention, and made rapid progress in every department of cultured
knowledge and skilful handicraft.

Great artists like Niccola Pisano, Brunellesco, Donatello, Giotto,
Alberti, and others of the early period, whose individuality and great
personality did more than anything else to bring about the epoch and the
art of the Renaissance, studied with evident purpose the existing
remains of the art of Ancient Rome. In this they only followed the
movement of the day in every branch of art and learning: all classes in
every walk of life were then directing their footsteps to Rome in the
pursuit of knowledge. About the year 1414 the discovery was made in the
Monastery of St. Gall of the celebrated codex of Vitruvius, a work
wherein the learned writer had set forth the principles of Roman
architecture of the Augustan era. This work was reprinted later at Rome,
and was very much used by architects as a guide for the better
understanding of the Roman temples and other buildings. As the Gothic
style in France, Germany, and in England was approaching its climax, the
art of the Renaissance in Italy was developing, and the period of
decadence in the former was contemporaneous with the finest period of
the latter—towards the end of the fifteenth century. The transition, or
early beginnings of the Renaissance, has been called the Trecento (1300)
style, which in its ornamental features is characterised by a free use
of conventional foliage, mixed with Saracenic or with Byzantine
ornament, interlacings, and scroll work; in sculpture and painting by a
closer study of nature and of antique remains, with an endeavour to
shake off the former stiff Byzantine traditions; and in architecture by
the use of the round arch and a revival of some other features of the
classic orders. Niccola Pisano, Arnolfo di Lapo, Orcagna, and Giotto
were some of its exponents.

The next division is known as the Quattrocento (1400), which is more
properly the early form of the Renaissance. To this period belong the
real founders of the style: Filippo Brunellesco (1377-1446), Lorenzo
Ghiberti (1381-1455), and Donatello (1386-1468); the former more
particularly in architecture, and the latter two in sculpture. The
ornament of the Quattrocento period—the fifteenth century—is
distinguished by its prominence of elaborate natural forms in festoons,
scroll work, and other compositions; all the ornament was decoratively
arranged more or less geometrically, but the details and actual working
out were closely copied from nature. The bronze gates of the Baptistery
of San Giovanni (1425-52) are the finest examples of the Quattrocento
style, both as regards ornament and figure work. The modelled work in
high relief of fruit, flowers, and foliage on these gates, and similar
work on great medallions and altar-pieces of Luca della Robbia
(1355-1430) is characteristic of this style. These natural forms, mixed
with tracery ornamentation, acanthus foliage, treated in symmetrical
arrangements, and occasionally cartouche or strap-work, were used in the
Italian ornament of this period. The panel forms were usually Byzantine,
but the rest of the ornament had no symbolic meaning. Besides Luca della
Robbia, the name of Jacopo dell’ Quercia (1374-1438), the Sienese
sculptor, may be mentioned as one who executed some of the finest work
in figure and ornament in the above style.

The Cinquecento style (1500) was the culminatory effort of the
Renaissance. It is the art of Italy in the sixteenth century, and is
entirely devoid of symbolism in its ornament. Although the difference is
great in the matter of style between the classic ornament of the Greeks
and that of the Italian Cinquecento, yet in their aim and expression
they are identical, for in both there is the same striving to reach the
highest possible æsthetic ideal, the same delight in the production of
beautiful lines and forms for their own sakes, and a similar expression
of appropriate fitness—the outcome of a correct conformity to
architectural principles—pervades the ornament of both styles.

Returning to the art of the early Renaissance, we have to mention two
great names, already referred to—Giotto in painting, and Niccola Pisano
in sculpture, who may be justly called the harbingers of the new era of
Italian art. The latter was the first to go to the antique for his
inspiration and style in sculpture. It appears—according to Vasari—that
in Pisa there had been accumulated a great collection of antique
sculpture—the spoils of war—and among them a sarcophagus, on which the
"Hunt of Meleager and the Calydonian boar "was wrought with great skill,
which was placed for ornament on the façade of the Cathedral: this and
other antique remains in the city were studied to great advantage by
Niccola, to the great improvement of his style. One fine work of his,
executed in the spirit of the antique, was the pulpit for the Church of
San Giovanni in Pisa, on which are great numbers of figures,
representing the Universal Judgment. For the Cathedral of Siena he also
executed a similar work with subjects from various passages in the life
of Christ. On this pulpit he had the assistance of Arnolfo and Lapo, his
pupils, and probably also that of his son Giovanni. These works proved
the great turning-point in sculpture, from the archaic productions of
the Middle Ages to an era of better things, although in execution they
left much to be desired. Giotto was not only the great painter who first
invested his works with poetry, feeling, and expression, but was also a
skilful architect, as his fine Campanile, or bell-tower, in his native
city of Florence bears witness. Dante and Petrarch were his friends, the
former especially so; the portrait of Dante by Giotto still exists in
the Chapel of the Podesta at Florence.

Brunellesco, as we learn from Vasari, was one of the most interesting of
men, and one of the most capable artists of his time, a man of acute
genius and ready resource. In the early Renaissance period architecture
was studied by nearly all sculptors and painters, and many, as we have
seen, were apprenticed in their youth as goldsmiths. Brunellesco was no
exception to this rule, for we find that he was a clever goldsmith and
worker in niello.

The greatest work of his life was the building of the cupola or dome of
the Cathedral of Florence—he was the only architect of his day that was
found able to do it. The Cathedral was the work of the Florentine
architect, Arnolfo di Lapo, the foundations of which were laid in the
year 1298. Brunellesco also built the sacristy and dome on the Church of
San Lorenzo, which was decorated with sculpture by Donatello, and was
the architect of the Pitti Palace, besides many other works. He gained
his knowledge of the construction of domes in Rome, more particularly
from that of the Pantheon, having drawn from and made models of the
domes of all that was worth copying of the ancient remains at Rome, in
company with his friend Donatello, the sculptor.

The latter, with Brunellesco, Ghiberti, and a few other sculptors,
competed with their designs for the work of making the celebrated bronze
doors of the Baptistery of San Giovanni at Florence, when Ghiberti’s
design was adjudged the best, and of which Michelangelo at a later
period said, when speaking of the gates, that they were “fit to be the
gates of Paradise.” Brunellesco’s design was good, was more restrained
in character, and was more consistent with correct architectural
principles than Ghiberti’s; but the latter’s design was so fresh and so
vigorous, that in spite of its being too picturesque for sculpture it
won universal admiration.

The next great name in architecture is that of Leon Battista Alberti
(1404-1472), who naturally follows Brunellesco. His most complete work
is the Rucellai Palace at Florence; he built and restored many churches,
tombs, and palaces; was a great mathematician, and very learned in
Latin, in which language he wrote poems, plays, and treatises on
painting and architecture.

[Illustration: Fig. 408.—Portion of the Strozzi Palace.]

The Rucellai Palace is a very fine work of the Renaissance. It has the
three orders of architecture in its pilasters, with their entablatures.
The lower story has a small square window placed high from the ground
between every two pilasters, and has two square-headed doorways. Between
each pair of pilasters in the upper stories are round-headed windows,
which have each a double light divided by a small column. The style of
building is called “rusticated,” like so many of the Italian palaces
(Fig. 408). This is a roughened form of stonework, and was copied from
Roman buildings, which, together with the heavy cornices and symmetrical
repetition of windows, gave these palaces a heavy and imposing look.
Another palace of the Rucellai type is the Cancelleria at Rome, which
was built by Bramante (1444-1514), a native of Castel-Durante, in
Urbino, who also built St. Peter’s at Rome, and who was the greatest
architect of the Renaissance, of whom Michelangelo testified “that
Bramante was equal to any architect who has appeared from the time of
the ancients to our own, can by no means be denied.” Michelangelo
himself was the architect of the dome of St. Peter’s, and his sublime
works in sculpture and fresco adorn the interior.

The Cancelleria Palace is a masterpiece of elegance and good proportion.
It has two imposing doorways, and the plainness of its lower story
contrasts agreeably with the upper two, which have rows of round-headed
windows enclosed in flat or square-headed architraves, and are placed at
agreeable distances above the entablatures of the lower stories. The two
upper stories are divided alternately into wide and narrow divisions by
pilasters, the windows being placed in the wide divisions. This building
is a marked improvement in point of beauty on the Pitti and Rucellai


  Fig. 409.—Upper Story
  of the Farnese Palace,
  Rome. Designed
  partly by M. Angelo.

The Farnese Palace is another typical building of the Renaissance. The
design of it is attributed to Antonio Picconi, who took the surname of
San Gallo (148?-1546). It is built in three stories, without pilasters,
with a widely projecting cornice, and has rather a monotonous look with
its numerous windows of equal size. Michelangelo is said to have
designed some of the windows and the cornice (Fig. 409), though some say
that the architect Vignola was the designer of the cornice, The central
doorway is “rusticated” and arched, and the angles of the building are
of dressed stones.

The celebrated building known as the Certosa (Charter-house) of Pavia
was begun by Borgognone in the year 1473, is an example of the most
ornate phase of the Renaissance, and offers a widely-marked contrast to
the almost bald simplicity of the palace just described (Fig. 410). As a
whole, the façade of this building cannot be called a model of good
architectural composition, but it is easier to criticise its faults in
this respect than to suggest improvements. It contains, however, many
striking elements of beauty, and is full of useful suggestions to the
architect and decorative artist.

The plan and shell of Renaissance buildings were usually of the
Romanesque or Gothic types; the dome, columns, and ornament generally
were all borrowed from the Roman remains.

The column, round arch, and horizontal lintel or architrave feature were
extensively used in the palaces and other buildings of Venice (Fig.
411), though the Renaissance style had a difficult task to make headway
in Venice against the strong Byzantine and Gothic traditions that had
hitherto prevailed.

[Illustration: Fig. 410.—Portion of the Certosa of Pavia.]

The general type of the Venetian palaces is a solid panelled wall and
pier arrangement or rusticated lower story, which supports a central
loggia, or arcaded second story, that has circular-headed windows and
heavy cornices and balconies. The whole façade is richly decorated with
engaged columns and pilasters.

The Cornaro, now the Mocenigo Palace, the Grimani on the Grand Canal,
now the Post Office, and the Spinelli Palace, are said to have
originally been built from the designs of the great military architect,
San Michele, of Verona (1484-1588), to whom the Signori of Venice owed
so much as the designer of their fortifications.

Jacopo Sansovino, who built the Library of San Marco at Venice (Fig.
411); Palladio (1518-1580), the well-known writer on architecture;
Scamozzi, and the Lombardi family, may be mentioned as other celebrated
architects and ornamentists, who executed many works in Venice and in
Verona, Florence, Padua, Vicenza, Rome and Milan, etc., during the
sixteenth century. It was the tendency of the Renaissance period to
build palaces and castles, and in the later times municipal and private
dwellings, as learning and the arts were getting into the hands of the
laymen, in contrast to the days of the Middle Ages, when the clergy and
monks were the architects and master-builders: in those days hardly
anything but churches had architectural pretensions; but the case was
different in the Renaissance times, when the architects were not bound
by the strict canonical laws of _style_; hence we find a greater variety
and wider range of ideas expressed in the art of the period, due in a
great measure to the individuality of the artists, which has given to
the art of the Renaissance a different character in every country,
district, or city to which it had spread.

[Illustration: Fig. 411.—Library of San Marco, Venice. By Sansovino.]

The greatest Venetian architect of the seventeenth century, Longhena,
flourished (1602-82) when the Renaissance had entered into its Baroque
phase or period of decadence. He built many churches and palaces in
Venice and in some other cities of Italy, but his greatest work is the
celebrated Church of the Salutation—"Santa Maria della Salute"—in
Venice, a picturesque building that has been painted and photographed
more frequently than any other church in the world. With its domes and
bell-towers, and its great buttresses decorated with figures that
support the drum of the dome, it presents a striking object of
picturesque beauty. This church and the Pesaro and Rezzonico palaces are
exceedingly rich and ornate, but are overloaded with figures and
decorative details—the Pesaro Palace especially—which is very
characteristic of the florid work of the seventeenth century. Their
magnificence of style reflects the palmy days of Venetian grandeur, and
contrasts strongly with the simpler and better architecture of the early
Renaissance period.

The influence of the Italian Renaissance spread to France in the days of
Louis XII., and Francis I., the monarch who did so much for French art.
Afterwards, in the reign of Henry II. and Catherine de’ Medici, who
greatly favoured Italian art and artists, we find the Renaissance taking
a deep root in France. Fra Giocondo was summoned to France from Italy by
Louis XII., who reigned 1495 to 1515, and caused to be built the Château
de Blois, and the Château de Gaillon in Normandy (1502-10) In these two
buildings the native French Gothic received a grafting of the Italian
forms. This was the case in France for a long time, as in that country
the Gothic style was then in the full zenith of its Flamboyant period.

The Castle of Chambord is one of the finest examples, and a portion of
the Château de Blois, by Viart, the architect of Francis I.

The early French Renaissance is quite different from the Italian, partly
from the reasons we have stated, but it has a liveliness and exuberance
that is full of inventive resource. The buildings are noted for their
pointed roofs, and for their multitude of picturesque towers and
pinnacles, and also rich carvings of a refined class of ornament.

The French Flamboyant Gothic and the Italian Decorative forms are
happily blended in this style, to which the name of “François Premier”
(I^{er}) has been given. This style was chiefly brought about by the
employment of the Italian sculptors and architects, Serlio, Vignola,
Primaticcio, Il Rosso, Cellini, and others who had been invited by
Francis I. to build and decorate his châteaux and palaces. Primaticcio
was also entrusted with the task of collecting a series of antique casts
and copies of antiques from Rome for the gardens of the palace at
Fontainebleau. This, no doubt, had the effect of helping to form the
taste for classic art among French artists. Owing to all the above
circumstances, French art began to show more of the influence of the
Italian style. The Roman orders were henceforth invariably used, but
still the new style was modified in a great measure to suit the French
taste. What is known as the Henri Deux (Henry II.) style is another
French development of the Cinquecento, in which there is a preponderance
of strap-work, with figures, masks, grotesques, cartouches of all kinds,
and much of the conventional Saracenic ornament. The monogram of Henry
II. and the arms of Catherine de’ Medici often appear in this ornament,
as seen in the decorations of the Château d’Anet (1548) and on the Oiron
or Henri Deux pottery.

Pierre Lescot (1510-1578) designed the western façade of the Louvre, in
Paris, and Jean Buillant designed the oldest parts; these two architects
and another, Philibert Delorme, brought the Renaissance to such a head
in France that it became immediately the national style.

The great names in architectural sculpture of the early French
Renaissance were Jean Goujon and Paul Ponce, who carved the principal
figures of the façades of the Louvre. Towards the early part of the
seventeenth century the architecture began to assume a more florid
character, under the hands of Lepautre and Du Cerceau. It became richer,
but less pure in style, an example of which is the Apollo Gallery of the
Louvre, designed by Lepautre. By the time of the latter half of the
seventeenth century the desire for show and the expression of
magnificence, especially brought about by the “Grand Monarque,” Louis
XIV., assisted by the efforts of his architects, Mansard, Perrault,
Lemercier, and Blondel, who ministered to the whims of the powerful
King, speedily laid the foundations for the loose and unrestrained
Baroque or Rococo style which subsequently followed. The name of “Louis
Quatorze” has been given to the style developed in the reign of this
king. “Louis Quinze” and “Louis Seize” are names of subsequent French
styles, which will be considered under the head of Renaissance Ornament.

The tame and spiritless palace of Versailles was designed by François
Mansard, who invented the Mansard roofs which have been used together
with this style for nearly all the palatial buildings of Europe. The
purity of the Italian Renaissance was forgotten or ignored by the
nations of Europe, and the stiff and pompous buildings of Louis XIV.
were accepted as the patterns that all civilization was eager to copy.
Even old churches and mediæval castles were transformed in some portions
of their interiors into Louis XIV. imitations. In Windsor Castle the
great ballroom has been vilely treated with the meaningless
incrustations of this period, by the way of decorations, endeavouring,
however, to make amends for its tasteless poverty of invention by the
arrogant display of its rich covering of gold leaf.

In the late seventeenth and during the eighteenth centuries, the Rococo
or Baroque phase of the Renaissance was in vogue in Italy and France,
and indeed everywhere in Europe. The main characteristic of the Baroque
style is the undue prominence given to the ornament and decoration,
which arose from a gradual forgetfulness of the Roman and Greek
principles of construction, and a want of order in the arrangement of
the principal forms in the architecture. By degrees these forms took a
secondary position: columns supported nothing or only a few mouldings,
cornices and pediments were broken, brackets and consoles were inverted,
mouldings ended in scrolls, hanging curtains were represented on stone
carving, also wreaths of roses; pediments and gables had weak outlines
of carved forms, shells and rock-work (_rococo_) ending in weedy
scrolls, which doubtless was a Chinese inspiration, grafted on the
prevailing style; in fact, the utmost license and riot in decoration
seemed to be allowed, as it aimlessly sprawled over architecture,
furniture, and interiors, until art had almost evaporated from the
decorative productions of the age.

In spite of this, however, something must be said in favour of the
Rococo: at the least it was homogeneous in its way; some of the figure
work that forms part of the ornament is very fine, the finish and
perfection also of the carved, painted, and gilt surfaces, from a
technical point of view, leave usually nothing to be desired. The curved
and broken character of the ornament is excellent for showing the play
of light and shade on the gilded surface, and the effect of some
interiors is very rich and brilliant; but when decoration takes the
place of construction, however well executed it may be, it becomes more
of an incrustation than a requirement.


  Fig. 412.—Portion of the
  Façade of St. Paul and
  St. Louis at Paris.

Lorenzo Bernini (1589-1680) and Francesco Borromini (1599-1667) were
Italian architects who chiefly brought about the Rococo in Italy. They
treated the classical forms with extraordinary freedom. The column
especially was degraded in its use. It sometimes supported only a few
mouldings, and at other times was carried through two or three stories,
when its proper function is to represent one story. One kind of
architectural style a little later than this period was called the
“Jesuit Style” (Fig. 412), in which churches of the Jesuit Order were
built. On the vaulted ceilings of these churches a florid type of
painting of sacred subjects was used as decoration.

In Spain the Renaissance, mixed with some Saracenic features, produced
some very good work; the typical example of Spanish Renaissance is the
Escurial, the great palace of the Spanish kings.

In Germany the Italian Renaissance made but a tardy advance, and was
never thoroughly at home in that country. German Renaissance is far less
refined than that of other countries which were influenced by the
Italian style. It is chiefly in painting, furniture, book illustration,
and in goldsmiths’ work that it appears at its best, and not in
architecture. This was owing to the art of Germany being at that time in
the hands of the burghers when the advent of the Renaissance took place,
and also that the mass of the people were more concerned in the study of
ethics and philosophy than the arts. Another reason may be added, that
the nation was unsettled, and occupied with the great religious upheaval
of the Reformation. All these things proved to be sufficient to retard
the advancement of the Renaissance in Germany for more than a hundred
years. One of the best examples of the Renaissance we can point to in
Germany is the Castle of Heidelberg, built by the Elector Otto Heinrich
(1556-1559). The two façades of this castle, which are now in ruins,
have engaged columns and pilasters; the windows have rather heavy-headed
features, and are richly carved; statues are placed in the niches
between the windows. The portico of the Town Hall at Cologne is another
example, and the Cloth Hall at Brunswick is a very interesting specimen
of German Renaissance. It is deficient in proportion, however, by the
extreme horizontality of its eight series of low stories in the
principal façade, but is otherwise very picturesque.

The German Renaissance towards the later periods was characterised by
its elaborate carving of ornament, figures, and animals in wood and
stone; armorial bearings, escutcheons, shields, and cartouches or
ornamental labels were very common in German work, and in most other
forms of Renaissance ornament in Europe, except in the purest form of
the Italian Cinquecento, when highly decorative vase forms and labels
took the place of the shield and cartouche work of the Quattrocento

The Renaissance in England made its earliest appearance in the reign of
Henry VIII. John of Padua was an Italian architect employed by that
king. Hampton Court Palace in its earlier portions, built by Cardinal
Wolsey in 1515, is Gothic, but it has been considerably added to since,
and partly rebuilt in the time of William III. in a kind of Renaissance.

In the reigns of Queen Elizabeth and James I., the Elizabethan or
English Renaissance and the Jacobean respectively were predominant. The
latter style was developed by Dutch architects working in England on the
Elizabethan models, and is distinguished by shield work and carvings in
high relief, in opposition to the lower relief cartouche and strap-work
of the Elizabethan style.

The Elizabethan Renaissance is more like German work than the French,
but, of course, has its native peculiarities, developed from its mixture
with the Tudor Gothic of the time. This mixture is seen in many of the
old halls and mansions built about this time in England. Wollaton Hall
is a fine example of the Elizabethan (Fig. 413), and Holland House,
Kensington, is another fine mansion of the same style (Fig. 414).

These castellated buildings of the Elizabethan style, in red brick and
stone dressings, are in singular and pleasant harmony with the grand
parks and richly wooded English landscape with which they are usually

Inigo Jones, in the early part of the seventeenth century, and Sir
Christopher Wren, his successor, were the greatest names in architecture
of the English Renaissance period. The former was a close follower of
the Italian architect Palladio, and designed, usually, his buildings
after the Roman models. The palace at Whitehall, the church and piazza
in Covent Garden, and Crewe Hall in Cheshire were built from his

[Illustration: Fig. 413.—Elizabethan, North Entrance, Wollaton House.]

The Cathedral of St. Paul’s is too well known to need description. It
may be mentioned as the most important example of the late Renaissance
in England. It was thirty-five years in building (1675-1710), and
although some details and the ornament generally incline to the Baroque,
the building as a whole is one of the finest and most impressive works
ever produced in any country. Wren built a great many churches in London
during the time that was occupied in the building of St. Paul’s, St.
Stephen’s, Walbrook, being one of his finest. Chelsea Hospital, the
Royal Exchange, together with some City Halls and twenty-five churches,
were built from his designs or under his directions.

The architecture of the present day in France leans mostly to
Renaissance traditions.

[Illustration: Fig. 414.—The Ancient Parlour, Holland House.]

In Germany, Greek and Roman styles find favour, but Gothic and
Renaissance, and sometimes Romanesque style of buildings are now

In England about one hundred years ago there was a Greek revival, due in
a great measure to the publication of Stuart and Revett’s works in
connection with their close study of Grecian architectural remains. St.
Pancras Church, in London, is one of the outcomes of this revival. Sir
William Chambers was the architect of the beautiful riverside
building—Somerset House, on the Thames Embankment (1725-1796); he also
designed a great deal of furniture and the State carriage. He published
important works on architecture and furniture, which had considerable
influence on the design of the latter in England. In the first half of
this century a Gothic revival took place, which was greatly brought
about and assisted by the writings and architectural work of A. W.
Pugin. The Houses of Parliament, built by Barry, are the finest examples
of the Gothic revival in England. They are built in the Perpendicular or
Tudor style. Sir Gilbert Scott was a late exponent of the modern Gothic
style (1811-78), and was the architect of the Albert Memorial in
Kensington Gardens, St. Pancras Railway Station and Hotel, London,
besides building and restoring many churches in the Gothic style.

The architecture of the present day in England tends to the Renaissance,
with a slight mixture of Gothic and much that is original in the
ornamental details, but Gothic is still a favourite style for churches.

                      ORNAMENT OF THE RENAISSANCE.

The ornament of the Renaissance period was founded on the Roman. Before
describing the former it will be necessary to say a few words concerning
its prototype, the Roman. More than anything else the great use of the
acanthus foliage characterizes the ornamental art of the Romans. The
treatment of the acanthus in Roman architecture has already been noticed
in the first part of this work. A fine boldness and freedom was
everywhere apparent in the Roman treatment of this foliage (Figs. 28 and

Large scrolls of acanthus (see Fig. 319) in which birds, reptiles, and
insects are arranged to fill the unoccupied spaces are used in
pilasters, friezes, and panels.

Chimeras as whole or half figures with foliage endings, griffins, and
large vases well decorated, were used as symmetrical arrangements in

The well-known acanthus scroll frieze from Trajan’s Forum is a very
typical example of the soft-leaved acanthus. The rosette of the scroll,
as in nearly all classic ornament, is made up from acanthus-leaves
arranged in a radiating manner, like a flower (Fig. 415).

[Illustration: Fig. 415.—Rosette from Scroll, Forum of Trajan.]

Some of the ornament on the antique Roman bronze and silver work is
particularly beautiful and delicate, as may be seen on the silver wine
crater found at Hildesheim in Hanover, which is one object of a
collection found at that place in the year 1869. These and the treasures
found at Pompeii and Herculaneum, together with the wall paintings at
the same places, give us a good idea of Roman art in domestic decoration
and the minor arts and crafts.

[Illustration: Fig. 416.—Nest of Scroll, Roman Panel, Florence.]

The Pompeian objects, chiefly in bronze (Fig. 417) and the wall
paintings (Figs. 418-20) are as much Greek as Roman in style, as they
are chiefly the work of Greek artists executed for the Romans.

[Illustration: Fig. 417.—Objects of Art handiwork, from Pompeii.]

[Illustration: Fig. 418.—The Goddess Demeter enthroned. Wall painting
from Pompeii. (B.)]

The Baths of Titus and Diocletian and the palace of the Cæsars on the
Palatine Hill, Rome, were decorated with grotesques similar to those of
Pompeii, and were studied to great advantage by Raphael and his pupils
and assistants when decorating the Loggia of the Vatican. Thin tendrils,
festoons of fruit, animals, masks, all kinds of grotesque forms and
birds flying and playing in and out of light scrolls, architectural
constructions of a light and fantastic character, and panels of
landscapes formed the subjects that were painted on the walls, which
were often divided into friezes, panels, and dados. These decorations
were executed in tempera colours of bright reds, greens, yellows, blues,
and black. The antique grotesques, so called from being found on the
walls of underground chambers, or “grottos,” together with the figure
subjects taken from Greek gems, furnished Raphael and his celebrated
pupils Giovanni da Udine (1487-1561) and Perino del Vaga (1500-47) with
fanciful ideas for the decoration of the Loggia of the Vatican, and the
Villa Madama, at Rome. These _grottesches_ were painted in a kind of
fresco or tempera on a white ground with a fairly bright variety of
colouring. Some portions of the decorations were executed in stucco
relief made of a composition of lime and marble dust, and were sometimes
gilded. Giovanni da Udine, or Ricamatore, as he is also called, was
especially celebrated at this stucco-work, and in the drawing of animals
and birds. He, and another celebrated artist, Primaticco, assisted
Raphael’s great pupil Giulio Romano (1492-1546) in a similar kind of
decoration at the ducal palace of Mantua. The latter artist executed the
principal figure work at Mantua, and also at the Villa Madama.

[Illustration: Fig. 419—Pan. Wall Painting at Herculaneum. (B.)]

There is no lack of good examples of Italian ornament, especially in
carved marble and wood, in the churches and palaces of Italy and France.

The Museum at South Kensington is rich in casts and in real examples of
Italian ornament, has excellent copies of the Raphael pilasters and
other examples of painted decorations. In addition to this the maiolica
plates and vases furnish good examples of painted decoration of the
Renaissance period.

It is only necessary here to illustrate and describe a few examples of
the style, as they appear in architectural decoration, for under the
heads of the various historic industrial arts many examples of
Renaissance ornament will come under our notice in a succeeding volume.

[Illustration: Fig. 420.—Mural Painting. Pompeii.]

[Illustration: Fig. 421.—Pilaster by Donatello.]

[Illustration: Fig. 422.—Ornament from Baptistery Gates, Florence.]

Belonging to the ornament of the fifteenth century, or as it is called
the “Quattrocento” (1400), we have a beautiful little pilaster (Fig.
421), designed by Donatello (1386-1438). The portion of the ornament of
the architecture from Ghiberti’s bronze gates of the Baptistery of
Florence (Fig. 422) shows the use of natural forms ornamentally
arranged, which was one of the characteristics of the Quattrocento
style; and the tabernacle (Fig. 423) shows the transition between the
use of the natural forms and the more severe conventional ornament of
the Cinquecento period. Luca della Robbia (1400-81) was one of the
ablest masters of the Quattrocento, and Riccio, called Briosco, was also
an artist of this period who was engaged on the decorative work of the
ducal palace at Venice.

The Cinquecento (1500) is the name given to the style of the sixteenth
century. So many brilliant names belong to this period that it becomes a
difficulty to give in our space an adequate selection of this work. It
was towards the end of the fifteenth century that many of the ancient
monuments had been excavated; and the Italian artists from Michelangelo
and his great contemporaries down to the artists of lesser powers,
followed the strong inclination of the times in their deep study of the
antique, and sought more and more to invest their creations with the
spirit of ancient art. The lingering traditions of Byzantine forms that
were in some degree a part of the Quattrocento style were now entirely
excluded from the purer art of the Cinquecento, and anything that had a
precedent for existence in the antique was copied or imitated in a
modified manner, and improved upon in point of delicacy in the

[Illustration: Fig. 423.—Tabernacle. End of Fifteenth Century. Italian.

Though the arabesques of Raphael and his pupils in the Loggia of the
Vatican (1515) have been severely criticised as being full of coarse
absurdities and designed with questionable taste, still, taking them as
a whole, they were a decided improvement on the grosser absurdities of
the Pompeian school of grotesque decoration, and they are certainly
distinguished by good drawing and clever execution. Doubtless the later
achievements in painted decoration at the Villa Madama and the ducal
palace of Mantua had less incongruities of design and were more refined
than the Vatican pilasters, but they lack the freshness, the boldness,
and virility of the latter. It is not always a good argument, for
instance, to say—which has often been said of the decoration in
question—that a thick stem should be used to support heavy masses, for
it can be said with equal truth that a thick stem may be painted to look
like a weak vegetable flabby stalk—like that of a cabbage—and so have
really a weaker appearance than one painted to represent the fibrous
stem of a woody tree; and besides, if a thin stem supporting a heavy
mass is vigorously drawn, it will look strong enough, and be useful also
in giving the necessary amount of contrast that is wanted in decoration.
Such a thing may be quite admissible in painted ornament that would be
out of place in sculptured work or in architectural forms.

[Illustration: Fig. 424.—Cinquecento Floral Ornament. Acanthus, Oak,
Convolvulus, &c.]

[Illustration: Fig. 425.—Venetian Panel. Sixteenth Century.]

The Cinquecento artists were better craftsmen than the Romans. The
design and delicacy of finish on some of the sculptured ornament of the
sixteenth century have never been excelled in any period of the world’s
art history. It is strange that many of our would-be teachers in design
of the present day are not in sympathy with it; perhaps however, it is
not to be wondered at, for they may have tried, and found how difficult
it really is to get within measurable distance of its excellence. It is
cheap and plausible to say that a style is dead with the people who
created it; but this is not what the artists of the sixteenth century
said, and we know what they produced out of a dead style. By all means
let us have originality, if it is good art, but let us have the good art

In the Cinquecento ornament we find that a greater variety of plants,
animals, and designed objects, such as vases, candelabra, and armour,
were made use of than is generally found in antique ornament. The
acanthus, vine, oak, and poppy foliage have all been simplified to a
general type of acanthoid leafage (Fig. 425). Such animals as the lion,
goat, and the dolphin fish form occur frequently, sometimes almost
naturally, but more often with foliated endings (Figs. 425 and 426).
Some compositions are made up entirely with well-chosen vase and
candelabra forms (Fig. 427).

[Illustration: Fig. 426.—Cinquecento; from the Martinengo Tomb,

[Illustration: Fig. 427.—Candelabra and Vase Panel.]

In the Cinquecento, the Greek guilloche pattern with rosettes is used,
and an Italian rendering of the anthemion, and also of the Greek
honeysuckle band pattern (Fig. 428).

The Lombardi family of Venice were celebrated as sculptors in ornament.
Pietro the elder (1481) was the architect of Dante’s tomb in San
Francesco at Ravenna, but his greatest work was the Church of Santa
Maria de’ Miracoli at Venice, in which he was assisted by his sons
Tullio and Antonio in the sculptured decorations. Tullio was the most
gifted as a sculptor, and his ornament is the best of the Cinquecento
period at Venice (Fig. 429).

Martino Lombardo was the architect of the Scuda di San Marco at Venice,
in the decorations of which he was aided by Tullio. Some of the best
specimens of the ornament of this period are to be found on the
Martinengo tomb, in the Church of the Corpo di Cristo (1530). The
ornament bears a strong resemblance to the Lombardi, but the sculptor is
not known (Fig. 426).

[Illustration: Fig. 428.—From a Marble Fountain in the Louvre. (1508.)]

The ceilings from Serlio’s book of architecture, and from San Spirito,
by Sansovino, are good examples of the Renaissance panelling and
decorative filling (Figs. 431 and 432).

[Illustration: Fig. 429.—Panel from Santa Maria de’ Miracoli, Brescia.
By Tullio Lombardo. (1500.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 430.—Panel from the Facade of Santa Maria de’
Miracoli, Brescia. (1530.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 431.—Renaissance Ceiling. (From Serlio’s

One of the purest examples of the Cinquecento in France is the ornament
found on the pilasters of the monument erected to Louis XII. at St.
Denis, Paris (Fig. 433). The sculptors are said to have been Jean Just
and François Gentil. The figure work on this monument was executed by
Trebatti, a Florentine sculptor. Another phase of the Renaissance in
France is the Henry Deux style. It is illustrated in the carved
door-panels from the Château d’Anet (Figs. 434 and 435) (1548), where
the tracery, interlaced work, and shields are combined to form the
features of this ornament. The initial letter H of the king and the
crescent arms of Diana of Poitiers are seen very often on the shields.

[Illustration: Fig. 432.—Ceiling Decoration, from San Spirito, Florence.
By Sansovino.]

Jean Goujon and Jean Cousin were employed on the decoration of this

[Illustration: Fig. 433.—Pilasters, from the Monument to Louis XII., St.
Denis, Paris.]

An extremely rich example of French carved wood is the panel from the
Château Gaillon, in Normandy (1515) (Fig. 436).

[Illustration: Fig. 434.—Carved Panel, Henry II. style, from the Château

[Illustration: Fig. 435.—Carved Panel, Henry II. style, from the Château

[Illustration: Fig. 436.—Carved Wood; Château Gaillon. (1505.)]

The above examples, and the chimney-piece panel by Germain Pilon (1560)
(Fig. 437), another sculptor employed by Catherine de’ Medici, are a few
of the best specimens of the Cinquecento period in France.

Elizabethan ornament, or that of the Renaissance in England, is
characterized by a preponderance of strap-work, and has animals, masks,
rosettes, half-lion or half-human terminals, debased class of mouldings,
and very little foliage. The example given—the panelling from the Old
Guard Chamber, Westminster (1600), exhibits a strong influence of
Saracenic tracery that was prevalent in much of the later furniture and
textiles of the Renaissance (Fig. 438).

[Illustration: Fig. 437.—Panel from Chimneypiece; Louvre. By Germain

[Illustration: Fig. 438.—Elizabethan Panelling, from the Old Guard
Chamber, Westminster.]

Shield-work was not so prominent in the pure Elizabethan as in the
Jacobean (James I.) style; the carved stone escutcheon-like work from
Crewe Hall, Cheshire, attributed to Inigo Jones (Fig. 439), shows the
beginning of the Jacobean shield-work. This style is best seen in the
carved-wood furniture of the period, and both it and the Elizabethan are
generally speaking offshoots of the Flemish and German phases of the
Renaissance. Elizabethan ornament is of great variety, the panelling and
other arrangements are sometimes composed purely of strap-work of a
rectangular flat perforated appearance, sometimes seen in the doorways
and chimney fronts, as at Hardwick Hall, Haddon Hall, Speke and Crewe
Halls. Another kind is of a more curved variety, with figures and
animals, as seen in the illustration from an old house at Exeter now in
Kensington Museum (Fig. 440); another kind is carved in rectangular or
curved and notched frames of cartouche work with the smaller spaces and
little panels carved in imitation of jewels with oval or lozenge-shaped
facets. Columns of Ionic or Corinthian orders, and classic mouldings,
dentils, and the egg and tongue were frequently used. The ceilings were
often panelled and moulded, inclining in this respect more to the Gothic
than classic. A bizarre kind of Renaissance architectural feature was
prevalent in Holland and in some parts of Germany, which seems to have
been the model for much of the “bolt and lock” style of some Elizabethan
gateways. The architect Dietterlin, of Strassburg (1550-1599), was an
extraordinary exponent of this twisted and bolted form of fantastic
architecture, which had become only too fashionable at this period. The
illustration (Fig. 441) shows an example of what might be called a mild
specimen of the style of Dietterlin. The popularity of the Dietterlin
craze was owing to the circulation of several volumes he had published
of his impossible designs, some of which designs were evidently adapted
by the Elizabethan architects, but in a much more reticent spirit.

[Illustration: Fig. 439.—Doorway, Crewe Hall. Inigo Jones.]

[Illustration: Fig. 440.—Elizabethan Carved Ornament, from an old house
at Exeter. (1590.)]

[Illustration: Fig. 441.—Example of Dietterlin’s Architecture; German,
Sixteenth Century.]




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                             Transcriber’s Note

    Some inconsistencies in formatting conventions have been corrected,
    without further mention. Occasionally, diacritical marks are used
    (or not used) inconsistently as well, and been been made regular to
    facilitate searches.

    A quoted passage on p. 326, begins with “It was built probably...”,
    and apparently continues into the following paragraph (without the
    conventional opening quotation mark) and ends with “... total height
    is 33 feet 6 inches.” It is unclear how much of this passage is a
    direct quotation, since it includes a reference to an illustration
    in the current text. In any case, it is given here as printed.

    Any errors deemed most likely to be the printer’s have been
    corrected, and are noted here. The references are to the page and
    line in the original. The following issues should be noted, along
    with the resolutions.

  xiv.2    [2]75.  Dionysus and the Lion                  Added.
  xv.15    1[0/6]7.  Fragment of Border of Fig. 166       Replaced.
  xvi.35   Lake Dwellings, Objects fro[m]                 Added.
  xvii.18  Mosque of K[aī/āi]t Bey, Cairo                 Corrected.
  xvii.33  Ornament on an Arch of the Wekāla K[a/ā]it Bey Replaced.
  xviii.46 Pulpit of the Sultan K[aī/āi]t Bey             Corrected.
  135.4    there is [none] end                            _Sic_ King
  79.12    appearance of the whole building[.]            Restored.
  90.f121  Nymph[œ/æ]a nelumbo; Flower, Leaf, and Fruit.  Corrected.
  144.f192 drawn by Gautier. [(]P. & C.[)]                Added.
  163.18   their sculptured figures in the round[.]       Restored.
  170.23   but the hiero[lyg]gly]phics are not to be      Transposed.
  223.22   his favourite animal attributes[.]             Restored.
  225.21   the mass of the Greek people[.]                Added.
  241.13   They show marks of injury by fire[.]           Restored.
  276.6    a[a/n]d the Indo-Aryan                         Corrected.
  342.27   are also examples of early work ex[e]cuted in  Inserted.
  349.10   The Church of N[o/ô]tre-Dame                   Corrected.
  353.18   in many interiors of German churches[.]        Added.
  356.15   battlemented cornices, and stepped gables[.]   Added.
  365.2    with fifteenth and sixteenth [ ] Venetian or   _sic_:
           Renaissance forms                              century?
  376.5    San Michele, of Verona (1484-[1588])           _sic_ d.
  379.16   What is known as the Henri Deux [(]Henry II.)  Added.
  383.24   built about this time in England[.]            Added.
  386.27   was founded on [t]he Roman                     Restored.

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