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ed above, * namely, a tendency in man, to advance every thing to its perfection, and to its conclusion. If, for example, I see a thing obscurely in a dim light and by disjointed parts, that tendency prompts me to connect the disjointed parts into a whole : I supposed it to be, for example, a horse; and my eye-fight being obedient to the conjecture, I immediately perceive a horse, almost as distinctly as in day-light. This principle is applicable to the case in hand. The most superb front, at a great distance, appears a plain surface : approaching gradually, we begin first to perceive inequalities, and then pillars ; but whether Jound or square, we are uncertain : our curiosity anticipating our progress, cannot rest in suspense : be. ing prompted by the tendency mentioned, to fuppose the most complete pillar, or that which is the most agreeable to the eye, we immediately perceive, or seem to perceive, a number of columns : if upon a near approach we find pilasters only, the disap. pointment makes these pilasters appear disagreeable ; when abstracted from that circumitance, they would only have appeared somewhat less agreeable. But as this deception cannot happen in the inner front inclosing a court, I see no reason for excluding pi. lasters from such a front, when there is any cause for preferring them before columns.
With respect now to the parts of a column, å bare uniform cylinder without a capital, appears naked ; and without a base, appears too ticklishly placed to stand firm :t it ought therefore to have some finishing at the top and at the bottom. Hence the three chief parts of a column, the shaft, the bafe and the capital. Nature undoubtedly requires proportion among
* Chap: 4:
+ A column without a base is disagreeable, because it seems in a tota tering condition ; vei a tree without a bale is agreeable ; and the reason is, i at we know it to be firmly rooted. This observation shows how much talc is-influenced by refledio.i.
these parts, but it admits variety of proportion. I suspect that the proportions in ufe have been influenced in some degree by the human figure; the capital being conceived as the head, the base as the feet. With respect to the base, indeed, the principle of utility interposes to vary it from the human figure: the base must be so proportioned to the whole, as to give the column the appearance of stability.
We find three orders of columns among the Greeks, the Doric, the Ionic, and the Corinthian, distinguished from each other by their destination as well as by their ornaments. It has been warmly difputed, whether any new order can be added to these : some hold the affirmative, and give for instances the Tuscan and Composite : others deny, and maintain that these properly are not distinct orders, but only the original orders with some flight variations. Among writers who do not agree upon any standard for distinguishing the different orders from each other, the dispute can never have an end. What occurs to me on this subject is what follows.
The only circumstances that can serve to distinguish one order from another, are the form of the column, and its destination. To make the first a distinguishing mark, without regard to the other, would multiply these orders without end : for a colour is not more susceptible of different shades, than a column is of different forms. Destination is more limited, as it leads to distinguish columns into three kinds or orders ; one plain and strong, for the purpose of supporting plain and masly buildirgs; one delicate and graceful, for supporting buildings of that character, and between tlife, one for supporting buildings of a middle character. This diflinction, which regards the different purposes of a coluna, is not naturally liable to any objection, considering that
it tends also to regulate the form, and in some mear. ure the ornaments of a column. To enlarge the division by taking in a greater variety of purposes, would be of little use, and, if admitted, would have no end ; for from the very nature of the foregoing division, there can be no good reason for adding a fourth order, more than a fifth, a fixth, &c. without any poflible circumscription.
To illustrate this doctrine, I make the following obfervation. If we regard destination only, the Tuscan is of the fame order with the Doric, and the Composite with the Corinthian ; but if we regard form merely, they are of different orders.
The ornaments of these three orders ought to be to contrived as to make them look like what they are intended for. Plain and rustic ornaments would be not a little discordant with the elegance of the Corinthian order; and ornaments sweet and delicate no less so, with the strength of the Doric. For that reafon, I am not altogether satisfied with the ornaments of the last mentioned order : if they be not too delicate, they are at least too numerous for a pillar in which the character of utility prevails over that of beauty. The crowding of ornaments would be more sufferable in a column of an opposite character. But this is a flight objection, and I wish I could think the fame of what follows. The Corinthian order has been the favourite of two thoufand years, and yet
I cannot force myself to relish its capital. The invention of this florid capital is afcribed to the sculptor Callimachus, who took a hint from the plant A can. thus, growing round a basket placed accidentally upon it ; and in fact the capital under consideration reprefents pretty accurately a basket fo ornamented. This object, or its imitation in stone, placed upon a pillar, may look well ; but to make it the capital of a pillar
intended to support a building, must give the pillar an appearance inconsistent with its destination : an Acanthus, or any tender plant, may require support, but is altogether insufficient to support any thing heavier than a bee or a butterfly. This capital must also bear the weight of another objection : to reprefent a vine wreathing round a column with its root seemingly in the ground, is natural ; but to represent an Acanthus, or any plant, as growing on the top of a column, is unnatural. The elegance of this capital did probably at first draw a vail over its impropriety; and now by long use it has gained an establishment, respected by every artist. Such is the force of cuítom, even in contradiction to nature !
It will not be gaining much ground to urge, that the basket, or vase, is understood to be the capital, and that the stems and leaves of the plant are to be con. fidered as ornaments merely ; for, excepting a plant, nothing can be a more improper support for a great building than a basketorvase even of the firmest texture.
With respect to buildings of every fort, one rule, dic-' tated by utility, is, that they be firm and stable. Another rule, dictated by beauty, is, that they also appear fo: for what appears tottering and in hazard of tumbling, produceth in the spectator the painful emotion of fear, instead of the pleasant emotion of beauty; and, accordingly, it is the great care of the artist, that every part of his edifice appear to be well supported. Procopius, describing the church of St. Sophia in Constantinople, one of the wonders of the world, mentions with applause a part of the fabric placed above the east front in form of a half-moon, fo contrived as to inspire both fear and admiration : for though, says he, it is perfe&ly well supported, yet it is suspended in such a manner as if it were to tuinble down the next moment. This conceit is a fort of
false wit in architecture, which men were fond in the infancy of the fine arts. A turret jutting ou from an angle in the uppermost story of a Gothi tower, is a witticism of the fame kind.
To succeed in allegorical or emblematic orna ments, is no flight effort of genius; for it is extreme ly difficult to dispose them fo in a building as to pro duce any good effect. The mixing them with reali ties, makes a miserable jumble of truth and fiction. In a basso relievo on Antonine's pillar, rain obtained by the prayers of a Christian legion, is expressed by joining to the group of soldiers a rainy Jupiter, wit1 water in abundance falling from his head and beard De Piles, fond of the conceit, carefully informs hi reader, that he must not take this for a real Jupiter, but for a symbol which among the Pagans fignifie rain : he never once considers, that a symbol or embiem ought not to make past of a group representing real objects or real events ; but be so detached, a. even at first view to appear an emblem. But this is * not all, nor the chief point : every emblem ought to be rejected that is not clearly expressive of its meaning ; for if it be in any degree obscure, it puzzles, and doth not please. The temples of Ancient and Modern Virtue i the gardens of Stow, appear not at first view emblematical ; and when we are informed that they are so, it is not easy to gather their mcaning : the spectator sees one temple entire, another in rains; but without an explanatory infcription, he may guess, but cannot be certain, that the former being dedicated to Ancient Virtue, the latter to Modern Virtue, are intended a fatire upon the present times. On the other hand, a trite em . blem, like a trite fimile, is 'disgustful. Nor ought an emblem more than a fimile to be founded on lov
og .. * See chap. co.fc27. 5. + Sce chap. 8.