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Clarity or Camouflage? The Development of Constructional Polychromy in the 1850s and Early 1860s

Clarity or Camouflage? The Development of Constructional Polychromy in the 1850s and Early 1860s My earlier article in Architectural History 43, ‘Christ Church, Streatham, and the Rise of Constructional Polychromy’, showed that James Wild’s church of 1840–42 was, in its use of coloured masonry, far ahead of its time (Fig. 1). It preceded, by about a decade, the High Victorian fashion for constructional polychromy usually associated with John Ruskin’s pronouncements on colour, contained in The Stones of Venice (1851 and 1853) and William Butterfield’s contemporaneous church of All Saints, Margaret Street (1849–59). The article argued that the interest in polychromy had, in fact, started much earlier in the century. The use of colour in ancient Greek architecture had been investigated and debated by the Institute of British Architects, under the guidance of Thomas Leverton Donaldson, in the 1830s while, in the 1840s, Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin gave constructional polychromy a moral quality — an expression of honesty in construction — at the Grange and St Augustine’s Church, at Ramsgate (1845–50). http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Architectural History Cambridge University Press

Clarity or Camouflage? The Development of Constructional Polychromy in the 1850s and Early 1860s

Architectural History , Volume 47: 26 – Apr 11, 2016

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Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain 2004
ISSN
2059-5670
eISSN
0066-622X
DOI
10.1017/S0066622X00001751
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

My earlier article in Architectural History 43, ‘Christ Church, Streatham, and the Rise of Constructional Polychromy’, showed that James Wild’s church of 1840–42 was, in its use of coloured masonry, far ahead of its time (Fig. 1). It preceded, by about a decade, the High Victorian fashion for constructional polychromy usually associated with John Ruskin’s pronouncements on colour, contained in The Stones of Venice (1851 and 1853) and William Butterfield’s contemporaneous church of All Saints, Margaret Street (1849–59). The article argued that the interest in polychromy had, in fact, started much earlier in the century. The use of colour in ancient Greek architecture had been investigated and debated by the Institute of British Architects, under the guidance of Thomas Leverton Donaldson, in the 1830s while, in the 1840s, Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin gave constructional polychromy a moral quality — an expression of honesty in construction — at the Grange and St Augustine’s Church, at Ramsgate (1845–50).

Journal

Architectural HistoryCambridge University Press

Published: Apr 11, 2016

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