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An account for expressionism in Classical and Romantic architecture throughout the Gothic and Neo-classisicm era.
"Account for the expression of the Romantic in Architecture. In what ways did it depart from the Classical in terms of style and philosophy?"
Since 1700 A.D when Classicism originated with the Ancient Greeks and Romans there have been numerous changesand developments in architectural design movements such as Classicism, Gothic,Romanticism, Art nouveau and Futurism; each of these expressing differentcharacteristics and representations. This essay will analyse both EarlyClassicism and Neo-classicism to uncover how design changes have altered overtime; it will also analyse the style of Romanticism and begin to explain whatis represented by this movement. From this research, the ways in which styleand philosophy have changed between the movements will be uncovered. Backgroundinformation and examples will be used in order to identify and analyse and conclude these historical changes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Classicism dates back to 1700AD. This particular style was very popular with the Romans and inspired by theAncient Greeks. Classical buildings are often thought to symbolise architectureof great importance such as town halls, banks, chapels or temples. Theclassicism movement represents symmetry, geometry, simplicity, harmony andsymbolic solidity. The detail of the stonework was developed greatly after theRomans discovered bricks and concrete which enabled them to customize theaesthetics and properties of their towns and cities.

Much mathematics and science was used throughout this movement in order to create such large andheavy structures from stone without the threat of collapse. Classicism canusually be identified by the following characteristics; The Post and Lintel which standproud across the entrance. The Classicism movement is often regarded as Greekstonework ranging from Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and Caryatid pillars to Domesand Archways. The Roman Arch is also regarded as a primary characteristic ofclassical architecture, due to the efforts by the Romans, Arches were able tobe wider spanned and still withstand the weight of the stone and maintaining astrong sturdy structure over which an enormous dome acted as the roof.
There are many examples of classical architecture such as the triumphal arch, The Colosseum and TheTemple, A perfect example of Classical Architecture would be the Pantheon. ThePantheon is known to be one of the greatest spiritual buildings in the world.It was completed in 128 AD. And was thought to be one of the most impressiveengineering accomplishments of its time. The Pantheon was originally built tobe a Roman temple, as you can see it has a Classical Corinthian style. Thegrand entrance is emphasised by the Corinthian capitals used to support theconcrete lintel above. This magnificent building incorporates the three maincharacteristics of classicism; The Post and Lintel, the Dome and the Roman archways.

The Post and Lintel which stand proud across the entrance. The Classicism movement is often regarded as Greekstonework ranging from Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and Caryatid pillars to Domesand Archways. The Roman Arch is also regarded as a primary characteristic ofclassical architecture, due to the efforts by the Romans, Arches were able tobe wider spanned and still withstand the weight of the stone and maintaining astrong sturdy structure over which an enormous dome acted as the roof.

The image above shows justhow grand The Pantheon is. This Roman temple emphasizes the Post and Lintelentrance and the Dome which are both highly exaggerated features in this kindof architecture. [1]

“A Classical building isone whose decorative elements drive directly or indirectly form thearchitectural vocabulary of the ancient work – The ‘Classical’ world as it isoften called: these elements are easily recognizable as for example columns offive standard varieties applied in standard ways, standard ways of treatingdoors and window openings and gable ends and standard rooms of mouldingsapplicable to all these things.” [1]
Neo-classical architecture, developed greatlyin the late 18th and 19th centuries in Europe and America, it emphasized a return tothe Classical period to align the rules and principals of Classicism.Neo-classicism suggested that man could perfect nature through science. During1750s-1850s Neo-classicism was the dominant style in Europe.Classical architectural models were adapted to a range of architectural formssuch as churches, arches, temples and even houses. Over time this became aninternational movement each country contained some of the distinctcharacteristics brought by this style. In England, Neo-classical architecturecollided with the picturesque traditions which lead the country into theRomantic era.
“It stands in the middle and features a facadewith splendid wall paintings and an arcade modelled on the Propylaea of theAcropolis. The graceful academy was built between 1859 and 1885, and stands tothe right of the University. It features beautiful statues and an entranceinspired by the Erechthion Temple of the Acropolis.The National Library (1887-1902) stands out for its monumental staircase.” [2]
[1]Summerson, John, The Classicallanguage of Architecture, Thames and Hudson Ltd, London 1995. Pg 24
The so-called"Trilogy" of Neo-Classical architecture in Athens:the National Library, the National University of Athens and the Academy("Acadimia") of Athens.[1]

Neoclassicism continued to be a major force in academic art through the 19th century and beyond with a constantelement of Romanticism. From the late19th century, Neo –classicism had oftenbeen considered to be anti-modern; and by the mid-19th century, severalEuropean countries were transformed into museums of Neo-classical architecture.
With the continuous element of Romanticism throughout this time, Neo-Classicism begun the Romanticism (Gothik)movement which dates back between 1770's and the 1820's; it began in Germany and Englandbut rapidly travelled throughout Europe andeventually became worldwide. Romanticism transformed poetry, sculpture andmusic, especially opera. It was also known as the 'Picturesque' and wasinterpreted as an artistic and intellectual movement, Romanticism emphasisesstrong emotion, spirituality and creativity, drama and religion. The Romanticin architecture era was like a fairytale setting which aimed to stress theimportance of nature with grand castles and extremely decorative towers basedupon medieval cathedrals, only in a more fanciful than Gothic style. Buildingsduring this time represented eccentric natural expression and beauty, thebigger and more decorative the better. Romanticism in Architecture became verypopular, especially with the aristocracy, this being the reason why many richpeople begun to alter their homes to become a part of the perceived heroicfairytale fantasy. Some of the richer people went to great extremes, such asWilliam Beckford (October 1, 1760May 2, 1844), an English Novelist who was born inFonthill, Wiltshire. He was a huge fan of this particular style; Following thedeath of his father, twice Lord Mayor of London and at the time the richest manin England, Beckford inherited a small fortune from which he made his dreamsbecome reality. He was so fascinated with Romanticism that he employed anArchitect called James Wyatt to design Fonthill Abbey; Fonthill Abbey was a huge 6,000 acre estate on which a rather eccentric gothik style castle/cathedral wascompleted in 1807. William Beckford wasa very impatient man who was known to not be very sensible with his financesand was therefore named ‘The Fool of Fonthill’ an easy target for others totake advantage. James Wyatt was one of these people. During his planning forFonthill Abbey, he did not include the foundations, obviously leading to theeventual collapse of this magical Abbey on 21 December 1825.
Here is a black and white imageof Fonthill Abbey, as you can see it is a very grand and unique castle orchurch like building surrounded by trees and forestry. [1]
"The manner of itfalling was very beautiful, it first sank perpendicularly. And slowly, thenburst and spread out over the roofs adjoining on every side"[2]

Here is an interior image of oneof Fonthill Abbey’s highly decorated rooms. The decoration here is veryeccentric yet romantic with the soft and warming colour scheme, the stain glasswindows and all of the soft furnishings.[1]

 Temple of Hephaestos[1]       Notre DameCathedral [2]
 National Library University of Athens[3]   Calton Hill. [4]                                                                                                                                                

Obviously between 1700 AD andthe 1770’s, many changes occurred throughout the design movements in both Styleand Philosophy, However some elements remain similar. In both the Classicismand Romanticism style, it is fair to say that both forms and architecture arerepresented by such a grand scale and detailed stonework as well as beingrecognized for their decorative characteristics. Even from early Classicismthrough to Neo-classicism the design movement saw some fascinating changes instyle and decoration.

The Temple of Hephaestos -a typical example of early Classicism, stands as asymbolic structural landmark. Consisting of Doric posts it can be easilyidentified as one of the early attempts in decorative architecture, its styleis not only basic, but very rough and untidy. The style of The Temple ofHephaestos expresses symmetry by the even number of Doric posts as well as andharmony with its simplistic, basic design and structure. In the early stages,Classical architecture was renowned for the levels of mathematics and science used.Education was one of the main philosophical reasons for this design movement,Science and mathematics were classed as great areas of importance throughoutthis time; as was language such as Latin and Greek.

High levels of decoration were not considered as important until theGothicism period between 100 and 1200AD. Grand buildings such as Notre Dame Cathedralincorporated high standards of decoration and craftsmanship into architecture; itwas at this time that buildings became more realistic and stylish due to extrassuch as stained glass windows, plaster mouldings and fabrics. The Gothic movementrepresented spirituality, mystery and darkness; it had unique design featuressuch as asymmetrical, eccentric scale and structure. It was after Gothic whenNeo-Classicism brought back buildings such as TheNational Library, The National University of Athens. The intention of the Neo-classicismmovement was to address the basic principals of early classicism and perfectthe imperfections; Rules and principals of Classicism were aligned by the ageof rationalism. Grand buildings such as town halls, churches and temples werereformed in a more decorative manor with high quality craftsmanship and stoneworkwhilst maintaining the original features of earlier Classicism.

As many European countries adopted Neo-classicism, England associated the style with Romanticism,otherwise known as the 'Picturesque' Romanticism was thought to representstrong emotion and expressed spiritual and religious beliefs. Similar to Gothic,an Asymmetrical theme was used to show creativity and drama. Romanticism isoften associated with allegory - it is as though the movement has hiddenmeanings expressing beauty and strangeness. The style was very fanciful andtruly exaggerated with a wide selection of beautiful designs which includedmouldings, paintings and other materials and fabrics  which is where the word 'Picturesque'originated.Calton Hill monuments in Edinburgh are a typical representation ofthe fairy tail castle upon a hill scenario which made this period inarchitecture have an extreme effect on people of the time, Many poems,  novels and paintings like 'Raft of the Medusa,1819' were inspired by the Romantic period.
Overall, Grand changes were made, especiallybetween the Classicism and Romanticism movements. The Classical Philosophyaltered from mathematics, education and symbolic state to the Romantic ofexpression, drama and emotion with spiritual and religious meaning. Design andStyle evolved widely from simplistic symmetrical, geometry to asymmetricalcreative and decorative 'picturesque' beauty.
Internet Sites:
Fonthill Abbey, - Consulted on 13/01/2006
< Consulted on 15/01/2006>
Beckford, - Consulted on 17/01/2006
Historical Architecture, - Consulted on 29/01/2006
Fonthill Abbey. history/ - Consultedon 17/01/2006
Beckford, - Consulted on 29/01/2006
The Pantheon, - Consulted on 29/01/2006
Classical Architecture, - Consulted on 17/01/2006
Neo-Classicism, - Consulted on 29/01/2006
Neo-Classicism,  - neoclass to romant - Consulted on  24/01/2006
Neo-Classicism,  - Consulted on 24/01/2006
Greek Architecture, Consulted 28/01/2006
Architectural Images,  - Consulted on 24/01/2006
Classical Architecture, Consulted on 24/01/2006
Summerson, John, TheClassical language of Architecture, Thames and Hudson Ltd, London 1995.
Youngson, A.J, The makingof Classical Edinburgh, Edinburgh:University Press 1966.
Eitner, Lorenz, Neoclassicismand Romanticism, London : Prentice-Hall,1971.
Bergdoll, Barry, European Architecture 1750-1890, London Oxford University Press,2000
Fletcher, Banister, A History of Architecture, Universityof London, 1996