1 - 5 from 5
We can never hope to revive Greek architecture, nor should we attempt to do so. There was once a well-known Scotch architect who held that the column and the lintel was the only permissible form of construction, and with this limitation and ill-selected Greek details he produced some fantastically ugly buildings. Following a similar line of thought a famous critic of the last century condemned methods of construction not sanctioned by the Old Testament. Both were wide of the mark; because, above and beyond all technical details of architecture is the spirit in which it is approached, the intellectual outlook of the artist on his art, and this may express itself in widely differing forms. In Greek architecture of the Golden period, that outlook was definite and distinctive, and it was one that has a very urgent lesson for us to-day. The aim and ideal of the Greek was beauty of form, and this beauty, which he sought in the first instance as the expression of his religion, ultimately became almost a religion in itself. To the realization of this ideal he devoted all his powers, sparing himself no pains in chastening his work till it had attained the utmost perfection possible. He merged himself in this work, without thought of the expression of himself in his vision of a divine and immutable beauty. It hardly occurred to him that his individual emotions were worth preserving. (In the sculpture of the great period the expression of the face is usually one of unruffled calm.) Although religious emotion was the source and inspiration of his work, his work was impersonal. He was aloof from that feverish anxiety for self-revelation which has made much modern art so interesting pathologically, and so detestable otherwise. Nor again had he anything of the virtuoso about him. To him technique was not an end in itself. In Hellenistic art it became so, but not in the Golden Age. Indeed, he was sometimes almost careless of exact modelling, and in architecture he did not use the order as a mere exhibition of scholarship. In his search for beautiful form, he stood upon the ancient ways, patient and serene, moving steadily to his appointed end. 'Ainsi procède le génie grec, moins soucieux du nouveau que du mieux, il reporte vers l'épuration des formes l'activité que d'autres dépensent en innovations souvent stériles, jusqu'