ROMANTIC ARCHITECTURE

House of François-René de Chateaubriand in the...

House of François-René de Chateaubriand in the Vallée-aux-Loups estate, Hauts-de-Seine, France. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Goethe in the Roman Campagna, 1787

Goethe in the Roman Campagna, 1787 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Romanticism – evoking past styles
Romantic architecture takes its cue
from the movement called Romanticism, which first developed in
England during the late 18th century and the Industrial Revolution of
the 19th century. It was motivated by a reaction against the rational,
classical ideals of the 18th century and introduced a more nuanced
understanding of aesthetics, emotions, the deeper sensibilities that
motivate people, and of course, the sublime, which draws upon the
image of a vast, untamed, and powerful nature for its inspiration. Romanticism
spread from Europe to the United States, and is best
known in literature, seen in the writings of François-René
Chateaubriand and Jean-Jacques Rousseau in France, William Blake
and William Wordsworth in England, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
and J. C. Friedrich von Schiller in Germany, and Ralph Waldo Emerson
and Edgar Allan Poe in the United States.
In architecture, Romanticism often evokes past styles, such as the
Gothic style, seen in the mid-19th-century Gothic Revival. Other
types of Romantic architecture are illustrated in a variety of styles
considered “exotic” due to their displacement into a “foreign” setting
in a more fanciful, less accurate format. Examples of exotic architectural
styles include Egyptian-influenced homes, Asian-styled homes,
and even Swiss chalets. These homes contain such “exotic” elements
as Egyptian columns and small sphinx sculptures, or Japanese inspired
rooflines, or a Swiss chalet A-frame as a decorative overlay
to the traditional European building type. Inspired by Napoleon’s
military campaign to Egypt, which initiated the first modern, sustained
research on Ancient Egyptian culture, Egyptian-influenced
architecture was very popular in France and England from the 1790s
through the first decades of the 19th century.
The Oriental Revival of the early 1800s can be attributed to increased
trade with India and China in the later years of the 18th century.
The most famous example of this fanciful, Indian-inspired style
is seen in the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, England, built by John
Nash in 1815–1822 as a seaside home for King George IV when he
was the prince regent. The building features a series of onion domes
along the roof, with minarets flanking the central dome while the
roofline features exotic-styled pointed crenellations capped by balls.
The front porch is partially covered with a latticework screen with

Moorish horseshoe arches and pseudo-Gothic bifurcated windows.

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