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Gothic AntiquityHistory, Romance, and the Architectural Imagination, 1760-1840$
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Dale Townshend

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198845669

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198845669.001.0001

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Associationist Aesthetics and the Foundations of the Architectural Imagination

Associationist Aesthetics and the Foundations of the Architectural Imagination

Chapter:
(p.45) 1 Associationist Aesthetics and the Foundations of the Architectural Imagination
Source:
Gothic Antiquity
Author(s):

Dale Townshend

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198845669.003.0001

This chapter seeks to provide an account of how aestheticians and practising architects in the long eighteenth century variously accounted for the imaginative potential of Gothic architecture. Showing how architectural debates in the period were structured according to the classical/Gothic divide, it explores the empiricist discourse of architectural association as it runs from John Locke, through Joseph Addison, Mark Akenside, William Chambers, Alexander Gerard, Thomas Gray, William Gilpin, and others, into the work of John Soane. Situating the architectural writings of Horace Walpole within this tradition, it discusses Walpole’s engagement with the architectural theories of his day. Through a reading of the work of William Beckford, the chapter charts the shift from empiricism to idealism in the architectural imagination of the early nineteenth century.

Keywords:   empiricism, associationism, architecture, Gothic, classicism, idealism, Whig aesthetics, picturesque, sublime

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