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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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Conclusion: From the Gothic to the Medieval

Conclusion: From the Gothic to the Medieval

Historiography, Romanticism, and the Trajectories of the Architectural Imagination

Chapter:
(p.311) Conclusion: From the Gothic to the Medieval
Source:
Gothic Antiquity
Author(s):

Dale Townshend

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198845669.003.0007

The concluding chapter to the book seeks to account for the changes that the architectural imagination underwent in the first four decades of the nineteenth century. Guided by the concept of ‘purification’, it shows how the construct of the Gothic ‘Dark Ages’ was revised in contemporary historiography and replaced with the less injurious notion of the ‘medieval’; how first- and second-generation romanticism curtailed the excesses of the Gothic architectural imagination; and how nineteenth-century Gothic Revivalists such as A. C. Pugin, A. W. N. Pugin, and John Ruskin reacted against the amateur Gothic experiments of Horace Walpole and William Beckford. What emerges in the discussion is an architectural imagination that is very different from the one of the previous century, that rich, associative aesthetic that drove the production of Gothic literature and revivalist architecture from the start. In a brief coda, the discussion briefly charts the professionalization of architectural practice that took effect from 1834 onwards.

Keywords:   historiography, medievalism, romanticism, A. C. Pugin, A. W. N. Pugin, John Ruskin, associationism, imagination, Houses of Parliament, architect

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