TILE NINETEENTH CENTURY. The regular se quence of developing styles ceases in an abrupt way with the wars of the French Revolution. Before that time no style of architecture had ever existed which was not in the main the result of natural evolution. Since the close of the Eighteenth Century, however, a marked change is evident. Since then there has been no true style anywhere, hut merely a series of fashions of imi tation chasing one another rapidly across the background of equally mutable social conditions.
The first of these fashions which attracts our attention is the so-called Style Empire, the char acter of decorative design influenced in part by new study of Roman antiquity and partly repro duced from the work of the preceding reign and fitted to the grandiose requirements of Napole on's brief dominion. The French Republic had shown a marked deference to what were sup posed to be the thoughts and ambitions of the Roman Republic as before the civil war of Marius and Sulla, or before B.C. 100. and a fancied attempt to reproduce the Roman forms is evident in all the work of the Napoleonic epoch. This, however, applies only to the larger masses, for in the furniture and metal work of the time there is more of Louis Quinze than of --Emilius Paulus—a formalized rococo rather than a modernized Greco-Roman style. The endurance of this fashion was brief, however. The Are de l'Etoile and the great Church of the Madeleine in Paris were begun and their char acter determined during this period. Also the character which we associate with Paris of wide and elegant avenues was fixed by Percier and Fontaine, although such arcades as those of the Rue de Rivoli and the Rue Royale were not destined to become a favorite /addition to im portant streets. The influence of the Empire style was hardly felt outside of Paris; and for succeeding students it has been rather a fashion in costly furniture and the hanging of walls with silk than an architecture of dignity.
With the return of peace there came to Europe the most completely non-artistic time which had there been known since man emerged from the period of rough-stone implements. It is a matter not settled to the satisfaction of any inquirer, the cause of the complete disappear ance from the European mind of decorative ability during the first half of the nineteenth century. In Great Britain the unassuming and, on the whole, agreeably simple buildings of the Georgian period were copied, as they were also in the United States; and contemporaneously with this, in the countries above named, there was a strong inclination to study the newly discovered monuments of pure Grecian art, the buildings of Athens and Ionia, and also the re mains of Roman imperial art existing in Italy and its neighborhood. The closing years of the Eighteenth Century had produced a number of exfraordinarily important books, in which, for the first time, the facts concerning those an cient buildings were made known to Europe. Under the influences thus introduced into the mind of the Nineteenth Century, there were built Roman porticoes with square box-like churches behind them, such as the magnificent Cathedral of Saint Isaac in Saint Petersburg.; and in such buildings as this the Imperial Roman feeling for costly and splendid material revived. Smaller churches of this sort are somewhat abundant, as in London. Saint Pancras; and in America, the imitations of marble churches executed elab orately in pine wood. The same influence in other architecture than that of churches is seen in the famous \Valhalla on the hills near Regens burg, the Hall of Fame at Munich, the Capi tol at Washington (q.v. for illustration), Saint George's Hall in Liverpool, the Bourse in Paris, and the great theatre of Bordeaux. It is curious to find this Boman style of colonnades and pediments decorating an otherwise severely plain building revived without essential changes at the close of the Nineteenth Century. The rea
son for it is not far to seek—it is in the im practicability of producing an interesting new style founded upon classieal traditions. unless with the willing and continuous labor of several decades at least. To copy Roman forms has proved easy to able and well-taught men. as all that is needed is free expenditure upon the building and the possession by the designer of a number of measured drawings. To found a new style upon it. whether deliberately, as by the careful thought of men who can design and who are also students, or more unconsciously and naturally by the work of uninformed build ers who take the details their masters used before them and modify them to suit the new requirements—to do either has proved imprac ticable. The immediate result, chronologically speaking. of the first Neo-Roman revival was the introduction into domestic and civil building of the insignificant architecture known to us all from the abundant remains left from the years between 1830 and 1870. The Hotel de Ville, in Paris. as it was under Louis Philippe and until its destruetitm in 1871, contained only the cen tral mass of the building of Henry IV., the wings being wholly of the "bourgeois" and un impressive style of which we are speaking. The vast structure in Washington occupied by the departments of State, War, and the Navy is an almost perfect example of the class of buildings in question. There was more sincerity in the work of some English architects, apart from the Gothic revival named below. Thus the club houses designed by the elder Charles Barry (Sir Charles), such as the Travellers' and the Reform in Pall Mall, and Bridgewater House, by the same artist, were all built between 1830 and 1850, and all have some architectural character. This epoch saw also the work of King Ludwig I. in .NInnich, often of a character wholly dif ferent from the pseudo-Greek buildings named above. Thus, the Royal Library was finished before 18-13, in a style borrowed from Italian palazzi of the Fifteenth Century. as was also the southern front of the royal palace (Kiinigs bau); and of this time also was the Hauptwache, a reduced copy of the Loggia de' Lanzi at Florence. The buildings of the new Louvre, built during the reign of Napoleon I II.,just miss this expressionless vulgarity of style; they miss it in that they are large in their parts, built at great eost, and adorned by a school of highly trained arehitectural sculptors to whom it was impossible to turn out other than interesting details. Even the dismal Hotel de Ville above mentioned would have had some interest• had it been covered with elaborate architectural sculp ture of admirable workmanship. The reign of dullness continued until li160 or later; but there was much that. was interesting in the way of individual buildings. The Library of Sainte Gene ieVe, in Paris, is an example of the very small group of buildings called Nen-Greek—which term is a misnomer, pointing rather to the studies of the founders of the school than to their finished work. The Imilding,s especially classed under this term, as the library above named and the rebuilding of the Palais de :Jus tice, have no Greek character; and even Vis C4mti's tomb of Napoleon I. is rather Neo-Roman —as if a prolongation of the Style Empire rather than a novel departure. of this epoch. too. are the basiliea ehurehes—Saint Vincent de Paul and Notre Dame de Lorette, in Paris, and Saint Boniface, in Alunich—buildings of a style most promising to one who hopes for original work in the future, hut not as yet carried farther.