Category Archives: Architecture

On Recent Proposals for Rebuilding the Roof and Spire of Notre Dame

Within a month of the destruction by fire of the roof and flèche (crossing spire) of Notre Dame in Paris, proposals by architects for their replacement abound. Why are these designs so awful? The answer is simple: they lack respect. … Continue reading

Posted in All Posts, Architecture, Art, Comment, Construction, Design, Restoration and Conservation, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Elusive Patronage of George Gordon, Lord Haddo: Giovanni Paolo Panini and Pompeo Batoni

A Panini with a Haddo provenance that comes up at Christie’s, New York, in May prompts some reflections on the elusive patronage of George Gordon, Lord Haddo, who died in 1791 in a fall from a horse. He is generally agreed to be the subject of a portrait by Pompeo Batoni at Haddo House, and it is assumed that he is the member of his family who acquired two Paninis, the one at Christie’s and another now in the Liechtenstein collection in Vienna. Continue reading

Posted in All Posts, Architectural paintings, Architecture, Art, Baroque architecture, Catalogue of painting by G. P. Panini, Country Houses, Paintings by G. P. Panini, Rome, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What is the Baroque?

What is the Baroque? Is it a period, a style, a civilisation, or a critical concept? It is all of these. ‘Baroque’ was a term that came into use in the eighteenth century as a negative descriptor of the style … Continue reading

Posted in All Posts, Architectural paintings, Architecture, Art, Baroque architecture, Baroque Gardens, Book Commentaries, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Weirdness of the Topography of ‘The Favourite’

The Favourite is set in about 1705-1711 in London, at presumably, notionally, Kensington Palace, Queen Anne’s principal residence, where, according to Wikipedia, the final falling out between Queen Anne and the Duchess of Marlborough took place. The setting could, however, … Continue reading

Posted in All Posts, Architecture, Art, Baroque architecture, Baroque Gardens, Elizabethan Architecture, English Gardens, Movie Commentaries, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Some Remarks on Panini, Piranesi and the Campidoglio

In 1761 Giovanni Battista Piranesi produced, as one of his Vedute di Roma, one of the more unusual representations of the Campidoglio, The Campidoglio from the side (Fig. 1).[1] Piranesi normally did his designs from scratch, and in this case … Continue reading

Posted in All Posts, Architectural paintings, Architecture, Art, Baroque architecture, Paintings by G. P. Panini, Rome, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Chinoiserie Fabriques Part 2: William Kent

William Kent, Design for Chinoiserie garden temple, showing plan and detailed elevation with bamboo porch, c. 1730–1735. Pen and brown ink and brown wash on paper. London, Victoria and Albert Museum, E.384-1986. (Fig. 1)   English Chinoiserie pavilions explored a … Continue reading

Posted in All Posts, Architectural paintings, Architecture, Art, Baroque architecture, Baroque Gardens, Design, English Gardens, Fabriques, Garden History, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Gateway at Montacute Pavilion and the Palazzo del Te

Although the gateway arch was initially intended to have been based on Serlio’s Libro Estraordinario, as it has unfolded it has become the Mannerist Gateway. The inside façade is based on Michelangelo’s Porta Pia, the outside one on Giulio Romano’s … Continue reading

Posted in All Posts, Architecture, Art, Baroque architecture, Baroque Gardens, Construction, Design, Garden History, Montacute, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment