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golden candlesticks.* So again, if there be one mark more distinctive than any other of the divinity of God's Church, it is her perfect unity. "I have prayed for you that the glory which I had with the Father before the world was, may be given to you, that you also may be one in Me, even as I and the Father are one. I in you, and you in Me, that the world. may believe that I have sent you." Now, if this be so, then as we have seen-and it is useless therefore to repeat the argument at any length-no style of architecture so well expresses unity, combined with strength and majesty, as the Italian.

Let me try to make this still clearer. To my own mind it has always seemed-although, of course, the idea is by no means new-as if the Gothic style of architecture answered to what, for want of a better name, may be called the romantic school of literature, especially of poetry, and the Italian to the Classical, or again, the former may be compared to landscape painting, the latter to sculpture. A word or two upon each comparison:-If, for example, we take the plays of Ĉalderon or Shakspeare, no one, I think, will say that unity is their distinguishing feature. There is in them so much intricacy of detail, so great a multiplicity and development of character, combined with constant change of scene, that their unity is materially interfered with, and the effect of the whole play, although not of particular characters and parts, considerably lessened. Hence it is that we rise from reading one of Shakespeare's dramas, or from witnessing its representation, with our minds full of some particular beauty, or struck by the energy of some particular character or passage, but not impressed, as it seems to me, with the grandeur and unity of the whole. On the other hand, in the old Greek plays, and in the best dramas of the French school, just because there is less intricacy of detail, less multiplicity of character, which is presented before us rather in bold outline, than in those more subtle touches and more hidden traits which are so distinctive of the romantic school, and less change of scene, we rise from reading them not so much perhaps impressed by particular characters and passages, but lost in admiration at the harmony and unity of the whole. Even in the Greek trilogies the unity must have been perfect. Are we, then, to depreciate

* The Sistine Chapel, it is true, has an open screen; but the practice and observances of the Pontifical chapels are peculiar to themselves. Thus, in these chapels the use of the organ is prohibited, and the choir is placed in a gallery, a position which would hardly be to the taste of the admirers of Gothic.

Shakespeare any more than Gothic architecture? By no means. I have already declared my warm admiration for the latter, and so, in like manner, I say that I yield to no man in paying homage to our great poet, who, as Carlyle has truly said, is the outcome of the Catholicism of the Middle Agesthose ages, be it remembered, which produced and perfected Gothic architecture, for without their Catholicism a Shakespeare would have been impossible.

Again, Gothic architecture may be very fitly compared to painting, especially landscape painting, and Italian to sculpture. In painting we may have groups of figures, which are seldom successful in sculpture; we may have trees and plants and flowers, or woodland or river, or sea or sky, and in landscape painting minute details on which I need not touch; but in painting, as in Gothic architecture, it will be found that the eye does not at once take in the picture as a whole, but requires time to master and realize all its several parts. Go, for instance, to the Vatican, and stand before the "Last Communion of S. Jerome," and see how long it will take to realize all that is pictured forth in that glorious masterpiece. Again and again you may go, and each time you will find fresh beauties and a deeper significance. The expression of the face of the priest, as he bends over the Saint to give him in the hour of death the Lord of life; the dying Saint, half leaning forward in adoration of his Lord, half falling back from the evergrowing weakness which is slowly creeping over him, evidently unconscious-because conscious alone of the great Presenceof the kiss of worship which the woman kneeling at his side is impressing upon his withered hand, as if he were already gathered to the company of the glorious Saints: all this, and much more that I could mention, requires time and study to observe; it cannot be taken in at once. So is it with Gothic architecture.


Now, it is otherwise with sculpture, to which I have compared the Italian style. The more perfect the work of art, less we observe the details; it stands before us a glorious whole, at once filling and satisfying the mind. What is the secret of this except that we feel that although by further examination we may discover particular beauties, and even particular defects, yet the general harmony of proportion and the unity of the whole are such as to render particular beauties and particular faults-unless, of course, these stand forth too prominently, so as to interfere with unity-of less importance than they are in painting. We see at a glance the open revelation meant to be conveyed by the artist. Hence, too, as I said above, large groups in sculpture are seldom satis

factory, simply for want of unity, sculpture being required to perform an office which belongs rather to the sister art of painting. Do not these remarks apply in very great measure to Italian architecture?

I conclude, then, that the latter has special beauties and advantages of its own, which are not so prominent or are even absent in the Gothic style. Neither style, therefore, ought of itself to be excluded from the service of the Church, and this, if for no other reason, because, as has been well said, "Nature, the great prototype of architecture, has many styles of beauty, and employs them all. The horizontal, arcuated, vertical, or pointed styles," Mr. Ruskin notwithstanding, "all find precedent in her domain; and though it could be proved that the Gothic was beyond all comparison superior to any other style in capability of the grander qualities, yet it would be opposed to all natural teaching to claim for it the sole and universal empire:"

"Not oaks alone are trees, nor roses flowers."

But it is more than time for me to ask whether the Italian style is unsuited for our modern ecclesiastical requirements.

One of the more common objections to the use of Italian church architecture is that it is unpopular, as may be seen by the almost universal adoption of the Gothic style. Now, that for the last thirty years the latter has been generally preferred in the nations of the North cannot, of course, be denied, nor is it difficult to account for this preference. It is due partly to the revival of the "romantic" school literature, by means of which the Middle Ages, with their arts and chivalry and legends, have been placed in a truer light before the minds of men, and also in no small measure because, as it seems to me, our church architects have given far more time to the study of Gothic than to that of the Italian style. It will be objected, no doubt, to this last assertion, that architects are forced to fall in with the wishes of those who desire to have churches built for them, and that the demand at present is almost entirely for Gothic buildings. To this I answer, that granted that at the present time the tide of popular taste has set in favour of Gothic, architects are surely something more than mere builders and contractors, and that it is their highest duty, by mastering the different styles of architecture, to lead and guide the taste of the people. But can it be shown that the present taste is likely to be enduring? Even in the Middle Ages, nay, during the whole history of ecclesiastical architecture, has there not been a constant change from style. to style? Thus, have we not seen the style of the Pagan pass VOL. XX.-NO. XXXIX. [New Series.]


into that of the Christian Basilica, and this again into the Romanesque, which divided itself into the Byzantine and Lombardic? So, again, in our own country, did not the Saxon style, or, as it was called, "the Roman manner," introduced from Italy by such men as Paulinus and Wilfred, pass into the Norman, one of the chief features of which was the arcade, or series of small round arches, many of these intersecting each other, which, as Bishop Milner points out, appear in some part or other of all the churches built by the Normans in this country, and which sometimes cover the whole of them? So, once more, did not the Norman-whether from the beauty of the effect produced by the intersecting of the arches above alluded to, or from some other cause, we need not stop to inquire-pass into the "Pointed" style? Nay, during those centuries which witnessed the chief glories of what is called Gothic architecture, did not almost each generation change its style in accordance with its own taste, so that a church begun in one style was not unfrequently continued in another, and finished in a third? What reason, then, is there to suppose that in our own times, when we have no style of our own at all, but have to go back to that of the thirteenth, or fourteenth, or fifteenth centuries, a change of taste may not soon again take place amongst us, when we may perhaps witness a "revival" of the best features of the Italian style? If Gothic architecture itself so soon forgot its leading features, owing to the fickle taste of our forefathers, I at least, for one, can see no great strength in the argument that at the present moment the Gothic is the most popular, and well-nigh universally used. For my own part, I think I can perceive signs of a coming change. The greater intercourse with Rome, owing to cheap and rapid communication, will necessarily create a love for the style of Roman churches, and for the round arch, which is one of their distinctive features; for although, as I have said, the Holy See has ever left her children free to adopt any style they choose, and although also, to use the words of the writer in the April number, it may be "as absurd to say that attachment to the Holy See is shown by building churches in the Italian style as it would be to suppose that attachment would be shown by speaking Italian instead of one's own native language in ordinary discourse," yet "where the treasure is, there will our hearts be also," and as in the days of Paulinus and Wilfred, the architectural language of Rome can never be a strange tongue to us as long as children love to catch the tone of their mother's voice.

But more than this; whether a preference for Gothic architecturc in ecclesiastical buildings be "ooted or not in the educated

and artistic mind of England may be an open question, but for myself I have very great doubt whether Gothic churches are ever really popular amongst our poor, for whom chiefly, after God's honour-because the churches are the homes and schools of the poor-they ought to be built. The fact is, that Gothic churches are unsuited to the uneducated and the poor. Not for the reasons I gave at the outset; namely, that they are necessarily dark or cold, or that it is difficult to see the altar from all parts, but simply because the symbolism and mystery of such churches are above their grasp.* To these, I find, the pointed roof, and the conventional form of the cross and the lily, and all the beautiful details of Gothic ornamentation, and the high altar, by no means the most conspicuous part of the building, are too often either unmeaning, or, perhaps a disappointment. They require the large plain Latin cross, the noble altar with majestic altar-piece, the church rich, if possible, in paintings and images. I am speaking here of course of the better kind of churches of either style; for if, as it is alleged, our ordinary so-called Italian churches are for the most part but long, ill-shaped, badly proportioned rooms, so on the other

* As for the objection that Gothic churches are cut up with columns, the same will apply to the best specimens of the Italian style. That Gothic buildings can be erected without aisles is, of course, undeniable. Thus we have, as the writer of the article in the April number has pointed out, the Cathedrals of Alby and Angers, Cahors and Angoulême. But it is to be doubted whether such churches would ever be generally as greatly admired as those supported by columns. Nor, should I think, could they be built except at a very great expense. There is a remark, however, of the above writer about the darkness of Italian churches which requires a word of notice. The windows of Italian churches, he says, 66 are features to be avoided as much as possible. They are kept out of sight whenever it can be managed." Now, I have said above, that on entering a good Italian church no one ever thinks about the windows; but to maintain that, as a rule, Italian churches are darker than Gothic ones, seems to me an opinion simply untenable. As an instance of an essentially dark church, he brings forward S. Peter's, Rome! I venture to say-and I have lived many years in Rome-that it is one of the brightest and lightest churches in the world; so it is also the coolest in summer and the warmest in winter, nor would it ever be a dark church, as S. Paul's undoubtedly is, even were it to be set down in the place of the latter, amidst all the smoke of London. Again, one of the chief reasons why complaints are made in England about the altar not being seen arises in no small measure from the use of fixed benches, which occupy a great deal of room, and which prevent the poor coming close to the altar at their pleasure, as they do in Catholic countries. It is useless, no doubt, to complain of benches as long as our clergy are ill provided for, and such a terrible separation exists as that between our very rich and very poor-a separation, however, which is directly contrary to the Apostolic warning of S. James (ii. 3), and which will probably only be put an end to by some fearful political convulsion. Still, we ought, I think, never to forget that to fill up the whole church with benches is an evil-a necessary one, perhaps, ander present circumstances, but still an evil.

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