Georgian Gothic: Medievalist Architecture, Furniture and Interiors, 1730-1840

Georgian Gothic: Medievalist Architecture, Furniture and Interiors, 1730-1840

by Peter N. Lindfield


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The Gothic Revival, rich, ambitious, occasionally eccentric, but nonetheless visually exciting, is one of Britain's greatest contributions to early modern design history, not least because for the most part it contravened approved taste: Classicism. Scholars have tended to treat Georgian Gothic as an homogenous and immature precursor to "high" Victorian Gothic, and centred their discussion around Walpole's Strawberry Hill. This book, conversely, reveals how the style was imaginatively and repeatedly revised and incorporated into prevailing eighteenth-century fashions: Palladianism, Rococo, Neoclassicism, and antiquarianism. It shows how under the control of architects, from Wren to Pugin, Walpole and Cottingham, and furniture designs, especially those of Chippendale, and Ince and Mayhew, a shared language of Gothic motifs was applied to British architecture, furniture and interiors. Georgian Britain was awash with Gothic forms, even if the arbiters of taste criticised it vehemently. Throughout, the volume reframes the Gothic Revival's expression by connecting it with Georgian understandings of the medieval past, and consequently revises our interpretation of one of the most influential, yet lampooned, forms of material culture at the time. Peter N. Lindfield is a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow at the University of Stirling.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781783271276
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer, Limited
Publication date: 10/20/2016
Series: Medievalism Series , #8
Pages: 282
Product dimensions: 6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Acknowledgements xv

Introduction: the Gothic Aesthetic in Britain and British Furniture, 1730-1840 1

1 Understanding Gothic Architecture in Georgian Britain 7

The unknown: initial steps in the understanding of Gothic architecture 9

Subsequent steps in the understanding of Gothic architecture 23

Professionalised topography: the examination of medieval architecture 31

A transformation in the interpretation of Gothic architecture: later theorists 36

2 Creation of Classical Gothic Architecture, Furniture and Interiors 42

Classical Gothic's antecedents: Sir Christopher Wren, Nicholas Hawksmoor, Sir John Vanbrugh 44

Reconfiguration of medieval architecture: William Kent and Batty Langley 54

The influence of Kent and Langley: early Georgian Gothic architecture, interiors and furniture 66

3 High Fashion and Fragments of the Past: the Omnipresence of Rococo Gothic 81

Rococo Gothic: in name only 82

Counter-curves, asymmetry and Rococo Gothic 91

Categories of Rococo-Gothic furniture 102

Rococo Gothic beyond the page: 1746-65 111

A style of the Union: Rococo-Gothic furniture north of the border 124

4 Fluctuating Tastes: Gothic in Later Eighteenth-century Britain 131

The Gothic paradox in Neoclassical Britain: 1764-1800 132

Maturing Gothic and its continuity: 1760-1800 145

'Neoclassical Gothic': a third type of Georgian Gothic 171

5 The 'Chaos of Modern Gothic Excrescences': Regency to Revolution 180

The Wyatt dynasty: creating Gothic palaces 182

Eaton Hall: 'distinguished' architecture and interiors 194

George IV's apartments: the breeding ground for a new type of Gothic? 204

L.N. Cottingham: student of medieval architecture, designer of Gothic furniture and curator of antiquities, 1830-47 213

Conclusion 222

Appendix 228

Bibliography 234

Glossary 254

Index 257

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