Baroque Architecture (Classic Reprint)

Baroque Architecture (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from Baroque Architecture

It is commonly supposed that the purpose of a preface is to explain the scope of a book to those who do not read so far as the first page. There is a touch of cynicism in such an opinion which makes one loth to accept it, but I prefer to meet my troubles half way by stating at the outset what I have emphasized in my last chapter - that this book is not in any way an attempt to create a wholesale revival of Baroque Architecture in England. It is simply a history of a complex and neglected period, and has been prepared in the uncertain intervals of an architectural practice. The difficulty of the work has been increased by the fact that the subject has never been dealt with as a whole in any language previously. Gurlitt in his Geschichte des Barockstiles, published in 1887, covered a considerable part of the ground, but his work is very scarce and expensive. To students his volumes may be recommended for their numerous plans, but for details and general views they are less valuable. In recent years several fine monographs have appeared dealing with Baroque buildings in specific districts, and very recently in a new international series the principal buildings of the period in Germany and Italy have been illustrated. But these books have little or no explanatory letterpress.

The bibliographies at the end of each of the following chapters have been compiled with care, and will assist those who wish to carry their researches further than the limits of this modest volume. My thanks are due to the Editors of The Builder and The Journal of the Royal Institute of British Architects for their courtesy in allowing me to use much literary material and many illustrations already published in the form of articles. I also wish to acknowledge here the kindness of those friends who have assisted me in the preparation of this book.

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