Tomorrow I jet down to Charleston, S.C., to confer on matters architectural with people I’ve never met but with whom readers of this blog are familiar. They are the TradArch family of architects and architectural busybodies (like me). Before I leave I’d like to stroke readers of this blog by posting a photo, above, that came through TradArch member Joel Pidel, who titled his post “buontalenti,” which fits perfectly. It is stairs to the choir from the nave in the Florentine “church of S. Stefano al ponte (vecchio),” as Joel put it.
It struck me as beautiful and yet noncanonical – heterodox classicism will no doubt be a big topic at what everyone is calling the “classicist garden party,” picking up on criticism by Andrés Duany that practicing classical architects today are too wedded to the canon of the Orders described by Vitrivius in his Roman treatise, and the Orders derived therefrom by what Andrés calls the First Recall – architects working to bring order to classicism after its “drift” toward Gothic and Romanesque during the Middle (Dark!) Ages.
Are there any classical architects practicing today who would kick this stairway to the curb because it is not canonical enough? Just wondering. (By the way, are the balusters on the porch upside down, or is that just another conventional way of arraying them?)
What about the picture below that I took of a church in Prague – no doubt an example of the Baroque. I go back to this photograph again and again just to luxuriate in its beauty. I can imagine an orthodox classicist declaring that its curvature is not found in orthodox classicism, but I cannot imagine any such practitioner rejecting either the work nor its designer, or denying their place in the broader scheme of classical architecture. Thoughts?