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English Neo-Palladian and Georgian: 1702–1770

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When George I takes the English throne in 1714, members of the Whig party appoint themselves as the arbiters of taste for the nation. Believing that rational, correct, and polite should define English architecture, they promote Neo-Palladian as the only proper style. Subsequently, the style in country and town-houses becomes a visual metaphor for the owner’s culture and education. Inside, classical architectural elements adorn rooms, display the owner’s refinement, and highlight the collections acquired on grand tours. By mid-century, classicism coexists with Rococo, Chinese, and Gothic influences in interiors and furniture.

 

During the 18th century, Britain acquires most of its vast empire. Her navy rules the seas, and she establishes industrial supremacy as the period remains relatively stable and prosperous. Queen Anne, the last of the Stuarts, rules from 1702 to 1714. She has little interest in government, art, literature, or the theater, and governs through advisors. She leaves no heirs when she dies. 

The Georgian period encompasses the reigns of George I (1714–1727), George II (1727–1760), and the first years of George III (1760–1820). During the period, England’s colonies increase in number and wealth, and she gains power, prestige, and territory in a series of wars. The treaty ending the War of the Spanish Succession gives England the French holdings around Hudson Bay, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland. It also expands trade with Spain’s American colonies.

 

 They reject the Baroque classicism of Sir Christopher Wren, Nicholas Hawksmoor, and John Vanbrugh in favor of the Renaissance classicism of Andrea Palladio and, more importantly, the Englishman Inigo Jones. Neo-Palladianism appeals because it is rational yet flexible, is based on antiquity, and has nationalistic associations. 

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Written by callawayinteriordesign

May 30, 2012 at 12:40 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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