Par le style on atteint au sublime: De betekenis van de term ‘stijl’ in de Franse architectuurtheorie aan de late achttiende eeuw

When we read Hübsch’s pamphlet, we are confronted with a phenomenon that occurs time and again in nineteenth century archi-tecture: the demand for a new style – which for Hübsch should be the result of climate, available building materials and the state of technology, and which ought to possess the same eternal and universal validity as the classical style – is not fulfilled. All we are given instead is the threadbare answer of a revival of Romanesque architecture.

How did this situation arise? What had happened since the time when the choice was not so much between several styles of building, but rather between architecture and non-architecture, because the paradigm of the classical style reigned supre-me?2) Studies of the dilemma of style in the nineteenth century usually explain the erosion of Vitruvianism and the subsequent rise of stylistic pluralism by drawing attention to the conse-quences of Renaissance individualism and of the Picturesque movement in British aesthetics at the end of the eighteenth century.3)
Another way, however, of understanding the erosion of the classical tradition as the only architectural paradigm and the rise of architectural pluralism, which I wish to explore here, is to take a closer look at the way in which the notion of style itself developed in the years from 1750 to 1800. This is a new way of approaching the subject: usually, in studies of the role of style in nine-teenth century architecture, the meaning of the central concept is not questioned. It is used in the usual art-histo-rical way of designating period styles on the basis of formal characteristics. Also, we tend to think that the concept of style has been used in architecture since the Renaissance, in a way comparable to its use in the history of the fine arts. Its use in architectural theory, however, is of much more recent date: no earlier than the eighteenth century.
Rather than starting from generally received notions about style as they were formulated at the end of the nineteenth century, I will therefore concentrate on eighteenth century sources, and in particular on the theoretical writings of Germain Boffrand, Jacques-François Blondel and Quatremère de Quincy, whose work has received comparatively little critical attention. What did these late eighteenth century architects and architectural theorists themselves understand by the term `style’?
In trying to answer this question, we find that style was understood not so much in visual or constructional terms, or in the sense of historical style, but as a literary or rhetorical concept.4) Boffrand, for example, stresses the close parallel between poetry and architecture, which enables him to use Horace’s Ars Poetica as prescriptive for architecture. And Blondel’s use of the word `style’ in his Cours d’architec-ture of 1771 shows a striking resemblance to that of the article in the Encyclopédie of Diderot and d’Alembert, which offers a rhetorical elucidation of style.5)
The development of the meaning of `style’ did not stop there. An important change occurred in the last quarter of the eighteenth century: instead of the rhetorical meaning we find in Boffrand and Blondel, in the writings of Quatremère de Quincy we are now given a view of style as character, expressing cir-cumstances such as climate or period that determine a building. In this way style becomes the key notion or guide in the interpretation of architecture.
Now the awareness of the rhetorical content of the term `style’ suggests a new approach to the downfall of Vitruvianism. The rhetorization of architecture, as it manifests itself in the meaning attached to the term `style’ has been an important, but until now neglected, factor in the gradual erosion of the classical doctrine. Wittkower for instance in his seminal work on the architectural principles of the Re-naissance completely ignores the role of rhetoric, both in the formation of these principles and in their subsequent erosion. By taking into account the way in which `style’ was introduced in architectural theory, a fundamental ambiguity in its mea-ning becomes manifest: on the one hand, it retained its tradi-tional, `classical’ sense, referring to the only acceptable way of building, which was eternally and universally valid; on the other hand, it referred to the formal expression of contingent circumstances such as climate, available materials, or national character. Understanding this ambiguity is a help in gaining fresh insight into the nineteenth century preoccupation with style.

The rhetorical character of style

Filarete used the interrelated terms stile and maniera as early as around 1460, when he spoke of style as a means of recognizing an artist.6) The term was applied to painting and sculpture from the time of Poussin onwards.7) The very first mention of the term in an architectural context probably occurred in 1578, in documents related to the completion of the cathedral of San Petronio in Bologna.8) A century later, Guarino Guarini uses the term `ordine’ (`ordine gotico’, for instance) in his dis-cussions of Gothic architecture, when he talks about architec-ture alone, but `style’ when he places architecture in the context of the other arts.9) The term started to be employed frequently in architecture probably as late as 1714 in the United Kingdom, and in France from 1750 onwards. An instance of the British use can be found in the writings of Sir Chris-topher Wren, who used terms like `style’ and `manner’ in his proposal for the completion of Westminster Abbey: for instan-ce, when speaking of Gothic building.10)
Well into the eighteenth century, different types of architecture were described in terms of the architectural `orders’ rather than in terms of style. In France, Cordemoy’s Nouveau Traité de toute l’Architecture (1714) does not contain an entry on `style’ in its appended glossary. Instead, terms like `goût’, `manière’ or `genre’ were used. And Montesquieu spoke in the same vein in his work on Gothic architectu-re of the `goût’ or `ordre gothique’.11)
It is not before Germain Boffrand’s Livre d’Architecture (1745) that we find an instance where the term, if not applied to architecture, is at least closely associated with it:
`The arts and sciences are so closely connected, that the principles of one group are the principles of the other; Architecture, although it seems that its sole object is the use of materials, is capable of different genres that cause the parts (so to speak) to be animated by the characters it makes perceptible. By its compo-sition, a building displays, as though on a stage, whether the scene is pastoral or tragic (…) These various buildings must announce their destination to the spectator by their structure, by the way they are decorated; if they do not do this, they sin against expression and are not what they should be.
It is the same with Poetry: there are various genres, and the style of one genre is not convenient for another genre.’12)
Boffrand, who was a nephew of the playwright Quinault and who in his youth also wrote plays, compares architecture with theatre sets. In this way it becomes parlante, and part of a literary genre. He even speaks of the orders as if they were literary genres13):
`The Orders of Architecture used in the works of the Greeks and the Romans are for the various categories of buildings, what the various poetical genres are in the various subjects of poetry.’14)
It then seems a small and logical step to apply to architecture the same rules as to poetry or drama, in other words, the precepts of rhetoric. An example is the stress on the appropriate use of ornament, in accordance with the genre or caractère of the building. This is comparable to the rhetorical attention, guided by the notion of decor (that which is fitting or ap-propriate)15), paid to the correspondence of the styles of speaking (the genera dicendi) with the occasion, purpose and audience of the speech.
In stressing the theatrical character of architecture Boffrand is part of a tradition that goes back to Alberti. We find the same view of architecture as a stage setting for public life in Alberti’s use of the triumphal arch for the façade of S. Andrea in Mantua.16) Because Boffrand is convinced of the similarity between poetry and architecture, he applies the precepts of Horace’s Ars Poetica to the latter.17) He tacitly translates linguistic terms such as verba (words) and syllaba (syllables) with architectural terms such as parties (parts) and profils (profiles). He also compares the decorative parts of a buil-ding (profils, moulûres – profiles, mouldings) with the terms used to refer to ornament in language. Here too he is following a practice that can be traced back to Alberti, who transposes the terminology of literary composition to the field of painting. For instance, he defines composition, originally a rhetorical term, as:
`that procedure in painting whereby the parts are compo-sed together in a picture. The great work of the painter is the `historia’; parts of the `historia’ are the bo-dies, part of the body is the member, and part of the member is a surface.’18)
Boffrand also quotes with approval Horace’s famous tag, `si vis me flere’, to stress that every building should be designed in accordance with its nature and function. Music rooms should be smiling in their layout, lighting and decoration; but mauso-leums should be treated in a serious and solemn manner.19)
This should not be confused with what Peter Collins, in his book Changing Ideals in Modern Architecture, calls `the linguistic analogy’. Collins is concerned with the notion that the parts of a building can be compared to the parts of speech, or that architectural styles can be compared to languages since they both possess a syntax and a vocabulary. But my concern here is not with interdisciplinary analogies, but with the application of the terminological appa-ratus of rhetoric to architecture and the consequences of that application, and particularly with the implications for Vitruvian theory of the importation of the rhetorical significance of the term `style’.20)
A clear example of what this means in practice is Bof-frand’s most famous work, the Rococo decorations for the apartments of the Princesse de Soubise in the Hôtel de Soubise (now Archives Nationales) in Paris dating from 1735-6.21) These can be considered as representative of the movement that began after the death of Louis XIV, away from the formalities of the Court of Versailles to the greater informality of the hôtels particuliers. This was one of the contributing factors to the rise of the Rococo style (of which Boffrand was one of the pioneers). They are an example of the new `style pittores-que’ which was concerned not so much with correct proporti-ons, as with the effect of the decorations on the visitor, and on the expression of the informal, private character of the apartments.
The first time in French architectural theory that the term `style’ is applied directly to architecture is in Blondel’s Cours d’Architecture of 1771; style here is clearly understood in rhetorical terms:
`By Style in Architecture is meant the true genre which one must choose, with respect to the motive which led to the construction of the building. The style in the ordon-nance of the façade, and in the decoration of the apart-ments, is properly speaking the poetry of architecture, which alone contributes to making all the compositions of an Architect interesting; it is the style, proper to every kind of building that brings with it that infinite variety in buildings of the same kind, and of different kinds. The style can equally well paint the sacred genre, the heroic and the pastoral genre; style can express in particular the character: regular or irregular, simple or composed, symmetrical or varied; and finally it is through the style that one arrives at the sublime, one reaches convenance, expression; in a word, that degree of perfection which is within the reach of all the productions of an archi-tect …’22)
For Blondel `style’ seems to have a meaning with poetical and painterly connotations. It is the poetry of architecture, but it can also paint the genre and character of the building. In calling style the poetry of architecture, Blondel perhaps echoes similar remarks that Trévoux had made on the function and the `poetry of style’. Style, according to Trévoux, is the `soul of discourse’, through which the writer attracts the attention of the mind. In the same way, for Blondel it is the style that attracts the eye and the mind of the beholder.23)
Style plays a guiding and unifying role: once the archi-tect has decided upon the style of the building – in relation to the purpose of the building –  all further decisions on the articulation of the façade and the choice of ornament have to be determined in harmony with this style.24) But the style not only determines choices in formal design; it also regulates the impression the building makes on the behol-der, in `painting’ the genre – sacred, heroic or pastoral- and in giving expression to the character.25)
We should pause here for a moment to consider the implicati-ons of Boffrand’s and Blondel’s view of style. It is striking to see how both Boffrand and Blondel take a literary and rhetorical view of style. Boffrand closely associates poetry and architecture. Both have different genres: poetry can be tragic, comic or bucolic, and architecture can be pastoral or sacred; in architecture, these different genres are expressed by the orders. Of course Boffrand was not the first to make this association: Alsted for instance says in his Encyclopedia of 1630 that `columns are to the architect, what the modes are to the musician and the genres (carminum genera) to the poet.’26)
All this is perfectly in keeping with the rhetorical divisi-on of the creative process into inventio, dispositio and elocu-tio (architecture of course is not concerned with memoria and actio), and with the central place that rhetoric gives to considerations of the character, goal and audience of a speech. The material and the means of expression must be ordered by reference to decor, the overall notion of what is appropriate to the situation, the public and the matter at hand. When this rhetorical apparatus is transposed to architecture it means that the design of the building, particularly the selection of ornament, is regulated by considerations of decor.  Boffrand continues a line of thought that had originated with Vitruvius and Alberti, who both applied the terminological apparatus of rhetoric to the theory of archi-tecture.27) But Boffrand introduces a new element because he gives a new interpretation of the proportions, attributing a different significance to them than they were given in the Renaissance, when they were seen as a reflection of the proportions of the universe. Instead, Bof-frand allows them to be determined by `the character and by the impression they have to make’.28)
Blondel adds a decidedly rhetorical interpretation to the literary vision of architecture we find in Boffrand: style, or genre, determines in architecture all the decisions in design; style gives colour and expression to the character of the building. This recalls one of the basic assumptions of rhetoric, the distinction between the ratio verborum and the ratio rerum, between thought and its formulation.29) But it also recalls Buffon’s famous discourse on style of 1750, in which he did not only say that `le style, c’est l’homme’, but also stressed that the choice of style should be determined by a previously made plan of the work.
For both Boffrand and Blondel – and here we reach the heart of the matter – style is a regulative and unifying notion by which the design of a building is guided in such a way that we can recognise its function, genre and character. The decision about the style of a building entails a system of possible choices of the ordonnance of the façade, the use of ornament and the disposition of the parts of the building. This means that style becomes the general concept, so to speak, by which the spectator is enabled to interpret or `read’ the building correctly. The notion of style seems to perform the same regulative and unifying function in the late eighteenth century as the concept of decor or aptum did in Antiquity and the Renaissance.30)
But now, the emphasis – fully in keeping with the notion of rheto-ric – is exclusively on the effect of the building on the specta-tor.31) The rhetorical view of style of Boffrand and Blondel implies a strong emphasis on the emotional effects of archi-tecture. For them, style is the poetry of architecture, which can establish an affective bond between the spectator and the building. Style alone can make a building literally interes-ting.
This corresponds with the tendency (which started with Cicero) to consider movere, the function of exciting emotions, as the most important of the three officia oratoris (the other two being docere, to instruct, and delectare, to entertain or to de-light; their aim is persuasio, the persuasion of the audience). But by borrowing from rhetoric this concentration on the emotional effects of the building on the spectator, one part of Renaissance aesthetics, namely the notion that beauty is based on mathematical proportions, is being overshadowed by the other part, namely the rhetorical concentration on the emotio-nal impact of the work of art on its public.32) Whereas these two parts existed together harmoniously in the Renaissance, the emotional impact of a building is now preferred at the expense of its mathematical proportions.
The dominance of the emphasis on expression is in sharp contrast with the Vitruvian attitude to architectural composition in general and with the use of the orders in particular. According to Vitruvius, the form and structure of a building should be based on its proportions. These in turn are based on geome-trical relations which are everywhere present in the universe. This idea is symbolised in the image of the homo quadratus.33) For Alberti, the chief characteristics of architectural beauty are in the first place pulchritudo, an inherent quality of a building, consisting in the harmony of the parts with each other and the whole, based on the `first and absolute law of nature’.34) Architecture should be designed in accordance with the eternal, mathematical properties of the universe. The second aspect of architectural beauty is based on ornamentum, in Alberti’s words `a form of auxiliary light and complement to beauty (…) it has the character of something attached or additio-nal.’35) Beauty is intellectual; ornament appeals to the senses. What happens in the eighteenth century is that with the increasing concentration on the aspect of movere, beauty based on ornament gained the upper hand over the notion of mathemati-cal, inherent, intellectual beauty.
The emphasis, then, that Blondel gives to the expressive and emotional role of style leads us to approach the downfall of Vitruvianism from a new angle. Usually, this process is explained by pointing to the crucial role in it of British Empiricism, which divided all properties of things into two groups. Primary qualities are inherent in the object itself, limited in number, and measurable. Examples are weight, length or mass. Secondary qualities are not present as such in the object, are not limited, and not measurable; they exist only as dispositions that cause sensations in the observer. Examples are taste, colour and smell. When beauty, according to Empiricist philosophy, evidently belongs to the category of secondary qualities, it can no longer be maintained that beauty is an inherent property of buildings, based on mathematical propor-tions.36) Burke for instance remarks that,
`if proportion be one of the constituents of beauty, it must derive that power either from some natural proper-ties inherent in certain measures which operate mechani-cally; from the operation of custom; or from the fitness which some measures have to answer some particular ends of conveniency.’37)
He then proceeds to refute all these possibilities. And Ho-garth considers the cause of beauty to lie in the psychologi-cal make-up of the mind, not in some inherent, objective property of the building:
`The active mind is ever bent to be employ’d. Pursuing is the business of our lives; (…) The eye hath this sort of enjoyment in winding walks, and serpentine rivers (…) that lead the eye a wanton kind of chace, and from the pleasure that it gives the mind, intitles it to the name of beautiful.’38)
Although the philosophical doctrine sketched here certainly influenced architectural theory – Blondel for instance was a great admirer of Locke – it seems to make much better sense to look, as we have done here, at the evolution within the theory of architecture, and to try to understand the erosion of Vitruvianism from the perspective of style. In any case, it saves us from the task of discovering whether and, if so, in what way, architects were influenced by philosophy.

Style as the language of character

The rhetorical significance of the term `style’ which we discussed in the last section did not remain unchanged for long. We can observe a further logical development of its significance in this period in the work of Antoine-Chrysostome Quatremère de Quincy. He devoted an article to style in the volumes on architecture of the Encyclopédie méthodique of 1788-1825. The meaning of style changed from the rhetorical meaning we saw in the work of Boffrand and Blondel to a view of style as character, expressing circumstances such as climate or period that have an influence on a building. Quatremère is important in this context because he is probably the only French author in this period to write so explicitly about style and its diverse meanings in the context of both the theory and history of art. Also, in view of the close relationship between his work and that of Winckelmann and Caylus, his writings on style are crucial if we are to understand the development that led to the birth of art history as a separate discipline at the end of the eighteenth century.39)
According to Quatremère, the notion of style was taken from the arts du discours, where it has two meanings. In the first place, style is the form a writer gives to his or her thoughts according to the nature of the subject, the effect he wants to produce, and the harmony between the goal he has set himself and the means he uses to reach it. This is traditionally the domain of rhetoric, and Quatremère refers the reader to reference books on rhetoric for more details.
In the second place, style is the expression of the individuality of a work of art, of its caractère:
`The word `style’ signifies, in a much more generally accepted sense, that typical and characteristic form, which very general causes impress on products of the mind, according the differences of climate, (…), of habits, of morals, of the actions of governments and of political and moral institutions. (…) Style, as we say, becomes synonymous with character, or with the individual manner (la manière propre) of the distinctive physiogno-my which belongs to each work of art, to each author, each genre, each school, each country, each period…’40)
Style thus becomes for Quatremère the language to express character. It is perfectly natural that the visual arts have taken over this rhetorical notion of style, because the visual arts must in any case be seen as a language or a way of writing: they are always trying to give a material, tangible form to ideas, to relations between concepts, moral affections or to the products of the imagination. By a process of metonymia, therefore, the idea of the mechanical activity of a writing instrument is transferred to an activity of the mind, namely the `art of expressing one’s ideas in the signs of writing’.41) Style, then, refers to the most mechanical as well as to the most spiritual of human activities: on the one hand, it signi-fies the instrument – the stilus – that gives tangible form and color to our thoughts by means of graphic signs; on the other hand, it signifies the conception of ideas and the art of putting them into words.
Although architecture at first sight seems to have very little in common with the art of writing, the rhetorical meaning of the term style, concerned with the formal choices the artist makes to give material form to his or her ideas, is nevertheless very apposite, because architecture is so much concerned with giving material form to ideas.42)
It is here that the new element in Quatremère’s view of style is to be found: on the one hand he still adheres to the traditional, rhetorical notion of the form of the content, the material clothing of thought, but on the other hand, he identifies it with character, which for Quatremère is the expression of the circumstances that are attached to every work of art. Style is the language or vocabulary of forms with which character can be expressed. It is therefore no longer the guiding and unify-ing notion, operative in the design process, that it was for Boffrand and Blondel, but it acquires a new function: that of the chief instrument of historical classification. In the newly emerging discipline of art history, works of art began to be stu-died with the aim of classifying them chronologically and geographically on the basis of characteristics that are the result or the expression of the circumstances that contributed to their creation, such as climate or the availability of certain materials. These characteristics are now identified by Quatremère as comprising the style of a work of art.
In my view, Quatremère occupies a very central and somew-hat Janus-faced position in the development of the pluralism of architectural styles which began to develop after 1800. On the one hand, in his rhetorical interpretation of style as a codifica-tion of the ways of giving a tangible form to ideas he looks back to the rhetorical tradition; but on the other hand, by his identification of style with character, he makes possible the art-historical use of style as an instrument of historical classification. And – what is perhaps the most far-reaching result of this identification – he has shown that style in architectu-re can no longer be based on the same, eternal, unchanging Vitruvian aesthetics of proportion: it has to be the individual expres-sion of the age, the country and even the climate. In doing so, he completes a development that began with Alberti’s use of the concept of rhetoric in the theory of the visual arts, which led in the eighteenth century to an increasing stress on the emotional, and therefore subjective and contingent, impact of architectu-re at the cost of an eternal, universally valid beauty based on mathematical proportions.
We have ended where we started – with Kugler’s concept of style as a contemporary expression of the country, the climate and the indigeneous materials, which would lead after 1800 to the unfulfilled need for a style that would be an adequate and zeitgemäß alternative to Vitruvianism. Finally I will discuss the connections between the two developments described above. The first one concerned the rhetorical significance of `style’ in the work of Boffrand and Blondel and its role in the downfall of Vitruvianism; the second one was about the change of meaning of the term `style’ in the work of Quatremère. The rhetorical significance of style can be seen as a contribution to the erosion of the classical tradition.
The increasing stress on the subjective character of beauty can be explained by drawing attention to the influence of British Empiricism on aesthetics, but also, as I have shown, by taking into account the role of rhetoric in the theory of architecture with its stress on the emotional impact of a building at the cost of the importance given to mathematical proportions as the cause of beauty. This may seem to make architectural beauty a matter of individual taste, irreducible to the general concepts and categories of art history. But it can also be regarded as linking up with the art-historical notion of style that Quatremère sees as the major instrument of the historian of art. Since style no longer seems to be a part of the classical theory of art that regards beauty as based on timeless, universal and eternal principles, but as the contingent expression of time, place and other circumstances that determine the work of art, style can acquire a heuristic function for the historian of art as an instrument of classification. Thus we see in Quatremère that his notion of style becomes that of an instrument of historical classification. By its style, a building expresses the circumstances that led to its construction. At the same time, the fact that it is imperative for architectu-re to have a style also condemns it to acknowledge the contin-gent character of that style, subject to the changes of time and taste.
The nineteenth century quest for a style of its own was a quest for the impossible, because the two notions of style underlying it are irreconciliable. It is impossible to develop a style which is both immutable, universal and eternal, like the classical style, which is, at the same time, a historical, and therefore changeable expression of the age in which it is developed.

1. H. Hübsch, In welchem Style sollen wir bauen? Beantwortet von Heinrich Hübsch, Karlsruhe 1828. See also W. Herrmann (ed.), `Introduction’, `In what style should we build?’ The German debate on Architectural Style, Santa Monica 1992.

2. E.S. De Beer, `Gothic: Origin and Diffusion of the Term’, Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 11, 1948, p. 156.

3. J.M. Crook 1989, `The Consequences of the Picturesque’, The Dilemma of Style. Architectural Ideas from the Picturesque to the Post-Modern, London 1989, especially pp. 30-31.

4. See e.g. the conclusions of W. Szambien, Symmétrie Goût Caractère, Paris 1977: the word `style’ is used in the sense of `historical’ style for the first time in France in Chateaubriand’s Génie du Christianisme (III.8).

5. The rhetorization of architectural theory, ut poesis archi-tectura, has received very scant critical atten-tion. An exception is H. Mühlmann, Aesthetische Theorie der Renaissance. Leon Battista Alberti, Bonn 1981, a study of the rhetori-cal elements of Alberti’s De re aedificatoria. A synthesis of much of the work that has been done in this field, together with many new perspectives is C. Smith, Architecture in the Age of Humanism, New York/Oxford 1992. See also B. Vickers, In Defence of Rhetoric, Oxford 1990.

6 `E cosi d’ogni facultà si conosce lo stile di ciascheduno.’ See G. Germann, Gothic Revival in Europe and Britain. Sources, Influences and Ideas, London 1972, pp. 11-12. The quotation can be found in Filarete, Filarete’s Treatise on Architecture, being the Treatise by Antonio di Piero Averlino, known as Filarete, New HavenLondon 1968, I. p. 12, corresponding to Book I, fol. 5v. See also J. Onians, Bearers of Meaning. The Classical Orders in Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Cambridge 1988, p. 163.

7. E. Panofsky, Idea. Ein Beitrag zur Begriffsgeschichte der älteren Kunsttheorie, Berlin 1960 [1924] , pp. 115 n. 224.

8. Germann, op. cit., 1972, pp. 12-13.

9. Ibid., pp. 16.

10. Ibid., p. 24.

11. Szambien 1977, op. cit., p. 200 n. 4 (= Montesquieu, De la manière gothique in Oeuvres Complètes I, p. 966, Paris 1951).

12. G. Boffrand Livre d’Architecture (1745), p. 16. My italics.

13. Boffrand does not compare the Doric, Ionic and Corinthian orders with the three rhetorical styles (gravis, tenuis and sublimis) as some authors do (e.g. K. Borin-ski, Die Antike in Poetik und Kunsttheorie, Leipzig 1914, pp. 143 ff.). As Mühlmann has pointed out (op.cit., p. 186, n. 101), this is impossible because the distinction between the lowly (tenuis) level of style and the sublime or elevated level cannot be made when speaking of the orders of architecture. By their use a building is ipso facto transposed into the sphere of the genus sublime. On the analogy between building types and literary genres see A. Fowler, `Periodization and Interart Analogies’, New Literary History 3 (1972), pp. 487-511.

14. Ibid., p. 24: `Les Ordres d’Architecture employés dans les ouvrages des Grecs et des Romains, sont pour les différents genres d’édifices, ce que les différents genres de Poësie sont dans les différents sujets qu’elle veut traiter.’

15. See for instance Aristotle, Rhetoric, 3.7.1-5 (1408a).

16. Mühlmann, op. cit., pp. 106-7 and p. 138.

17. Boffrand, op. cit., p. 17: `(…) quoiqu’il n’ait jamais pensé à l’Architecture, il m’a paru qu’ils y avoient tant de rapport, que j’ai crû qu’on pouvoit les y joindre, et en faire une très-juste application à ceux qui nous ont été donnés pour l’Architecture par les Anciens et les Modernes, and qu’ils pourroient encore les enrichir d’un caractère plus sublime.’

18. See L.B. Alberti, On Painting and Sculpture. The Latin Texts of De Pictura and De Statua, (ed. C. Grayson), London 1972, p. 72 and Vickers, op. cit. p. 342.

19. Boffrand, op. cit., `(…) la nature forme notre coeur susceptible de ces différentes impressions, and il est toujours remué par l’unison.’ In this he seems to be very close to the ideas of Le Camus de Mézières, who used the motto `Non satis est placuisse oculis, nisi pectora tan-ges/C’est peu de plaire aux yeux, il faut émouvoir l’âme.’ for his Le génie de l’architecture.

20. In my opinion P. Collins, Changing Ideals in Modern Architecture, London 1965, exaggerates when he says that Boffrand derived a whole theory of architecture from Hora-ce’s Ars Poetica. Boffrand’s theory is firmly based on the Vitruvian theory of the orders (see his `Introduction’); he uses Horace only to clarify his ideas about design.

21. See M. Gallet en J. Garms (red.), Germain Boffrand (1667-1754). L’avonture d’un architecte indépendant  Parijs 1986, pp. 46-47, 108-109 and 221-235.

22. J.F. Blondel, Cours d’Architecture ou traité de la décoration, distribution et construction des bâtiments, Paris 1771-1777, I, p. 401. See also I, p. 183 and pp. 391-2.

23. Trévoux, Dictionnaire, Paris, 1771: `Le style (…) est en quelque sorte l’âme du discours, l’attrait et le charme qui soutient l’attention de l’esprit.’ See P.-E. Knabe, Schlüsselbegriffe des kunsttheoretischen Denkens in Frankreich von der Spätklassik bis zum Ende der Aufklärung, Düsseldorf 1972.

24. According to Vickers, op. cit., p. 366, decorum performed a comparable unifying function in music.

25. This passage is one of the longest and most explicit on style in French architectural theory during this period. Blondel also briefly talks about style in a passage in which he juxtaposes style and character: `Nous allons donner l’idée précise que doivent produire à l’imagination des spectateurs tous les divers membres de l’Architecture (…). C’est par le secours de ces nuances imperceptibles qu’on parvient à mettre une distinction réelle dans les projets des deux bâtiments du même genre mais qui néanmoins doivent s’annoncer différemment, en préferant dans l’un un style sublime (…), dans l’autre un caractère naïf, simple, vrai.’ (I, p. 373; my italics)

26. Quoted by Ü. Schütte, “`als wenn eine ganze Ordnung da stünde…”. Anmerkungen zum System der Säulenordnungen und seiner Auflösung im späten 18. Jahrhundert’, Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte 44, 1981, p. 32, n. 89. See also Pochat, Geschichte der Ästhetik und Kunsttheorie. Von der Antike bis zum 19. Jahrhundert, Cologne 1986, p. 311.

27. On the role of decor cfr. Vitruvius, De archi-tectura libri decem, VI.5. 1-3 and Alberti, De re aedificato-ria, IX.i and IX.iv. The application of rhetoric to the theory of architecture by Vitruvius is based on the conviction, which he shared with Cicero, that the sciences and arts, including architecture, share the same roots. See Vitruvius I.i.12 and Cicero, De oratore and Pro Archia I.2.

28. Boffrand, op. cit. p. 25: `Ces ordres d’Archi-tecture (…) ont des proportions relatives à leur caractère and à l’impression qu’elles doivent faire.`

29. Cfr. Cicero, De Oratore III.55-73.

30. Cfr. the way the notion of decorum functions in Horace’s Ars Poetica, 100-106, 115, 156ff.

31. See Blondel, op. cit., II, p. 231, where he discusses only  the expressive role of the Orders, and likens them to stage props that contribute to the style – defined in rhetorical terms – of the play.

32. See Vickers, op. cit., pp. 346-351 and 362.

33. Cfr. Vitruvius, De architectura, III.i.3-9.

34. Alberti, op. cit., IX.5 and VII.5.

35. Alberti, On the Art of Building in Ten Books (tr. J. Rykwert, N. Leach and R. Tavernor), Cambridge (Mass.)/London [1988] 1991, p. 156. (De re aedificatoria VI.2).

36. See Szambien op. cit., p. 177: `M. Briseux est le premier qui a cru que le beau essentiel de l’architecture consiste dans ses sensations.` Up to then, `essential beauty’ (the structure of the building) was thought of as belonging to the domain of primary qualities.

37. E. Burke, A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful, (ed. and introduction: J.T. Boulton) London 1987, p. 93.

38. W. Hogarth, The Analysis of Beauty, with the Rejected Passages from the Manuscript Drafts and Autobiographical Notes (1757), (ed. and introduction: J. Burke) Oxford 1955, pp. 41-42.

39. On Quatremère de Quincy see Vidler op. cit., `From the Hut to the Temple: Quatremère de Quincy and the Idea of Type’, especially p. 220, notes 22 and 26.

40. A.-Chr. Quatremère, Encyclopédie méthodique, Paris (1788-1825), p. 411. Cfr. Hübsch, op. cit., p.6.

41. Ibid., vol. III, p. 410.

42. Ibid., pp. 412-413.

Delinquent visionaries