The Gallery building opened in 1879 for the second Yorkshire Fine
Art and Industrial Exhibition. The architect Edward Taylor was
employed to design the temporary wooden building used to house
the 1879 exhibition. Taylor was retained by a group of York citizens
after the exhibition to design a more permanent gallery. A site was
secured within the grounds of St. Mary’s Abbey, a design agreed
and the building which we see today was erected. It became the
City Art Gallery in 1892.
The Art Gallery building has a façade in the Italian Renaissance style,
although sadly most of the proposed carved-stone and tile decoration
was not executed. Four sculpted roundels between the arches of the
entrance loggia depict famous artistic sons of York, namely John Carr
the architect, John Camidge the musician, John Flaxman the sculptor
and William Etty the painter.
proposed facade found in the York City Archives:
The street, leading from St Helen's Square to Minster Gates at the foot of the Minster, was originally the Via Pretoria of Roman York. It led into the heart of the busy fortress which stood where the cathedral now stands. The street name comes from when the Minster was built and the great stones were carted up from the river to the cathedral building site. Today, the street is paved with York Stone.
From Roman times to the present day the site on which York Minster stands has been at the very centre of England's religious and political life.
- Book, An Outline of European Architecture, Nikolaus Pevsner
German-born British architectural historian and critic, the founding-father
of the academic discipline of the history of design in England. Pevsner is
best known for editing the monumental 46-volume series, The Buildings
of England (1951-74). His other acclaimed books include Pioneers of
Modern Design (1949), An Outline of European Architecture (1943), and
A History of Building Types (1976). Pevsner was a consistent advocate of
the Modern style in design. One of his central thesis in The Sources of
Modern Architecture and Design (1968) was that painters and sculptors
were cut off from the public already in the nineteenth century, but
architects and designers have accepted social responsibilities, and
fulfilled their practical purposes for the public fully and enthusiastically.
Stained Glass today:
Barley Studio was founded in 1973 by Keith Barley FMGP ACR, with the aim of attaining the highest standards in the art and craft of stained glass conservation and creation. Since its foundation Barley Studio has undertaken many conservation projects (and new commissions) for cathedrals, churches and historic houses.
Italian Renaissance Architecture
Throughout the Gothic period in the middle ages, when architecture in France and England was dominated by architecture executed on the grandest scale in Western history, with immense and airy cathedrals representing one of the highest points of European architectural genius, Italian architecture was an uninspired and relatively small affair. Although there was Gothic architecture in Italy, the sweep, genius and grandeur seemed to have passed those city-states by. The Renaissance, however, saw the development of a new architecture from the fifteenth to the sixteenth centuries that was the first "modern" architecture. When we look at Renaissance buildings, they look familiar, almost as if they were built one hundred years ago. The architectural language invented by the Italian Renaissance architects became the dominant architectural language of the modern world, displaced only by the advent of modernist architecture in the twentieth century.
The architects of the Renaissance derived their architecture in part from a revived interest in Roman and Greek ruins, from the recovery of classical texts on architecture, particularly the Roman writer Vitruvius's ten books on architecture. They also, however, invented new forms and new visual language that was not derived from the classical period. In the process, the architects, humanists, and painters of the Renaissance (for architecture was considered a universal art in the Renaissance) invented a new idea of public space in which civic pride and organization would be organized on a city-wide scale.
In the Renaissance, architecture was seen as the supreme art. Theorists on architecture believed that architectural design arose out of human experience, like all arts, but that it also represented the highest artistic achievement a human being could attain. Architecture, though, was not considered a specialist profession, as it is now. Architectural design was carried out by professional architects, painters, sculptors (such as Michelangelo), humanists, masons, and just plain amateurs with alot of time and money.
- 02 Nov 2004