QUARTREMERE DE QUINCY – ORDER
Quartermere de Quincy, 1832 – Historical Dictionary of Architecture
ORDER, This word is a synonym for disposition, distribution (see these words); But in the application that one makes of it, either to architecture in general, or to a building in particular, it is given meanings which differ from each other as the species differs from the genus. When we use this word in general theory, we make what we call an order as a of the elementary parts of the art of building. It is thus that Vitruvius sought to distinguish, between all the things which constitute architecture, ex quibus architectura report (liv. I, ch. N), the ordinatio of the disposilio and the distributio. But these distinctions are too arbitrary; and if ever the use of these words fixed some perceptible variety in it, it would today be rather difficult to perceive it and to convey its nuances in the meanings of the French words which correspond to them. We will be satisfied to say that order, when it is used (as when one says the order in the art of building), art of arranging suitably and according to the object of the building, 1st in its elevation, the masses, the parts of the construction, the columns, the solids and the voids; (2) in its plan, the entrances, the clearances, the communications, the correspondence of the different rooms, but only on a large scale; the details in this part depending on what is called distribution (See this word.)
ORDER, when this word is applied not to architecture, but to one of its works or to a particular building, means the way in which the architect ordered the masses, the parts, the details considered as a whole, in their effect, in the impression that their appearance produces, and also in the character which must be proper to the building. Thus we will say that the arrangement of such and such a building is noble, large, simple or common, petty and jagged. In this respect, the order of an edifice must be in accord, not only with its dimension, but also with its use. There is such a vast palace, the arrangement of which is too inconsistent with its extent; there is such an order which is too important for the smallness of its building. Order is thus to order, considered as quality in architecture, what effect is to cause; it is, if one can say, as for the order understood in the language of art, as an assemblage of relations, forms and proportions of which each kind of column is the indicator and the type, we will say that there are as many of orders than of orders of columns. We therefore give the name of order to any arrangement of columns belonging to each of the orders, and each of these orders will take the name of each order. There are thus Doric, Ionic and Corinthian orders. Not only are we thus called each of the ways in which each of the three orders is implemented by the architect, in the plan and the elevation of a building edifice, but this name is still given to the mass of the edifice which, in its elevation, will have no columns, provided that the parts of this elevation present spaces in proportion to the rules of this or that order, and details of moldings or profiles which recall the taste and character of the details assigned to these orders.
We also recognize five kinds of orders which are based, for the arrangement of the columns, in the anterior peristyles of the temples, on the number of columns forming the front of these peristyles, from the temple which has only two columns at the angles, and gradually until the temple which has ten, or the decastyle.
ORDER This word, in architecture, has a general meaning that does not need any definition , since all synonyms, such as arrangement , disposition, etc. would not give a clearer idea.
The idea of order is one of those primary ideas which carry their explanation with them, and serve to explain others rather than others cannot be used to explain it: so there are few words which have more jobs.
Applied to architecture, this word therefore generally means , as in the works of nature and in those of all the productions of man, a a certain system of arrangement of the parts of a whole, and of their relation between them and with the whole, which shows that an intelligent intention presided over it. The accident produced no order, that is to say, any situation which indicates the need for existence of planned reports and constans. So nothing, by the effect of chance, can happen or succeed one another in a similar fashion; and it is the opposite effect, that is to say the continuity, perpetuity and always the same return of the same causes, the same results and the same phenomena which, from all time, must have attested to reason human existence of a providence, source and immutable principle of lence that governs the universe.
The works of man therefore come closest to those of the author of nature, according to whether we discover there the most applications of the intelligent principle, which man alone among all created beings has received from the divinity. It is through order that this principle of intelligence manifests itself ; it is also what we admire in the organization of societies, in the legislation of peoples, in the productions of genius, in all the works of industry. It is towards the perfection of order that the meditations of philosophers, the research of scholars, and the work of artists constantly tend .
Among all the arts, there is none where the existence and application of order are better felt than in architecture, considered not only in terms of the physical relations it has with the needs of men. , but still more particularly in those intellectual combinations that art, as the production of the mind, takes pleasure in manifesting and make sensitive to the eyes to satisfy reason and taste.
What is called order is therefore a thing on which there is a general feeling among all men. We can say that it is in their nature to tend to it; but in this genre, as in many others, not all succeed; and those who come closest to it, have the most and the best studied the laws in the book of nature, which, although open to all, is understood only by the few . This study only reaches its highest degree among peoples and among men where the greatest and most perfect civilization will have developed. the faculties proper to grasp, in their causes and in their effects, the properties of the relations which unite between them physical objects and the things of intelligence. When we observe which are the peoples who have devoted themselves the most to this study, we also notice that it is among them that the arts of imitation have reached this eminent degree of accuracy, harmony, truth, of proportion, all qualities which emanate from the general principle of order.
Among these arts, as we have already said, architecture, which consists only of relationships, is the art whose perfection can most easily be measured by the order that There will be seen dominating, and by the evidence with which it will show itself there , No doubt that in all the architectures the most foreign to each other there is some element of order. An absolute negation of order cannot perhaps exist in any work of men, and one will always find some idea of it even in the hut or in the most shapeless cabin of the savage; but it is clear that in theory the notion of order will only be applied to the work which will bring its character to the highest degree.
However, the order par excellence in architecture will be that which will be based on the most complete system, that is to say, the one where the principle of intelligence will be shown the most ; who will have coordinated in the fairest and most constant manner, the relations of each part with the whole, and of the whole with each part, by the harmony of proportions.
But it is, as we will say elsewhere (see PRO- PORTION), on the idea of proportion that the greatest number takes the change. This name is very improperly given to the principal ratios of any object whatever: each object doubtless has ratios of height, width, & c. but these simple measurement ratios do not make the proportion. It is really only the bodies called organized which have proportions; it means a single word. Thus, from the size of the branch of each tree we will not conclude either the size or the size of the tree, because we know how many chances would make this rule faulty and misleading by generalizing its application. Rather} each animal is organized in a manner so constant in their kind, and the Special Rapporteur ports of one of its members with the body are so uniform, only one party makes you acquainted with the measure at all (ex ungue leoneni); and conversely we can say it at all.
This is what is called proportion; this is the image of order. there the order par excellence applied to the works of architecture, it will not be difficult to discern, among the various known architectures, which one will deserve the preference over the others. It is clear that this offers us a measure which depends neither on whim nor on prevention. We do not claim here to travel through all the countries of the earth to submit to this parallel the different ways of building (which the articles of this Dictionary have already made known); a short exposition will suffice for the result of this theory. Only two architectures can be subjected to this research: that of Egypt and that which is called Gothic.
Was there in Egypt a principle of order so regular, so generalized and constant, that one can deduce from it a true system of proportions? Whatever prejudice which the monuments to this day well known of this architecture may have given rise to in its favor, we believe that we were mistaken in seeking to apply to them the same properties as those of the Greeks. First, the extraordinary simplicity of the masses of Egyptian buildings, their constant monotony, the completely routine spirit of the nation in all its works, make us regard it as as improbable as it would have been. useless, a study of reports intended to please many blow more to the mind than to the eyes. We know that a temple, as a whole and in its parts, was necessarily subject in Egypt to the types which a religion hostile to any novelty had once consecrated; it is therefore easily persuaded that such an edifice did not claim either the particular genius of the artist, or those multiplied attempts which he needs to discover the causes of the impressions of art on our mind. In Egypt, greatness and solidity were the qualities which religion had allowed the architect to express; but greatness and solidity can exist without any system of proportions . Massive columns, sives, massive walls, that’s all Egyptian architecture .
We find there, it is true, columns variously streamlined, and capitals varied and even very diverse in their forms; but it has never been noticed that a necessary relation has been established between the forms and the ornaments of a certain capital, and the conformation as the decoration of such a column; it has never been possible to establish that there was a constant relation between the height of such and such a capital and that of such a column; and we see a capital with leaves (for example) and on several floors on the same column, sometimes lower, sometimes higher or slender, sometimes thicker or slender. A certain uniformity of measurement reigns, it is true, between the height and the width of some columns; but these things are found everywhere, and the simplest methods of construction serve to establish this relation. There were certainly in Egypt measures fixed everywhere, and they made a temple, a column, as one made a statue, with the compass , that is all; but the compass or the simple and mechanical use of this instrument does not give these relations of harmony, taste and beauty, on which the order par excellence rests. Too much uniformity and servility prevented in Egypt the establishment of a system of proportions , the result of order, the result of which the property is to manifest the intelligence which produces it. There were general measures, that is to say, those which need and custom establish in the routine products of industry between the principal parts; but we did not know this regulating module which can become the measure of all buildings, and which can be found in each of their smallest parts.
The excess of simplicity and was opposed, in Egyptian architecture, to the discovery of a system of relations both fixed in their principles and variable in their applications, according to the differences in character and ideas that art wants to express. We have seen, on the contrary, in the GOTHIC article, that the kind of building to which this name is given was born, by a diverse fate, from so many heterogeneous elements, and originated in times of such confusion. , of such ignorance, that the extreme diversity of forms, inspired by the sole whim, prevented any true system of proportion to be introduced into an architecture which does not really express to the mind, constitute, that the idea of disorder.
Here we have to agree on the real notions that this subject comprises ; for many people are mistaken in their ideas of order and proportion in architecture. When you enter the interior of a Gothic church, you are struck by the regular arrangement of the pillars and arches of which it is composed; one admires there the intertwining of its vaults, the lightness and what is called the harshness of its masses; but all these merits, whatever their value, have nothing to do with the principle of the kind of order which we say to be that of the system of an architecture. Lots of things dictate ted by instinct alone can produce beauties in this art, and have no proportions in the sense that must be attached to this word. So question Gothic architecture, ask it if its pillars have fixed relations between them and between their parts: it will answer you, by the facts, that the same pillar could have in height three times or six times and even more the same size; that none of this is so determined as to be constant neither in the buildings, nor even in a single building, whatever its size. Ask him if the marquee has a relation of size, shape and ornament with its pillar: it will answer you, by the facts, that the only whim or the chance decide. Ask her if she has any limbs, protrusions, details corresponding to this or that arrangement: she will tell you that she has never been concerned with other relations than those of the building and the building. ‘execution; it will show you the most squashed supports next to the slimmest spindles; it will show you assemblages of small columns which support nothing, and sometimes a multitude of these useless supports, sometimes masses in cantilever or without supports. If you ask her the reason for her church exteriors, she will only answer you with an indigestible confusion of incoherent parts and details, cut out by the most ignorant whim. If it makes elevations, it never gives them their support, and it takes pride in a procerity which aspires only to appear a tour de force.
There is therefore no system of proportion in the Gothic; there is not a principle of order which makes it possible to ask each part, each detail, each ornament, the reason which coordinates them with the whole and with other parts, other details, other ornaments. We believe that it is very useless to show that such a spirit never entered the dienne (see this word), the product of an even more limited instinct , and where the luxury of the most disorganized ornaments takes the place of forms which could constitute any way of building. Even more, no doubt, we will be dispensed from looking for the slightest indication of the principle of order in question here, in the lightness of the structures of China and among a people where everything has been, at all times, reduced in routine. Let us therefore now see that the principle of order which we have not been able to find in any of the known architectures, not —only is legibly written in Greek architecture, but cannot fail to be there, since this architec- ture owed him, in a way, his birth. Indeed we must remember (we will not give the proofs here, see the words ARCHITECTURE, WOOD, FRAMEWORK, DORIQUE, etc.) that Greek architecture , as the monuments present it to us with the developments and modifications who fixed it and made it applicable to all peoples, did not have as its sole creator this instinct which everywhere learned to cut and assemble stones. She alone had, during the centuries which formed her, a kind of model; and this model was itself a combination of parts matched and brought into constant relation by necessity and reasoning. She na- therefore quits a pre-existing combination, of which it adopted the main data; hence its principle of order. The Laws, which formed the first edifices in Greece , produced there a compound, by assembly, of parts, which were found to be subordinated to ratios naturally uniform everywhere. This is what brought into the assimilation that the stone construction made of it, that regularity of arrangement from which, however, the spirit of imitation was able to set aside what could have introduced the immutable fixity of routine. Nothing was taken from the model except the spirit of order and proportion, and the variety introduced into it a sufficient dose of freedom for art to be able to bend itself to the expression of more. of some kind of quality.
But in giving itself a system of proportions, in the first combinations of wood construction , art still needed to study the spirit of proportions in a larger model, that of nature. So what happened in Greece happened nowhere else; it is because in proportion as the imitation of nature was perfected in the images which the art of drawing made of the human body, this spirit of imitation must necessarily have had its influence on architecture.
Now, it is here that, by reflecting on the common bond which unites all the arts, we see both how and why nature, in the human body, had to react on the art of building of the Egyptians, Gothics, Indians and other peoples, and also how and why the architecture which has the most order, or of fixed proportions , was that of the people who carried the study and the science of proportions furthest into the painting, delineation and sculpture of bodies.
It was through this that the architect, comparing his work to that of nature in organized beings, gave himself a new model by analogy; and this new model consisted (as we said in the articles quoted above), not in the positive form of any being, but in the system of laws which govern the order. organization of all living beings. As each of these beings is a compound of members and organs of which all the dimensions, in each species, are such that one of these parts indicates the measure and of the other parts and the whole, the architect imposed himself to even the condition of regulating the constituent parts of the edifice in such a correspondence between them, that the size of the whole could determine that of the column, for example, and vice versa. It was the same with the secondary parts: thus each division of an entablature was endowed with the faculty of making known the measure of the entablature; a simple tri- glyph determined the width of each column- is lying; the intersection could indicate the diameter of the column; the diameter of the column could become in the building the regulator of all the spaces; and all these proportions were found, as they are in nature, not geometrical data which would also have reduced art to a servile monoto- nie, but only a general principle of order susceptible of numerous modifications, comprising , in a word, the same varieties as those of which nature gives us both precept and example. But this imitation of the proportional system of organized beings, transported in architecture, does not should not be reduced to being a simple principle of abstract order, and proper only to satisfy reason.
The arts which imitate the human body do not limit the study of natural proportions to the simple regularity which it carries in the imitative method. The result of this study was to fix the attention of the imitator on the effects which derive from them, and these effects are the various impressions of pleasure which the very variety of proportions which nature modifies in beings, according to sexes, according to the different qualities which suit them, according to the properties which it distributes in varying degrees among creatures. The imitation of the human body could not have been very long without discerning these varieties in its different ways, without our noticing that each kind of physical or even moral quality was distinguished in the external conformation. of bodies, by varieties of proportions which became the faithful indicator of a characteristic property. Thus, strength or lightness, agility, skill, grace, nobility , beauty, were represented in the mind by a certain agreement between forms and proportions , agreement where eye could not be mistaken. The proportions were a kind of language which expressed first the most sensitive and salient qualities, then those which are its nuances. There is nobody who does not know this graduated scale of all the physical and moral characters, of which all kinds of nature, in the Attic statues, offer the collection.
The same must have happened to architecture, as soon as it had received an organization which assimilated it to works of imitation of nature.
Architecture had the need to express to the eyes and to the mind the character of the physical or moral qualities which can be made perceptible by the agreement of the forms which constitute it, by the relations of these forms among themselves, by the diversity of masses, by variations in measures, by the meaning of details and ornaments, all things which manifest such and such a quality, and produce on the spectator such or such determinable impression. This was one of the results of the principle of order, no longer understood in a universal or physical sense, but in the moral acceptance which spirit and taste give it. It is in fact in the nature of order that each work of art, like every work of nature, bears the exterior character of the qualities which constitute it .
We understand that it is only a question here of Moral and intellectual order. Any building can undoubtedly be sufficient for the material needs of its use, without art shaping the external forms with the aim of pleasing; but pleasure is also a need for man cultivated by society, and it is this need which is the father of the fine arts. As soon as he made himself felt, he asked architecture to express to the eyes, and by constant signs, the main characters that the forms, proportions and details, accessories of a building, can make. sensitive.
The main characters are those to which the ideas of power or strength, grace and elegance, lightness and richness are attached. However, like these ideas, which must emerge from the combination of lines, forms and measures, are manifested most clearly by heaviness or lightness, there had to be established a progression of these two qualities, in the relative proportion of the masses of each building, and consequently supports or columns.
Hence that graduation of heaviness or lightness, which in Greek architecture distinguishes and characterizes each of the modes applicable to buildings. What the Greeks called ergasia, the Romans ratio columnarum, is what we call an order of columns.
The order, in fact, and the character of the quality that it expresses does not exist only in every species of columns, they are found in all parts of the building; but the column is the indicator and the regulator: this is why the name of order has been given to the supports of different proportion, of different style and form, and variously adorned. called Doric, Ionic, or Corinthian. In these different words (see them) we have dealt with the kind of each of the orders, their formation, their character, their property and their diversity , and we will not go into further details here. towards them.
The aim of this article was, by analyzing the general notions of order reapplied to architecture, to trate how and why Vordre course, not like any provision, but as em- systematic ployment proportions, was the privilege of Greek architecture, and how each kind of gold columns called ^ Ist, was the kind of proportions , either material for the eye, or moral for the mind, that art knows how to implement in different degrees.
It is in fact constant that each order of columns, and by the nature of the proportions which constitute it , and by the effect of the character which these proportions have imparted to it, serve to render a species of principal quality to which correspond its measure, its form, its ornament. But we must not believe that each of these three modes is limited to what is absolute in each of these qualities.
Thus the Doric order, which signifies force, can express many different degrees and shades of this quality, by numerous degrees of pesantor and massiveness. The slightest knowledge of Doric monuments of antiquity teaches us that one can count there a rather large number of nuances. In fact, it is with this sort of imitation of abstract qualities, like that of the properties of the human body, where one can, in the expression of bodily force, also discern a fairly large number of degrees, from gravity to the beginning of lightness. This is so among the Greeks, from the Doric, which is less than four diameters in height, to that which approaches six in height.
If the Doric order is that which presides over the imitation or the expression of the force, of the simplicity and of all the varieties which are like the demi-all of this mode, the Ionic order, which comes after, does – dre by the raising of its shaft, by the more slender shape of its mass, by the elegance of its capital, by the removal of the commemorative details of the primitive construction, that he is the representative of that character which, in the conformation of the human body, belongs to a certain sex or to such an age, and which, in the moral scale of sensations and ideas, is characteristic of certain forms discourse, certain modes of eloquence or poetry.
As one cannot make stronger than what is already strong in the absolute sense, without becoming heavy, nor lighter than what is elegant, without falling into thin, one cannot also go beyond what is rich, without going overboard in luxury; and the Corinthian order , as a type and image of both elegance and wealth, finds, in the varied use of its its proportions, its forms, its ornaments, enough to satisfy all the degrees which may be involved in the expression of the quality which is assigned to it. Also, experience has shown that we were wrong in trying to bid on this order by forming the so-called composite.
Each of these orders is therefore, in buildings, the indicator of the forms, taste and character on which the system of moral order is based, which is found in Greek architecture, and which it alone has been able to bring together. to the physical order of proportions, or of the positive relations of the whole with each part; so that what is pleasure, ornament and wealth, Also found distributed in each part.
What we have just said on the characteristic property of the three Greek orders, and on the kind of quality which each offers the expression, must demonstrate what was and what will always be the error of those who have tried or who will still try to invent new orders. This error arises from the false point of view from which one is led to consider the kinds of columns which are called orders, and the kinds of orders which result from them.
It has already been observed that there are three very distinct things in the three Greek orders: their form, their ornamentation and their proportion. Each of the three sedis- of the others in each of these three objects; Now, there is already a great mistake in claiming to invent a new order by the change of only one of these three things; for if one only changes the form without changing the ornament, or the ornament without the form, or both without the proportion, nothing new will have been done; we will have produced only inconsistency and disparity, since these three things are necessary for each other, and depend on a common reason which united them, not arbitrarily, but by virtue of the general principle of harmony.
Because the don’t think about types of their apparent shapes. The Greeks, in fact, did not invent order; they only recognized that in architecture, as in everything else, there was the plus, the minus, and the midpoint between the two, since buildings, whether we know it or not, whether we like it or not, will always express in their appearances the most or the least solidity, seriousness, simplicity or lightness, pleasure or variety.
As between this plus and this minus there cannot be an average term which unites in any degree these opposite qualities, the Greeks have done nothing but fix these three terms: in the Doric, by the characters which give the fairest idea of solid supports, of grave ornaments, of short proportions; in the Corinthian, by the most elegant forms , the richest decoration, the most slender proportion; in the middle or ionic order, by the average use of forms, ornaments and proportions equally distant from the simplicity of the one and the richness of the other.
Consequently, it does not depend on whim to transpose the properties of each order, without disassorting what simple common sense unites: for each of these three things, form, ornament and proportion, being, at the judgment alone with the eyes and with the most ordinary instinct , in a necessary correlation with the two others, it would be to thwart the very nature of things to put what is richer on what there is. a poorer, and vice versa.
This is the elementary principle of orders; which does not mean that it is and must be unnatural to give the solid order another capital than the doric, or the elegant order another capital than the Corinthian. Nothing, doubtless, in general theory will oppose it, provided that in each of these orders the new capital corresponds to the simplest character in one, and the richest in one. the other. In fact, more than one variety has taken place in this genre, especially with regard to the Corinthian; and if they have rarely obtained success, it is because these novelties only stood out by an excess which added nothing to the expression of the given character, or because they remained below, or because they go beyond.
Such has ordinarily been the fate of pretended inventions , the authors of which invented nothing and could invent nothing, for nothing is found outside the law of nature; and this law having been once discovered, by the genius of the art, in the three combinations which we have developed, other conquest of the spirit of innovation than by oddity, that is to say disorder.
But the most ignorant of all the pretensions was that of believing to invent a new order by some change of leaves or symbols in the capital. Whether one substitutes for the acanthus or the laurel the oak leaf, the fleur-de-lis, such or such other symbol, nothing prevents it, and a multitude of these variants are seen in the antique. Well, we will have made, not a new capital, but a new ornament of a capital; still less a new order, for order does not depend on this any more than the proportion of the human figure or of its head. is the dress or the hairstyle. We have already stated several of these considerations in the words under which the three Greek orders are described , and we will not extend this article with new notions in this regard. To conform to the use of dictionaries, which according to the nomenclatures received have multiplied the names of the orders without any reason , we will content ourselves with placing their simple designations here.