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An architectural style is a set of characteristics and features that make a building or other structure notable or historically identifiable. It is a sub-class of style in the visual arts generally, and most styles in
architecture upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted), Plan of the second floor (attic storey) of the Hôtel de Brionne in Paris – 1734. Architecture (Latin ''archi ...

architecture
relate closely to a wider contemporary artistic style. A style may include such elements as
form Form is the shape A shape or figure is the form of an object or its external boundary, outline, or external Surface (mathematics), surface, as opposed to other properties such as color, Surface texture, texture, or material type. A plane shape, ...
, method of
construction Construction is a general term meaning the and to form , , or ,"Construction" def. 1.a. 1.b. and 1.c. ''Oxford English Dictionary'' Second Edition on CD-ROM (v. 4.0) Oxford University Press 2009 and comes from ''constructio'' (from ''com-' ...

construction
,
building materials Building material is material used for construction. Many naturally occurring substances, such as clay, rocks, sand, and wood, even twigs and leaves, have been used to construct buildings. Apart from naturally occurring materials, many man-mad ...
, and regional character. Most
architecture upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted), Plan of the second floor (attic storey) of the Hôtel de Brionne in Paris – 1734. Architecture (Latin ''archi ...

architecture
can be classified within a chronology of styles which changes over time reflecting changing fashions, beliefs and religions, or the emergence of new ideas, technology, or materials which make new styles possible. Styles therefore emerge from the history of a society. They are documented in the subject of
architectural history The history of architecture traces the changes in architecture File:Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted).jpg, upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de ...
. At any time several styles may be fashionable, and when a style changes it usually does so gradually, as architects learn and adapt to new ideas. The new style is sometimes only a rebellion against an existing style, such as
post-modernism Postmodernism is a broad movement that developed in the mid- to late 20th century across philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemol ...
(meaning "after modernism"), which in 21st century has found its own language and split into a number of styles which have acquired other names. Architectural Styles often spread to other places, so that the style at its source continues to develop in new ways while other countries follow with their own twist. For instance,
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in ...
ideas emerged in Italy around 1425 and spread to all of Europe over the next 200 years, with the French, German, English, and Spanish Renaissances showing recognisably the same style, but with unique characteristics. An architectural style may also spread through
colonialism Colonialism is a practice or policy of control by one people or power over other people or areas, often by establishing colony, colonies and generally with the aim of economic dominance. In the process of colonisation, colonisers may impose the ...

colonialism
, either by foreign colonies learning from their home country, or by settlers moving to a new land. One example is the
Spanish missions in California Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain , * gl, Reino de España, * oc, Reiaume d'Espanha, , , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_an ...
, brought by Spanish priests in the late 18th century and built in a unique style. After an architectural style has gone out of fashion, revivals and re-interpretations may occur. For instance,
classicism Classicism, in the arts The arts refers to the theory, human application and physical expression of creativity Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something somehow new and somehow valuable is formed. The created item may be intangibl ...
has been revived many times and found new life as
neoclassicism Neoclassicism (also spelled Neo-classicism; from Ancient Greek, Greek νέος ''nèos'', "new" and Ancient Greek, Greek κλασικός ''klasikόs'', "of the highest rank") was a Western cultural movement in the decorative arts, decorative a ...
. Each time it is revived, it is different. The Spanish mission style was revived 100 years later as the
Mission Revival The Mission Revival style was an architectural movement that began in the late 19th century for a colonial style's revivalism and reinterpretation, which drew inspiration from the late 18th and early 19th century Spanish missions in Californ ...
, and that soon evolved into the
Spanish Colonial Revival The Spanish Colonial Revival Style ( es, Arquitectura neocolonial española) is an Architectural style, architectural stylistic movement arising in the early 20th century based on the Spanish Colonial architecture of the Spanish colonization of the ...
.
Vernacular architecture Vernacular architecture is building done outside any academic tradition, and without professional guidance. This category encompasses a wide range and variety of building types, with differing methods of construction, from around the world, ...
is listed separately. As vernacular architecture is better understood as suggestive of culture, writ broadly (as well as a theory and a process rather than a thing-in-itself), it technically can encompass every architectural style--or none at all. In and of itself, vernacular architecture is not a style.


History of the concept of architectural style

Constructing schemes of the period styles of historic art and architecture was a major concern of 19th century scholars in the new and initially mostly German-speaking field of
art history
art history
. Important writers on the broad theory of style including
Carl Friedrich von Rumohr Carl Friedrich von Rumohr (6 January 1785, Reinhardtsgrimma – 25 July 1843) was a German art historian, writer, draughtsman and painter, agricultural historian, connoisseur of and writer about the culinary arts, art collector and patron of artis ...
,
Gottfried Semper Gottfried Semper (; 29 November 1803 – 15 May 1879) was a German architect, art critic An art critic is a person who is specialized in analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating art. Their written critiques or reviews contribute to art criticism a ...
, and
Alois Riegl Alois Riegl, ca. 1890 Alois Riegl (14 January 1858, Linz Linz (; ; cs, Linec) is the capital of Upper Austria and List of cities and towns in Austria, third-largest city in Austria. In the north of the country, it is on the Danube south of the ...

Alois Riegl
in his ''
Stilfragen ''Stilfragen: Grundlegungen zu einer Geschichte der Ornamentik'' is a book on the history of ornament by the Austrian art historian Alois Riegl Alois Riegl, ca. 1890 Alois Riegl (14 January 1858, Linz Linz (; ; cs, Linec) is the capital of ...
'' of 1893, with
Heinrich Wölfflin Heinrich Wölfflin (; 21 June 1864, Winterthur , neighboring_municipalities = Brütten, Dinhard Dinhard is a municipalities of Switzerland, municipality in the district of Winterthur (district), Winterthur, which is located in the Cantons of ...
and
Paul Frankl Paul Frankl (22 April 1878 – 30 January 1962) was an art historian born in Austro-Hungarian, Austria-Hungary. Frankl is most known for his writings on the history and principles of architecture, which he famously presented within a Gestalt psy ...
continued the debate into the 20th century.
Paul Jacobsthal Paul Jacobsthal (23 February 1880 in Berlin Berlin (; ) is the and by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inhabitants, as of 31 December 2019 makes it the , according to population within city limits. One of 's , Berlin is surrounded ...
and
Josef Strzygowski 400px, Strzygowski in Vienna Josef Strzygowski (March 7, 1862 – January 2, 1941) was a Polish-Austrian art historian known for his theories promoting influences from the art of the Near East on European art, for example that of Early Christian Ar ...
are among the art historians who followed Riegl in proposing grand schemes tracing the transmission of elements of styles across great ranges in time and space. This type of art history is also known as
formalism Formalism may refer to: * Form (disambiguation) * Formal (disambiguation) * Legal formalism, legal positivist view that the substantive justice of a law is a question for the legislature rather than the judiciary * Formalism (linguistics) * Scienti ...
, or the study of forms or shapes in art. Semper, Wölfflin, and Frankl, and later Ackerman, had backgrounds in the history of architecture, and like many other terms for period styles, "Romanesque" and "Gothic" were initially coined to describe architectural styles, where major changes between styles can be clearer and more easy to define, not least because style in architecture is easier to replicate by following a set of rules than style in figurative art such as painting. Terms originated to describe architectural periods were often subsequently applied to other areas of the visual arts, and then more widely still to music, literature and the general culture. In architecture stylistic change often follows, and is made possible by, the discovery of new techniques or materials, from the Gothic
rib vault A rib vault or ribbed vault is an architectural feature for covering a wide space, such as a church nave, composed of a framework of crossed or diagonal arched ribs. Variations were used in Roman architecture, Byzantine architecture, Islamic arc ...
to modern metal and
reinforced concrete Reinforced concrete (RC), also called reinforced cement concrete (RCC), is a composite material A composite material (also called a composition material or shortened to composite, which is the common name) is a material which is produced from ...
construction. A major area of debate in both art history and archaeology has been the extent to which stylistic change in other fields like painting or pottery is also a response to new technical possibilities, or has its own impetus to develop (the ''kunstwollen'' of Riegl), or changes in response to social and economic factors affecting patronage and the conditions of the artist, as current thinking tends to emphasize, using less rigid versions of
Marxist Marxism is a method of socioeconomic Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how modern societies progress, ...
art history. Although style was well-established as a central component of art historical analysis, seeing it as the over-riding factor in art history had fallen out of fashion by World War II, as other ways of looking at art were developing, and a reaction against the emphasis on style developing; for
Svetlana Alpers Svetlana Leontief Alpers (born February 10, 1936) is an American art historian, also a professor Professor (commonly abbreviated as Prof.) is an academic An academy (Attic Greek: Ἀκαδήμεια; Koine Greek Ἀκαδημία) is an ins ...
, "the normal invocation of style in art history is a depressing affair indeed". According to James Elkins "In the later 20th century criticisms of style were aimed at further reducing the Hegelian elements of the concept while retaining it in a form that could be more easily controlled".


Mannerism

While many architectural styles explore harmonious ideals,
Mannerism Mannerism, also known as Late Renaissance, is a style in European art ''; by Johannes Vermeer Johannes Vermeer ( , , #Pronunciation of name, see below; October 1632 – December 1675) was a Dutch Baroque Period Painting, painter who speciali ...
wants to take style a step further and explores the
aesthetics Aesthetics, or esthetics (), is a branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical reality R ...

aesthetics
of hyperbole and exaggeration.Gombrich, E H. The Story of Art London:Phaidon Press Ltd, Mannerism is notable for its intellectual sophistication as well as its artificial (as opposed to naturalistic) qualities. Mannerism favours compositional tension and instability rather than balance and clarity.Art and Illusion, E. H. Gombrich, The definition of Mannerism, and the phases within it, continues to be the subject of debate among art historians. An example of Mannerist architecture is the
Villa Farnese The Villa Farnese, also known as Villa Caprarola, is a pentagon In geometry Geometry (from the grc, γεωμετρία; ''wikt:γῆ, geo-'' "earth", ''wikt:μέτρον, -metron'' "measurement") is, with arithmetic, one of the oldest b ...
at
Caprarola Caprarola is a town and ''comune The (; plural: ) is a of , roughly equivalent to a or . Importance and function The provides essential public services: of births and deaths, , and maintenance of local roads and public works. It is h ...
in the rugged country side outside of
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...

Rome
. The proliferation of engravers during the 16th century spread Mannerist styles more quickly than any previous styles. A centre of Mannerist design was
Antwerp Antwerp (; nl, Antwerpen ; french: Anvers ) is a city in Belgium and the capital of Antwerp (province), Antwerp province in the Flemish Region. With a population of 520,504,
Antwerp
during its 16th-century boom. Through Antwerp, Renaissance and Mannerist styles were widely introduced in England, Germany, and northern and eastern Europe in general. Dense with ornament of "Roman" detailing, the display doorway at Colditz Castle exemplifies this northern style, characteristically applied as an isolated "set piece" against unpretentious vernacular walling. During the Mannerist Renaissance period, architects experimented with using architectural forms to emphasize solid and spatial relationships. The Renaissance ideal of harmony gave way to freer and more imaginative rhythms. The best known architect associated with the Mannerist style was
Michelangelo Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (; 6 March 1475 – 18 February 1564), known simply as Michelangelo (), was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect and poet of the High Renaissance In art history, the High Renaissance was ...

Michelangelo
(1475–1564), who is credited with inventing the
giant order In classical architecture, a giant order, also known as colossal order, is an order whose columns or pilasters span two (or more) storeys. At the same time, smaller orders may feature in arcades or window and door framings within the storeys tha ...
, a large pilaster that stretches from the bottom to the top of a façade. He used this in his design for the
Campidoglio The Capitolium or Capitoline Hill ( ; it, Campidoglio ; la, Mons Capitolinus ), between the Roman Forum, Forum and the Campus Martius, is one of the seven hills of Rome, Seven Hills of Rome. The hill was earlier known as ''Mons Saturnius' ...

Campidoglio
in Rome. Prior to the 20th century, the term ''Mannerism'' had negative connotations, but it is now used to describe the historical period in more general non-judgmental terms.Arnold Hauser. ''Mannerism: The Crisis of the Renaissance and the Origins of Modern Art''. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press,1965).


See also

* Historicism (architecture) *
History of architecture The history of architecture traces the changes in architecture upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted), Plan of the second floor (attic storey) of th ...
* List of architectural styles *
Revivalism (architecture) Revivalism in architecture is the use of visual styles that consciously echo the style of a Architectural style, previous architectural era. Modern-day revival styles can be summarized within New Classical architecture. Revivalism is not to be con ...


Notes


References

*"Alpers in Lang": Alpers, Svetlana, "Style is What You Make It", in ''The Concept of Style'', ed. Berel Lang, (Ithaca:
Cornell University Press The Cornell University Press is a division of Cornell University Cornell University is a and , based in . Founded in 1865 by and , Cornell was founded with the intention to teach and make contributions in all fields of knowledge — fr ...
, 1987), 137–162
google books
* Elkins, James, "Style" in
Grove Art Online ''Grove Art Online'' is the online edition of ''The Dictionary of Art'', often referred to as the ''Grove Dictionary of Art'', and part of Oxford Art Online, an internet gateway to online art reference publications of Oxford University Press, whi ...
, Oxford Art Online, Oxford University Press, accessed March 6, 2013
subscriber link
* Elsner, Jas, "Style" in ''Critical Terms for Art History'', Nelson, Robert S. and Shiff, Richard, 2nd Edn. 2010, University of Chicago Press, , 9780226571690
google books
* Gombrich, E. "Style" (1968), orig. ''International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences'', ed. D. L. Sills, xv (New York, 1968), reprinted in Preziosi, D. (ed.) ''The Art of Art History: A Critical Anthology'' (see below), whose page numbers are used. *"Kubler in Lang": Kubler, George, ''Towards a Reductive Theory of Style'', in Lang *Lang, Berel (ed.), ''The Concept of Style'', 1987, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, , 9780801494390
google books
includes essays by Alpers and Kubler *Preziosi, D. (ed.) ''The Art of Art History: A Critical Anthology'', Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998, {{Authority control Architectural design Architectural history