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The following is from an email I sent out to my Gregorian schola:

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It's a few months late, but 2012 is the bicentenary of the birth of Augustus Pugin, the Victorian era's greatest Catholic architect and artist, and my personal all-time favorite designer. His most famous work is the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben in London, but he converted to Catholicism at the age of 23 and spent the bulk of his life designing churches and spearheading the Gothic revival movement in tracts and other writings, which he considered to be the only true Christian style of architecture. This guy was solely responsible for making it cool to have stained-glass windows inside your house. He also was a strong proponent of Gregorian chant, having written a tract called "An Earnest Plea for the Revival of the Ancient Plainsong". Pugin made a lot of enemies by condemning the architecture of most Catholic churches of his time for being constructed more like concert halls for the purpose of playing opera music and show tunes.

This video shows a BBC report for the bicentenary of Pugin's birth in 1812 with a solemn high Mass at the church where he attended and was buried (which he also designed). The church went on to serve the first Benedictine abbey in all of England since the Reformation.



The sermon preached that day: http://carthusianmartyrs.blogspot.com/20...pugin.html

And there's also an article about him in the Catholic Herald: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-XTEAYTYuE1M/T1...-Pugin.png

Pugin died at only 40 years of age, driven mad by how the newly restored Catholic hierarchy in Britain (which had been abolished until 1850) largely rejected his vision of a reborn English Catholic Church that would embrace medieval style, saints, and chant.

Finally, check out the church of Saint Giles in Cheadle, considered his "masterpiece". He was provided unlimited money to build it by John Talbot, 16th Earl of Shrewsbury, a Catholic nobleman who shared Pugin's vision. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sheepdog_re...177910333/



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Pugin's House of Lords chamber:

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The library of Pugin's own house in Ramsgate:

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The interior of Saint Giles, Cheadle:

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The sedilia at Saint Giles:

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Pugin's "Medieval Court" at the Great Exhibition of 1851:

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Thanks, I needed a Gothic fix this week!  Also I didn't know Pugin was Catholic; I'm glad to hear that.

I have a book that illustrates some of Pugin's architectural decorations, but they make more sense now that I've seen these photos so I know what they look like in 3D and painted. I really like the flat painted designs on the walls too.
(06-12-2012, 04:51 PM)iona_scribe Wrote: [ -> ]Thanks, I needed a Gothic fix this week!  Also I didn't know Pugin was Catholic; I'm glad to hear that.

Not just Catholic, but so Catholic that he has his own Catholic Encyclopedia entry.

Catholic Encyclopedia on Augustus Pugin Wrote:His life was a battle for truth and fitness in architecture. He fought for the Christian inspiration of medievalism as against the cold paganism of the classic style. The victory ultimately fell to his side. The Englishman of today can with difficulty realize the condition of bad taste and ignorance which prevailed in matters of art at the commencement of the nineteenth century. "When Welby Pugin began his labours," says Ferrey, "there was not a single building of modern date, either public or private, which was not a reproach and a disgrace to the country." And although not alone, still more than any other man Pugin worked for a restoration. He revealed the principles of the medieval builder and the enlightened skill of their craftsmen. Others have since applied his principles. The occasional exaggeration or narrowness of his views has been corrected or avoided; and it remains true that the restoration of our ancient churches, as well as the varied beauty of many of our new structures, is due to the ability and unconquerable energy of Pugin. He was the man for his time. Gothic art was being studied, and many were turning their thoughts to the Church out of which it had sprung. Still, prejudice had to be broken down and ignorance removed; but the spirit of Pugin triumphed in the end.

I can only wish future editions of the Encyclopedia will end their entries on my own life the same way.
He is one of my favourites as well, HK. We must pray for his intercession. I will keep that pic of his library for when I create my definitive one for myself.
Thank you for this.
Marked for later viewing.
I only knew of his name kinda sorta, and what you told me in chat.

I would have thrown money at this fellow to do whatever the heck he wanted.
Oh, it's worth mentioning that even though I generally agree with Pugin and Fortescue that Baroque and Rococo architecture is pagan and unsuited for church, I'm still a fan of Baroque's champion, Gian Lorenzo Bernini. He was made by God to master marble. The problem is that not every Baroque church out there was designed by Bernini, so there are a lot of awful knock-offs. There are plenty of examples of bad Gothic, too, but I think Baroque is easier to mess up.

But yes, Pugin is right insofar as that, at the least, Gothic style is wholly, entirely informed by Christian principles. He so respected the style that he didn't even call it Gothic himself (since the word was originally a perjorative, as in "barbaric"). He called it Pointed architecture, or even just simply Christian architecture. Pugin's biography on the Catholic Encyclopedia describes him as being "disappointed" when he finally visited the churches of Rome. I feel the same way about my current visit to Pennsylvania. There's an abundance of Gothic revival churches here, but they're almost all Episcopal or Presbyterian. I've even seen more Gothic Baptist churches here than Catholic ones. I was driving down the "Main Line" outside of Philly and observing all the beautiful churches down the street. I then came by an ugly modernist one and mused to myself, in jest, "that's probably the Catholic one". The street sign came into view after a few seconds and, sure enough, it was in fact the Catholic one.
(06-13-2012, 01:54 AM)The_Harlequin_King Wrote: [ -> ]Oh, it's worth mentioning that even though I generally agree with Pugin and Fortescue that Baroque and Rococo architecture is pagan and unsuited for church, I'm still a fan of Baroque's champion, Gian Lorenzo Bernini. He was made by God to master marble. The problem is that not every Baroque church out there was designed by Bernini, so there are a lot of awful knock-offs. There are plenty of examples of bad Gothic, too, but I think Baroque is easier to mess up.
Here in Belgium we have quite a few baroque and classicist churches that still use the Gothic layout. Only our Jesuit churches are truly Italianate.

See this one for example, the baroque church of a béguinage :
[Image: 01801-2300-turnhout-heilig-kruis-kerk-02.jpg]
[Image: 01801-2300-turnhout-heilig-kruis-kerk-07.jpg]
http://www.kerkeninvlaanderen.be/pages/kerk_01801.htm
(06-13-2012, 01:54 AM)The_Harlequin_King Wrote: [ -> ]Oh, it's worth mentioning that even though I generally agree with Pugin and Fortescue that Baroque and Rococo architecture is pagan and unsuited for church, I'm still a fan of Baroque's champion, Gian Lorenzo Bernini. He was made by God to master marble. The problem is that not every Baroque church out there was designed by Bernini, so there are a lot of awful knock-offs. There are plenty of examples of bad Gothic, too, but I think Baroque is easier to mess up.

But yes, Pugin is right insofar as that, at the least, Gothic style is wholly, entirely informed by Christian principles. He so respected the style that he didn't even call it Gothic himself (since the word was originally a perjorative, as in "barbaric"). He called it Pointed architecture, or even just simply Christian architecture. Pugin's biography on the Catholic Encyclopedia describes him as being "disappointed" when he finally visited the churches of Rome. I feel the same way about my current visit to Pennsylvania. There's an abundance of Gothic revival churches here, but they're almost all Episcopal or Presbyterian. I've even seen more Gothic Baptist churches here than Catholic ones. I was driving down the "Main Line" outside of Philly and observing all the beautiful churches down the street. I then came by an ugly modernist one and mused to myself, in jest, "that's probably the Catholic one". The street sign came into view after a few seconds and, sure enough, it was in fact the Catholic one.

Agreed...Gothic is the only style that emerged from an entirely Christian philosophy and worldview.  I always feel weird for being a trad Catholic that doesn't care much for Baroque church architecture, but it's not wholly subjective on my part.

Hopefully some time you'll get to visit Chicago or Buffalo, or St. Patrick's in NYC.  You won't be disappointed there.  Some days I miss living in the East, there's not much here on the West Coast that's old enough to be neo-gothic.
(06-13-2012, 12:39 PM)iona_scribe Wrote: [ -> ]Agreed...Gothic is the only style that emerged from an entirely Christian philosophy and worldview.  I always feel weird for being a trad Catholic that doesn't care much for Baroque church architecture, but it's not wholly subjective on my part.

Pugin wisely said:

Augustus Pugin Wrote:Strange as it may appear to some, Rome has been, and ever will be, the corner and key-stone of pointed architecture. Every Gothic church throughout the world was erected when the signet of the Fisherman was the talisman of Christendom, and the foundation of every vast abbey and mighty cathedral is based on the Rock of Peter.
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