Architecture Reviewing Theory: Sir Henry Wotton's Dialectical Articulation of Vitruvian Theory

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Show simple item record Stewart, SC 2009-12-21T02:35:14Z 2003-01
dc.identifier.citation Architectural Theory Review, 2003, 8 (2), pp. 186 - 200
dc.identifier.issn 1326-4826
dc.identifier.other C1 en_US
dc.description.abstract In the introduction to his text of 1624, The Elements of Architecture Sir Henry Wotton briefly, and critically, reviews the texts of the Vitruvian theoretical tradition to date. He concludes that none of his predecessors have adequately articulated the precepts of ancient architecture. Their texts, he variously suggests, are muddled, overly concerned with rhetorical style, or limited by their attention to purely local (non-English) conditions. He proposes his Elements of Architecture as a remedy for this lamentable slate of affairs. It would be an error to dismiss this introduction as mere rhetorical flourish, for its critical focus upon the style of Wotton's predecessors draws attention to the deliberate construction of his own text. It reveals the parallel between the architecture of Wotton's prose and that of an exemplary Vitruvian edifice: both building and text are ruled by order, clarity, symmetry, economy and decorum. Wotton's text might be read as an eloquent argument for the proximity of theory to architecture. The analogous relation of these two realms of practice is a familiar theme within classical discourse. However, this paper argues that Wotton. for all his apparent simplicity, is making a sophisticated claim. He emphasises not only the intelligibility of theoretical discourse, but also its resistance to closure. The Aristotelian dialectic of his 'method' acknowledges the limits of authorship. In Wotton's text the proximity of theory and architecture allows a reversal of the usual relationship: architecture reviews theory as much as theory reviews architecture. This paper reflects on Wotton's dialectical method. and observes the potential for architecture to review theory
dc.publisher University of Sydney
dc.relation.isbasedon 10.1080/13264820309478495
dc.title Architecture Reviewing Theory: Sir Henry Wotton's Dialectical Articulation of Vitruvian Theory
dc.type Journal Article
dc.parent Architectural Theory Review
dc.journal.volume 2
dc.journal.volume 8
dc.journal.number 2 en_US
dc.publocation Sydney, Australia en_US
dc.publocation Melbourne
dc.identifier.startpage 186 en_US
dc.identifier.endpage 200 en_US DAB.Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building en_US
dc.conference Verified OK en_US
dc.for 1201 Architecture
dc.personcode 990978
dc.percentage 100 en_US Architecture en_US
dc.classification.type FOR-08 en_US
dc.edition 1
dc.description.keywords Architecture; Architecture Design & Theory; en_US
dc.description.keywords Architecture
dc.description.keywords Architecture Design & Theory
pubs.embargo.period Not known
pubs.organisational-group /University of Technology Sydney
pubs.organisational-group /University of Technology Sydney/Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building
pubs.organisational-group /University of Technology Sydney/Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building/School of Design
utslib.copyright.status Closed Access 2015-04-15 12:17:09.805752+10
utslib.collection.history Closed (ID: 3)

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