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

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dc.contributor.author Stewart Susan en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2009-08-20T13:01:13Z
dc.date.available 2009-08-20T13:01:13Z
dc.date.issued 2003 en_US
dc.identifier 2003001701 en_US
dc.identifier.citation Stewart Susan 2003, 'Architecture Reviewing Theory: Sir Henry Wotton's Dialectical Articulation of Vitruvian Theory', University of Sydney, vol. 8, no. 2, pp. 186-200. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1326-4826 en_US
dc.identifier.other C1 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10453/844
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 hispredecessors have adequately articulated theprecepts 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 state 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 'sprose 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 ofpractice 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. TheAristotelian 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. Thispaper reflects on Wotton's dialectical method, and observes the potential for architecture to review theory. en_US
dc.publisher University of Sydney en_US
dc.relation.isbasedon http://www.arch.usyd.edu.au/research/research_publications.shtml#1 en_US
dc.title Architecture Reviewing Theory: Sir Henry Wotton's Dialectical Articulation of Vitruvian Theory en_US
dc.parent Architectural Theory Review en_US
dc.journal.volume 8 en_US
dc.journal.number 2 en_US
dc.publocation Sydney, Australia en_US
dc.identifier.startpage 186 en_US
dc.identifier.endpage 200 en_US
dc.cauo.name Design, Architecture and Building en_US
utslib.copyright.status Closed Access
utslib.copyright.date 2015-04-15 12:17:09.805752+10


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