Saturday, August 26, 2006

Del dicho al hecho, hay mucho trecho.

I take courage in remembering, as William Ware is so fond of reminding his reader, that following the Orders will not stifle a good architect's talent and creativity, but they will keep a bad architect from designing complete trash.

Note the new link: Humanist Art Review

Begining to Understand the Orders

A spider conducts operations that resemble those of a weaver, and a bee puts to shame many an architect in the construction of her cells. But what distinguishes the worst of architects from the best of bees is this, that the architect raises his structure in imagination before he erects it in reality. At the end of every labour-process, we get a result that already existed in the imagination of the labourer at its commencement.

Marx, Capital
Image: Phidias Showing the Frieze of the Parthenon to his Friends, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema

Monday, August 14, 2006

Le meilleur des mondes possibles

Beux arts to illustrate theological imagination:

The phrase "the best of all possible worlds" was coined by the German philosopher Gottfried Leibniz in his 1710 work Essais de Théodicée sur la bonté de Dieu. It is the central argument in Leibniz's theodicy, or his attempt to solve the problem of evil. Leibniz was concerned with the question of theodicy: how, if God is good and omnipotent, do we account for the suffering and injustice that exists in the world?

Imagine that all the world is made of good and evil. The best possible world would have the most good and the least evil. Courage is better than no courage. Yet without evil to challenge us there can be no courage. Since evil brings out the best aspects of mankind evil is regarded as necessary. So in creating this world God made some evil to make the best of all possible worlds.

I think the Beaux-Arts style is an attempt, though conventions, to remind us that this is the best of all possible worlds: it is, in fact, orderly!

What do you think?

Ecole des Beaux-Arts image by D'Espouy. Click for more!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

What I Learned About This Week


Lithography was invented by Alois Senefelder in Bohemia in 1798, and it was the first new printing process since the invention of relief printing in the fifteenth century. In the early days of lithography, a smooth piece of limestone was used (hence the name "lithography"—"lithos" is the ancient Greek word for stone). After the oil-based image was put on the surface, acid burned the image onto the surface; gum arabic, a water soluble solution, was then applied, sticking only to the non-oily surface and sealing it. During printing, water adhered to the gum arabic surfaces and avoided the oily parts, while the oily ink used for printing did the opposite.