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

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Show simple item record Stewart, Susan en_US 2009-12-21T02:35:14Z 2009-12-21T02:35:14Z 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.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 en_US
dc.publisher University of Sydney en_US
dc.relation.isbasedon 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 DAB.Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building en_US
dc.conference Verified OK en_US
dc.for 120100 en_US
dc.personcode 990978 en_US
dc.percentage 100 en_US Architecture en_US
dc.classification.type FOR-08 en_US
dc.description.keywords Architecture; Architecture Design & Theory; en_US
dc.staffid 990978 en_US

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