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The Poetry of Architecture

John Ruskin

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .valleys has a malignant operation on the mind; and even the mountaineers, though generally shrewd and intellectual, have no perceptible nationality: they have no language, except a mixture of Italian and bad German; they have no peculiar turn of mind; they might be taken as easily for Germans as for Swiss. No correspondence, consequently, can exist between national architecture and national character, where the latter is not distinguishable. Generally speaking, then, the Swiss cottage cannot be said to be built in good taste; but it is occasionally picturesque, frequently pleasing, and, under a favorable concurrence of circumstances, beautiful. It is not, however, a thing to be imitated; it is always, when out of its own country, incongruous; it never harmonizes with anything around it, and can therefore be employed only in mimicry of what does not exist, not in improvement of what does. I mean, that any one who has on his estate a dingle shaded with larches or pines, wit. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This architectural book is more John Ruskin's personal opinions on what constitutes beautiful architecture, then a description of various architectural styles. I read the kindle version, but unfortunately, it does not have any of the pictures and suffers because of it. I did enjoy Ruskin's rant on t

This book is really about a poetical view of architecture. It is not very technical, it's most Ruskin's opinion on architecture subjects, but still a wonderful and interesting book.

As an architecture student, this was a very inspiring reading for me!

This is definitely an architecture nerd kind of read, but fitting with the title of his work Ruskin expresses his thoughts on architecture very poetically and beautifully. The focus of the writing is to compare and contrast the land, culture, and architecture of several countries in 19th Century Eur