Sir Nicolaus Pevsner
Sir Nicolaus Pevsner was the first fine art historian who aimed at the spatiality of architecture,
it is rather surprise that axiomatic nature of architecture was not clarified
until the 20th century. However, as above-mentioned, since in the scene
of practice of fine art creator, it is material that stimulates inspiration
and stirs conation, posture of trying to take it from rear space cannot
be expected. Although theoretician has an overlooking observing eye, because
he/she is only a looker-on, being influenced strongly by the report reached
from the scene of actual creation, it may be no wonder that he/she cannot
avoid an overestimate viewpoint to material. When architecture became one
field of engineering, and architect became able to concentrate on drawing
up a plan and structural computation, they could break spell of material
for the first time.
Because degree of
overestimate to material is high even in architecture in which space has many
rates to material, to aiming at space is hardly looked forward in sculpture in
which most of human body space is occupied by material or painting in which
space is only recalled from scrap of plane which can be glimpsed at blank of
canvas. Sculpture is called in the name, plastic art, and it is natural that the
spatiality is not born in the mind at all.
As for carved statue in
which an actual existing matter is reproduced faithfully, because an occupied
space of object is given, it seems to be invariable. However, in case of
creating object existing nowhere, either in way of designing in the head or transforming
lump of material like trial and error, constant space in which something
occupies is cut off with distinguishing it from the others qualitatively. If
thinking that this act of cutting-off space is just the reorganization of
space, it is possible to understand easily that sculpture is one of typical
example. If thinking that to create a complete new one from nothing is the acme
of creativity, to take the viewpoint that sculpture is spatial reorganization
is equal to awaking to truly creative sculpture. As far as sculptor is content
with imitating sculpture, it will stay as plastic art forever.
In case of painting,
because drawing surface always lacks one dimension compared with object in
three dimensions, the spatiality is forced to be conscious continuously.
Therefore, because, whenever painter draws a painting, one dimension is lacked
necessarily, whatever its form is and also regardless of consciousness of
painter, this is the reorganization of space with negative meaning.
Then it becomes a left problem
whether or not painter is aware of this natural reorganization of space. If
painter awakes to the intentional reorganization here and tries to reproduce an
actual dimension inside of drawing surface, the aggressive reorganization of
Incidentally, paintings drawn by the natural reorganization of space, such as dropping a three-dimensional existence on a drawing surface of two dimensions, are "projection plan", and paintings drawn by the intentional reorganization, such as
reproducing an actual dimension, are "perspective plan", and they become two main types of painting composition.
Since photograph has recorded "perspective plan" optically without necessity of any device, contrary to painting, "perspective plan" is made naturally. Therefore, to make "projection plan" becomes the intentional reorganization of space. In the, if photographer not having question to mechanical record of "perspective plan", for him, spatial reorganization is decided only by the way of taking a position vector between his/her place of photographing and photographic subject. Because an optional position vector fills all three-dimensional space, to choose someone means choosing specific space. If considering this act of choosing as the reorganization in a wide sense, there is the reorganization of space in photograph surely as well, and this is included in the category of fine art.
Incidentally, painting includes all
attributes of photograph described here. Therefore, painter can reorganize
space double by act of choice of his/her drawing position in addition to
creating of "perspective plan".
As mentioned above, architecture with overwhelmingly high rate occupation
of space to material is the style where the universal essence prescription of
fine art, the reorganization of space, appeared most clear. In addition to it,
architecture stands special dominant status to the other fine art style.
the setting to sculpture. Speaking in another way, architecture can hold
sculpture inside itself like object in painting. The fact that it can hold
inside means that architecture can prescribe to give significance of the ideal
way of sculpture. If an ideal and heroic person image is placed in shrine, it
is manifestation of the specific god, and if it is placed in palace, it becomes
the monument of dynasty.
While architecture holds sculpture, sculpture sometimes prescribes the
ideal way of architecture oppositely, too. Abu Simbel temple in Egypt, cave of Buddhist statue at Bamiyan in Afghanistan, Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. and so on are such examples, but in this case the
degrees of spatial reorganization of architecture are very poor. This architecture
is only like sketchy setting of portrait. Such an architecture is an appendage
of sculpture and we define it as "warehouse" which has low original
Abu Simbel temple in Egypt
Cave of Buddhist statue at Bamiyan
Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Being different from painting, sculpture as object can be separated from
architecture as setting, too. In this case, sculpture leaves the meaning
of environment which architecture set and serves practical purpose of human
being. We define sculpture separated from architecture in this way as "doll
statue". On the other hand, we decide to name sculpture which is absorbed
to architecture and becomes a part of it "carved pillar". Atlantes and Caryatides, sculptured pillars at Greek shrine, and sidewall sculpture in door at Chartres Cathedral, a typical Gothic architecture, are examples of this "carved pillar".
Sidewall sculpture in door at Chartres Cathedral
Hand of sculptor as artist being added to sculpture
attached to architecture, and a special role being given, it gets large-size
and it strengthens independence from architecture. When becoming like this, the
degrees of "doll statue"-ize increases. We decide to name sculpture
accompanied an architecture in this way, moreover has strengthened artistry "semi
Architecture gives special meaning to painting as well. Painting becomes
a relief or a mural painting on instruction of existence place by wall
which is one element of architecture, and is held inside an architecture
like sculpture, and is given the special spatiality from outside. This
spatiality is not made in simulation inside painting like above-mentioned
"perspective plan", but is pressed from space of actual architecture.
Peculiar reality would be drawn from the scenery of hunting on relief at
the palace of Assyria by dignity of its placed room inside the palace,
whereas it does not have the inner space due to throughout "projection
plan" to the extent as much as possible.（It
is proper that relief is regarded as a kind of mural painting because of its
strong nature of painting, none the less for thinking that it may be a
sculpture installed on the surface.）
The scenery of hunting on relief at the palace of Assyria
Moreover, when mural painting gets to have the inner space with introduction of "perspective plan", by its overlapping with the spatial meaning given from architecture, for example like "The Holy Trinity with the Virgin, St. John and Two Donors" of Tommaso di Giovanni di Simone Masaccio, an advanced artistical value would be added to it.
The Holy Trinity with the Virgin,
St. John and Two Donors
Paintings take original
existence forms in being separated from wall at architecture and becoming panel
paintings, canvas paintings, manuscript illustrations, prints and so on. Like
sculpture separated from architecture, it serves the other practical purpose,
too. We define the painting separated from architecture as "pictorial
Tapestries and altar
paintings which were much created in Western Europe are in the middle of mural
painting and "pictorial diagram". These are made to have the two-facedness
of the meanings given from architecture and original existence values of
As shown above, there is the mutual relevancy and the individuality among architecture, sculpture, and painting. It is possible to say that three kinds of styles are incorporated in the conception and these were defined as "pure fine art" by a lot of aestheticians. This conceptual incorporation means the theoretical unification into the identical category while containing the contrary moments such as the independence and the dependence.
incorporation of pure fine art seems to be reflection of organic integration of
space. Space shows a frame in the world, if its organic integration is seen, it
will show a more abundant mind. Therefore, the conceptual incorporation of pure
fine art becomes the frame of prosperity and development of the mind of fine
art, too. Saying in other words, in the place where the conceptual incorporation
of pure fine art is understood clear, fine art is surely guided by the
identical mind and leaves original style in fine art history. In the place
where this is not understood, the mind of fine art dwells only in individual
soul of a genius artist or it is only settled in the set of a lot of workmen
and moment of unifying development is continuously exposed to crisis.
The commonness as three
existence forms of pure fine art is well-known thing but the conceptual
incorporation is not always self-evident. It corresponds to the fact that
universal essence of fine art, the reorganization of space, is not clear. So
far, pure fine art was contrasted with decorative fine art and was
distinguished from the viewpoint of art for art's sake principle in the fact
not to limited by the other purpose. However, there are few ones, whatever it
is painting, sculpture or architecture, which aren't used for non-artistic
purpose and these have always continued to be used for rather religious or
political purpose than it. Therefore, it shows obvious failure to prescribe the
essence of pure fine art from the viewpoint of purpose.
If there is
consciousness to the spatial reorganization, since space showed the world, we
already introduced that it is possible to become art because there is expression
of view of the world of creator. It is proper most to define pure fine art from
this viewpoint. Thinking like this, decorative fine art is the fine art which
lacks view of the world peculiar to creator. Saying concretely, as above-mentioned,
the fine art in which only imitation or mechanical reappearance of established style
is seen is decorative fine art.
Performer of decorative
fine art is called an artisan. The rate for which decorative fine art by artisan
accounts in actual fine art creating is big overwhelmingly. Speaking in another
way, decorative fine art forms the ocean of fine art creating and pure fine art
is like a boat floats on it. In other words, it is possible to say that pure fine
art is hardly existed if there is not accumulation of decorative fine art.
Since the spatiality
exposes in architecture most, it is easy to become expression of view of the
world, but the rate of participation of artisan becomes highest because it
needs a lot of hands to create its materials. Therefore, it is ordinary to
become the aggregate of decorative fine art. Consequently, artist called an
architect generally appears later than the times of appearance of sculptor and
Also, it is required
that architecture is equipped with endurance to natural and man-made disasters
in addition to artistical element. Because result of such a durable technology
is gotten more from historic accumulation of empirical creating than artistic
conception, accomplishment of artisan accounts for major ratio from this point.
When a sculpture and a painting respectively
become a "doll statue" and a "pictorial diagram" as an
independent existence with detachment from architecture, its relation with the
spatiality gets thinner, but its possibility to become an artwork grows by
increase of opportunity for exposure to an expression of view of the world of
creator, because it is brought into his/her individual creating in atelier.
Architecture does not only give a special meaning to the ideal
way of sculpture and painting merely, because it can have huge space inside it,
but also it gives composite art some kind of influence. As above-mentioned,
because composite art did not have a recording medium such as film for a long
time, it continued to be preserved in memory of people in the form of
performance. Therefore, because of continuation of composite art, it needs a
place, i.e. a theater for staging by all means, this theater is none other than
architecture. Paraphrasing it, composite art needs architecture as the place of
realization by all means.
sculpture and painting provide settings to this performance, but it is difficult
to say that these are indispensable absolutely to performance. However, except
for impromptu street entertainment, existence of theater is indispensable to performance
Apart from setting, theater holds a drama
inside it. This is the same outward appearance of architecture's holding
sculpture and painting, but because drama practices an expression of the
spatio-temporal as composite art, it can include an element, the temporality, which
architecture cannot participate in originally. It is more correct to say that
this is encounter than inclusion. In other words, the temporality that drama
springs through architecture as theater is overflowed outside and it becomes a
window to time. The other fine art such as sculpture and painting cannot do
such a thing.
Architecture is not
composed of only one building. It is given a role in group of plural buildings
from outside as a part in the whole. Seeing historically, because human being
does not live apart individually and makes a colony with group, architecture is
made collectively first as well. However, whether the collective is naturally
accomplished or deliberately accomplished is different qualitatively. Existence
of powerful political power regulates the whole colony is indispensable for
deliberate formation of a colony.
If this political power
does not exist or is weak, only a natural colony exists there. If there is
strong political power and moreover it has a definite plan about method of formation
of a colony, a natural colony changes into an intentional colony. We define
this intentional colony as "city" specifically.
It is impossible that
all areas become intentional colonies in actual city. That one piece of power
perfectly regulates a city all over exceeds the ability of human being, no
matter how strong it is. However, because some political power always derives
if human being gathers, so-called complete natural colony will hardly exist as
well. Therefore, actual city holds both of intentional colony and natural
colony inside it.
As for a building which
is formed in natural colony, because there is none intentional plan in its
aggregate, it is ordinary that the intentional reorganization of space is not seen
individually as well. Therefore, such a kind of architecture almost does not
become one as fine art. On the other hand, if some individual building is made
intentionally, because there is the reorganization of space in it necessarily,
it becomes architecture as fine art. If being architecture individually, it
still continues to be architecture even if it separates from city.
It is possible to say
that the town planning which holds the aggregate of architecture which is
typical space art inside it more and reorganizes huger space is maximum and supreme
fine art. However, it was political power to practice this work and there was
very little room in which artists participated. Therefore, this biggest artwork
had not almost been brought up for discussion of fine art history.
It is from entering in the 20th century when city got to be planned purely
and intentionally for the first time, for instance in New Delhi in India
and Brasilia in Brazil. Also, it is the same time when architect got to
take part in the town planning even partially. Therefore, it is possible
to say that present time is the dawn of a new age when the town planning
is put in the category of fine art and its history is told.
Since city is the aggregate of buildings, it has consubstantial
incorporation different in meaning from the above-mentioned conceptual
incorporation of fine art. Specifically, the clearer the town planning
is, the more this incorporation is strengthened. If the incorporation is
strengthened, some kind of the mind dwells there and organic development
is seen in it.
Artist was rarely clear aware of the conceptual incorporation of fine
art, because the spatiality in the root was not always self-evident. However,
since the set of architecture in city is obvious sensuously, the consubstantial
incorporation is easily awakened. Therefore, in the place where there is
a city, organic sign which is track of development of this consubstantial
incorporation is always made in some form.
It is none other than
street and piazza. Street is circulation course where city habitants move and
also is implement by which function of city is used as a whole. Piazza is
market in a wide sense where city habitants gather and exchange various
conveniences and also is the place to be aware of the ideal way of city as community.
Because colony part
made in city naturally is the place where daily economic activity of habitants
was prevailed, its street is like vein as circulation course and its piazza is
internal organ as market. Because colony part made intentionally is the place
where political activity by power is executed, its street is nerve and its piazza
is nervous node. Specifically, central piazza will become a brain.
In this way, street and
piazza in city become organic mark of the mind appears with the consubstantial
incorporation which covers the whole city. Seeing from this bio-function, each
building becomes a cell. Because the identical organism needs self-confirmation
continuously, this action exists in city, too. It is none other than festival.
Then, a festival in city is necessarily held at street and piazza because it acts
along this uniting function.
Incidentally, street had
become a roadway from a sidewalk with progress of civilization, and it is not necessary
to add many words to the fact that also a railroad, a water main, an electric wire,
a telephone circuit and so on, are a kind of street. An assembly hall, a public
hall, a public display place, church and so on, which city habitants use freely
are piazza accompanied with building, and public local television becomes
piazza made in the electromagnetic field.
Each architecture in
city undergoes influence from street or piazza which manages the overall function
of city. If it is straight, in other words, in case that architecture pulls a
road to itself and decides a shape of piazza, we define the building as "station
hall" specifically. Political power carries out a town planning
intentionally will always create this station hall as its headquarter.
Oppositely, architecture which is decided its location by street and is under
restriction of exterior on the view is only passive existence prescribed by
city. We define such a building as "mansion".
"Station hall" getting huger, it creates a new small city inside
it like mitochondrion in a cell. We define such a huge station hall as "block hall".
Inside of the block hall becomes an intentional colony necessarily. The
block hall such as Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome and Angkor Wat can become like a small city even if it is separated from city.
St. Peter's Basilica
"Mansion" can be separated from city but in this case it changes
qualitatively and it becomes merely "residence". No matter how
splendid and huge a building is like Neuschwanstein castle of Bavaria, it is only a "residence", if being constructed individually
in the mountains.
As mentioned above, generally, architecture is made in city and undergoes
various influences from there but it must never always been accompanied
to city. In case that the reorganization of space is seen in material,
even if it is separated from there, it continues to still be architecture.
But, wherever it is constructed, architecture must be one of which inner
space and outer space are always reorganized double.
It is concluded from
artistic purpose and nature of architecture. Artistic purpose of architecture
is the fact that it includes the other art style and composite art inside it.
If seeing from pure aesthetic viewpoint, the other purpose, e.g. the things
such as that prestige of monarch is politically shown and guaranteeing
comfortable habitability functionally only reinforces artistic purpose. As long
as it includes the other art style, the construction of space to give
significance to the inclusion and to deepen it more must be accomplished.
Nature of architecture
is relevancy with the above-mentioned city. Owing to this, architecture is required
to equip with definite style in the relation with area where it is placed and
then street and piazza in its outward appearance as a cell in city. Also, the
fact that architecture includes the other art style inside it has an influence
on its outward appearance. The reason is that it assumes audiences attend to
theater, and the audiences become appreciators of outward appearance of the
building of the theater before entering into there, if it is not suitable for
inclusion of art, the reorganization of inside does not conclude as well.
Speaking in another way, the artistical mind which creates architecture is
complete as one life by piercing its inside and outside.
The construction which does not have inner space is an art object which is only seen from outside, and it is only a huge sculpture, even if no matter how big it is and it has an outward appearance like building. Even if there is inner space, the one which is supposed to be mere cave in the relation of lighting is same. This example can be found in Borobudur Buddhism monument in Indonesia and a lot of Brahmanism temples in India. It is proper to name such constructions "structured
Borobudur Buddhism Monument
It might be proper that the construction, like as pyramid in Egypt, which is difficult to enter in its inner space, and which has only disordered
and remarkable unbalance stairs and cells here compared with outside which
is excellently reorganized by plain and simplified geometric elements,
and which is impossible to see all of them clearly because of poor lighting,
is called "insufficient architecture", even if it is narrowly
included in the category of architecture.
Pyramid in Egypt
If supposing that such a building was made
to show the dignity of certain political power, such a power might cause functional
insufficiency and must have extinct immediately like the artistical mind
appeared at the building. If it was made as the one unrelated to political
power or it was planned as huge sculpture, we can read a hidden wisdom of ruler
How shall we think about the buildings equipped with inner space reorganized
after minute planning despite lack of outside space? For example, it is
not possible to say a complete architecture, even if there is an extravagant
huge palace in underground like statues of tomb of Shi-huang-di in the Qin Dynasty,
|Statues of Tomb of Shi-Huang-Di
and the polish things in the utmost technical skill with countless statues
are buried there. The reason is that conclusion of the artistical mind
piercing inside and outside is not seen here. This should be called "semi-architecture".
Seeing examples all over the world, there are many places where such "semi-architecture"
is made in tomb or seclusion for ascetic training. In other words, "semi-architecture"
is used when wanting to show as a form that a dead person monopolizes live
remembrance or a half dead person turns back on life. In any case, the
unfinished artistical mind which dominates "semi-architecture"
is piling symbol of death with posture to renounce completion personally.
This text should not be translated into any other languages without autor's
Written and Translated by Taketoshi Murayama.
Original translation is rewritten by CT
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