Dictionary of Art and Artists



 

 


History of

Architecture and Sculpture

 
 

 

 
 

 
 

CONTENTS:

 
 

PART ONE
THE ANCIENT WORLD
PREHISTORIC ART
EGYPTIAN ART

ANCIENT NEAR EASTERN ART
AEGEAN ART
GREEK ART
ETRUSCAN ART
ROMAN ART
EARLY CHRISTIAN AND BYZANTINE ART

PART TWO
THE MIDDLE AGES
EARLY MEDIEVAL ART
ROMANESQUE ART
GOTHIC ART

PART THREE
THE RENAISSANCE THROUGH THE ROCOCO
LATE GOTHIC
THE EARLY RENAISSANCE IN ITALY
THE HIGH RENAISSANCE IN ITALY
MANNERISM AND OTHER TRENDS
THE RENAISSANCE IN THE NORTH
THE BAROQUE IN ITALY AND SPAIN
THE BAROQUE IN FLANDERS AND HOLLAND
THE BAROQUE
THE ROCOCO

PART FOUR
THE MODERN WORLD
NEOCLASSICISM AND ROMANTICISM
REALISM AND IMPRESSIONISM
POST-IMPRESSIONISM, SYMBOLISM, AND ART NOUVEAU

PART FIVE
TWENTIETH-CENTURY
TWENTIETH-CENTURY SCULPTURE
TWENTIETH-CENTURY ARCHITECTURE


INDEX
FIGURES
 

 
 

 
 

CHAPTER TWO
 

REALISM AND IMPRESSIONISM
 

PAINTING
SCULPTURE - Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
ARCHITECTURE - Part 1, 2, 3
 

 

ARCHITECTURE

 

ROEBLING.

Only rarely could an engineering feat express the spirit of the times. One of the few to do so was the Brooklyn Bridge, built by John and Washington Roebling
(fig.
978), which was referred to, appropriately enough, as America's Arch of Triumph. It remains one of the outstanding achievements of the Industrial Revolution. The massive towers nevertheless incorporate aspects of Egyptian, Roman, and Gothic architecture (note the pointed arches) to express a combination of eternal strength, civic pride, and soaring spirituality. Small wonder it was celebrated by poets and artists alike (see fig. 1071).



9
78. John and Washington Roebling . The Brooklyn Bridge. New York. 1867-83
 

 


John Augustus Roebling

John Augustus Roebling, (born , June 12, 1806, Mühlhausen, Prussia—died July 22, 1869, Brooklyn Heights, N.Y., U.S.), German-born U.S. civil engineer, a pioneer in the design of steel suspension bridges. His best known work is the Brooklyn Bridge, New York City, completed under the direction of his eldest son, Washington Augustus, in 1883.

After graduating from the polytechnic school in Berlin, Roebling worked for the Prussian government for three years and at the age of 25 emigrated to the U.S. He settled with others from his hometown in a small colony that was later called Saxonburg, near Pittsburgh, in the hills of western Pennsylvania. He married the daughter of another Mühlhausen emigrant, and they had nine children. After a few years of unsuccessful farming, John Roebling went to the state capital in Harrisburg and applied for employment as a civil engineer.

He had often watched canalboats being hauled over hills from one watershed to another, and he persuaded the canal commissioners to let him replace the hempen hawsers with wire cables. He developed his own method for stranding and weaving wire cables, which proved to be as strong and durable as he had predicted. The demand for such cable soon became so great that he established a factory to manufacture it in Trenton, N.J. This was the beginning of an industrial complex that finally was capable of producing everything from chicken wire to enormous 36-inch (91-centimetre) cables. It remained a family-owned business, carried on by three generations of Roeblings.

Roebling was less a businessman than an engineer, and with the growth of his reputation as a designer and builder of long-span suspension bridges, he spent less and less time at the Trenton factory. His eldest son, Washington, joined him in his work, and in the 1850s and 1860s they built four suspension bridges: two at Pittsburgh, one at Niagara Falls, and another across the Ohio River between Cincinnati, Ohio, and Covington, Ky., with a main span of 1,051 feet (320 metres). New York state accepted Roebling’s design for a bridge connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan with a span of 1,595 ft (486 m) and appointed him chief engineer.

Work on the bridge cost Roebling his life. He was taking final compass readings while standing on some pilings at a ferry slip and did not notice that a boat was docking. As it banged into the slip, one of his feet was caught between the pilings. He was rushed to his son’s house in Brooklyn Heights, where the doctors amputated his injured toes. Three weeks later, he died of tetanus at the age of 63. His son carried on his work on the Brooklyn Bridge.

Encyclopædia Britannica

 




The Brooklyn Bridge




The Brooklyn Bridge

 


John Fowler and Benjamin Baker (eng.)
Firth of Forth Bridge, Scotland, 1882-1889

Most iron bridges in the nineteenth century were either suspension bridges, or truss bridges that in principle used an open torn of a beam set on two base points. With its passage through strong piers projecting into the spanned space, the completion of the bridqe over the Firth of Forth made the completion of a cantilever bridge famous. An apparently small, in reality 100-metre-long, central girder closes the gap between the main pylon's two freely projecting cantilever arms. Both the bridge and the Eiffel Tower, built at the same time, invited the viewer to observe the surrounding environment from the building itself, "because the disturbing element is left out", as Wilhelm Westhofen wrote in 1890. Public opinion about the construction had clearly changed since the opening of London's Crystal Palace.

 

In the press, the Hall of Machines was naturally overshadowed by the Eiffel Tower. Gustave Eiffel, a commercial engineer, personally assumed all the construction risks in order to dissipate reservations about safety; he even added unnecessary elements to the frame's static essentials simply to increase trust in its stability.

Therefore the arch reaching up to the first platform is only tacked on to the supporting structure and makes no contribution to stability. The tower's basic form arose from the desire to contain within the square of its cross-section the force resulting from vertical and wind loads. Construction was perfectly organized; there were apparently no fatal accidents during building. All the individual components were prefabricated with the utmost precision,- only riveting had to be performed on site: "There was no chisel, carving a form out of stone, to be heard on this building site; here thought prevailed over muscle-power, assigning the latter to secure scaffolding and cranes."
 

EIFFEL.

What was needed for products of engineering to be accepted as architecture was a structure that would capture the world's imagination through its bold conception. The breakthrough came with the Eiffel Tower, named after its designer, Gustave Eiffel (1832-1923). As shown in a contemporary photograph (fig. 979), it was erected at the entrance to the Paris World's Fair of 1889, where it, too, served as a triumphal arch of science and industry. It has become such a visual cliche beloved of touristsmuch like the Statue of Liberty, which also involved Eiffel (see fig. 923)
that we can hardly realize what a revolutionary impact it had at the time. The tower, with its frankly technological aesthetic, so dominates the city's skyline even now that it provoked a storm of protest by the leading intellectuals of the day. Eiffel used the same principles of structural engineering that he had already applied successfully to bridges. Yet it is so novel in appearance and so daring in construction that nothing like it has ever been built, before or since.

The Eiffel Tower owed a good measure of its success to the fact that for a small sum anyone could ascend its elevators to see a view of Paris previously reserved for the privileged few able to afford hot-air balloon rides (see fig. 941). It thus helped to define a distinctive feature of modern architecture, one that it shares with modern technology as a whole: it acts on large masses of people, without regard to social or economic class. Although this capacity, shared only by the largest churches and public buildings of the past, has also served the aims of political extremists at both ends of the spectrum, modern architecture has tended by its very nature to function as a vehicle of democracy. We can readily understand, then, why the Eiffel Tower quickly became a popular symbol of Paris itself. It could do so, however, precisely because it serves no practical purpose whatsoever.
 


979. Gustave Eiffel. The Eiffel Tower. Paris. 1887-89
 

 


Gustave Eiffel

Gustave Eiffel, in full Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel (born Dec. 15, 1832, Dijon, France—died Dec. 28, 1923, Paris), French civil engineer renowned for the tower in Paris that bears his name.

After graduation from the College of Art and Manufacturing in 1855, Eiffel began to specialize in metal construction, especially bridges. He directed the erection of an iron bridge at Bordeaux in 1858, followed by several others, and designed the lofty, arched Gallery of Machines for the Paris Exhibition of 1867. In 1877 he bridged the Douro River at Oporto, Port., with a 525-foot (160-metre) steel arch, which he followed with an even greater arch of the same type, the 540-foot (162-metre) span Garabit viaduct over the Truyère River in southern France, for many years the highest bridge in the world, 400 feet (120 m) over the stream. He was one of the first engineers to employ compressed-air caissons in bridge building. He designed the movable dome of the observatory at Nice and the framework of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor.

Eiffel startled the world with the construction of the Eiffel Tower (1887–89), which brought him the nickname “magician of iron.” It also directed his interest to problems of aerodynamics, and he used the tower for a number of experiments. At Auteuil, outside Paris, he built the first aerodynamic laboratory, where he continued to work throughout World War I; in 1921 he gave the laboratory to the state.

 

 

 

 

 


Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower, French Tour Eiffel, Parisian landmark that is also a technological masterpiece in building-construction history. When the French government was organizing the International Exposition of 1889 to celebrate the centenary of the French Revolution, a competition was held for designs for a suitable monument. More than 100 plans were submitted, and the Centennial Committee accepted that of the noted bridge engineer Gustave Eiffel. Eiffel’s concept of a 984-foot (300-metre) tower built almost entirely of open-lattice wrought iron aroused amazement, skepticism, and no little opposition on aesthetic grounds. When completed, the tower served as the entrance gateway to the exposition.

Nothing remotely like the Eiffel Tower had ever been built; it was twice as high as the dome of St. Peter’s in Rome or the Great Pyramid of Giza. In contrast to such older monuments, the tower was erected in only about two years (1887–89), with a small labour force, at slight cost. Making use of his advanced knowledge of the behaviour of metal arch and metal truss forms under loading, Eiffel designed a light, airy, but strong structure that presaged a revolution in civil engineering and architectural design. And, after it opened to the public on March 31, 1889, it ultimately vindicated itself aesthetically.

The Eiffel Tower stands on four lattice-girder piers that taper inward and join to form a single large vertical tower. As they curve inward, the piers are connected to each other by networks of girders at two levels that afford viewing platforms for tourists. By contrast, the four semicircular arches at the tower’s base are purely aesthetic elements that serve no structural function. Because of their unique shape, which was dictated partly by engineering considerations but also partly by Eiffel’s artistic sense, the piers required elevators to ascend on a curve; the glass-cage machines designed by the Otis Elevator Company of the United States became one of the principal features of the building, helping establish it as one of the world’s premier tourist attractions.

The tower itself is 300 metres (984 feet) high. It rests on a base that is 5 metres (17 feet) high, and a television antenna atop the tower gives it a total elevation of 324 metres (1,063 feet). The Eiffel Tower was the tallest man-made structure in the world until the topping off of the Chrysler Building in New York City in 1929.

Encyclopædia Britannica
 

 

 


1. Gustave Eiffel with Emile Nouguier and Maurice Koechlin (eng.), Stephen Sauvestre (arch.)
Eiffel Tower in Paris, 1889
2. Drawing of the elevator installation

Gustave Eiffel (left) with his son-in-law and colleague Adolphe Salles on the spiral staircase connecting the uppermost platform with the tip of the tower.
 



Eiffel Tower under construction in July 1888




Eiffel Tower; construction view in 1889 of the girders of the first story




View of Eiffel Tower from the Montparnasse Tower



The Eiffel Tower as seen from the Champ de Mars

 
 

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