Arrowsmith, Henry William / The house decorator and painter's guide; containing a series of designs for decorating apartments, suited to the various styles of architecture
[Interior decoration, continued], pp. 61-63
63 from their ready assent to our arguments, may be inclined to the belief, that all men are of the same opinion; but we are well assured there are men who profess a love of art, and entertain a theory opposed to that we have advocated; and still more who believe that the pointed architecture is entirely unsuited to domestic purposes. That there are some varieties of the style which require a greater space and a more lofty extension than can be obtained in the construction of dwelling houses, we readily admit; but there are modifications of the style which have been so applied as to retain all the leading characters, and to secure the comfort and convenience necessary in private edifices. The origin of the pointed arch we will not pretend to discuss, much less to investigate the theories proposed by authors. Our aim has been to destroy the prejudice against a style founded upon a name, and to induce a careful investigation of its merits. The several varieties and their application to public, but especially private decoration, will be explained in succeeding pages. In every country in which the style has been practised, we find peculiarities of composition and ornament, but it is to the specimens in our own country that we shall chiefly refer. Nor will it be difficult to form such a general subdivision as may enable us to bring before the reader a not imperfect view of the application of the leading characters of internal decoration. Gothic architecture, as practised in our cathedrals and churches, was never employed in domestic structures, except in those of a monastic character. Unfortunately, the state of society was such, when these religious edifices were built, that the nobles of the land were chiefly employed in defending themselves and their property from the violent encroachments of each other. Security, indeed, was a more important consideration than comfort, so that the dwellings of the barons were castles, and the apartments within them were crowded with retainers, the greater number of whom were entirely employed in defending their lord in his strong-hold, or in accompanying him upon his various warlike expeditions.
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