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Title: The Adam brothers : architects of the age of the Enlightenment
Author: Kondo, Ariyuki
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2001
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This thesis investigates the architectural responses to the Enlightenment in Britain during the second half of the eighteenth century and, in particular on the profound interrelation between the empirical ideas of the Enlightenment and the development of contemporary British architecture. The focus is on Robert and James Adam, whose works in architecture and theory consistently reflected the intellectual development of their age. This thesis will propose a new interpretation of the Adam brothers as revolutionary students and masters of Enlightenment ideas in the field of architecture. The conventional style-oriented notion, that every architect should have his style, has often led to rather careless dismissals of the novelty of the Adam architecture, of which Emil Kaufmann's Baroque (Architecture in the Age of Reason, 1955) and Giles Worsley's neo-Palladian (Classical Architecture in Britain: the Heroic Age, 1995) interpretations are notable illustrations. Neither of these studies gives the whole picture of the Adam brothers' conduct. The studies that explained the Adam Style in the context of the plurality of styles by emphasising the material resemblance of their designs to the variety of sources seem to have made no difference to historiography. They have lost in the stylistic complexity of the whole Adam Style. Listing the architectonic themes that were harmoniously combined and blended together into their works has resulted in nothing but a simple documentation of what one can see. Particular forms of style, dogmatic criteria from the past, the recognitions plurality of styles: none of these was taken into consideration in defining the Adam Style. This thesis argues, rather, that it was the notion of man's complete latitude in the act of creativity, which emerged from their close theoretical dependence on the empirical epistemology of the Enlightenment. The real nature of the Adam Style is in the ideal of rational, imaginative, and empirical application of a great variety of historic languages of architecture.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available