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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Augustus Pugin: Contrasts and a Parallel

Pugin, Augustus Welby Northmore 1812-1852
Frontispieces (illustrations)
Contrasts or A Parallel Between the Architecture of the 15th and 19th Centuries 1836
Engraving (printing process)
Private Collection

Contrasted Crosses

Contrasts

Contrasts, episcopal residences

Altar screens from the 15th and 19th centuries

Brighton Chapel Royal, Windsor St George Chapel



Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (1 March 1812 – 14 September 1852) is now best remembered for his work on churches and on the Houses of Parliament. He was a leader of the Gothic revival movement in architecture.

He attacked the influence of "pagan" Classical architecture in his book Contrasts or A Parallel Between the Architecture of the 15th and 19th Centuries , in which he set up medieval society as an ideal, in contrast to modern secular culture.

His Contrasts (1836) placed him at once ahead of the pioneers of the day.

Of his conversion to Roman Catholicism in 1834, Pugin said that the study of ancient ecclesiastical architecture was the primary cause of the change in his sentiments, by inducing him to pursue a course of study, terminating in complete conversion.