Gothic Architecture

In Italy, the change from the full to the pointed arch has been effected by successive transitions, and some churches combine Romance with Gothic style. The north of the country is again richest in brick monuments dating from that period; but many towns of other provinces have also brick buildings which, without having the importance of the Lombard churches, are still none the less interesting. Bologna, Ferrare,

Lucques, Pisa, Ravenna, Rome herself, possess towers, palaces, houses, built of brick sometimes combined with stone. Nearly everywhere terra-cotta is skilfully interspersed among the bricks to produce very harmonious ornamentations such as those of the church of Santa Maria del Carmine at Pavia (14th century; Fig. 321), The south of France also offers some very interesting types of Gothic brick buildings. Toulouse is especially rich in monuments of this kind, and we may mention the old Jacobin convent (end of 13th century), the Cordeliers church, the Capitol, and the Saint-Raymond College (14th century). The cathedral of Albi (13th and 14th centuries) contains nothing but brick, except the mullions of the windows and some parts of the choir; it is one of the most imposing of brick buildings. Its tower, which is flanked by turrets, has the appearance of a keep, and rises 78 metres above the ground. The church of Simorre (Gers) is another example of a church entirely built of brick, and with the appearance of a military construction; it dates from the 16th century.

Specimens of Brick and Terra cotta Dccoralion (11th to 15th Centuries).

Fig. 319.

Fig. 320.

Fig. 321.

Fig. 322.

Figs. 319 10 322. Specimens of Brick and Terra-cotta Dccoralion (11th to 15th Centuries).

Fig. 323. Windows of the Hotel du Vieux-Raisin at Toulouse.

Fig. 314. Exterior.

Fig. 325. Interior.

In private architecture, we find at Toulouse, Alby, Montauban, Caussade, numerous houses of which brick is the chief material(Fig. 323). In the middle and north of France, bricks were not at that period used as much as in the south, but they were frequently used for filling in the exterior of timber-framed houses, especially in the 15 th and 16th centuries. The architects understood how to utilise bricks with skill, even in works for which such materia) did not seem at all suited. The house of Tristan at Tours (Figs. 324, 325), built of bricks and stone, contains a winding staircase, which can be seen through the open window (Fig. 325), and of which the newel, the arch, the filling of the steps, and the risers are brick. Only the hand-rail is of stone and the edges of the steps of wood.

Fig. 326. The Belfry at Bruges.

In Germany, at Dantzig, Lubeck, Marienburg, Schwerin, we find some very interesting public and private brick buildings of the I 2th and 1 3th centuries.

Fig. 327. Church of Santa Maria della Grazie at Milan.

Belgium and Holland possess some remarkable and important brick structures, among which must be mentioned the fine belfry at Bruges (Fig. 326), 100 metres high, and dating from the 13th century, and the Antwerp market, an immense construction of the 15 th century, made of bricks and stones. England, which at the present time uses so many bricks, did not begin to do so until the 14th and 15th centuries; the oldest brick structure, besides Roman remains, is said to be the Little Wenham market-hall, which dates from the end of the 13th century.

The dimensions of the bricks used during the Middle Ages are somewhat variable; those of the cathedral of Albi are .35 x .27 x .05; others, also in the south of France, are .35 x .25 x .06 and .40 x .28 x .05. In Touraine they are stated to be .25 x .115 x .05 5, very nearly the present size.

Renaissance Architecture

The use of brick is continued. Sometimes architects utilised it for the body itself of the building, as in Saint-Peter's at Rome, of which the cupola and its supporting walls are of brick covered on the inside with stucco, on the outside with travertin; Sainte-Marie-des-Fleurs at Florence, etc, Sometimes they leave it visible and use it for adorning their work, as in the Chancellerie Palace at Rome, built by Bramante at the end of the 15th century, the church of Santa Maria della Grazie de Milan (Fig. 327), attributed to the same architect; the Farnese Palace (Fig. 328), restored by Michael Angelo and San Gallo in the 16th century.

Fig. 328. Farnese Palace at Rome.

France was enriched during the Renaissance by magnificent edifices in which brick, alone or combined with enamelled terracotta, formed one of the principal adornments. One of the most remarkable of these buildings was the castle of Madrid at the gates of Paris, which was built by Delia Robia during the 16th century but has now disappeared.

Fortunately the chateaux of Saint-Germain and Fontainebleau still remain to show the effect produced by the combination of stone and brick. The charming Louis XII. wing of the chateau of Blois (Fig. 329) and the chateau d'Anet also deserve notice.

Numerous hotels and private houses were also built of stone and brick during the Renaissance.

England, Germany, Belgium, and Holland continued to use brick for building under the Renaissance. Many curious houses and remarkable edifices might be mentioned which take their originality from the use of brick. Bruges is particularly rich in constructions of this kind; its houses have a characteristic appearance (sec the right of Fig. 326),

Fig. 319. Louis xii. Wing of the Chateau de Blois.