This, in conjunction with the upper surfaces in dark, rich color, had a most delightful effect.

We, as students, can learn most from the Ravenna examples, for great are the needs of light and silvery color in this country, where gray and gloomy days far outnumber those in which the sun gives liberally of his light. I may say, in passing, as our subject is really a matter of decoration, that our nineteenth century efforts in this direction are all of a somewhat gloomy tendency. We fill our rooms with imitations of somber Spanish leather, stain and paint our woodwork in leathery and muddy tones, to arrive at what is now a sort of decorator's god. Quaintness is the name of that god. Many are the sins for which he has to answer. Had we not better worship a deity called beauty, whose place is a little higher up Parnassus? Why should we not in our endeavors attempt in some measure to transfix the brilliant harmonies that follow the sun in his liberal and gracious course? This muddy quaintness is certainly pleasant for brief periods, when lamps are low and fire light gilds and deepens its parts.

Turn the sunlight on these so-called triumphs of the modern decorator's art, and then you feel the lack of many a phase of color that might have been borrowed from the thousand and one examples that in nature he vivifies and makes brilliant.

Referring again to the Ravenna mosaics, I can only add that at the present day an extended palette of colored glass is available. The technical difficulties are not great, and there is no question as to the fine qualities of design and color that are to be obtained in this material. The great point in this, as in all other schemes of decoration, is the art, the mental quality of conception, and the sense of color and fitness. If we hold the precious heritage of an artist's mind - that divine and rare something which gives form, color, and completeness to a story, a dream or a vision - then very little difficulty follows in making vitreous mosaic a valued servant in the realization of a fine creation.

It is the function of architects to design suitable spaces for color decoration, so bound in by dignified mouldings and other details of his constructive art, in such a manner that the addition of decorative color shall in no way mar the scheme of his complete work, but shall (under these well ordered distributions) have set on them the seal and crown of color which is inseparable from a perfect piece of architecture. In such spaces he may dream his dreams, tell his stories, and stamp on them for centuries his subtilest and divinest thoughts. May I not urge that to such spaces must be given the best that is in you? for once placed so shall they remain unchanged through generations, time being powerless to add any mellow garment of tone or softening quality whatever.

I mistook the title of the subject in thinking that it was mosaic only, and at the last moment found it was marble and mosaic. However, the same dominant principles shall underlie the treatment of marble. It is a question of the finer instincts for form and color.

In recent years the demand for choice decorative materials has been the means of opening out many marble quarries all over the world. Transit being easy, a large scale of varieties is available. One fine addition is the Mexican onyx. My feeling is that the most beautiful marbles are those where the soft and sinuous veins melt and die into the general body, comparatively sharp markings dying right away at the edges into innumerable gradations. Marbles having strong and hardly marked veins present great difficulties in distribution. If they are near, they offend you with their coarseness; and, placed at a distance, the hard vein lines have very little decorative value. I should say use these in narrow slips, with very little moulded profile or as parts of intazzio.

Mouldings should be specially designed for different marbles. I should say mainly on the principle of sudden contrasts; that is, large members with very little curve bound with members very small in detail, thus obtaining sharp lines, having little surface to be influenced or distorted by the veined markings, and serving to sharpen up and give form to the broader members (which show the color qualities of the marble), much as you sharpen up an ink drawing by underlining. These small members serve the architect's purpose for the expression of vertical and horizontal lines, and where decisive and cutting shadows are required in the composition of his work.

If delicate carving forms part of your design, I should say statuary is the best, as you have no veins to distort your detail. I need hardly add that economy should be studied in using precious marbles, without injuring the durability of the work. Contours may be built up in thin sections.

Intazzio is a beautiful form of treating marble on an inexpensive ground. Gem-like effects may be obtained by inlaying with smaller pieces, following such ornamental forms as your inventive brains shall dictate. Perhaps the pockets of your clients will be the chief dictator.

Heraldic emblazonings, inlaid in marble, are highly effective. The conditions of the heraldry necessitate the use of many varieties, but in such small quantities that on a large simple field they are rarely out of harmony. In addition they map out a large and interesting variety that will save the worry of creation of designs coming entirely from your own brain, and you know the worry of an architect's life makes him hail with pleasure at times a rest from the strain of creation. This heraldic work may be seen to perfection in the chapel of the tombs of the Medici at Florence.

At the Pitti Palace are some tables which you may know where marble intazzio can no further go. Alabaster does not appeal to me, it is somewhat sugary in results. If you are fortunate enough to have a sculptor who is a sort of nineteenth century Donatello, let him work his will on statuary or such restful marble.

The celebrated monument in the church of S. Giovanni Paulo, at Venice, which Ruskin says is the finest monument in the world, if my recollection serves me correctly, is in white marble, and its beauty comes entirely from the sculptor's art. Such monuments give you much better than any words of mine ample suggestions for marble treatment. I may quote such names as Nicolo Pisano and Verocchio.

Photos of some of their work I have brought. Note Pisano's beautiful white altar at Bologna, and Mina de Fiesole's work in Florence. They all show the sculptor as supreme. Why should not we encourage individual young sculptors more? Give them portions of your work in which they can put all the fervor and enthusiasm of young manhood. Their powers may not be ripe, but they possess a verve and intensity that may have forever fled when in later years the imagination is less enthusiastic and the pulses slower. I am sure there are many young sculptors now wanting commissions who have been trained at the academy, and better still, in the best French schools. I maintain that the contemporary French school of sculpture is in its line equal to any school of sculpture that has ever existed, not excepting that of Phidias or that of the Italian Renaissance of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. I believe history will confirm this. Why not give these men an opportunity, and help on the movement to found a truly English school of sculpture, rather than give all such work to trading firms of carvers, who will do you any number of superficial feet, properly priced and scheduled, and in the bills of quantities, of any style you please, from prehistoric to Victorian Gothic? Of course, this is our British way of founding a great school.

There is one method of treatment that appeals to me very strongly, and that is the application of colored metals to marble, more especially bronze and copper. I may quote as a successful example near the Wellington Memorial at St. Paul's. Another suggestion - although it is not used in combination with marble, but it nevertheless suggests what might be done in the way of bronze panels - that is, the Fawcett Memorial, by Gilbert, in the west chapel at Westminster Abbey.


A paper recently read before the Architectural Association, London. - From the Architect.