Modern ve Skolastik: Ruskin’in İncelenmemiş Bir Önsözü

Şengel, Deniz
In the brief Preface to the second edition of The Seven Lamps of Architecture published in 1855, John Ruskin identified four kinds of admiration viewers might feel regarding an architectural work: Sentimental Admiration, Proud Admiration, Workmanly Admiration, Artistical or Rational Admiration. Unexplored by Ruskin critics, the Preface poses significant interpretive problems: neither the Preface nor the elaboration of the fourfold typology contained in it bears reference to the content of The Seven Lamps which had first appeared in 1849. The key lies in the Preface’s explicit and implicit references to The Stones of Venice which Ruskin had published in 1853 and to the latter work’s all-important middle chapter entitled “The Nature of Gothic.” Read in conjunction with “The Nature of Gothic,” the 1855 Preface emerges as a belated gloss to The Stones, witnessed above all in the coalescence of the complementary notions of production and reading of the Gothic in both articles. “The Nature of Gothic” further offers the clue to the source of the fourfold typology and to Ruskin’s employment of the term admiration by identifying the reading of architectural works with textual reading, viz. the reading of Gothic cathedrals with the reading of epic poetry. The representation of Gothic cathedrals and the reference to Dante offer certain proof that Ruskin found the prototype of the fourfold typology and admiration in the Scholastic elaboration on the four levels of Biblical exegesis and on admiratio as, again, a mode of reading the Bible and viewing religious painting. In fact, Ruskin’s treatment of the fourfold typology and admiration follows as it were in verbatim fashion the description of Dante’s adaptation of the Biblical modes to the reading of his Divine Comedy in the “Epistle to Can Grande” as well as Dante’s sources in Aristotle, Aquinas, and Bonaventure. Ruskin’s radical reduction, found much puzzling by critics today, of the value of architecture to the value of the painting and sculpture contained in an edifice underscores the medieval conception of admiratio that had particularly flourished in the era of Gothic architecture. Not only will these findings compel us further to revise our notion of Ruskin’s stance toward the Evangelical Protestantism of his day as well as add to the demonstration of the author’s commitment to Gothic architecture, but they equally call for re-investigating Ruskin as a major force in the assimilation of architecture into the then-burgeoning discipline of art history.


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Citation Formats
D. Şengel, “Modern ve Skolastik: Ruskin’in İncelenmemiş Bir Önsözü,” ODTÜ Mimarlık Fakültesi Dergisi, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 19–39, 2006, Accessed: 00, 2020. [Online]. Available: