chapter  II
19 Pages

The Search For A Lost Style

Men seem to have deplored the loss of style more passionately than they did the loss of actual art, and the great hope which the 'modernism' of the new architecture inspired was precisely that this would restore the lost unity of style upon a new level. From the end of the eighteenth century onward all architectural tasks begin to claim the status of artistic problems and a right to be dignified by artistic forms, though this has hitherto been the privilege of a relatively small class of building. The claim is something entirely new and may be regarded as a symptom of prime importance. Where architectural task claims equality of artistic status, the sheer diversity and multiplicity of the tasks makes it impossible for any one of them to establish a natural empire and so impose a unitary style upon the rest. The conflict in architecture was particularly acute and filled an entire century.