ABSTRACT

Ruskin's theory of the adorned wall veil was not merely a textile argument: it was also about the analogy between buildings and (dressed) bodies. The analogy of the body has been a chief source of meaning in the classical theory of architecture. The 'invisible' inscription of the body in architecture through numerical and geometrical means was given an expressive dimension by the various orders (Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian) that represented ideal bodies. Ruskin's theory of the body was influenced by Victorian Romantic thought, and its challenge to industrialization and the increasing mechanization of the intellectual life of society. Ruskin saw a close physical correlation between architecture and bodies. Ruskin admitted to being influenced by Carlyle's writings and ideas. Ruskin saw architecture as modelled upon the human figure. The argument advanced by Ruskin was that architecture was always gendered female, and born dressed, wherein the dressing contained the life source of architecture—its soul.