Notes by way of remembrance of a trip to France and Belgium at Easter, 1882, 1882, April 7-16.


Notes by way of remembrance of a trip to France and Belgium at Easter, 1882, 1882, April 7-16.

Manuscript diary of a 10-day tour of cathedrals in France and Belgium. The author, an unidentified Englishman from Bath, signs the work "J.S.K.". Although written in a complete and well-structured style, the recollections appear to have been written during the course of the travels. The first volume of the diary has writing on both sides of each page, with numerous corrections and additions. The second volume consists of a clean, corrected copy of the text of the first volume, here written on the recto only of each page. Both diaries are in pen and black ink throughout, in a single hand, without illustration. The author leaves Bath on 7 April 1882, meets his two travelling companions (John Day and Mr. Willis) in London, and crosses the Channel to Boulogne the next day. The purpose of the trip is clearly architectural, and the text consists almost exclusively of his notes on the French gothic style of church architecture, with many comparisons to English style. The diarist writes lengthy opinions on the great cathedrals. The cathedral at Amiens generally pleases. The author considers the Cathédrale Saint-Pierre at Beauvais dangerous, due to poor engineering, although the tapestries there are excellent. The grace and balance of Chartres is noted ("we had as yet seen nothing so beautiful"), and the author climbs to the top of its spire to view the surrounding country. After Chartres, the diarist is less impressed with remaining churches on the itinerary, including those at Le Mans, Soissons, Rheims, Laon, and Ghent. At Saint Bavo Cathedral in Ghent he expresses his dislike for the vulgar artwork of Rubens while showing great admiration for the Ghent Altarpiece. Interspersed with his reviews of specific pieces of architecture, the author offers elaborate musings on topics such as "truth of construction" and the picturesque versus the beautiful. While discussing these topics he occasionally refers to the likes of Ruskin and Fergusson.

2 v. (108, 118 p.) ; 16 cm.


SNAC Resource ID: 8026889

Related Entities

There are 6 Entities related to this resource.

Sint-Baafskathedraal te Gent (corporateBody)

Cathédrale de Chartres. (corporateBody)

Eyck, Jan van, 1390-1440 (person)

Cathédrale Saint-Pierre (Beauvais, France) (corporateBody)

J. S. K. (person)

Cathédrale d'Amiens. (corporateBody)