Greek Revival

views updated May 23 2018

Greek Revival. Style of architecture in which accurate copies of Ancient Greek motifs were incorporated in the design of buildings from the 1750s. It was essentially part of Neo-Classicism in that it drew upon scholarly studies of Antique buildings, especially the work of Stuart (who designed the early Doric garden-temple at Hagley, Worcs. (1758), the first example of the Doric Revival) and Revett in the Antiquities of Athens (from 1762). In the mid-C18 Greece and most of what had been Greek territories were part of the Ottoman Empire, and therefore relatively unknown in the West. Curiously, the accessible Greek temples at Paestum in Italy and in Sicily had never really been studied, and were not taken seriously until relatively late, because baseless Greek Doric was seen as primitive and uncouth. Early admirers of Greek architecture included Winckelmann, Ledoux, and Soane, but the Revival was not universally adopted until after the Napoleonic wars, when it was associated with national aspirations. Unlike older styles, it was not tainted with discredited ideas or regimes, and was widely used in the USA, the British Isles, Prussia, and Bavaria. Among its most accomplished practitioners were Hamilton, Hansen, von Klenze, Playfair, Schinkel, Smirke, Strickland, Thomson, and Wilkins.


Crook (1972a);
J. Curl (2001, 2002a);
Honour (1977, 1979);
Kennedy (1989);
Middleton & and Watkin (1987);
Windsor-Liscombe (1980);