Towers on the Walls at Nuremberg. John James Stevenson. c. 1880. Signed with initials lower middle right. Source: Stevenson’s House Architecture, Figure 12.. Click on image to enlarge it

“Architecture can produce artistic effects . . . without the aid of sculpture or painting or ornament of any kind, by the mere arrangement of masses mass and strength, and the skill with which they are fitted to the rocks they crown and give dignity to, although they may be the most utilitarian of buildings, without a single ornament or moulding, they may possess the noblest qualities of architecture. The parapets in old castles projected on corbels, as in Borthwick Castle, are not designed for ornament, but for the practical purpose of dropping down stones on assailants. But though architecture is possible without ornament, it cannot without it reach its most perfect manifestations.” [I, 45-46]

[You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the Internet Archive and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one. — George P. Landow]


Stevenson, J. J. House Architecture. 2 vols. London: Macmillan, 1880.

Last modified 19 July 2017