Wednesday, June 4, 2014

149. Sham-Gothic

One hundred years ago, in June 1914, Charles Ricketts wrote to his Dutch friend the artist Rik Roland Holst about styles in architecture:

All our recent monuments seem to have been done by one man, who probably has studied all the historical styles but learnt none. I think we blame individuals for popular common tendencies. Before our time architects knew one style - Sham Gothic - of which you have one of the worst known specimens in the great Museum at Amsterdam.

The Rijks Museum in 1885
Ricketts of course referred to the Rijks Museum in Amsterdam, re-opened last year after a prolonged renovation. The original 'sham-gothic' wall paintings that had been painted over since Ricketts wrote to Roland Holst, can now be seen again.