THE history, the features, and the most famous examples of European architecture, during a period extending from the rise of the Gothic, or pointed, style in the twelfth century to the general depression which overtook the Renaissance style at the close of the eighteenth, form the subject of this little volume. I have endeavoured to adopt as free and simple a mode of treatment as is compatible with the accurate statement of at least the outlines of so very technical a subject.
Though it is to be hoped that many professional students of architecture will find this hand-book serviceable to them in their elementary studies, it has been my principal endeavour to adapt it to the requirements of those who are preparing for the professional pursuit of the sister arts, and of that large and happily increasing number of students who pursue the fine arts as a necessary part of a complete liberal education, and who know that a solid and comprehensive acquaintance with art, especially if joined to some skill in the use of the pencil, the brush, the modelling tool, or the etching needle, will open sources of pleasure and interest of the most refined description.
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