paestum.jpg
The Temple of Hera I, Paestum, c. 450 BC


the Greeks saw themselves as a mixture of two nations - the practical Dorians from the north and the luxury-loving Ionians from Anatolia. These strands, the first associated with sternness and second with sensuousness, were epitomized in the two earliest and principle architectural orders, the Doric and the Ionic. (An 'Order' in architecture refers to a standard form column, with its base, capital and the horizontal beams or entablature (柱頭) it supports.) The Doric seems to have been thought the most appropriate for outlying 'colonies' like Paestum, where authority rather than grace needed stressing. The general structure of all Greek temples evolved gradually over several centuries, the idea being to give expression to the nature of the gods whose cult images they sheltered. These structures eventually came to summarize the order that the Greeks found in nature and mathematics. They reflected the belief of the Ionian philosopher Pythagoras (畢達哥拉斯) who saw numbers and geometry as a key to, and expression of , the divine. Here at Paestum, in this best preserved of all Greek temples, we find a rare survival of an inner double colonnade, one column placed on top of another, a device designed to hold up the original wooden roof, long since perished.

Maison_carree_side.jpg
Masion Carrée, Nîmes, c. 16 BC


While Greek buildings expressed the religious beliefs of their creators, Roman ones were usually feats either of showmanship or engineering, sometimes of both. Here at Nîmes, not far from one of the most extraordinary works of Roman engineering (the famous Pont du Gard aqueduct (羅馬輸水道), we find a work of civic architecture, designed one might suppose to impress a subject people. The building uses the relatively late Corinthian Order (哥林多式), rarely used by the Greeks. When the latter did use it, it was reserved for the innermost parts of their temples where, half-hidden in the darkness, the leaf-capped columns must have seemed like evocations of natural energy. Here, however, the order is used rather ostentatiously on the outsiders of the building. It is customary to see the majority of Roman builders as vulgarians, but that is to judge them in the light of their Greek predecessors. Their works are at one with a nation that ruled almost all the known world from Hadrian's Wall (哈德良長城,在英格蘭北部) to the Upper Nile. Whether imperialism and bureaucracy are to be cherished or not is another matter - and strictly speaking one outside the province of art history.
(錄自John Spencer, The Art History Study Guide, Thames and Hudson, 1996, p. 61, 64.)

這是自沃夫林 (Heinrich Wölfflin, 1864-1945) 之後很常使用的美術史教學方式──拿兩種可資對照的圖片加以解說、分析,幾乎算是美術史教學的典型(話是這麼說,但台灣教美術史其實多半並不是這樣在教),只是沃夫林拿的是文藝復興和巴洛克兩個時期的作品,我在這裡用的是古希臘和古羅馬的建築。一般而言,圖片應該是要左右並置,讓觀者一目瞭然,不過在網誌要這樣做很麻煩,就只好變成上下排列。

我們常常把古希臘跟古羅馬混在一起談,但要真的去分,其實差異是很明顯的。是說一般人去分古希臘跟古羅馬建築美術之間的差異好像也無甚必要,我們尚且不知道中國建築之間的差異──把宋代跟清代的建築拿來比對,應該沒幾個人看得出來兩著差別在哪裡──還學到西洋的,似乎有點本末倒置。但台灣人追求歐風行之有年,卻永遠搞不清楚什麼風格應該長什麼樣子,有點花俏的裝飾就逕呼「巴洛克」,排幾個柱子就叫「羅馬風」,室內裝潢尤其錯誤的離譜,害我幾乎覺得在台灣學室內設計的人應該是全台品味最惡劣的一群──因為他們不僅自己品味差,還貽害他人。像這種美術史學科中基本到不能再基本的東西,實在得好好推而廣之,讓多一點人知道。

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