CREAte would like to invite you all to tonight’s open lecture given by Professor Nicholas Temple in Marlowe Lecture Theatre 1 at 6pm.
Rome and the Orient: Speculations in Language and Landscape
Nicholas Temple is Professor of Architecture at the University of Huddersfield. He has previously taught at the Universities of Leeds, Pennsylvania (U.S.A.), Nottingham, Liverpool, and Lincoln, where he was both Professor of Architecture and Head of the School of Architecture. Born in Australia, Temple studied architecture at Cambridge University and has a PhD on the subject of architecture and urbanism in early 16th Century Rome. He was a Rome Scholar in Architecture (1986-88) at the British School at Rome, and recently was awarded a Paul Mellon Rome Fellow (2012). Temple’s recent research and scholarship focuses on the historical inter-relationships between architecture, topography, ceremony and geography, examining territorial, symbolic and ideological exchanges between interiors, buildings, cities and regions. This examination transgresses the conventional boundaries between architecture, painting, inscription, cartography and sculpture, incorporating broader inter-disciplinary research across historical periods and regions. Much of the research has been focused on the city of Rome, as evidenced in his numerous publications and in Temple’s recent award as the Paul Mellon Rome Fellow. At the same time Temple has engaged in detailed research on the study of architecture as a humanistic discipline, examining in particular connections between architecture, language and pictorial representation. This research has highlighted how the humanistic tradition of linguistic enquiry, during the early modern period, served as a critical backdrop to the emergence of modern forms of Encyclopedism and the increasing interest in the possibility of both a universal linguistic system and an architectural language.
This lecture examines the reception of China in Rome in the 17th and 18th centuries, in the context of the transformations in European culture. It focuses on two key areas – language and landscape – that provided the basis for intellectual and creative speculations in the idea of universal principles. The first emerged largely through Jesuit missionary activities to the East in the 17th century, with their interests in ethnographic and linguistic comparisons, which occurred at a time of a crisis in Humanism. The second considers the growing interest in the aesthetics of landscape during the Grand Tour in the 18th century, when Chinese gardens and architecture were conceived by European travellers (such as Sir William Chambers) as universal ’emblems’ for the European landscape. I will argue that the transformation from one to the other represented one of the first formulations of a globalised perspective of the world.