“In Search of the Byzantine: George Gilbert Scott’s Diary of an Architectural Tour in France in 1862,” published on the Cambridge University website, is an extract from a book authored by Gavin Stamp. It chronicles Scott’s visit to France.
“‘When you go abroad, begin with France’, George Gilbert Scott told his student audience at the Royal Academy. ‘It is the great centre of Mediaeval art.’ Scott himself was late in appreciating this. Apart from a day trip to Calais at the beginning of his career, the first visit he paid to France was in 1847, soon after securing his first cathedral appointment at Ely when he was 36 years old. ‘My eyes were at once opened,’ he later recalled:
What I had always conceived to be German architecture I now found to be French. I thoroughly studied the details of Amiens, and those of the Sainte Chapelle, which bore most closely on my previous German studies, and I returned home with a wholly new set of ideas, and with many of my old ones dispelled. It seems curious that I should have been twelve years in practice, before I became acquainted with French architecture, yet I was first among English architects, as I believe, to study it in detail in any practical way, and with a practical intention.”
“In Search of the Byzantine,” was authored by Gavin Stamp. It offers a thorough account of Scott’s journeys to France. The article on the Cambridge University website includes interesting notes about Scott’s life at the time. We invite you to read this article to find out more about the book and the story within.