In the painting of Bank of England in Ruin, we can see two main influeces:1.The Piranesi inspired love of antiquity. Piranesi’s works such as the Campo Marzio dell’antica Roma introduced fascination of Roman antiquities, being a strong influence on Neoclassicism. Soane captivated by Piranesi’s works, had also built his admiration on antiquities. Putting his works in the list of the antiquities was his ultra ego. As Piranesi was bringing the antiques to the present; in the Bank of England as Ruin, Soane was envisioning putting his new, most proud of piece of architecture to the past as one of the antiquities. 2.The emotion that is evoked by ruins. Hubert Robert had drawn the Louvre in function and in ruin, manipulating the perspective of the painting to evoke emotional reaction. Gandy did a very similar thing, painting the ruin of Bank of England as a fantastical.
Both antiquities and picturesque are one of the favorite topics during the 18th century. In the England gardens like Stourehead and Stowe Garden, follies are designed to mimic ancient Roman and Greek building, positioned for picturesque views. These follies however, are ruins removed from context, without influence of the element of time.
In my re-con, I’ll take you journey through this ruin theme park. As to satisfy its visitors’ ruin lust, this ruin theme park collected ruins of various time spans and types.-The first region is the ancient ruins, viewing the ruin of Acropolis and the Roman Forum as in Claude Lorraine’s Capriccio with ruins of roman forum (1634). -The next region, with the decrease of vegetation, is the ruins caused my human disasters. Where we have he view of the Dresden, fall of the World trade centre and the Tacoma Narrow bridge. -In the region of Natural disaster, the scale of the flooded houses of Katrina is noticeably smaller to give us a picture of the aerial view. -The modern ruin region is compose of ruin of the british military, the Bunkers and ruins from detroit. -The industrial ruins collected the water tower photographed by the Bechers, the Grafton viaduct as drawn by George Baloghy. -Towards the end of our journey, we arrive at the region of Follies at the end. Essentially, all we see in the ruin theme park are follies, since they are removed from their context, they bare no relationship with their surrounding other then as an aim to produce a picturesque view.
Since everything is the ruin theme park are built as ruin, they lack of the aspect of time on their own. Time only comes into the picture when we are viewing multiple ruins.
The last two views are on the Bank of England. As we are standing on the region of follies, we see Soane’s view of the Bank of England in Ruin, with the background of the ancient ruins of Acropolis and Roman Forum, where now Soane’s Bank of England is situated amongst them, being one of the antiquities.
As we walk pass and look back, we see Gandy’s Bank of England in Ruin, where he is looking to the future, when buildings are created purely to satisfy the visual pleasure.