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Roman Classicism
Also called: Jeffersonian Classicism / Classic(al) Revival

Neoclassicism - Terminology
Literally: "New Classicism."
European and American architecture style inspired by Classical Greek - and especially Roman - ruins.
Georgian Four King Georges in England. George III ruled England when Neoclassicism was popular.
Georgian Neoclassical Neoclassicism named after George III in England. Encompasses both Palladian and Adamesque Neoclassical styles.
Palladian Neoclassical Earlier version of European Neoclassicism based on the books of Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio who studied Roman ruins in Italy.
Adam style/Adamesque Later version of European Neoclassicism based on Robert's Adam's studies of excavations at Herculaneum and Pompeii.
Colonial Styles of architecture during America's colonial period, i.e., before the Revolutionary War. The most prominent style was Georgian because most the colonies were English owned.
Federal The American term for Adamesque after the Revolutionary War. "Federal" is a a patriotic term.
Roman Classicism/ / Jeffersonian Classicism / Classic(al) Revival Neoclassical version inspired by Renaissance-inspired Palladian Neoclassical style. Thomas Jefferson owned three copies of Palladio's books and used Palladian ideals in designing Monticello, etc.

This vision of Neoclassicism competed with the simpler Federal style.
Beaux-Arts Classicism A very rich, lavish and heavily ornamented classical style taught at L'Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris in the 19th century. Influenced the last phase of Neoclassicism in the United States

An American version of European Neoclassicism.

This type of classicism was concurrent with, and competing with the more dominant lighter Federal style.

The chief proponent of Roman Classicism was Thomas Jefferson who studied Andrea Palladio's Four Books of Architecture, especially his Villa Rotunda (Great Buildings illustration), when he was designing Monticello and the University of Virginia. Jefferson had been exposed to Palladio's influence in European Neoclassicism when he was ambassador to France.

Excerpted from
The Elements of Style: An Practical Encyclopedia of Interior Architectural Details from 1485 to the Present,
By Stephen Calloway and Elizabeth Cromley, ed.
NY: Simon & Schuster, 1991, p. 531

Thomas Jefferson

American lawyer, statesman (President 1801-9) and architect.

The author of the Declaration of Independence, he was also an influential architect (self-taught), introducing to the United States a robust Neo-classicism based on ancient Roman architecture and contemporary French Rationalism, which contrasted with the lighter Federal Style.

For his own house, Monticello,Virginia (from 1770), he first designed an essentially Palladian building, but later additions transformed it into a largely single-storey classical villa in brick, with a pedimented garden portico and shallow dome.

For the Virginia State Capitol, Richmond (1785-99), his design was derived from the ancient Roman Maison Carrée in Nimes, to which he was introduced while in Paris as American Ambassador (1784-9). The Capitol was the brst building in the United States designed in the form of a classical temple and was an important model for American public architecture of the period.

Jefferson also influenced the planning of Washington through his knowledge of European cities and classical architecture.

His design for the University of Virginia, Charlottesville (1817-26), as a group of separate faculty pavilions around a green, linked by colonnades, was possibly based on the Chateau of Marly, near Versailles. The Rotunda at the head of the green was based on the Roman Pantheon, halved in scale. Jefferson was an inventive designer, experimenting with geometric room shapes and practical ideas (e.g. for skylights, stairs and water closets)

Examples of Roman Classicism from Buffalo architecture:

Other examples:

Photos and their arrangement © 2004 Chuck LaChiusa
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