The early career of George Coppinger Ashlin (1859-1869) : Gothic Revival architect
Citation:Mildred Dunne, 'The early career of George Coppinger Ashlin (1859-1869) : Gothic Revival architect', [thesis], Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland). Department of History of Art and Architecture, 2002, pp 301, pp 117
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This thesis studies the development of the early career of George Coppinger Ashlin (1837-1921). The period covered is from 1859 to 1869 when Ashlin was in partnership with E.W. Pugin. The works of the Pugin and Ashlin partnership form the core of this thesis. The starting date of 1859 coincides with the end of Ashlin’s pupilage with E.W. Pugin and the beginning of the partnership. The concluding date of 1869 was not the official end of the partnership; the partnership did in fact end in August 1868. By 1869, however, E.W. Pugin announced his official representative in Ireland and Ashlin began to erect churches, albeit in the partnership style, as an independent architect. At the outset the aim, scope and method of this study must be defined. The aim of this work is to show how the work of the apparent heirs of A.W.N. Pugin, namely his son E.W. Pugin and George C. Ashlin, explored continental themes in conjunction with Puginian Gothic. As apparent heirs to A.W.N. Pugin they did not adhere to his style of architecture until the close of the partnership. General texts of research into Irish nineteenth century architecture are restrictive. Douglas Scott Richardson’s Gothic Revival Architecture in Ireland (1983) reaches far beyond its nearest rivals, although it suffers from generalisations endemic in such an extensive survey. A few very useful articles and other publications have appeared in recent years, on individual areas, buildings or architects. Primary among these publications is Frederick O’Dwyer’s essay on the Pugin and Ashlin partnership published in 1989. In the broader context of Pugin and Ashlin’s architecture, the Belgian Gothic Revival is identified in the context of the British Gothic Revival in Chris Brooks The Gothic Revival (1999). The rise of Puginian Gothic in Belgium in the 1850s and 1860s had a powerful effect on E.W. Pugin and subsequently on G.C. Ashlin’s careers. Jean van Cleven’s numerous publications on the Belgian Gothic Revival highlights the many Pugin family connections with Belgium at this time. The Pugin and Coppinger family connections remained significant throughout the life of the partnership and their ramifications are further detailed in the catalogue entries. As for method, this study does not follow a strictly chronological progression. Instead chapters three and four deal with a single church type (urban and rural respectively) and discuss developments and themes within each type. Discussions are generally not organised by individual building programme, but the churches as a whole are examined. Chapters one and two deal with the biographical and architectural backgrounds respectively. The survival of records, particularly personal documents but also public material, is erratic at best. Diocesan records for this period are often scanty. For this reason the precise background to a building’s history, particularly a church, often is recorded best in newspapers and journals.
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Author: Dunne, Mildred
Publisher:Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland). Department of History of Art and Architecture
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Type of material:thesis
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