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Montacute House: A Product Of Medieval And Modern Influence

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Montacute House. A Product of Medieval and Modern Influences
During the fifteenth century, many of the developments that had started in medieval times reached a climax, and they changed the outlook on the world. The period that prompted this change in outlook is known as the Renaissance and it started in Italy. In contrast to the medieval outlook, the modern one was paradoxically based on the past, on the Classics. The Renaissance was a period of transition between the Middle Ages and the Modern Age and it meant the rebirth of the Greek and Roman culture. Although it had started in Italy, it gradually started to spread throughout Europe. But it was not until the XVIth century that it reached England. The Renaissance in England started developing in the fields of music, literature, philosophy and education.
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During the XVIth century, English architecture went through a transition period which can be divided into two: The Tudor style which was “largely medieval in detail but owes its raison d’etre to the Renaissance movement”, and the Elizabethan and Jacobean style “which is classic in detail” (Penoyre, J. and M. Ryan 92). Montacute House, in Somerset, belongs to the latter, the Elizabethan Style. The building takes the form of a capital “E” which emphasizes the traits of equilibrium, symmetry, balance and proportion. It favours straight lines and rectangular shapes, which can be seen especially in the windows. Unlike the medieval style, these windows have no arches. However, as in the Perpendicular Style, Montacute House presents bay windows which stick out at the ground and first floor. As regards the chimneys, Montacute House has chimneys which are similar to those characteristic of the Tudor Style, as they are grouped in pairs. But unlike the corkscrew shaped chimneys of the Tudor Style, the chimneys of Montacute House are rectangular in shape as they resemble classical columns. Like the Perpendicular Style, Montacute House is decorated with mock
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