Synopses & Reviews
For more than one reason Professor Pevsner, eleventh Slade Professor of Fine Art in the University of Cambridge, takes as the topic of his Inaugural Lecture Matthew Digby Wyatt, the Victorian architect and the first Slade Professor. He begins by inspecting some of Wyatt's major works - Addenbrooke's Hospital at Cambridge and the Paddington Station among them. Presently he allows himself to be diverted from his light architectural candour about Wyatt's buildings to an account of Wyatt's more general interests in design, and so to investigate the Victorian arena, with Pugin, Ruskin, and Morris, the conservative idealists, preaching one gospel, and Wyatt, Cole, and the Prince Consort preaching something different. The battle being fought was, as the Professor's 1950 text shows, deeply important; and its effects remain.