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Sir William Chambers (1722-96)

A primitive hut c.1759

RCIN 924812

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William Chambers explored the nature and origins of primitive buildings in his popular architectural guide A Treatise on Civil Architecture (1759). The link between the primitive and the classical informs this drawing. Chambers depicts a classical building, with pediment, portico, and columns, but constructed of vernacular materials: brick, bark, thatch, reed and plank. The incongruous combination of form and material produces an unsettling effect, despite the refined execution of the drawing.