<論説>ジェファソンのモンティチェロ : 建国初期文化の一様相 [in Japanese] <ARTICLE>Jefferson's Monticello : An Intellectual History of a Building [in Japanese]
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It took more than four decades 'for Thomas Jefferson to complete his private home, Monticello, which he had been building since the 1760s atop a small mountain near Charlottesville, Virginia. Even then he had at least one more major work left : to finish the columns on the western portico. This was finally done in 1823 only three years before his death at the age of eighty-three. There is no doubt but that he must have been happy to bring his ideal home as close to completion as he could have imagined possible. Monticello is as unique as any Virginia house of the late 18th- to early 19th-century. Designed originally to function both as the headquarters of plantation operation and as a quite private residence, it nonetheless strikes the visitor as a fine composite of several classical styles. It also reflects the nationalist aspirations of Jefferson, the architect of a new republic, as well as the architectural genius of Jefferson, the builder of a country house. If a building is the mirror of the mind of one who builds it as is often said, Monticello hardly fails to provide insight into Jefferson's innermost thoughts and feelings. If it has reached a high plateau of esthetic achievement on the one hand, it is a sign of Jefferson's artistic creativity. On the other hand if its design clearly lacks overall consistency, maybe it tells of a similar trait in Jefferson. These considerations lead us to a pair of unavoidable questions : what was Jefferson's true intent of building Monticello and how well did he succeed in realizing it? The present paper is an attempt to answer these questions. To do so, we first examine the sources of Jefferson's architectural aspirations. It will be shown that he was most influenced by the Italian Renaissance architect, Andrea Palladio. Next the two architectural principles he pursued will be discussed. One was the ideal of a Roman country house and the other was the concept of "sub-lime." The history of building the mansion-the first Monticello before 1796 and the second Monticello, a remodelling of the first-will then be followed. Briefly stated he kept up the work of "put ting up and tearing down" for over 40 years before bringing his home to the way it appears today. In this connection, Jefferson's almost possessive pursuit of privacy and the undeniable fact of the presence of slaves at Monticello will be stressed. Finally the "public" character of the house Jefferson built will be dealt with, for much of the early history of the United States was infused into the building where Jefferson lived. It has since become an American Monticello as much as it was his during his lifetime.
- Doshisha American studies
Doshisha American studies 29, 1-14, 1993-03-25