gradual crumbling

See: decline
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What I saw there had a profound impact on me and led to the gradual crumbling of the dividing walls I had been so painstakingly constructing.
Gardano's preface is nonetheless symptomatic of the end of an era, of the gradual crumbling of the social structures that had fostered the aristocratic seclusion of certain stylistic avant-gardes of the late Renaissance.