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J. J. Martín González

Spanish palace that stands beside the rivers Tagus and Jarama in the province of Madrid, 47 km south of the capital. It was intended as a spring and summer residence for the royal family and is renowned for its gardens and fountains. The summer residence built at Aranjuez in 1387 by Lorenzo Suárez de Figueroa, Grand Master of the Order of Santiago, became royal property under Ferdinand II, King of Aragon, and Isabella, Queen of Castile and León. In the reign of Charles V improvements were carried out by Luis de Vega (from c. 1537) and the palace was extensively enlarged by Philip II. The chapel was designed by Juan Bautista de Toledo and completed by Jerónimo Gili and Juan de Herrera. It was built in a combination of white stone from Colmenar de Oreja and brick, giving a two-toned effect that was adopted for the rest of the palace. In ...


Carola Hicks

English country house near Woodstock, Oxon, designed by John Vanbrugh for John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough. It was begun in 1705 and completed c. 1725. The gardens, initially laid out by Vanbrugh and Henry Wise, were largely redesigned in 1764–74 by ‘Capability’ Brown. Blenheim Palace is regarded as one of the finest examples of English Baroque architecture. It was a gift to the Duke from a grateful Crown and nation to commemorate his victory in 1704 over the French and Bavarians at Blenheim (now Blindheim) during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–14). The intention was to create a public monument symbolizing the glory of Britain and a palace fit for a hero, rather than a building on a domestic scale. This is reflected in Vanbrugh’s dramatic and monumental design, inspired by both English and French architecture, which developed the style he had begun to formulate in his earlier work at Castle Howard, N. Yorks. In both undertakings he was assisted by ...



Claudia Lazzaro

Sacro Bosco [Villa Orsini]

Italian estate below the hill town of Bomarzo, near Viterbo. The popular name derives from an inscription in the wood, which refers to it as a ‘sacro bosco’, an allusion to Arcadia (1504) by Jacopo Sannazaro. The Sacro Bosco, built for Pier Francesco (‘Vicino’) Orsini (d 1585) from c. 1552, was dedicated by him to his deceased wife, Giulia Farnese. Called a boschetto (little wood) by Orsini, the site is hilly with untouched terrain, although there are also level terraces and rectilinear enclosures. Much was done by 1564; sculpture was added during the 1570s, and work continued until Orsini’s death in January 1585.

The original planting plan is unknown, and since the rediscovery of the site in the 1940s much has been replanted. The stream may have been dammed to form a lake in the areas of the present entrance and the path lined with heads (moved there in the modern restoration). The original entrance was probably near the Leaning House, the former location of the sphinxes, as their inscriptions address the entering visitor. The hypothesis of a formal garden contemporary with the Sacro Bosco on the hillside above must be rejected without further evidence....


K. A. Ottenheym

Castle in Breda, north Brabant, Netherlands. It is one of the first examples of monumental Renaissance architecture in the Netherlands, constructed at a time (1530s) when large buildings there were still dominated by the Late Gothic style from Brabant. A fortress had stood on the site since the 13th century. In 1515–21 Count Henry III of Nassau (1483–1538) commissioned a gallery on the curtain wall and a portal, both with ornate pediments (destr.), which was the first known piece of Renaissance architecture in the Netherlands. In 1536 Henry initiated more thoroughgoing alterations, with the intention of replacing the Gothic castle with a modern palace. The design comprised a rectangular layout around a large courtyard overlooked by an arcade. From the courtyard a stately, covered double staircase led to the double-height great hall on the first floor, which occupied the entire west wing. The ground floor below this hall was originally an open hall of columns. This design was finally completed in ...


Maria Angela Mattevi

[Buon Consiglio; Trent; Trento]

Vast monumental complex built between the north and east gates of the ancient city walls (c. 1200–20) of Trent, the capital of Trentino in Italy. It has three main nuclei: the Castelvecchio, the Magno Palazzo and the Giunta Albertiana. The oldest part, Castelvecchio, was built (1239–55) around the strong donjon, the Torre d’Augusto, by the Imperial Podestà of Trent, Sodegerio da Tito (d 1255), who took up office in 1238. Its function was predominantly military. In 1277 it passed to the Church and became the residence of the prince–bishop of Trent. In subsequent centuries a series of modifications and extensions have brought the castle to its present form. Of fundamental importance were the works completed in 1475 by Giovanni Hinderbach (d 1486) with the aid of Venetian craftsmen, who built the Renaissance Gothic internal court with tiered open galleries and the small loggia on the third floor. At that time the walls of the upper loggia were frescoed with portraits of the bishops of Trent from the city’s origin to the year ...


Charles Saumarez Smith

English country house in N. Yorks built (1701–24) by John Vanbrugh for Charles Howard, 3rd Earl of Carlisle; the gardens were laid out by George London during the same period. One of the largest, grandest and, architecturally, most important country houses in England, Castle Howard was first planned in October 1698, when the 3rd Earl took out a lease for life on the ruinous Henderskelfe Castle (burnt 1693; destr. 1724) and its manor from his grandmother, Anne Howard, Countess of Carlisle. The following spring he consulted the architect William Talman, Comptroller of Works to William III, on the design for a house to replace the old castle of Henderskelfe, but during the summer Talman was supplanted by the playwright John Vanbrugh. Castle Howard was Vanbrugh’s first important architectural commission. A model in wood was shown to the King in the summer of 1700, and work on the hill-top site began in the spring of ...


Christopher Tadgell

Type of large country house in France. It developed from the fortified castle (château fort) of the Middle Ages into the imposing country residence at the centre of a royal or noble estate (château de plaisance) of the Renaissance and after. The term later came to be used more generally for any French country house, with or without an estate.

See also Palace, §II, Castle, §II, and Maison de plaisance.

Unlike the town house, which in general conformed to the courtyard type, the château in France is the product of historical evolution and may not be dealt with so clearly in typological terms. The feudal château fort was a base for seigneurial power, in which defensive qualities were of major importance. With the increasing security that followed from the centralization of power in the realm in the 15th century, and with growing conceptions of comfort and convenience, strength ceded to grace and, at the hands of great classical architects, organic diversity to coherence of form. The ...


Hakon Lund

Danish castle c. 40 km north-west of Copenhagen. The summer residence of the Danish court, it was originally a hunting seat, built in 1719–22 for Frederick IV (reg 1699–1730) by Johann Cornelius Krieger. It comprised a corps-de-logis and an octagonal forecourt surrounded by single-storey buildings. The corps-de-logis, the nucleus of the layout, is a centralized building with a square hall in the middle, two storeys high and surmounted by a four-sided cupola. The plan of the building is derived from the Palladian villa type, but the shape of the cupola gives the exterior a French rather than Italian appearance. The central hall is undoubtedly inspired by a similar room in the Palazzo Albergati in Bologna, attributed to Baldassare Peruzzi, which Frederick visited twice. An unexecuted project (1708; Washington, DC, Lib. Congr.), which the King commissioned from Francesco Muttoni in Vicenza, could have been influential, despite its megalomaniac appearance, in the choice of the Palladian central plan and some of the stuccowork in the cupola room. It remains, however, an original design. Krieger also laid out the semicircular garden directly in front of the building....


Karin M. E. Alexis

Swedish royal fortification and residence in Mariefred, near Stockholm, begun in 1537 by King Gustav I. It is one of the finest remaining examples of Swedish architecture of the Vasa dynasty (1523–1600) founded by Gustav, and combines sophisticated Renaissance interiors with a form that remains essentially medieval. The site, strategic since Viking times, became more important during the Middle Ages when an estate and castle were erected in 1383 by Chancellor Bo Jonsson. In 1472 the property was purchased by Sten Sture the Elder (1440–1503), who donated it in 1498 to a Carthusian monastery. Gustav I seized the property in 1526, claiming the legal rights of inheritance through his kinship with Sten Sture. The existing medieval stone keep was inadequate for Gustav, who commissioned the architect Henrik Cöllen to design a new castle (begun 1537), a practical fortress-refuge for the king, his family and the royal chancery and treasury. Defensive in nature, the castle has a polygonal plan, with four massive circular towers at the angles. Built of brick, with 3–4 m thick walls surrounded by a moat, it retains a bold, severe appearance with few extraneous details, although a picturesque element is added by the irregular silhouette of towers and roofs . A painted ceiling in Halberdiers’ Hall, attributed to ...


Simon Thurley

English palace situated on the north bank of the River Thames, c. 23 km upstream from central London. In the building that survives, two main periods of work can be seen: the remains of the Tudor royal palace, begun by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey between 1514 and 1529 and completed by Henry VIII between 1529 and 1547; and the Baroque palace built for William and Mary between 1688 and 1702 by Christopher Wren. The palace has also been continually altered and repaired up to the present day. The Tudor part of the building is probably the most important surviving example of early Tudor domestic architecture in England, and the Wren building contains one of the finest collections of early 18th-century decorative arts in situ.

The earliest buildings (destr.) on the site belonged to the Knights Hospitallers of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, although little is known about the nature of these buildings. The first important period of expansion began ...


Mario Schwarz

Cistercian abbey in the Vienna Woods, Lower Austria. Heiligenkreuz, the oldest Cistercian abbey in the region once ruled by the house of Babenberg, was founded in 1135 by Margrave Leopold III of Austria (reg 1096–1136). It was settled with monks from Morimond Abbey in France, and a temporary building was consecrated in 1136. From the time of Leopold IV (reg 1136–41) Heiligenkreuz was the preferred burial place of the Babenbergs.

The nave of the church, begun before 1147 and consecrated in 1187, is an ashlar building, which at first had a flat ceiling. Excavations have shown that the original east end consisted of three apses without a transept. In 1147 Henry II (reg 1141–77) donated the village of Münchendorf and its revenues to the abbey, making it possible to vault the church, and a further endowment in 1156 enabled the monastic buildings to be rebuilt in stone. The five-bay aisled nave, the proportions of which are based on a module derived from the crossing square, has alternating supports. The aisles are groin-vaulted, but the main vessel has domical vaults with ribs of a plain, rectangular profile, the transverse arches resting on short pilasters corbelled above the arcade (...


Susanne Kronbichler-Skacha

Castle in Salzburg, Austria. To the south of Salzburg, Archbishop Marcus Sitticus von Hohenems (reg 1612–19) commissioned Santino Solari to build a small castle to be used as a summer palace. Schloss Hellbrunn (1613–19) is a most perfect realization of the Italian villa suburbana and the earliest of its kind north of the Alps. Situated at the end of a long avenue, the building is a cube of classic simplicity, with a bifurcate staircase opening on to a cour d’honneur. The most remarkable interior features are the Festsaal (banqueting hall), set asymmetrically on the west side, and its projecting octagon, with frescoes by Arsenio Mascagni (1579–1636). Hellbrunn’s main attraction, however, is its gardens. The Lustgarten or Pleasure Garden was laid out north of the castle and furnished with an unusual variety of grottoes, fountains, ponds and other features including the Roman Theatre, a miniature exedra dominated by a statue of ...


Former royal castle in north Zealand, Denmark. The medieval village of Hillerød can be deduced from the first mention, in 1275, of a manor house, Hillerødsholm, built on an islet in a marshy area surrounded by forests. In 1560 King Frederick II acquired Hillerødsholm and converted it into a royal residence, renaming it Frederiksborg. The plan of the existing castle is still based on Frederick’s hunting-lodge, with the buildings disposed on three islets in an artificial lake (dammed in the 1560s). The servants’ buildings on the first islet have been preserved, with heavy corner towers at the north bearing the King’s motto and the date 1562 in iron ties. Other surviving buildings include the pantry wing (1580s), on the west bank in front of the third islet, and the baths, built by Hans Floris (d 1600) in the park north-west of the lake. The buildings are of red brick, with some stepped gables and details in light sandstone, following Netherlandish building traditions, which are most pronounced in the baths. Records, excavations and two views by ...


D. O. Shvidkovsky

Monastery at Teryayevo in Russia, some 110 km north-west of Moscow. It was founded in 1479 by Iosif Volotsky (1439–1515), who successfully resisted the 15th-century movement to secularize monastic properties, and was partially paid for by the Grand Princes of Moscow, who helped to establish it as a centre for icon painting and manuscript illumination and who established its collection of ancient reliquaries. Between 1484 and 1500 Dionisy painted an extensive series of icons for the monastery.

The monastery’s first stone church was built between 1484 and 1486 and was surrounded by brick walls c. 1543–66. The whole complex, which is enclosed on two sides by a lake, was completely rebuilt between the 1670s and 1690s and is a fine example of 17th-century Russian architecture, with its numerous white walls and towers and well-proportioned stone-stepped roofs. A two-storey building pierced by two asymmetrically placed gates, the Holy Gates, serves as the main entrance to the monastery. The five-domed church of the Dormition (...


Gordon Campbell

English castle in Warwickshire. In 1265 the medieval castle at Kenilworth was granted by Henry III to his second son, Edmund Crouchback, Earl of Lancaster, and for the next three centuries it was passed back and forth between the crown and various noble families. In 1563 the castle was granted by Queen Elizabeth to her favourite, Dudley, Robert, 1st Earl of Leicester, Earl of Leicester, who decided to convert the castle into a great house fit to receive occasional visits from the Queen. He retained the banqueting hall that had been built in 1392, and redesigned the Norman keep (built 1120), inserting mullioned and transomed windows on the first floor and renovating the accommodation within the building. He also demolished part of the curtain wall to construct the magnificent guest house that has been known since the 17th century as Leicester’s Building.

Dudley also built a gatehouse, beside which a large garden was laid out. The design shows indirect French influence, mediated through the English royal palace gardens. Like the gardens at ...


Susanne Kronbichler-Skacha and Martina Pippal

Benedictine abbey complex in Upper Austria, south of Linz.

Susanne Kronbichler-Skacha

Tassilo III, Duke of Bavaria (reg 748–88) and close rival to Charlemagne, founded the abbey in ad 777. Throughout the 13th century the early Carolingian structure was gradually turned into a high medieval complex, and this has survived under the Baroque rebuilding of the 17th and 18th centuries. However, all that remains visible today is a small porch, originally leading to the cloister (now the Kreuzhof), the polygonal apse of the choir and the two chapels in the west towers of the church. The south chapel houses the cenotaph (c. 1300) of the founder’s son Gunther.

Soon after 1600 a large-scale reconstruction was begun; it was carried out continuously during the following 150 years, leaving the abbey in its present state, as a fairly symmetrical layout of several courtyards, with the outer and the inner areas separated by a moat. Of the early 17th-century work, the first building, the Abteitrakt (...


Jiřina Hořejší

Renaissance palace in Litomyšl, 57 km south-east of Hradec Králové in the Czech Republic. The 16th-century building is one of the best examples of Czech Renaissance architecture. There was a fortified Slav settlement on the site, then a castle (first mentioned in ad 981) and from 1344 a bishop’s residence. In 1567 it was acquired by the Bohemian Chancellor, Vratislav of Pernštejn, who decided to build a luxurious and imposing family residence there. He summoned from Prague the court architect Giovanni Battista Aostalli, who was in charge of the project from 1568 to 1575. The house was completed by Ulrico Aostalli in 1581. Its plan comprises a massive three-storey block in four wings around two internal courtyards, with the chapel of St Michael in the south-east corner. The older medieval buildings were incorporated into the Renaissance complex in parts of the west and north wings. The main exterior façades are not architecturally articulated except for a loggia opened to both sides on the second floor of the south wing. After ...


Anna Bentkowska

[Ger. Leubus

Former Cistercian abbey near Wrocław in Silesia, south-west Poland, one of the largest Baroque abbeys in central Europe (main complex: 223×118 m), situated south of Lubiąż village on the west bank of the Odra (Ger. Oder), surrounded by defence walls and moats, fields and woods. It was formerly also a centre of music. The abbey’s present imposing appearance is the result of a remodelling in 1681–1739. It was founded in 1163 as the first Cistercian abbey in Silesia by Boleslav I of Silesia (reg 1163–1201), who brought the Order from Pforta on Saal in Thuringia. The monks settled on the site, which c. 1150–63 had been occupied by Benedictines. The first Romanesque church is mentioned in a document of 1208, but the only element surviving from that building is a small column (c. 1230–40), originally a piscina, preserved in the choir. The capital is elaborately carved with bird and plant motifs and has traces of polychromy. In the late 13th century and the early 14th that church was replaced by the existing Gothic basilica with its rectangular ambulatory; a ducal burial chapel was added in ...


Douglas Lewis

Italian villa at Maser, a village in the Veneto between Cornuda on the River Piave and the fortified town of Asolo, in the foothills of the Dolomites c. 60 km north-west of Venice. The villa, designed by Andrea Palladio and built in 1554–8 for the Barbaro family, lies to the east of the village and faces south (see fig.). It incorporates the remains of a medieval castello tower as a forward-projecting two-storey central block; this tower may have been built c. 1339, when Venice conquered the province of Treviso and the Barbaro family acquired the property. Its rebuilding and enlargement by Palladio (see Palladio, Andrea, §I, 1, (ii)) were commissioned in 1549 by two of the most important humanist statesmen and artistic patrons of the Venetian republic: Daniele Barbaro, Ambassador to England and Patriarch Elect of Aquileia, and his married brother Marc’Antonio Barbaro, a Venetian senator and Ambassador to Constantinople (...


Christian F. Otto

Benedictine abbey, 16 km from Nördlingen, in the Swabian Alps, Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It was founded in 1095 by Graf Hartmann I von Dillingen. Its first church was built in the 12th century, but in 1695, to mark the 600th anniversary of the monastery, the façade and interior were remodelled in the Baroque style, although the tower, built in 1617–26 by Peter Schwarz (d 1626) in a Romanesque style, was left unaltered. At the same time new service buildings were constructed, and in 1699–1726 new monastic quarters, designed by Michael Weidemann, were built. The final phase of building was the construction of a new church. A site on the northern edge of the monastic complex was prepared in 1745, before an architect had been selected.

In 1747 the abbot Aurelius Braisch engaged Balthasar Neumann to design the church, having been impressed by his Benedictine monastery church of Münsterschwarzach, begun in ...