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Stephen Murray

(b New York, Jan 13, 1927; d New York, Nov 26, 1973).

American scholar of Gothic architecture. He majored in classics at Yale University and served in the US Army in Europe (1945–6), where he encountered the great monuments of Gothic architecture. He completed his doctoral degree at Yale, also studying medieval architecture and archaeology at the Ecole des Chartes and the Institut d’Art et Archéologie in Paris, and engaging in excavations at Bourges Cathedral (1950–52). His doctoral dissertation on Bourges was directed by Sumner McKnight Crosby.

Branner taught for a year at Yale (1952) before accepting a teaching position at the University of Kansas (1954). Between 1957 and his death he taught in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University, New York, with a brief spell at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD. As a teacher, Robert Branner energized the study of medieval art in a vital and lasting way.

Although he is remembered principally as a most prolific scholar of Gothic architecture, Branner’s considerable list of publications includes topics in medieval manuscript production, architectural drawing, painting, luxury arts, and monumental sculpture. Each of Branner’s three great books on Gothic architecture brought a different approach. ...

Article

Luc Verpoest

(b Feluy, Jan 10, 1849; d Ghent, Jan 11, 1920).

Belgian architect and writer. He trained as a civil engineer under Adolphe Pauli at the Ecole Spéciale de Génie Civil of the State University of Ghent. As a student he came into contact with the Belgian Gothic Revival movement centred on Jean-Baptiste Bethune and the St Luke School in Ghent, founded by Bethune in 1862. From 1874 Cloquet worked with the publishers Desclée. His early architectural work was similar to that of Bethune, Joris Helleputte and the first generation of St Luke architects. His most important projects were built around the turn of the century: the University Institutes (1896–1905), Ghent, and the Central Post Office (1897–1908), Ghent, the latter with Etienne Mortier (1857–1934), a pupil of Helleputte. In them Cloquet adopted a more eclectic though still predominantly medieval style, also introducing Renaissance motifs. Between 1904 and 1911 he designed a redevelopment plan for the historic centre of Ghent, between the early 14th-century belfry and the 15th-century church of St Michael, known as the Kuip, which was realized before the Ghent World Fair of ...

Article

Douglass Shand-Tucci

(b Hampton Falls, NH, Dec 16, 1863; d Boston, Sept 22, 1942).

American architect and writer. Cram was the leading Gothic Revival architect in North America in the first half of the 20th century, at the head of an informal school known as the Boston Gothicists, who transformed American church design.

In 1881 Cram was apprenticed to the firm of Rotch & Tilden in Boston. His letters on artistic subjects to the Boston Transcript led to his appointment as the journal’s art critic by the mid-1880s. In 1886 he began his first European tour. In 1888 he founded the firm of Cram & Wentworth with Charles Wentworth (1861–97). With the arrival of Bertram Goodhue, the firm became Cram, Wentworth & Goodhue in 1892, and in 1899 Cram, Goodhue & Ferguson, with Frank Ferguson (1861–1926) having joined the office as business and engineering partner following the death of Wentworth.

Cram was strongly influenced both by the philosophies of John Ruskin...

Article

Walter Geis

(b Andernach, April 15, 1823; d Cologne, Sept 13, 1888).

German sculptor, writer, designer, collector, dealer and furniture-restorer. From 1846 to 1871 he made gothicizing sculptures for Cologne Cathedral: for example figures of evangelists, martyrs and angels and figured reliefs (limestone; south transept, portals and buttresses). He also produced sculpture in period styles for castles, public buildings and private houses, for example 36 limestone statues of German emperors (1882–7; Aachen, Rathaus). The balanced form of his blocklike standing figures shows the influence of classical sculpture, and their generally pensive expression may be traced to the influence of the Lukasbrüder (see Nazarenes). With the help of costumes, Mohr adapted sculpted figures to the style of architecture, but in general his work after 1860 is characterized by massiveness, broad surfaces and an expression of pathos.

Mohr’s later work suggests an admiration for Michelangelo and for the monumental sculpture of Mohr’s contemporaries Ernst Rietschel and Johannes Schilling. The sculptures Mohr made between ...

Article

Teresa S. Watts

(b Mulhouse, Sept 28, 1727; d Kassel, bur May 1798).

Swiss architect, painter, draughtsman and writer. He served as an engineer in the French army (1748–54) and drew Gothic monuments in Spain (1748) and copied ancient vases and painted idyllic landscapes in Rome (1749–54). He then stayed from 1755 to 1759 with Horace Walpole at Strawberry Hill, where he worked as a topographical artist, portrait painter and architectural draughtsman. Having left Walpole after a domestic dispute, Müntz attempted to support himself through commissions, producing drawings of a Gothic cathedral and possibly the Alhambra for Kew Gardens, a dining room and cloister (New Haven, CT, Yale U., Lewis Walpole Lib.) for Richard Bateman, and an oval room for Lord Charlemont, to complement his vase collection. All were in the Gothic style, as were a number of architectural drawings later used in a guide by Robert Manwaring (1760). Müntz left England in 1762 and spent a year recording monuments in Greece and Jerusalem before settling in Holland, where he worked until ...

Article

Lynne Walker

(b Greenwich, nr London, Jan 4, 1852; d Chichester, Aug 19, 1932).

English architect and writer. The son of a barrister, he first attended Harrow School and then Cambridge, where he developed an interest in Gothic architecture that was stimulated by John Ruskin’s writings and by his own sketching tours to the churches of East Anglia. In 1874 he was articled to R. Norman Shaw, acting as clerk of works in 1878–9 at St Margaret’s church and at St John’s, a Shaw house, both Ilkley, W. Yorks. He went on sketching tours in England, Belgium and France, often in the company of fellow pupils and assistants, including W. R. Lethaby and Ernest Newton, with whom he founded St George’s Art Society in 1883. In 1884 he was a founder-member of the Art Workers’ Guild, the central metropolitan organization of the Arts and Crafts Movement.

In 1880 Prior set up his own practice, applying Shaw’s Old English and Queen Anne styles to houses such as High Grove (...

Article

Michael J. Lewis

(b Boppard, March 22, 1808; d Cologne, July 16, 1895).

German architect, writer, and politician. He was Germany’s foremost Gothic Revival theorist and publicist and a crucial figure in the completion of Cologne Cathedral. A jurist, parliamentarian, and founding member of the Catholic-oriented Zentrumspartei, he defended the interests of his native Rhineland in a political career that stretched from the 1848 National Assembly to the Reichstag. Nonetheless, art and architecture remained his first loves and played an integral role in his political programme. He helped to shift the Gothic Revival away from the pan-German nationalism and liberalism of the early 19th century and to create a movement saturated with regionalist and separatist values.

Reichensperger was educated as a lawyer in Berlin, Heidelberg, and Paris; he served the Prussian administration, becoming an appellate judge in 1841. He supported the religious and political revival that swept the Rhineland in the late 1830s and helped to establish a Catholic press and to organize a series of Catholic lay brotherhoods. His political vision was inspired by the writings of Johann Joseph von Görres, who expressed a critical view of the modern state and enthusiasm for the decentralized power structure of medieval society. Reichensperger was active, from its founding, in the Dombauverein, the association dedicated to the completion of ...

Article

(b Padua, April 27, 1803; d Padua, Feb 26, 1880).

Italian critic, art historian, architect, and teacher. He was one of the most important writers in mid-19th-century Italy on Gothic art and architecture—an interest stimulated by his support for the Catholic Revival and manifested in his Gothic Revival architectural designs.

He belonged to a noble family awarded the title of marchese by the House of Este princes in Modena, with permission to add Estense to the name Selvatico. He enrolled in the Faculty of Jurisprudence in the University of Padua, mainly to satisfy his family, but he never took his degree. Instead he began to study the history of art and culture with the Abbot Ludovico Menin, a local scholar, and took painting lessons with Giovanni Demin (1786–1859), whose work was known for its late Neo-classicism and incipient Romanticism. More important, however, was his meeting with Giuseppe Jappelli, the architect who adorned Padua with such masterpieces as the Caffè Pedrocchi and whose stylistic eclecticism was very significant at that time. Selvatico painted a few pictures, none of which survived; he also produced some architectural work, which, although not particularly remarkable, can be clearly documented. He began to participate in the cultural life of his city and entered the Accademia di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti in Padua while still a young man. He also visited the most famous cities and monuments in Italy and went to Paris, London, and Germany; evidence of these travels can be seen in his later practical and theoretical work. He was influenced not only by artistic movements but also by more general social and cultural developments, which, because of the Industrial Revolution, were further advanced in France and England than in Italy....

Article

(b Pateley Bridge, Yorks, Sept 9, 1821; d London, Feb 5, 1889).

English painter, printmaker and writer. After being educated at a school for the sons of Methodist ministers, he was articled to the Gothic Revival architect Edward James Willson (1787–1854) in Lincoln. Willson allowed him to spend much of his time drawing the paintings and sculptures in Lincoln Cathedral and after three years let him leave to become a painter. Smetham then worked as a portrait painter in Shropshire before moving to London (1843), where he studied as a probationer at the Royal Academy Schools and met Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who became a close friend. In 1851 he made his début at the Royal Academy and was appointed drawing-master at Normal College in Westminster, London, a post he retained for the next 26 years. He met John Ruskin in 1854, who was greatly impressed by his work. The first of his many breakdowns occurred in 1857. His early work remains largely unknown, but such paintings as ...

Article

Michael J. Lewis

(b Wandbek, Sept 9, 1820; d Kassel, June 11, 1864).

German architect and writer. He was among the foremost architects of the German Gothic Revival and played a major role in applying the ideas of the Rhenish Gothic Revival to Protestant church architecture. Ungewitter was one of the first doctrinaire Gothic Revivalists to teach in a German architectural school, and his students figured prominently in the movement in the late 19th century. His buildings, books and published projects helped to establish high standards of workmanship and archaeological exactitude in church design.

Ungewitter studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich (1838–42) and afterwards worked in the office of Friedrich Bürklein. He moved to Hamburg after the great fire of 1842, working first for the architect J. H. Klees-Wülbern and later forming a partnership with Gustav Martens. He gradually progressed beyond the Rundbogenstil training of his Munich years (which favoured an eclectic mix of Romanesque and Renaissance elements) to work in an indigenous north German brick idiom. He developed a personal style, more dependent on forms of brick construction (corbelling, diapering, jambs and friezes of moulded brick, pilaster strips and recessed blind arches) than on Gothic ecclesiastical architecture and inspired by the local work of Alexis de Chateauneuf and Theodor Bülau. Influenced by August Reichensperger, Ungewitter renounced the ...

Article

R. Windsor Liscombe

(b Norwich, Aug 31, 1778; d Cambridge, Aug 31, 1839).

English architect, writer and collector . A ‘profound knowledge of the principles both of Grecian and Gothic architecture’ generated the career of Wilkins, who was also remembered as ‘a most amiable and honourable man’. He promoted the archaeological Greek Revival in Britain and a Tudor Gothic style. More intellectual than imaginative, his architecture was distinguished by a deft and disciplined manipulation of select historical motifs, a refined sense of scale and intelligent planning, outmoded by the time of his death. Besides his architecture and extensive antiquarian writings, Wilkins assembled an eclectic art collection and owned, or had a financial interest in, several theatres in East Anglia.

The theatres and Wilkins’s architectural bent were inherited from his father, a Norwich architect also called William Wilkins (1751–1815), who assisted Humphry Repton from 1785 to 1796 and established a successful domestic practice, mainly in the Gothick style. His eldest son was educated at Norwich School, then at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, from which he graduated Sixth Wrangler in ...