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date: 21 October 2019

Gisleni [Gislenius; Ghisleni], Giovanni Battistalocked

(b Rome, 1600; d Rome, May 3, 1672).
  • Adam Miłobędzki

Extract

(b Rome, 1600; d Rome, May 3, 1672).

Italian architect, stage designer and musician, active in Poland. He arrived in Poland before 1632, being court architect first to King Sigismund III, then to Vladislav IV and John II Kazimir. Between 1643 and 1654 Gisleni was noted at the Polish court not only as a singer and composer but also as a director and designer of ephemeral decorations. His immense though mostly unrealized architectural and decorative oeuvre is chiefly known from three collections: the album Varii disegni d’architettura inventati e delineati da Gio: Gisleni Romano … (London, Soane Mus.); 12 loose drawings (Milan, Castello Sforzesco); and a sketchbook containing his own designs, copies after modelbooks, and designs by other architects (Dresden, Kupferstichkab.; ‘Skizzenbuch des G. Chiaveri’).

Gisleni’s architectural projects were relatively limited in scale compared to the grander early Baroque palaces of the court architects Matteo Castelli and Constante Tencalla. The residences he built for the nobility then settling in Warsaw combined elements of the Italian villa and the north European castle, sometimes reduced to the scale of the small wooden-built house—a type that served for vernacular architecture for two centuries. Churches by Gisleni were usually single-naved, with a wall-pillared interior common in the north, to which new Baroque articulation had been applied (e.g. Brigittine church of the Holy Trinity, Warsaw, ...

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Slownik artystów polskich i obcych w Polsce dzialjacych [Dictionary of Polish and foreign artists working in Poland] (Wroclaw, 1971)