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Article

Simone Hoog

Town and château in France, 20 km south-west of Paris. A hunting-lodge built for King Louis XIII in 1623 was rebuilt with extensive gardens from 1631 (see fig.). Under King Louis XIV it became the main royal residence and the seat of the French government from 1682. The château was enlarged in two main phases, first by Louis Le Vau from 1668, then, from 1678, by Jules Hardouin Mansart. The interior decorations were carried out under the supervision of the Premier Peintre du Roi, Charles Le Brun.

The gardens at Versailles, laid out by André Le Nôtre, with a programme of sculptures directed by Le Brun, were designed to complement the château: their solar imagery (see §2 below) was directly related to the image of Louis XIV as the Roi Soleil (Sun King). Further altered by Louis XV, Versailles was one of the most resplendent European palaces of the 18th century, a symbol of French royal power and an exemplar for contemporary monarchs....

Article

Klaus Herding

(b Trets, June 25, 1637; d Toulon, June 10, 1689).

French sculptor and stuccoist. He was the most prominent member of a large family of sculptors and architects active in Provence in the second half of the 17th century; the most notable other members were his brothers Louis I (c. 1629–after 1697), François (1634–1707) and Joseph (1641–77); among the later generations were Louis I’s son Thomas (1658–1736), architect of the Carmelite church at Aix-en-Provence (begun 1693), and François’s son Lazare V (1659–after 1710), the probable sculptor of the delicate marble relief of the Raising of Lazarus on the high altar of Aix Cathedral.

Christophe Veyrier is referred to in 1663 in documents in Genoa as a maître esculpteur; he was trained in Rome in 1668–9 and from 1670 worked for the Eglise des Minimes in Toulon. Four years later he married a niece of the sculptor Pierre Puget. In ...

Article

Bruno Adorni

(b Reggio Emilia, Feb 19, 1588; d Modena, Sept 9, 1663).

Italian architect, stage designer and engineer . He is first noted in 1618 and again in 1619 as a designer of theatrical effects for church festivities in Reggio Emilia. In 1631 he moved to Modena, where he worked on the city fortifications for Francesco I d’Este (ii), Duke of Modena, for whom he also built a garden casino (1633–4; modified 18th century) and, later, the villa of Pentetorri (1652; destr.). In 1635 he became Engineer and General Superintendent of Buildings for the Duke, and in 1636 he began work on Modena’s pentagonal citadel. He also supervised the decorations for court festivities, which involved the construction of ephemeral architecture. Vigarani was in addition a successful designer of theatres, building those at Reggio Emilia (1637), Carpi (1640) and the Teatro della Speltà (1654–6), Modena (all destr.). In 1659 he was summoned to Paris to design the decorations for the wedding of King Louis XIV. Vigarani’s theatre at the Tuileries, the Salle des Machines (...

Article

Oreste Ferrari

(b Massalubrense, Naples, March 13, 1625; d Naples, ?July 1695).

Italian sculptor, silversmith and architect. He was a pupil and collaborator of Dionisio Lazzari. His independent activity in and around Naples dates from 1661, when he carved the wooden choir-stalls in the church of S Pietro ad Aram, Naples. His first sculptures are the bronze statue of St Francis Xavier (1664; Naples Cathedral, Cappella del Tesoro) and the silver Christ (1670; Naples, Santa Trinità dei Pellegrini), which reveal a relative freedom from the Baroque tradition. Like other Neapolitan artists, Vinaccia retained an ambiguity between traditional and archaic forms and more modern stylistic elements.

Vinaccia is better known for his decorative stucco work in the vault of the oratory of Nobili, near the Gesù Nuovo (1682), and in the Congregazione dell’Immacolata, near the Gesù Vecchio (1691). He also produced silver liturgical objects such as crucifixes, candelabra, reliquaries and frames for altar-cards. The large silver antependium for the altar of the Cappella del Tesoro in Naples Cathedral is his most important work, and the representation of the ...

Article

(bapt San Vittore, nr Roveredo, Grisons, Dec 27, 1645; bur Munich, Sept 9, 1713).

Swiss–Italian builder and architect, active in Germany. His father, Bartolomeo Viscardi (1599–1654), was summoned to Munich by Elector Maximilian I of Bavaria in 1630 and worked in the Innviertel area and in Lower Bavaria from 1634. Giovanni Antonio completed his apprenticeship in the building trade, at that time strongly influenced by Italian architectural models, in the Swiss canton of Grisons. He is first mentioned in documents in connection with the construction in 1674 of the pilgrimage church at Altötting, Lower Bavaria, where he acted as clerk of works for Enrico Zuccalli. It must have been on Zuccalli’s recommendation that Viscardi eventually went to Munich in 1677. In 1678 he was appointed court master mason and in 1685 court architect. His first years in office were taken up with small-scale but varied duties for the court building office, but he was ousted in 1689 after disputes with Zuccalli and had to make his way as an independent architect until ...

Article

John Newman

(b Little Britain, London, 1611; d Butleigh, Somerset, Oct 30, 1672).

English architect. The son of a gentleman, he was sent to Merchant Taylors’ school in the City of London and while still in his teens he became a pupil of Inigo Jones (whose relative—the daughter of a first cousin, it seems—he subsequently married). Throughout the 1630s he gained wide experience in mechanics, the fine arts and architectural design by assisting with Jones’s most ambitious masques and in his remodelling of St Paul’s Cathedral. In effect, Webb was Jones’s clerk and draughtsman for jobs outside the scope of the Office of Works; his first independent designs, most notably a projected villa-like lodge at Hale, Hants, date from 1638. Webb’s preoccupation during the Civil War was architectural design: numerous annotated drawings of the orders, of house plans, of designs for churches, and of details for windows and doorways constitute a thorough survey of classical architectural vocabulary, even if they do not amount to the full illustrated text of a projected treatise. The reconstruction drawings (probably under Jones’s guidance) that he made during this time of the various types of ancient house give a particularly impressive indication of his study of Renaissance treatises....

Article

Christian F. Otto

(b Kronach, 1671; d Mainz, 1745).

German architect and engineer . He was educated in the Jesuit Academia Ottoniana in Bamberg, and in 1692 began a military career that took him, as an officer in the corps of engineers, on campaigns through much of Europe. Lothar Franz von Schönborn, Prince Bishop and Elector of Mainz, engaged him in 1704, appointing him Director of Military Construction c. 1712 and entrusting him with the design, rebuilding and construction of fortifications in Mainz and forts at Philippsburg, Drusenheim, Forchheim, Kronach, Rosenberg, Kehl and Erfurt. Welsch’s advice was also sought for other fortifications, such as those at Würzburg and Königshofen. In these many projects he offered unusual but effective solutions.

The clever use of site conditions that Welsch showed in his fortifications probably paved the way for his architectural career, and the six months he spent during 1714 working with Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt in Vienna must have heightened his sense of architectural design. His first large-scale work, the Schloss (designed ...

Article

Torbjörn Fulton

(b c. 1585; d Stockholm, April 3, 1652).

German sculptor and architect, also active in Sweden . From c. 1620 he lived in Hamburg, where he executed works in marble and alabaster. He was a so-called Free Master, which makes it certain that he was highly valued by his patrons. Although he was probably very productive during his Hamburg period, no traces of his work are left there; nor does the single, documented work by him in Germany survive, a large altarpiece in the Nicolaikirche in Elmshorn, executed c. 1640 but destroyed already in 1657 and now known from a contemproary description. One other German work has been attributed to Wilhelm on stylistic grounds: a big wall epitaph (1637) for Johan Schönbach in Schleswig Cathedral.

In 1635 the Swedish Lord High Chancellor Axel Oxenstierna (1583–1654), invited him to Sweden to work on the Palace of the Nobility in Stockholm. After the death of its architect, Simon De La Vallée, in ...

Article

Pál Voit

(b Imst, Tyrol, Oct 24, 1667; d Pacov, Bohemia, May 12, 1732).

Austrian architect. In 1695 he entered the Carmelite Order as a lay brother and was known as Brother Athanasius. He subsequently joined his compatriot Johann Martin Rass (1640–94) in Prague. Rass, who was also a lay brother, had directed (1679–96) the construction in Prague of the church of St Joseph, to the designs of Jean Baptiste Mathey. From Prague, Rass took Wittwer to Linz, where they began building a church for the Carmelites, completed by Wittwer after Rass’s sudden death. The building contractor was Johann Michael Prunner, who was also responsible for building Wittwer’s centralized church for the Carmelite nuns of Linz and to whom many of Wittwer’s works were later attributed. At Linz, Wittwer closely followed the domed construction of the Order’s church in Vienna and derived its undulating west façade from the work of Borromini. At Győr, Wittwer modelled his Carmelite church on the longitudinal oval structure of Donato-Felice Allio’s church for the Salesian nuns in Vienna. The plans (...

Article

Kerry Downes

(b East Knoyle, Wilts, Oct 20, 1632; d London, Feb 25, 1723).

English architect . The leader of the English Baroque school, he was the creator of St Paul’s Cathedral, London, completed in his lifetime, and remains the most famous architect in English history ( see fig. ).

Needless confusion persists over the year of Wren’s birth because a previous child called Christopher, his father’s first name, had been born but immediately died in November 1631. From his father, who was the rector of East Knoyle, a rural parish, Wren acquired his interest in numbers, structures and mechanical contrivances, as well as his loyalty to the monarchy in politics and support of the episcopacy and the sacraments in religion. The Wren family remained steadfastly—and in some cases heroically—royalist and episcopalian throughout the Civil War and the Interregnum, the periods that coincided with most of Wren’s teens and twenties respectively. After five years at Westminster School, London, and three of private study, in 1649...

Article

(b ?1627; d Grimbergen, Aug 12, 1660).

Flemish monk and architect. According to the records of the Norbertine abbey at Grimbergen, as a young Norbertine monk he drew up the plans and supervised the initial building work of the abbey church, begun in 1660 under Abbot Charles Fernandez de Velasco. This was one of the most important Baroque churches of the time in Belgium. By 1662 the choir was completed; the nave and the tower were only finished at the beginning of the 18th century (consecrated 1725). As with the Norberti ne churches of Averbode (1664–72) and Ninove (1635–1723), Brabant, the architect sought to combine a central structure with a deep choir, thereby achieving a light, rich interior. To avoid construction problems the dome was executed in wood and stucco and worked into the roof of the church, as in Willem Hesius’s St Michielskerk, Leuven.

J. Delestré: ‘L’Architecte de l’église abbatiale de Grimberghe’, ...