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Anja Buschow Oechslin

(b Venice, Nov 21, 1688; d Venice, June 26, 1782).

Italian painter, engraver, architect and theorist. He trained with Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini and was first mentioned as a painter in 1711. Visentini first earned fame with a volume of his drawings engraved by Vicenzo Mariotti (d 1734) as Iconographia della Ducal Basilica dell’Evangelista di S Marco (Venice, 1726). His own work as an engraver dates from the end of the 1720s, when he was commissioned by Joseph Smith, with whom he had been in contact since 1717, to produce engravings of Canaletto’s views of Venice; they were published in Prospectus magni canalis Venetiarum (Venice, 1735). An enlarged version was published by Giambattista Pasquali ( fl 1730–90) as Urbis Venetiarum prospectus celebriores (Venice, 1742–54). From 1735 to the 1750s Visentini worked as an engraver for Pasquali and also undertook commissions from Giovanni Poleni for the printing-house of the seminary at Padua. Vignettes and illustrations by his hand are to be found in many publications, such as ...


Marita Sturken

Culture of images and visuality that creates meaning in our world today. This includes media forms such as photography, film, television, and digital media; art media such as painting, drawing, prints, and installations; architecture and design; comic books and graphic novels; fashion design, and other visual forms including the look of urban life itself. It also encompasses such social realms as art, news, popular culture, advertising and consumerism, politics, law, religion, and science and medicine. The term visual culture also refers to the interdisciplinary academic field of study that aims to study and understand the role that images and visuality play in our society; how images, gazes, and looks make meaning socially, culturally, and politically; how images are integrated with other media; and how visuality shapes power, meaning, and identity in contemporary global culture.

The emergence of the concept of visual culture as a means to think about the role of images in culture and as an academic field of study is a relatively recent phenomenon, emerging in the late 1980s and becoming established by the late 1990s. There were numerous factors that contributed to the idea that images should be understood and analysed across social arenas rather than as separate categories, including the impact of digital media on the circulation of images across social realms, the modern use of images from other social arenas (such as news and advertising) in art, and the cross-referencing of cultural forms displayed in popular culture and art. It was also influenced by the increasingly visible role played by images in political conflict and a general trend toward interdisciplinarity in academia....


Eugene Dwyer, Peter Kidson and Pier Nicola Pagliara

(fl later 1st century bc). Roman architect, engineer and writer, renowned for his treatise in ten books, On Architecture (Lat. De architectura), the only text on architectural theory and practice to have survived from Classical antiquity.

Eugene Dwyer

Vitruvius is known in the earliest manuscripts of On Architecture only by this name, a nomen gentilicium or clan name. By his own testimony (I. Preface), he was already an older man at the time he dedicated his treatise to the Emperor Augustus (?27 or 14 bc). He had earlier served Augustus’ adoptive father, Julius Caesar, as a siege engineer, and at some time after Caesar’s death (44 bc) he entered the service of Octavian (after 27 bc called Augustus). He enjoyed Octavian’s continued patronage on the recommendation of the latter’s sister, Octavia, a fact that suggests a period of service under her second husband, the triumvir ...


(b Turin, 1702; d Turin, Oct 19, 1770).

Italian architect and writer. He was the last of the three great masters of Piedmontese Baroque, and he achieved a reconciliation of the ideas of his predecessors Guarino Guarini and Filippo Juvarra in developing an architecture of immense creativity, particularly for churches. Vittone was the only one of the three to be born in Piedmont; most of his work was built outside Turin, however, and it remains generally less well known than that of Guarini and Juvarra.

He came from a family of small merchants, and his introduction to architecture probably came from his uncle, the architect Gian Giacomo Plantery (1680–1756). His first works were minor: the high altar (c. 1730; attrib.) in the sanctuary of S Ignazio (1725), Lanzo, a small church perhaps designed by Plantery; a wall (1730; destr.) separating the courtyard from the garden at Guarini’s unfinished Palazzo Carignano, Turin; and the parish church of S Maria della Neve (...


Madeleine Van De Winckel

[Jan] [Frisio, Johan]

(b Leeuwarden, 1527; d ?Antwerp, ?1606).

Dutch designer, architect and painter, active in the southern Netherlands and throughout the Holy Roman Empire. Though an artist of many talents, it was through his engravings that he most influenced his contemporaries. The distribution of his works by the publishers of Antwerp made him one of the leading and best-known exponents of Mannerist decoration and the instigator of a new urban vision in northern and central Europe.

He first studied drawing in his native Leeuwarden in Friesland for five years with Reijer Gerritsz., a glass painter from Amsterdam, who moved to Leuven c. 1544. Vredeman de Vries then spent two years in Kampen, before moving to Mechelen, where he learnt to paint in watercolour on canvas, a technique typical of that town. In 1549 he assisted Pieter Coecke van Aelst on the decoration of the triumphal arches constructed for the ceremonial entry into Antwerp of Charles V and his son, the future Philip II. On Vredeman de Vries’s return to Friesland, he was briefly in Kollum, where he is reported to have applied himself ‘night and day’ to copying the works of Sebastiano Serlio and Vitruvius from editions published and translated by Coecke van Aelst. Vredeman de Vries returned to Mechelen to stay with the painter and art dealer ...


Ludovica Scarpa

(b Königsberg [now Kaliningrad, Russian Federation], Nov 5, 1885; d Cambridge, MA, April 28, 1957).

German architect, urban planner and theorist, active also in the USA. After brief apprenticeships in the studio of Hermann Muthesius in Berlin (1908–9) and with Fritz Schumacher in Hamburg (1911), he was appointed director of urban planning at Rüstringen (now Wilhelmshaven), where he remained until 1914, producing his first examples of municipal architecture. From 1918 to 1920 he was chief planner at Schöneberg, a suburb of Berlin. Here he designed the Siedlung Lindenhof housing estate (1918–19; destr. 1944). Wagner’s principal interest was in producing low-cost housing provided with the social and hygienic requisites lacking in the speculative building typical of large 19th-century cities. This preoccupation led him to assist in the establishment of cooperative building ventures funded by trades unions, such as the Bauhütte Berlin (1919), the Verband Sozialer Baubetriebe (1920–24) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Förderung des Wohnungsbaus (Dewog). As director of the latter’s branch in Berlin, the Gemeinnützige Heimstätten AG (Gehag), Wagner initiated the construction of the Hufeisensiedlung (...


(b Vienna, Jan 21, 1921; d Vienna, Dec 11, 1980).

Austrian architectural and art historian and writer. She studied art history from 1942 at the Universität, Vienna, where she began her academic career in 1945 as a Student Assistant. After a nine-year assistantship she was appointed Lecturer in 1956 and in the same year married the historian Walter Wagner. Her main interests lay in the field of European architecture and Austrian art. She first gained international attention in the mid-1950s through her extensive research on Early Gothic architecture in Italy; her paper on historicism, presented to the International Congress of Art History in Bonn (1964), was the first of her important contributions to this developing branch of research. Her classifications of 19th-century art and her guiding insights into the work of the period have since been widely accepted. In 1964 she was appointed Associate Professor at the Universität, Vienna, and she became Director of the Forschungsunternehmen Wiener Ringstrasse, editing 11 volumes of the institute’s journal. In the last years of her life she joined the editorial staff of the ...


(b Weesp, Dec 12, 1871; d Zandvoort, Sept 24, 1933).

Dutch architect, theorist and teacher. After training at the Quellinusschool, Amsterdam, he worked in the office of P. J. H. Cuypers from 1890 as a draughtsman. In subsequent years, with his friends and colleagues K. P. C. de Bazel and J. L. Mathieu Lauweriks, he became involved with socialist and anarchist groups. His affiliation to the Theosophical Society led to a definitive break with Cuypers. As a result of his anarchist activities, Walenkamp was unable to participate when, between 1895 and 1898, de Bazel and Lauweriks formulated their theosophical theory of art and established their reputations as the leaders of Nieuwe Kunst. Accordingly, his reputation was overshadowed by that of his friends, although in his ideas and work he was often ahead of them and other architects. For example his designs (1895) for a library building decisively influenced H. P. Berlage’s Beursgebouw (1893–1906), Amsterdam.

Between 1900...


Regina Maria Prosperi Meyer

revised by Helena Bender

(b Odessa, Apr 2, 1896; d São Paulo, Jul 27, 1972).

Brazilian architect of Russian birth. He studied at the Odessa School of Art (1912), in the Russian Empire (now Ukraine), resuming his education at the Reggio Istituto Superiore di Belle Arti (1918–1920) in Rome, Italy. After graduating, Warchavchik worked for Italian architect Marcello Piacentini, assisting in the design of economic housings and the Teatro Savoia’s construction in Florence (1922–1923). In 1923 he moved to São Paulo to work for the Companhia Construtora de Santos (1923–1926), establishing a private office in 1927. Maintaining his work in São Paulo, Warchavchik associated himself with Lucio Costa between 1932 and 1933. He also helped Costa to renovate the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes in Rio de Janeiro, working as a professor of architectural composition (1930–1932). Additionally, Warchavchik was the first Latin American delegate of the International Congresses of Modern Architecture (CIAM) from 1930 to 1933. Warchavchik was an avant-garde architect in Brazil. He designed and built the first modern houses and published the first manifesto on modern architecture in the country....


E. A. Christensen

(b Lyme Regis, Dorset, June 29, 1823; d Hastings, E. Sussex, March 23, 1875).

British architect, designer and writer. Educated from 1836 at the Bristol branch of University College, London, he learnt watercolour drawing from Samuel Jackson (1794–1869) and was apprenticed in 1840 to the London architect Henry E. Kendall (1805–85). In 1842 he entered the Royal Academy Schools, and after a brief trip to Italy during the winter of 1843–4 he returned to England to work as a draughtsman in a series of architectural firms, including those of Ambrose Poynter (1796–1886), Laing of Birkenhead, Robert Smirke and D. Mocatta.

In 1847 Waring visited Italy and Spain to measure and draw public buildings; this resulted in a book, Examples of Architectural Art in Italy and Spain, containing 60 fine lithographs. He continued to publish books on architecture, including Thirty Designs Adapted to Civic Architecture and a study of the Miraflores monuments at Burgos. Among his unexecuted architectural designs, the drawing ...


Adam Miłobędzki

(b Aug 24, 1617; d Poznań, Oct 4, 1687).

Polish Jesuit priest, teacher, architect and writer. He went on a grand tour of Italy and western Europe (1650–56) as tutor to the young Grudziński noblemen, during which he kept a diary (Europea peregrinatio) that includes 40 pages containing 170 annotated drawings of such subjects as buildings, sculptures, decorations and gardens that he visited for their novelty. His own work as a designer came to the fore between 1671 and 1675 when, as College Rector in Jarosław, he designed many decorations, both permanent and temporary, for church and school services and festivals. Wąsowski’s most prolific period of artistic activity occurred during his rectorship (1675–8 and 1683–7) of the Jesuit college in Poznań. In connection with his mathematics and architecture course, he published Callitectonicorum seu de pulchro architecturae (1678), a lengthy, illustrated treatise for students and other intellectuals and lovers of architecture. He particularly emphasized aesthetic problems, examined within the context of the teachings of Vitruvius, while almost completely ignoring technical problems. The main body of the treatise is an eclectic discourse on the architectural orders and it is not until the final section that it touches upon different types of buildings, showing Wąsowski to be an admirer of Roman Baroque....


(b Karlsruhe, Nov 29, 1766; d Karlsruhe, March 1, 1826).

German architect, urban planner, writer and teacher . He was one of the most important architects consistently to employ strict Neo-classical tenets in the context of urban planning. As city architect of Karlsruhe , Weinbrenner shaped the architectural image of the enlarged city, and his ideas came to influence all public architecture in the district of Baden. However, the persistence with which he clung to the architectural idiom he had introduced earned him the harsh criticism of the younger generation.

Weinbrenner learnt carpentry in his father’s workshop and also attended craft school and drawing classes. Due to the lack of an adequate teacher in Baden, he studied in Switzerland (1788–90), Vienna and Dresden. He was also influenced and greatly inspired by a visit to Berlin (1791–2), especially by the work of Carl Gotthard Langhans and Hans Christian Genelli. While in Berlin he also produced a design for a Protestant church for Karlsruhe, his first piece of independent work in the Neo-Classical style. A five-year stay in Rome (...


(b Budapest, Oct 29, 1906; d Budapest, July 8, 1965).

Hungarian architect, critic, urban planner and furniture designer . After graduating in 1929 from the Hungarian Palatine Joseph Technical University, Budapest, he joined the Bauhaus in Dessau, where he worked under Hannes Meyer. Weiner attended the CIAM II Congress (1929), Frankfurt, and, convinced that the architect’s mission was to serve and transform society, he followed Meyer and his group to the USSR in 1931. There, as assistant professor at the Technical University, Moscow, he contributed, with Hans Schmidt and Konrad Püschel, to urban planning projects, in particular the underground railway system, Moscow, and the development of the city of Orsk. Weiner left the USSR in 1933, and, after working in Basle from 1934 to 1936, in 1937–8 he was employed by Grete Schütte-Lihotzky (b 1897) in Paris, designing furniture for children. In 1939 he moved to Chile, where he became a professor of architecture (1946–8) at the University of Santiago. In ...


Helen Searing

(b Amsterdam, 1858; d Haarlem, Sept 13, 1923).

Dutch architect, architectural historian and critic . He was trained by the city architect of Amsterdam, Bastiaan de Greef (1818–99), and his assistant, Willem Springer, and from 1891 to 1894 he himself served in this capacity, building the Oosterbegraafplaats (East Cemetery; 1892–3) and the Stedelijk Museum (1893–5). The eclecticism that dominated late 19th-century Dutch architecture came naturally to Weissman, who favoured the use of local brick with stone trim to achieve a lively, permanent polychromy. The Stedelijk Museum was in the popular Dutch Renaissance style, but early designs for the East Cemetery show an acquaintance with the buildings of H. H. Richardson, whose work was influential in the Netherlands. Differences of opinion over the construction of the Museum led to Weissman’s resignation shortly before its completion. His other major buildings include the concert hall De Vereeniging in Nijmegen; some houses in Amsterdam; and in the new extensions to Amsterdam under the Woningwet (Housing Act) of ...


Francis R. Kowsky

(b ?London, c. 1815; d London, c. 1872).

English architect and writer, active in the USA . He was the son of a jeweller and trained under R. C. Carpenter. In the 1840s he emigrated to the USA and established a practice first in Hartford, CT, later moving to Philadelphia. From 1851 to 1860 he worked in New York. In 1860 his address was listed as the Brooklyn Post Office (destr.), a building that he had designed. Apparently Wheeler returned to London in the same year, for his name no longer appeared in New York city directories after that date. In London he continued to practise architecture and in 1867 became a FRIBA.

Most of Wheeler’s known commissions were for houses. His designs, which appeared in architectural periodicals and in his own books, contributed to the growing body of literature in the USA that concentrated on the detached middle-class dwelling as a building type. A champion of affordable housing, Wheeler attracted the attention of ...


John Hopkins

(b Blandford St Mary, Bucks, 1682; d Whaddon Hall, Bucks, Sept 5, 1760).

English antiquary and architectural historian . Educated at Westminster School and Christchurch, Oxford, he took an active part in the revival of the Society of Antiquaries of London in 1717. Of substantial private means, he was among the earliest scholars to base their information on the evidence of records and registers. His surveys of the cathedrals of England and Wales started with St David’s, published in 1716, and was completed in 1730. His history of Buckingham was published in 1755. In his field Browne was a pioneer, nothing on such a comprehensive scale having been attempted before; his descriptions of some cathedrals remain unchallenged. The great value of his architectural descriptions and the plans and drawings lies in the information they give of the fabric and ornaments as they existed more than 200 years ago. Much that he observed and commented on has disappeared or been drastically altered.

London, BL, MSS Cole 5821–5861...


(b Warsaw, Feb 24, 1885; d Jeziory, Polesie, Sept 17, 1939).

Polish writer, art theorist, painter and photographer . He was the son of the architect, painter and critic Stanisław Witkiewicz (1851–1915), creator of the ‘Zakopane style’ ( see Poland, Republic of §II 3. ). He spent his childhood in Zakopane in the Tatra Mountains and was educated at his family home, a place frequented by artists and intellectuals, and also through his many travels to Eastern and Western Europe. From his wide acquaintance with contemporary art, he was particularly impressed by the paintings of Arnold Böcklin. Witkiewicz’s often interrupted studies (1904–10) under Józef Mehoffer at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków had less influence than his lessons in Zakopane and Brittany with Władysław Slewiński, who introduced him to the principles of Gauguin’s Synthetism. Witkiewicz abandoned the naturalism of his first landscapes, executed under the influence of his father, rejected linear perspective and modelling and began to use flat, well-contoured forms and vivid colours, as in ...


(b Mexico City, Jun 17, 1908; d Mexico City, Nov 24, 1990).

Mexican architect, writer, and theorist. He was a member of the Escuela Mexicana de Arquitectura, a group that from 1925 onwards sought to create an architecture that simultaneously expressed nationalism and modernity. Within this group, which was led by José Villagrán García, Yañez, with Juan O’Gorman and Juan Legorreta, represented the socialist tendency. In 1938, with Alberto T. Arai, Enrique Guerrero, Raúl Cacho, Carlos Leduc, and Ricardo Rivas, Yañez formed the Unión de Arquitectos Socialistas, which had a significant influence on Mexican architecture. Their approach was characterized by an emphasis on the utilitarian and social aspects of architecture, for example the reduction of spaces to a bare minimum, and by a rejection of “bourgeois” aesthetics. Nevertheless, Yañez’s own house (1935) and the Sindicato Mexicano de Electricistas Building (1938) have a certain rhythmic plasticity, albeit rationalist and sparse. Later, still in the context of developing a “nationalist functionalism,” Yañez became one of the foremost designers of hospitals in Mexico. He won the competition for the construction of the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social’s first hospital and designed the most important hospital complex in Mexico, the Centro Médico Nacional (...


Botond Bognar

(b Yamagata, Aug 10, 1948).

Japanese architect and critic. He was educated at the University of Tokyo, studying under Kenzō Tange and Sachio Ōtani. After graduating in 1975, he worked for Arata Isozaki from 1978 to 1983 and then established his own office in Tokyo (1984). At first he was both a designer and an architectural critic, contributing to numerous national and international journals and publications. In his architecture Yatsuka aims at an acceleration of modernism that is not only sharply critical of the reactionary, classicist and other historicist tendencies in international Post-modernism but also challenges modernist ideology and dogma. His ‘deconstructionist’ designs, loose assemblies of individual parts, which are influenced by contemporary French philosophy, occupy a position between Structuralism and Post-structuralism; they show affinity with the works of Rem Koolhaas (b 1944), Bernard Tschumi and Zaha Hadid (b 1950). His few completed projects include the acclaimed Angelo Tarlazzi Building (...


Olgierd Czerner

(b Warsaw, Dec 6, 1930).

Polish architect, writer and teacher . He studied (1949–54) at the departments of architecture of the universities of Kraków and Warsaw, receiving his doctorate in 1968 and qualifying as an assistant professor in 1979. At the same time he was an outstanding sportsman, winning four world and five Polish fencing championships. He is noted for the numerous large-span sports buildings and complexes that he designed. Architectural expression is concentrated in the roofs, which may be free-hanging from cables, as at the Olympic Training Centre (1962), Warsaw; arched, as at the swimming pool (1975), Zgorzelec; connected by counterbalanced cantilevers; or of intermittent arches linked transversely by free-hanging coverings, for example a design (1977) for a sports centre in Leszno. Another variant in his approach to the design of sports halls is a multi-faceted mass suspended on a trapezial frame, as in his design for an auditorium and sports hall (...