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Article

Andrzej Rottermund

(b Puławy, June 1756; d Florence, Feb 8, 1841).

Polish architect and writer, also active in Italy. He probably studied in Rome in the late 1770s and returned to Italy in 1785–6 under the aegis of Stanisław Kostka Potocki, a collector and amateur architect with whom he collaborated throughout his life. In 1786 Aigner and Potocki refronted the church of St Anna, Warsaw, using a giant composite order on high pedestals. The political turmoil of the 1790s disrupted Aigner’s career, but during his second phase of creativity (1797–1816) he won fame through his work on the great estate of the Czartoryski family at Puławy, on the Vistula west of Lublin, the most important centre of cultural life in Poland during the Enlightenment. Aigner had already erected the Marynka Palace there in 1790, a variation on the Petit Trianon at Versailles, France, and from 1798 he began to add ornamental buildings to go with the new Picturesque layout of the Puławy gardens: a Chinese pavilion, a Gothick house and a peripheral Temple of the Sibyl with a shallow dome. In ...

Article

Lucio Franchini

(b Castel Bolognese, Ravenna, 1756; d Bologna, March 11, 1841).

Italian architect, engineer and theorist. He graduated from the University of Bologna in engineering and architecture. From 1775 to 1796 he was in Rome, where his design for the new sacristy of St Peter’s (1775) was admired by Pius VI, although the commission was awarded to Carlo Marchionni. Antolini took part in the scheme to drain the Pontine Marshes (1776–7), but caught malaria and resigned his appointment. Devoting himself to the study and practice of architecture, he became involved in the artistic controversies of the day, including the debate on the use of the Doric order (see Piranesi, Giovanni Battista) and the changing attitudes towards the restoration of ancient monuments, his own position becoming progressively more conservative. He published his first important archaeological work on the Temple of Hercules at Cori in 1785 and began his studies on the Temple of Minerva at Assisi. During this period he also produced schemes for palaces, chapels and other buildings for noble foreign clients, including a design for the façade of the palace and court chapel of the Duke of Courland at Mitau (now Jelgava, Latvia). During the French intervention in Italy (...

Article

Juliana Nedeva-Wegener

(Iliev)

(b Sofia, Aug 11, 1891; d Poland, Oct 10, 1962).

Bulgarian architect, theorist and teacher. He graduated in architecture from the Technische Hochschule, Berlin, in 1920. On returning to Bulgaria he formed a practice with Ivan Danchov (1898–1972). Belkovski espoused the revival of Neo-classicism that was prevalent in much of Europe in the 1930s and actively resisted the modernist trends of Functionalism and Constructivism. Notable examples of his collaboration with Danchov in Sofia are the Bulgaria Hotel and Concert Hall (1934–7), originally with frescoes (destr. 1944), the Balkan Cinema and Hotel (1935–7; from 1944 Youth Theatre) and the Telephone Exchange (1942–7), with sculptures by Lyouben Dimitrov (b 1904). Belkovski and Danchov also designed Kuyumdzhiiski House (1931; now the French Embassy), Oborishte Street, Sofia. From 1943 Belkovski was a professor at the Higher Institute for Architecture and Building, Sofia, and Director of the Institute of Town Planning and Architecture of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, where he published papers in the field of standardized designs and the industrialization of construction....

Article

Jack Quinan

(b Hartland, CT, June 15, 1773; d Springfield, MA, July 26, 1845).

American architect and writer. Benjamin was one of the most influential architect–writers of the first half of the 19th century in the USA and was trained as a housewright in rural Connecticut between 1787 and 1794. Two of his earliest commissions, the carving of Ionic capitals (1794) for the Oliver Phelps House in Suffield, CT, and the construction of an elliptical staircase (1795) in Charles Bulfinch’s Connecticut State Capitol at Hartford, reveal an exceptional ability with architectural geometry that was to help to determine the direction of his career. Benjamin worked as a housewright in a succession of towns along the Connecticut River during the 1790s. In 1797, dissatisfied with the publications of William Pain, an English popularizer of the Neo-classical style of Robert Adam, Benjamin wrote The Country Builder’s Assistant, a modest handbook for carpenters that was the first such work by an American writer. In ...

Article

Rand Carter

(b Paris, Feb 12, 1728; d Feb 6, 1799).

French architect and writer. A gifted designer and admired teacher, Boullée became best known for the magnificent set of drawings he assembled for his treatise Architecture, essai sur l’art (Paris, Bib. N.). His father, Louis-Claude Boullée, was an architect, and his mother, Marie-Louise Boucher, may have been related to the painter François Boucher. Etienne-Louis studied painting with Jean-Baptiste-Marie Pierre until his father prevailed on him to pursue architectural studies with Jacques-François Blondel, a leading theorist of French classicism. Although he never went to Italy, Boullée was introduced by Jean-Laurent Legeay to the international Neo-classicism germinating in Rome during the 1740s. Legeay urged his students to complete their projects with a presentation drawing rendered in perspective that would be more intelligible to the client than the customary elevation. This encouraged pictorial effects of light and shadow and provided a link between the practice of architecture and the painting of architectural views. At the age of 19 Boullée began teaching at the Ecole des Ponts et Chausées; he was admitted to second-class membership in the Académie Royale d’Architecture in ...

Article

John Harris

(b Göteborg, Sweden, Feb 23, 1723; d London, March 8, 1796).

English architect and writer, of Scottish descent.

The son of a Scottish merchant trading in Sweden, Chambers was educated in Ripon, Yorkshire, and returned to Sweden at the age of 16 to train as a merchant in that country’s East India Company. Between 1740 and 1749 he made three voyages to the East, passing away the tedium of the journeys by studying ‘modern languages, mathematics and the fine arts, but chiefly civil architecture’. This background placed Chambers in a unique situation as far as his future career in England was concerned. By inclination he was a continental, and in 1749 he went to Paris, as any Swedish architect would have done, and sought instruction in architecture. He entered Jacques-François Blondel’s influential Ecole des Arts, a progressive educational body that trained the finest Parisian architects of the first generation of Neo-classicists. Late in 1750 Chambers moved on to Rome, where he set himself up as a privately funded student. There he seems to have maintained contacts with the Académie de France, and for a while he lived in the same studio as Giovanni Battista Piranesi, who befriended those artists whose work was in the vanguard of Neo-classicism. Nevertheless, Chambers was too astute to ignore the visiting coteries of English travellers and ...

Article

(b Vicenza, ?Sept 18, 1730; d Vicenza, Oct 26, 1803).

Italian architect and writer. He was a pupil of Domenico Cerato, developing an extremely conservative trend of Neo-classicism based on Palladio but assimilating contemporary ideas of prismatic form and functional planning; he was heavily influenced by the contemporary publication of Ottavio Bertotti Scamozzi’s Le fabbriche e i disegni di Andrea Palladio raccolti e illustrati (1776–83). Bertotti Scamozzi regarded him as having ‘appropriated’ rather then ‘imitated’ Palladio; Antoine Quatremère de Quincy called him a ‘rejuvenated Palladio’. He was a prolific architect, building numerous palazzi, villas and churches in the Veneto, and was elected a member of the Institut de France.

Calderari’s unexecuted design (1756) for the façade of the church of Padri Scalzi, Vicenza, exemplifies his manner. The composition followed closely that by Palladio for S Giorgio Maggiore (begun 1566), Venice, but the flat planes and the decoration of the frieze were resolutely Neo-classical. The chapels of the Casa Monza (...

Article

Werner Szambien

(b Paris, Sept 18, 1760; d Thiais, Dec 31, 1834).

French architect, teacher and writer. He was one of the most influential teachers of his time, and his radically rationalist approach, which emphasized priority of function and economy of means, was expressed in analytical writings that remained popular into the 20th century. He studied under Pierre Panseron (fl 1736) and from 1776 in the office of Etienne-Louis Boullée. He also took courses with Julien-David Le Roy at the Académie d’Architecture and participated in competitions under the guidance of Jean-Rodolphe Perronet. He twice came second in the Prix de Rome: in 1779 for a museum and in 1780 for a school. During the 1780s he worked as a draughtsman for Boullée and for the engraver Jean-François Janinet. In 1788 construction began in the Rue du Faubourg-Poissonnière, Paris, of his Maison Lathuille, a building with Néo-Grec decoration but with a layout characterized by its extreme simplicity. About 1790 he executed a series of drawings entitled ...

Article

(von)

(b Dresden, May 18, 1736; d Dessau, March 9, 1800).

German architect, designer and writer. He studied ancient and modern languages at Dresden and Leipzig and, from 1754 to 1757, mathematics, physics, chemistry, history and philology at Wittenberg. In 1757 he met the young Prince Francis of Anhalt-Dessau and, after journeys on his own to Italy, he travelled with the Prince to England and Scotland (1763) and to Italy and France (1765–6). In Rome he explored the ancient buildings, made contact with Johann Joachim Winckelmann and studied the fundamentals of architecture with Charles-Louis Clérisseau. After returning via Antibes, Paris, London and Edinburgh, the Prince decided to have a palace and garden built at Wörlitz in the style of an English Palladian mansion. Schloss Wörlitz (1769–73) was Erdmannsdorff’s first important work and probably his masterpiece. His models were Duddingston House (1763–8), Edinburgh, by William Chambers, and Lancelot (‘Capability’) Brown’s preliminary studies for Claremont House (...

Article

(b Pontoise, Sept 20, 1762; d Paris, Oct 10, 1853).

French architect and writer. With his friend and collaborator, Charles Percier(-Bassant), he was one of the principal French architects of the 19th century and the best exponent of late Neo-classicism, or the Empire style. Born during the reign of Louis XVI, he died when Napoleon III was on the throne. Continuously, from 1800 to 1851, he held positions of the highest responsibility, supervising the construction of public buildings. As the architect to the government, he worked for Napoleon (see Bonaparte family §(1)), in Paris and at the châteaux of Saint-Cloud, Fontainebleau and Compiègne; he built the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel (Louvre) and started the construction of the arcades in Rue de Rivoli. During the reigns of Louis XVIII and Charles X, he built the Chapelle Expiatoire, Rue d’Anjou, Paris, and supervised for a number of years the site of the Arc de Triomphe at the Etoile. For ...

Article

Thomas von Joest

[Jakob-Ignaz]

(b Cologne, Aug 20, 1792; d Paris, March 25, 1867).

French architect, architectural historian, urban planner and writer. He was the only son of a family of prosperous craftsmen from the Rhineland who acquired French nationality after Cologne was annexed by France in 1794. Hittorff was apprenticed as a mason and studied mathematics and drawing with an architectural career in prospect. As a French citizen he was then able to study in Paris, where he moved in 1810; he entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1811 and joined the atelier of Charles Percier. In the same year he assisted on the first important metal structure erected in France, the iron dome of the Halle au Blé (1808–13), under the direction of François-Joseph Bélanger. Following the return of the Rhineland provinces to Prussia in 1814, Hittorff was unable to continue with his French education and could not enter for the Prix de Rome. However, he and another young architect, ...

Article

N. A. Yevsina

(Aleksandrovich)

(b Nikol’skoye-Cherenchitsy estate, nr Torzhok, 1751; d Moscow, 2/Jan 3, 1804).

Russian architect, theorist, illustrator, poet, Musician and inventor. An enlightened dilettante and encyclopedist from a princely family, he studied architecture on his own and travelled in western Europe (1775, 1776–7), above all in France and Italy. On his return to Russia L’vov worked at the Foreign Ministry and acquired a reputation as an architect from the early 1780s. His earliest works—the Neva Gate (1780–87) of the Peter and Paul Fortress in St Petersburg, the single-domed cathedral of St Joseph (1780–98) in Mogilyov and the similar five-domed church (1785–96) at the monastery of SS Boris and Gleb in Torzhok—are characterized by their austere simplicity, spareness of form and pronounced monumentality. They became the model for many Russian Neo-classical churches of the late 18th century and the early 19th. L’vov’s works for St Petersburg include the Post Office (1782–9), unexecuted designs for the Cabinet on the Nevsky Prospect (...

Article

Anthony Vidler

(b Dormans, Champagne, March 21, 1736; d Paris, Nov 19, 1806).

French architect and writer. He was one of the most successful and celebrated architects working in Paris at the end of the ancien régime. Grounded in the classical tradition, he gradually developed a highly imaginative architecture of simplified geometric forms and bold detailing, at the same time producing a large number of powerful visionary projects, for which he is perhaps best known.

Ledoux studied first at the Collège de Dormans-Beauvais in Paris (1749–53) and then at the newly established Ecole des Arts of Jacques-François Blondel. From his classes in rhetoric he gained a lifelong love of the classics and a periphrastic literary style that pervaded his writings; from Blondel he derived his sense of the high professional role of the architect, his rudimentary understanding of architectural history, his taste for 17th-century classicism, his concepts of planning and aesthetic expression, and his vision of himself as an architecte–philosophe, heir to the reforming idealism of the mid-century. A contemporary friend and biographer, the architect Jacques Cellérier, noted that Ledoux worked as an engraver in order to pay his expenses. An echo of this early training is found in Ledoux’s self-conscious emulation of the layout of the plates of the ...

Article

Mario Bencivenni

(b Ancona, Dec 6, 1799; d Florence, March 11, 1872).

Italian architect and writer. He studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome before spending some time in Vicenza and in Venice, where he knew the art critic and theorist Conte Leopoldo Cicognara; he then moved to Florence in 1825. During his studies in the Veneto he completed his Neo-classical training begun in Rome and at the same time made a careful study of medieval architecture. These two stylistic influences prevailed from his earliest architectural projects (a parade ground for Vicenza and a theatre for Hamburg) and from his first executed works: the restoration of the Palazzo Ginori (1826) in the Piazza Santa Croce, Florence, the façade of S Francesco (1829) at Bibbiena, near Arezzo, and, at Ancona, the decoration of the Teatro delle Muse and the restoration of the dome and campanile of the cathedral (both 1835). Matas’s Neo-classicism was infused by an eclecticism that is particularly evident in his works for the ...

Article

(b Goyencourt, Nov 25, 1765; d Paris, Feb 13, 1840).

French designer, engraver and architect. He trained as an architect and in 1792 won the Grand Prix de Rome and travelled to Rome. He was responsible for thousands of engraved plates between 1800 and 1815, notably those for Charles Percier and Pierre-François-Léonard Fontaine’s Recueil de décorations intérieures (Paris, 1801), the seminal publication of the Empire style. Normand’s own designs in the Neo-classical style were published in his Décorations intérieures et extérieures (1803), on which he collaborated with the sculptor, Pierre-Nicolas Beauvallet; its 48 plates include designs for furniture, vases and ornaments.

Recueil varié de plans et de façades (Paris, 1815) Nouveau parallèle des ordres (Paris, 1819); Eng. trans. by A. Pugin (London, 1829); Ger. trans. by M. H. Jacobi and M. March, 2 vols (Potsdam, 1830–36) with M. Normand: Modèles d’orfèvrerie (Paris, 1822) Cours de dessin industriel (Paris, 1823, rev. 1841) Le Guide de l’ornemaniste (Paris, 1826, rev. 1847)...

Article

John Martin Robinson

(b London, bapt Jan 8, 1745; d Charlotte Town, PEI, Canada, May 24, 1820).

English architect. He started as a bricklayer in Westminster, London, before progressing to architecture. He was among the more idiosyncratic of English Neo-classical architects and one of the pioneers in designing model farm buildings and cottages in the age of agricultural improvement. A fine group of farm buildings by him of c. 1790 survives at Allerton Park, N. Yorks. His plans show a preoccupation with geometrical pattern-making, and his principal executed work, Belle Isle (designed in 1774–5 for Thomas English), Lake Windermere, Cumbria, is a circular house with a segmental dome and portico, similar to a miniature Pantheon. It was widely influential, encouraging Frederick Hervey, 4th Earl of Bristol and Bishop of Derry, to build circular houses at Ballyscullion (begun 1787), Co. Londonderry, and Ickworth (begun 1796), Suffolk, as well as inspiring a full-scale copy in Switzerland, the Villa la Gordanne (1800) at Perroy, Lake Geneva. Like many of his English architect contemporaries, Plaw was interested in novel materials and forms of construction and was among those who experimented with pisé, a French form of mud walling....

Article

Alessandro Rinaldi

(b Pistoia, Aug 18, 1758; d Florence, Oct 4, 1820).

Italian architect and writer. He was a pupil of Gasparo Maria Paoletti at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence, and he then lived in Rome for two years. On returning to Florence (1787) he was commissioned to prepare the decorations in Piazza S Maria Novella for the wedding of Maria Teresa of Tuscany and Anton of Saxony (later king; reg 1827–36). For Giuseppe Puccini he remodelled (1800) the 18th-century Villa Scornio, Pistoia, in ‘Doric Egyptian’ style. It was conceived as a piece of introductory architecture, a sort of triumphal arch or gateway: an atrium or gallery passes through the whole building, connecting the square in front with the garden behind. In 1809 he published a treatise on skiagraphy, in which he sought to adapt the taste for cast shadows, popularized by French Neo-classical drawing, to architectural drawings. His major work, the pantheon of illustrious men (from ...

Article

Rand Carter

(b Neuruppin, Mark Brandenburg, March 13, 1781; d Berlin, Oct 9, 1841).

German architect, painter and stage designer. He was the greatest architect in 19th-century Germany, and his most important surviving buildings in Berlin (see Berlin, §I, 3) and Potsdam (see Potsdam, §1) show his sense of German idealism and technical mastery. He became Geheimer Oberlandesbaudirektor of the Prussian state and influenced many architects in Germany and abroad.

Schinkel’s father, a Lutheran pastor, died after attempting to save victims of a fire in 1787 that destroyed most of Neuruppin, a town 27 km north-west of Berlin. Much of Schinkel’s boyhood was spent in a town under reconstruction, a model of royal benevolence and rational planning. In 1794 his mother and her six children moved to Berlin to a home for the widows of Lutheran pastors. At the 1797 Akademie der Künste exhibition in Berlin the 16-year-old Schinkel was so fascinated by a project for a monument to Frederick II of Prussia...

Article

David Watkin

(b Goring on Thames, Oxon, Sept 10, 1753; d London, Jan 20, 1837).

English architect and collector. Soane has long been recognized as the most original architect in Britain, and possibly in Europe, around 1800. Intent on returning to first principles, he developed a personal language of strange and often bizarre poetry that found no real imitators and, although steeped in the Classical tradition, he reduced the orders to a system of incised lines that are a parallel to the fundamentalist doctrines of the Abbé Marc-Antoine Laugier. At the same time he bathed his interiors in light from hidden sources in a manner that, while ultimately Baroque, may owe something to Piranesi.

Born in modest circumstances as the son of a bricklayer, Soane was trained for four years from 1768 by the inventive architect George Dance (ii) before working in the office of Henry Holland from 1772 to 1777. Later in his career Soane developed his architectural ideas in close but informal association with Dance, his ‘revered master’, with whom he shared a preoccupation with toplighting and a concern to create what Dance called ‘unshackled’ architecture. In ...

Article

(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 (...