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(b Pinerolo, nr Turin, March 11, 1792; d Turin, April 18, 1867).

Italian architect. He was one of the few architects in Italy to work in the Gothic Revival style in the early 19th century. He studied architecture at the University of Turin, graduating in 1812, and was licensed to practise in 1816. He worked first as a military engineer, mainly on the construction of bridges and roads. In 1824 Charles-Felix, King of Sardinia, appointed Melano to take responsibility for the restoration of the abbey of Hautecombe, Savoie, France; he was commissioned to build new works at Hautecombe in 1828, which continued until 1843. Also in Savoie, Melano worked on the internal decoration (1833) of the cathedral at Chambéry; on the church of St Pierre-de-Marché (consecrated 1836), in a classical style; and on the decoration of the cathedral at St Jean-de-Maurienne.

Melano was summoned to Turin in 1833 and in the same year was appointed Royal Architect, with responsibility for the Ufficio d’Arte from ...


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 ...



Ian J. Lochhead

(b Wolverhampton, March 13, 1825; d Christchurch, March 15, 1898).

New Zealand architect of English birth. The pre-eminent Gothic Revival architect of 19th-century New Zealand, he was articled to R. C. Carpenter in 1844. From Carpenter he gained a sound knowledge of Gothic design and an understanding of ecclesiological principles, to which he adhered throughout his career. By 1848 he was practising in London. A devout Anglo-Catholic, Mountfort emigrated in 1850 to Canterbury, South Island, New Zealand, a colony promoted by the Church of England. He practised in Christchurch for the rest of his career. Mountfort’s first major commission, Holy Trinity (1852; destr. 1857), Lyttelton, was an over-ambitious, timber-framed church, which quickly deteriorated through the shrinkage of unseasoned timber. Despite this setback, he continued to design churches for the predominantly Anglican colonists, including St Bartholomew’s (1855), Kaiapoi, and St Mary’s (1863), Halswell. St Mary’s, a small, ecclesiologically correct parish church, Early English in style, picturesque in composition, with a timber frame and vertical board-and-batten sidings, became the model for Mountfort’s subsequent wooden churches. Although derived from Carpenter’s design for a timber church in the Ecclesiological Society’s ...


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 ...


P. Cornelius Claussen

(b ?Verdun; fl 1181–1205).

French goldsmith. His known works indicate that he was one of the leading metalworkers of his day and an early exponent of the classicizing styles around 1200 that formed a transition between Romanesque and Gothic. In his two dated signatures, nicolaus virdunensis (1181) on the enamel decoration of the former pulpit in Klosterneuburg Abbey, Austria (see fig.), and magister nicholaus de verdum (1205) on the Shrine of the Virgin in Tournai Cathedral, the artist gave as his place of origin Verdun, in Lorraine, an area that in the 12th century had close economic and cultural links with the Rhineland, Champagne, the Ile-de-France and the metalworking centres of the Meuse. A more ambiguous signature, nicolaus de verda, was on the pedestal of one of a lost pair of enthroned, silver-gilt statuettes in Worms Cathedral representing St Peter and the founder Queen Constance, the wife either of Emperor Henry VI (m. ...


Tim Mowl

Architectural style, predominantly used for castles and churches built in Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries, which was based on English Romanesque. The Norman Revival is usually treated as a minor strand of the Gothic Revival—part of that interest in medieval styles of building that ran parallel with, but counter to, classical architecture; yet the earliest buildings in a round-arched medieval style pre-date by a decade accepted pioneers of the Gothic Revival, such as Clearwell Castle (c. 1728), Glos. Later, between 1820 and 1850, the use of Norman forms and details seriously rivalled Gothic ones in civil, domestic and ecclesiastical architecture, a phase that has its continental parallel in the German Rundbogenstil. The Norman Revival was a more self-conscious movement than the Gothic Revival, for while the use of Gothic forms had never quite died out in Britain, the round-arched medievalism of the Norman style had been extinct as a building tradition since ...



Matthew Woodworth

French town on the Verse River in Picardy, 89 km north of Paris. Noyon was an important ecclesiastical centre from the Merovingian period, and is the site of one of the earliest Gothic cathedrals. Noyon was founded by the Gallo-Romans as the military camp Pagus Veromanduorum, whose original fortifications survived until the 10th century. The town gained preeminence in 531 when St Médard established it as his new episcopal headquarters, previously held at Saint-Quentin. Noyon Cathedral was the coronation site of both Charlemagne (in 768) and Hugh Capet (in 987), and the relics of its 7th-century bishop, St Eloi, were a popular pilgrimage destination.

The first three cathedrals at Noyon were destroyed by fire in 676, 859 (by the Normans), and 1131. The present Gothic building was begun in 1145–50 and the first three bays of its nave were complete by c. 1205. The cathedral is notable for its fully developed Gothic style at a very early date, although the design of its chevet bears little in common with Abbot Suger’s work at Saint-Denis. Noyon was also the first French Gothic building to feature a clearly defined transept, as previous cathedrals had lacked a central crossing or projecting arms. Noyon’s western towers and portals were complete by ...




Allan M. Brodie

[Lat.: ‘French work’]

Term used by contemporary foreign chroniclers to describe the Rayonnant Gothic architectural styles that were spreading throughout Europe from France, particularly from northern France, in the second and third quarters of the 13th century (see Rayonnant style). The establishment of Paris and the surrounding area as a centre of architectural experiment began with the development of Gothic architecture in the 1130s. From the late 12th century, and particularly during the reigns of Louis IX (1226–70) and Philip III (1270–85), the area was responsible both for the most advanced designs of the period and for their diffusion throughout Europe. Foreign patrons who required the most up-to-date designs for the church-building projects they were funding looked to northern France for both ideas and workmen. Architects and sculptors for workshops all over Europe were supplied from this area. Documented examples include Canterbury in England, Uppsala in Sweden, and ...


Carola Hicks

Term used to describe the art produced by the Ostrogoths, barbarian peoples whose invasion of the declining Roman Empire helped to transform Late Antique into medieval art. They occupied Italy in ad 488, and they were followers of Arianism. Their king Theodoric the Great (reg 489–526) had been brought up at the Byzantine court of Constantinople (now Istanbul); the arts that he promoted reflected his desire to be seen as a Roman emperor. At his capital Ravenna he restored historic buildings and commissioned new ones in the Byzantine style. His mausoleum combines Roman and Germanic elements; it is built of stone, in two storeys, with an arcaded base supporting a circular domed gallery, the roof of which is a single slab weighing 470 tons. The only decoration is a simple carved frieze. One of his churches, S Apollinare Nuovo, contains mosaics that celebrate the Ostrogothic kingdom. Other works include palaces at Ravenna and Verona and the refortification of many city walls. Theodoric also imitated the imperial coinage; on the gold ...


Jack Lohman

Former Cistercian abbey, now a cathedral, c. 45 km south of Gdańsk, Poland (formerly Danzig, Pomerania). The abbey church is of great importance in the development of brick Gothic architecture in the Baltic region. Cistercians first came to the area from Doberan Abbey, Mecklenburg, in 1258. They settled at Pogodki at the invitation of Duke Mestwin of Pomerania and moved to Pelplin in 1276. The abbey was closed in 1823, and in the following year the church was nominated a cathedral as part of Pope Pius VII’s reorganization of the northern dioceses. The abbey church has remained undamaged by the numerous wars in the region. It was restored in the 19th century. Its library possesses some of the abbey’s original manuscripts from the 13th and 14th centuries and a copy of the Gutenberg Bible.

The abbey consists of a large brick church with a monastic complex to the south. The chapter house, the earliest building on the site, functioned as a church before the present one was built. The church consists of 11 bays with flanking side aisles closed at the east and west with straight walls. The projecting transepts are square in plan with a single central support. The main axis is vaulted throughout with star vaults. Those in the north choir aisle are seen by Clasen as among the earliest ...


Francis Woodman

Term used to describe a style of Gothic architecture, peculiar to England, that flourished from the 14th century to the early 16th (see Gothic, §II, 2). The term, devised by Thomas Rickman, covers the style that emerged from designs by the workshop at St Stephen’s Chapel (after 1292) in the Palace of Westminster (see Palace of Westminster (London)). The essence of Perpendicular is regularity: straight lines or crystalline shapes, a thin and transparent structure exploiting stained glass on the inner surface, monochrome building materials, modular repetition, and a fineness of detail almost approaching preciousness. Regional variations are apparent after c. 1420, and contrasting styles competed for royal attention in court circles. Harvey (1978) saw Perpendicular as a quintessentially English, Plantagenet style that ended in its pure form with the advent of the Tudors in 1485. Other scholars, however, extend this to include such works as ...


Jacques Heyman and Francis Woodman

A slender, turret-like projection employed universally as an architectural feature, particularly associated with Gothic architecture from the 13th to the 16th centuries, where it was used decoratively on such features as parapets and gables, and with some structural purpose on buttresses.

Jacques Heyman

A pinnacle placed on a buttress provides stability at the head of the pier, counteracting the tendency towards sliding failure caused by the force exerted on the pier by the flier. The relatively small weight of a pinnacle increases the frictional force along the potential lines of slip, effectively locking the stones together. The pinnacle can do little to prevent a buttress from overturning completely under the action of the thrust delivered by the flier. In fixing the stability of the head of the pier, the line of action of the pinnacle is immaterial, so that it can be placed towards the outside of the main buttress, where its small effect on the overall stability will be even further diminished....


Maria Laura Testi Cristiani

(b Pisa, c. 1245–50; d Siena, before end of 1319).

Italian sculptor and architect, son of Nicola Pisano.

Giovanni Pisano is first mentioned in the contract for the pulpit of Siena Cathedral in 1265, which awarded him a higher payment (4 soldi) than Nicola’s other assistants Arnolfo and Lapo (6 soldi for both). He probably worked with his father on the altar of S Jacopo (1273; destr.) in Pistoia Cathedral before beginning work on the Great Fountain, Perugia (c. 1277–8; see Nicola Pisano). Initially Giovanni’s work was limited to carrying out Nicola’s compositions and following his models, but he soon developed a style of his own, identifiable even in the context of his father’s workshop, and he evidently enjoyed considerable autonomy on the Perugia fountain. He also benefited from contact with Arnolfo di Cambio, who was able to bring out the linear tensions inherent in Nicola’s more plastic style and to emphasize the geometrical structures underlying the forms. Especially after Nicola’s death, Giovanni developed an extraordinarily broad range of expression, carving figures that were solemn and contemplative or tormented and violent, often distorted and emaciated to convey emotion. His motifs were inspired variously by Nicola’s severe and solemn classicism, by the agitated, dramatic sculpture of the Hellenistic and Roman traditions, and by French and German Gothic art. The inscription on Giovanni’s pulpit in Pisa Cathedral records that he was ‘endowed above all others with command of the pure art of sculpture, sculpting splendid things in stone, wood and gold’....


Maria Laura Testi Cristiani


(b c. 1220–25; d before 1284).

Italian sculptor and architect.

Two documents drawn up in Siena on 11 May 1266 describe Nicola as ‘de Apulia’; in his signed works and other documents he appears as ‘Pisanus’. This has caused controversy over his origins, but he is now thought to have been trained in the Apulian workshops of Emperor Frederick II, perhaps those at Castel del Monte, and to have moved to Tuscany c. 1245, working on projects associated with Frederick, such as Prato Castle. This would have brought him into contact with artists and craftsmen from the Mediterranean lands and from north of the Alps, where a new figure style was emerging in the cathedral workshops of the Ile-de-France and Germany; he would also have worked alongside Cistercian builders who later went to Tuscany under Frederick’s protection, to work at S Galgano Abbey, near Pisa. In the imperial workshops the representational traditions of Classical art were given new life and spiritual force, and there was concern to convey movement, emotion, and the signs of age and illness. This new art was encouraged by Frederick, who favoured the fusion of Classical with Christian traditions as an instrument of policy. The lifelike features that characterize it can be seen, for example, in the Barletta bust (...


Fernando Marías

[Sp. plateresco, from platero, ‘silversmith’]

Term used to describe the elaborately decorated Late Gothic and early Renaissance architecture of 16th-century Spain. Its characteristically florid decoration employs motifs derived from Gothic, Italian Renaissance and Islamic sources and tends to mask the structure it adorns. The term is also applied, more generally, to the decorative arts of the same period. The comparison between sculpture and architectural decoration and gold- or silverwork in terms of style and skill was commonplace in Spanish literature in the 16th and 17th centuries, including art criticism (from Cristóbal de Villalón in 1539 to Lope de Vega). Contemporary authors did not distinguish between architectural decoration and embroidery or filigree work; there is no reference to specific decorative motifs, only to general forms of handicraft. The term was apparently first used in an anonymous drawing (c. 1580) for the decoration of a frieze in the chapter house of Seville Cathedral. The term ...


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 (...


Alexandra Wedgwood and Roderick O’Donnell

English family of artists, of French descent. (1) A. C. Pugin came to England c. 1792 and had a successful and wide-ranging career; however, his son (2) A. W. N. Pugin, the Gothic Revival architect, is the best-known member of the family. The latter’s sons (3) E. W. Pugin, Peter Paul Pugin (1851–1904) and Cuthbert Welby Pugin (1840–1928), and his grandsons Sebastian Pugin Powell (1866–1949) and Charles Henry Cuthbert Purcell (1874–1958), were all architects.

A. Wedgwood: The Pugin Family: Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the RIBA (Farnborough, 1977)A. Wedgwood: A. W. N. Pugin and the Pugin Family: Catalogue of Architectural Drawings in the Victoria & Albert Museum (London, 1985)

Alexandra Wedgwood

(b Paris, 1769; d London, Dec 19, 1832).

Architect, illustrator, painter, draughtsman, designer and teacher. He probably came from an artistic family with claims to nobility, and he settled in England during the French Revolution, although the exact circumstances or date of his arrival are not known. On ...


Margaret Henderson Floyd

[Free Classic style]

Architectural style popular from the 1870s until the early 20th century in England and the USA. Developing in reaction to the dogma of Gothic Revival, the style borrowed freely from the domestic architecture of the late 17th century and Queen Anne periods in England and the Netherlands. The style is characterized by asymmetrical plans, use of red brick and a combination of medieval and Classical motifs, such as oriel windows and Flemish gables together with pilasters and broken pediments. It was allied to progressive social attitudes and a desire to make good design available to all. The decorative arts were of great importance to the style, and domestic fittings contributed substantially to the desired aesthetic effect. In England the style ended in the hands of speculative builders and in the USA it merged into the Shingle style and the vernacular.

William Morris’s Red House (1858), Bexleyheath, London, designed by ...