TIMELINE OF WORLD HISTORY
 

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  Baroque & Rococo

Baroque
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Rococo
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CONTENTS
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Baroque
 
 
 
PAINTING IN ITALY AND SPAIN
Michelangelo da Caravaggio
Jusepe de Ribera
Orazio Gentileschi
Artemisia Gentileschi
Agostino Carracci
Annibale Carracci
Giovanni Lanfranco
Domenichino

Guido Reni
Guercino

Pietro da Cortona

Luca Giordano
Sanchez Cotan
Salvator Rosa
Diego Velazquez
Francisco de Zurbaran
Bartolome Esteban Murillo

ARCHITECTURE AND SCULPTURE
Carlo Maderno
Gianlorenzo Bernini

Francesco Borromini
Guarino Guarini
Alessandro Algardi
Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi
Filippo Juvarra
Niccolo Salvi

Baldassare Longhena
PAINTING IN FLANDERS AND
HOLLAND

Pieter Brueghel the Younger
Peter Paul Rubens

Anthony Van Dyck
Jacob Jordaens
Jan Brueghel the Elder
Frans Snyders
Adriaen Brouwer
Gerard Terborch
Pieter de Hooch
Terbrugghen
Frans Hals
Leyster
Rembrandt van Rijn
Jan van Goyen
Willem Kalf
David Teniers the Younger
Aelbert Cuyp
Jacob van Ruisdael
Saenredam

Heda

Jan Davids de Heem
Jan Steen
Jan Vermeer

Nicolaes Maes
Willem van de Velde the Younger
Jacob van Campen
Pieter Post

Meindert Hobbema
Gabriel Metsu
PAINTING IN FRANCE
De La Tour

Louis Le Nain
Jacques Callot
Nicolas Poussin
Philippe de Champaigne
Claude Lorrain
Simon Vouet

Peter Lely
Charles Le Brun

ARCHITECTURE AND SCULPTURE
Francois Mansart
Claude Perrault
Louis Le Vau
Jules Hardouin-Mansart
Antoine Coysevox
Pierre Puget
Francois Girardon
Inigo Jones
Christopher Wren
John Vanbrugh
Thomas Archer
Domenico Trezzini
Bartolomeo Rastrelli

Jacques Lemercier
Lucas von Hildebrandt

Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer
Georg Rafael Donner
James Gibbs
Nicholas Hawksmoor
 
 
 
ARCHITECTURE AND SCULPTURE
 
 
 
FRANCE
 
 
 
Sculpture arrived at the official royal style in much the same way as architecture. While in Paris, Bernini carved a marble bust of Louis XIV and was commissioned to do an equestrian statue of him. The latter project, for which he made a splendid terracotta model, shared the fate of Bernini's Louvre designs. Although he portrayed the king in classical military garb, the statue was rejected. Apparently it was too dynamic to safeguard the dignity of Louis XIV. This decision was far-reaching: equestrian statues of the king were later erected throughout France as symbols of royal authority, and Bernini's design, had it succeeded, might have set the pattern for these monuments.


Bernini. Model for Equestrian Statue of Louis XIV.
1670. Terracotta, height 76.3 cm.
Galleria Borghese, Rome



Antoine Coysevox

Bernini's influence can nevertheless be felt in the work of Antoine Coysevox (1640-1720), one of the sculptors Lebrun employed at Versailles. The victorious Louis XIV in Coysevox's large stucco relief for the Salon de la Guerre retains the pose of Bernini's equestrian statue, albeit with a certain restraint. Coysevox is the first of a long line of distinguished French portrait sculptors. His bust of Lebrun likewise repeats the general outlines of Bernini's model of Louis XIV. The face, however, shows a realism and a subtlety of characterization that are Coysevox's own.



Antoine Coysevox. Charles Le Brun
1676
Terracotta, height: 66 cm
Wallace Collection, London



Antoine Coysevox

Antoine Coysevox, (born Sept. 29, 1640, Lyon—died Oct. 10, 1720, Paris), French sculptor known for his decorative work at the palace of Versailles and for his portrait busts, which introduced a trend toward the sharpened depiction of individual character.

Of Spanish descent, Coysevox became a sculptor to King Louis XIV in 1666 and by 1679 was engaged at Versailles, enriching the Galerie des Glaces (Hall of Mirrors) and the Ambassador’s staircase and carving the brilliant equestrian relief of the King (c. 1688) for the Salon de la Guerre. He also executed much decorative sculpture for the royal gardens, notably the equestrian “Renown” and “Mercury” (1700–02). Other important works are the tombs of the finance minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert (1685–87; Saint-Eustache, Paris) and Cardinal Mazarin (1689–93; Louvre) and the votive group of Louis XIV on the high altar of Notre-Dame. These, like his formal portrait busts, have a marked Baroque character. His more intimate portrait sculptures, however, such as that of the Duchesse de Bourgogne as Diana (1710; Louvre), omit the Italianate swagger of Bernini and the formality of the state portraits and anticipate the naturalism and grace of the Rococo style. His principal students, including his nephews Nicolas and Guillaume Coustou, perpetuated his influence, especially on the development of French portrait sculpture in the 18th century.

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
 
Pierre Puget

Coysevox approached the Baroque in sculpture as closely as Lebrun would permit. Pierre Puget (1620— 1694), the most talented and most Baroque of seventeenth-century French sculptors, had no success at court until after Colbert's death, when the power of Lebrun was on the decline. Milo ofCrotona, Puget's finest statue, bears comparison to Bernini's David. Puget's composition is more contained than Bernini's, but the agony of the hero has such force that its impact on the beholder is almost physical. The internal tension fills every particle of marble with an intense life that also recalls The Laocoon Group. That, one suspects, is what made it acceptable to Louis XIV.


Pierre Puget. Milo of Crotona. 1671-83. Marble, height 2.7 m. Musee du Louvre, Paris

 

Pierre Puget

Pierre Puget, (born Oct. 16, 1620, at or near Marseille, Fr.—died Dec. 2, 1694, Marseille), the most original of French Baroque sculptors, also a painter and architect.

Puget travelled in Italy as a young man (1640–43), when he was employed by a muralist, Pietro da Cortona, to work on the ceiling decorations of the Barberini Palace in Rome and the Pitti Palace in Florence. Between 1643 and 1656 he was active in Marseille and Toulon chiefly as a painter, but he also carved colossal figureheads for men-of-war. An important sculpture commission in 1656 was for the doorway of the Hôtel de Ville, Toulon; his caryatid figures there, although in the tradition of Roman Baroque, show a strain and an anguish that are similar to the Mannerist works of Michelangelo. Such feelings are passionately expressed in works like the “Milo of Crotona” (c. 1671–84), in which the athlete Milo, whose hand is caught in a tree stump, is portrayed under attack by a lion.

In 1659 Puget went to Paris, where he attracted the attention of Louis XIV’s minister Fouquet. The latter fell from power in 1661 while Puget was in Italy selecting marble for the Hercules commissioned by him (now the “Hercule gaulois” in the Louvre). Puget remained in Italy for several years, establishing a considerable reputation as a sculptor in Genoa. A “St. Sebastian” in Sta. Maria di Carignano is among his best works there.

After 1669 Puget’s life was spent mainly in Toulon and Marseille, where he was engaged in architectural work and the decoration of ships as well as sculpture. His difficult and somewhat arrogant temperament made him unacceptable to Louis XIV’s powerful minister Colbert, and it was only late in life that he achieved some degree of court patronage. His “Milo of Crotona” was taken to Versailles in 1683, and the “Perseus and Andromeda” was well received there in 1684. But Puget was soon the victim of intrigues by his rivals, and his success at court was short-lived. His fine low relief of “Alexander and Diogenes” (c. 1671–93) never reached Versailles, other works planned for Versailles were either refused or frustrated, and Puget became embittered by these failures.

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
Jacques Lemercier
 

Jacques Lemercier. Western facade of Pavillon Sully (Pavillon de l’Horloge)
 
 
 
 
ENGLAND

The English made no significant contribution to Baroque painting and sculpture. They were content instead with feeble offshoots of Van Dyck's portraiture by imported artists like the Dutch-born Peter Lely (1618-1680) and his German successor, Godfrey Kneller (1646-1723). The English achievement in architecture, however, was of genuine importance. This is all the more surprising in light of the fact that the insular form of "Late Gothic" known as the Perpendicular style proved extraordinarily persistent. English architecture absorbed the stylistic vocabulary of the Italian Renaissance during the sixteenth century, but as late as 1600 English buildings still retained a "Perpendicular syntax"; that is to say, their stage of development corresponded to Chambord, or the choir of St.-Pierre at Caen.

Inigo Jones

The first English architect of genius was Inigo Jones (1573-1652), who began his career as a painter and theatrical designer. Surprisingly, despite his background, when he went to Italy about 1600 and again in 1613, he did not bring back the Early Baroque but returned a thoroughgoing Palladian. The Banqueting House he built at Whitehall in London conforms in every respect to the principles in Palladio's treatise, yet does not copy any specific building by Palladio. Symmetrical and self-sufficient, it is, for its date, more like a Renaissance palazzo than any other building north of the Alps. Jones' spare style, supported by Palladio's authority as a theorist, stood as a beacon of classicist orthodoxy in England for 200 years.
 


Inigo Jones. West front. Banqueting House, Whitehall Palace, London. 1619-22

 
 
 
Inigo Jones

Inigo Jones, (born July 15, 1573, Smithfield, London, Eng.—died June 21, 1652, London), British painter, architect, and designer who founded the English classical tradition of architecture. The Queen’s House (1616–19) at Greenwich, London, his first major work, became a part of the National Maritime Museum in 1937. His greatest achievement is the Banqueting House (1619–22) at Whitehall. Jones’s only other surviving royal building is the Queen’s Chapel (1623–27) at St. James’s Palace.

Jones was the son of a cloth worker also called Inigo. Of the architect’s early life little is recorded, but he was probably apprenticed to a joiner. By 1603 he had visited Italy long enough to acquire skill in painting and design and to attract the patronage of King Christian IV of Denmark and Norway, at whose court he was employed for a time before returning to England. There he is next heard of as a “picture maker” (easel painter). Christian IV’s sister, Anne, was the queen of James I of England, a fact that may have led to Jones’s employment by her in 1605 to design the scenes and costumes of a masque, the first of a long series he designed for her and later for the king. The words to these masques were often supplied by Ben Jonson, the scenery, costumes, and effects nearly always by Jones. More than 450 drawings by him, representing work on 25 masques, a pastoral, and two plays ranging in date between 1605 and 1641, survive at Chatsworth House, Derbyshire.

From 1605 until 1610 Jones probably regarded himself as primarily under the queen’s protection, but he was patronized also by Robert Cecil, 1st earl of Salisbury, for whom he produced his earliest known architectural work, a design for the New Exchange in the Strand (c. 1608; demolished in the 18th century). Though a somewhat immature design, the work was more sophisticated than anything being done in England at the time. Some designs (later superseded) for the restoration and improvement of Old St. Paul’s Cathedral also date from this period, and in 1610 Jones was given an appointment that confirmed the direction of his future career. He became surveyor of works to the heir to the throne, Henry, prince of Wales.

This appointment, with all its promise, was short-lived, and Jones did little or nothing for the prince before the latter’s death in 1612. In 1613, however, he was compensated by the guarantee of still higher office on the death of the king’s surveyor of works, Simon Basil. To this office Jones succeeded in 1615, in the meantime having taken the opportunity offered him by Thomas Howard, 2nd earl of Arundel, to revisit Italy. Arundel and his party, including Jones, left England in April 1613 and proceeded to Italy, spending the winter of 1613–14 in Rome. In the course of the visit Jones had ample opportunity to study works by modern masters as well as antique ruins. Of the masters, the one to whom he attached the greatest importance was Andrea Palladio, the Italian architect who had gained wide influence through his The Four Books of Architecture (1570; I quattro libri dell’architettura), which Jones took with him on his tour. Returning to England in the autumn of 1614, Jones had completed his self-education as a classical architect.

Jones’s career as surveyor of works to James I and Charles I lasted from 1615 to 1643. During most of those 28 years he was continuously employed in the building, rebuilding, or improvement of royal houses. His first important undertaking was the Queen’s House at Greenwich, based to some extent on the Medici villa at Poggio a Caiano, near Florence, but detailed in a style closer to Palladio or Vincenzo Scamozzi (1552–1616). Work there was suspended on the death of Queen Anne in 1619 and completed only in 1635 for Charles’s queen, Henrietta Maria. The building, considerably altered, now houses part of the National Maritime Museum.

In 1619 the Banqueting House at Whitehall was destroyed by fire; and between that year and 1622 Jones replaced it with what has always been regarded as his greatest achievement. The Banqueting House consists of one great chamber, raised on a vaulted basement. It was conceived internally as a basilica on the Vitruvian model but without aisles, the superimposed columns being set against the walls, which support a flat, beamed ceiling. For the main panels of this ceiling, allegorical paintings by Peter Paul Rubens were commissioned by Charles I and set in place in 1635. The exterior echoes the arrangement of the interior, with pilasters and regular columns set against rusticated walling.

The Banqueting House has only two complete facades. The ends were never completed, and this has given rise to the supposition that the building was intended to form part of a larger whole. This may have been so, and it is certain that Charles I, nearly 20 years after the Banqueting House was built, instructed Jones to prepare designs for rebuilding the whole of Whitehall Palace. These designs exist (at Worcester College, Oxford, and at Chatsworth House) and are among Jones’s most interesting creations. They owe something to the palace of El Escorial near Madrid but are worked out in terms deriving partly from Palladio and Scamozzi and partly from Jones’s own studies of the antique.

Jones’s work was not confined to royal palaces. He was much involved in the regulation of new buildings in London, and out of this activity emerged the project that he planned in 1630 for the 4th earl of Bedford on his land at Covent Garden. This comprised a large open space bounded on the north and east by arcaded houses, on the south by the earl’s garden wall, and on the west by a church with flanking gateways connecting to two single houses. The design probably derives partly from the piazza in Livorno, Italy, and partly from the Place Royale (now the Place des Vosges) in Paris. None of the original houses survive, but the church of St. Paul still stands, though much altered. Its portico is an instance, unique in Europe at its date of construction, of the use of the primitive Tuscan order of architecture.

With Covent Garden, Jones introduced formal town planning to London—it is the first London “square.” He was probably instrumental, from 1638, in creating another square by planning the layout of the houses in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, one of the houses (Lindsey House, still existing at No. 59 and 60) being attributed to him.

The most important undertaking of Jones’s later years in office was the restoration of Old St. Paul’s Cathedral in 1633–42. This included not only the repair of the 14th-century choir but the entire recasing, in rusticated masonry, of the Romanesque nave and transepts and the building of a new west front with a portico (56 feet [17 metres] high) of 10 columns. This portico, among Jones’s most ambitious and subtly calculated works, tragically vanished with the rebuilding of the cathedral after the Great Fire of London in 1666. (In 1997 more than 70 carved stones from the portico were excavated from the building’s foundations.) Jones’s work at St. Paul’s considerably influenced Sir Christopher Wren and is reflected in some of his city churches as well as in his early designs for rebuilding the cathedral.

At the outbreak of the English Civil Wars in 1642, Jones was compelled to relinquish his office as surveyor of works and left London. He was captured at the siege of Basing House in 1645. His estate was temporarily confiscated, and he was heavily fined. In the following year, however, his pardon was confirmed by the House of Lords and his estate restored. In the year of Charles I’s execution, 1649, he was doing work at Wilton for the earl of Pembroke, but the great double-cube room there is probably mostly the work of his pupil John Webb, who survived to reestablish something of the Jones tradition after the Restoration in 1660. Jones was buried with his parents in the church of St. Benet, Paul’s Wharf, in London.

Sir John Summerson

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
 
 
Christopher Wren

This classicism can be seen in some parts of St. Paul's Cathedral by Sir Christopher Wren (1632-1723), the great English architect of the late seventeenth century: note the second-story windows and especially the dome, which looks like Bramante's Tempietto much enlarged. St. Paul's is otherwise an up-to-date Baroque design reflecting a thorough acquaintance with contemporary architecture in Italy and France. Sir Christopher came close to being a Baroque counterpart of the Renaissance artist-scientist. An intellectual prodigy, he first studied anatomy, then physics, mathematics, and astronomy, and was highly esteemed by Sir Isaac Newton. His serious interest in architecture did not begin until he was about 30. However, it is characteristic of the Baroque as opposed to the Renaissance that there is apparently no direct link between his scientific and artistic ideas. It is hard to determine whether his technological knowledge significantly affected the shape of his buildings.

Had not the great London fire of 1666 destroyed the Gothic cathedral of St. Paul and many lesser churches, Sir Christopher might have remained an amateur architect. But following that catastrophe, he was named to the royal commission for rebuilding the city, and a few years later he began his designs for St. Paul's . The tradition of Inigo Jones did not suffice for this task, beyond providing a starting point. On his only trip abroad, Sir Christopher had visited Paris at the time or the dispute over the completion of the Louvre, and he must have sided with Perrault, whose design for the East Front is clearly reflected in the facade of St. Paul's. Yet, despite his belief that Paris provided "the best school of architecture in Europe," Sir Christopher was not indifferent to the achievements of the Roman Baroque. He must have wanted the new St. Paul's to be the St. Peter's of the Church of England: soberer and not so large, but equally impressive. His dome, like that of St. Peter's, has a diameter as wide as nave and aisles combined, but it rises high above the rest of the structure and dominates even our close view of the facade. The lantern and the upper part of the clock towers also suggest that he knew Borromini's S. Agnese in Piazza Navona, probably from drawings or engravings.


Christopher Wren. Facade of St. Paul's Cathedral, London. 1675-1710

Sir Christopher Wren

Sir Christopher Wren, (born Oct. 20, 1632, East Knoyle, Wiltshire, Eng.—died Feb. 25, 1723, London), designer, astronomer, geometrician, and the greatest English architect of his time. Wren designed 53 London churches, including St. Paul’s Cathedral, as well as many secular buildings of note. He was a founder of the Royal Society (president 1680–82), and his scientific work was highly regarded by Sir Isaac Newton and Blaise Pascal. He was knighted in 1673.

Early academic career and scientific pursuits
Wren was the only surviving son of a rector, and from an early age he was delicate in health. Before Christopher was three, his father was appointed dean of Windsor, and the Wren family moved into the precincts of the court. It was among the intellectuals around King Charles I that the boy first developed his mathematical interests. The life at Windsor was rudely disturbed by the outbreak of the English Civil Wars in 1642. The deanery was pillaged and the dean forced to retire, first to Bristol and then to the country home of a son-in-law, William Holder, in Oxfordshire. Wren was sent to school at Westminster but spent much time under Holder’s tuition, experimenting in astronomy. He translated William Oughtred’s work on sundials into Latin and constructed various astronomical and meteorological devices. If the general direction of his studies was toward astronomy, however, there was an important turn toward physiology in 1647 when he met the anatomist Charles Scarburgh. Wren prepared experiments for Scarburgh and made models representing the working of the muscles. One factor that stands out clearly from these early years is Wren’s disposition to approach scientific problems by visual means. His diagrams that have survived are beautifully drawn, and his models seem to have been no less elegant.

In 1649 Wren went to Wadham College, Oxford, as a “gentleman commoner,” a status that carried certain privileges, and graduated with a B.A. in 1651. Oxford at that time had passed through a rigorous purgation of its more conservative elements by the parliamentary government. New men had been introduced, some of whom possessed great ability and had a special interest in the “experimental philosophy” so eloquently heralded by the scientific philosopher Sir Francis Bacon.

Receiving his M.A. in 1653, Wren was elected a fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, in the same year and began an active period of research and experiment, ending with his appointment as Gresham professor of astronomy in Gresham College, London, in 1657. In the following year, with the death of Oliver Cromwell and the ensuing political turmoil, the college was occupied by the military, and Wren returned to Oxford, where he probably remained during the events that led to the restoration of Charles II in 1660. He returned to Gresham College, where scholarly activity resumed and an intellectual circle proposed a society “for the promotion of Physico-Mathematicall Experimental Learning.” After obtaining the patronage of the restored monarchy, this group became the Royal Society, Wren being one of the most active participants and the author of the preamble to its charter.

In 1661 Wren was elected Savilian professor of astronomy at Oxford, and in 1669 he was appointed surveyor of works to Charles II. It appears, however, that, having tested himself successfully in so many directions, he still, at 30, had not found the one in which he could find complete satisfaction.

Turn to architecture
One of the reasons why Wren turned to architecture may have been the almost complete absence of serious architectural endeavour in England at the time. The architect Inigo Jones had died about 10 years previously. There were perhaps half a dozen men in England with a reasonable grasp of architectural theory but none with the confidence to bring the art of building within the intellectual range of Royal Society thought—that is, to develop it as an art capable of beneficial scientific inquiry. Here, for Wren, was a whole field, which, given the opportunity, he could dominate—a field in which the intuition of the physicist and the art of a model maker would join to design works of formidable size and intricate construction.

Opportunity came, for in 1662 he was engaged in the design of the Sheldonian Theatre at Oxford. This, the gift of Bishop Gilbert Sheldon of London to his old university, was to be a theatre in the classical sense, where university ceremonies would be performed. It followed a classical form, inspired by the ancient Theatre of Marcellus in Rome, but was roofed with timber trusses of novel design, thereby combining the classical point of view with the empirical modern in a way entirely characteristic of a Royal Society mind. At the same time, Sheldon probably was consulting Wren about London’s battered—and in parts nearly derelict—St. Paul’s Cathedral. So Wren was drawn, deeply and immediately, into building problems. What he desperately needed at that moment was contact with the European tradition of classicism, and he seized a chance to join an embassy proceeding to Paris.

By 1665 architecture at the court of Louis XIV had reached a climax of creativity. The Louvre Palace was approaching completion, and the remodeling of the Palace of Versailles had begun. Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the great sculptor and architect, was in Paris making designs for the Louvre’s east front, and the aged Italian allowed Wren to peruse his drawings. There was considerably more for Wren to see in the French capital, including the domed churches of the Val-de-Grâce and the Sorbonne and a marvelous array of châteaus within easy range of Paris.

At Oxford in the spring of 1666, he made his first design for a dome for St. Paul’s. It was accepted in principle on August 27, 1666. One week later, however, London was on fire. The Great Fire of London reduced two-thirds of the City to a smoking desert and old St. Paul’s Cathedral to a ruin. Wren was most likely at Oxford at the time, but the news, so fantastically relevant to his own future, drew him at once to London. Between September 5 and 11 he ascertained the precise area of devastation, worked out a plan for rebuilding the City on new and more regular lines, and submitted it to Charles II. His plan reflected both his familiarity with Versailles and his acquaintance, through engravings, with the Rome of Pope Sixtus V. Others also submitted plans, and the king proclaimed on September 13 that a new plan for London would be adopted. No new plan, however, proceeded any further than the paper on which it was drawn. The problems of survey, compensation, and redistribution were too great. A rebuilding act was passed in 1667. It allowed only for the widening of certain streets, laid down standards of construction for new houses, levied a tax on coal coming into the Port of London, and provided for the rebuilding of a few essential buildings.

In 1669 the king’s surveyor of works died, and Wren was promptly installed. In December he married Faith Coghill and moved into the surveyor’s official residence at Whitehall, where he lived, so far as is known, until his dismissal in 1718.

In 1670 a second rebuilding act was passed, raising the tax on coal and thus providing a source of funds for the rebuilding of St. Paul’s Cathedral and several churches within the City of London and the erection of a column (The Monument) to commemorate the Great Fire. The city was now being rebuilt at a considerable pace. Wren himself had nothing to do with the general process. He did give occasional advice to the City authorities on their major projects but designed no houses or City companies’ halls. He was the king’s surveyor operating from Whitehall, not an official of the City of London. St. Paul’s and the City churches did not fall automatically within the sphere of the royal works, though there was a long tradition of royal responsibility for St. Paul’s.

In 1670 the first churches were rebuilt. Eighty-seven churches had been destroyed in the fire, but some parishes were united so that only 52 were rebuilt. Although Wren was personally responsible for all these, it is not to be supposed that each of them represents his own fully developed design. That there was much delegation is shown by the surviving drawings. Only a few are in Wren’s hand. There is no doubt, though, that Wren approved the design in every case, and in certain churches the impress of his personality is distinct.

Construction of St. Paul’s
While the churches were being built, Wren was slowly and painfully evolving designs for St. Paul’s. The initial stage is represented by the First Model of 1670, now in the trophy room at the cathedral. This plan was approved by the king, and demolition of the old cathedral began. By 1673, however, the design seemed too modest, and Wren met his critics by producing a design of spectacular grandeur. A wooden model was made of this, and the Great Model, as it is called, is still preserved at St. Paul’s. It failed to satisfy the canons of St. Paul’s and clerical opinion generally, however, and Wren was compelled to withdraw from the ideal and compromise with the traditional. In 1675 he proposed the rather meagre Classical-Gothic Warrant Design, which was at once accepted by the king, and within months building started.

What happened then is something of a mystery. The cathedral that Wren started to build bears only a slight resemblance to the Warrant Design. A mature and superbly detailed structure began to rise. In 1694 the masonry of the choir was finished and the rest of the fabric well in hand. In 1697 the first service was held in the cathedral. There was still, however, no dome. Building had been in progress for 22 years, and some restless elements in the government seemed to think this too long. As an incentive for more rapid progress, half of Wren’s salary was suspended until the cathedral would be complete. Wren was now 65. Construction was completed in 1710, and in 1711 the cathedral was officially declared to be finished. Wren, 79, petitioned for the withheld moiety of his salary, which was duly paid. The cathedral had been built in 35 years under one architect. (See also Saint Paul’s Cathedral and related classic articles from the 2nd (1777–84) and 3rd (1788–97) editions of Encyclopædia Britannica.)

Concurrent projects
Through all those years Wren was not only the chief architect of St. Paul’s and the City churches but also the head of the King’s Works and thus the responsible officer for all expenditure on building issuing from the royal exchequer. He had an able staff to look after routine maintenance, but much business passed through his hands, including the control of building developments in and around Westminster. About 1674 the University of Cambridge considered building a Senate House for purposes similar to those for which the Sheldonian Theatre had been built. Wren made designs, but the project was abandoned. The master of Trinity College, who had promoted the scheme, was disappointed, but he persuaded his own college to undertake the erection of a new library (1676–84) and to employ Wren to design it. Wren’s classicism here is impressive. There is no hint of the Baroque style prevalent in Europe at the time, and the building could well be mistaken for a Neoclassical work of a century later.

At Oxford in 1681 the dean of Christ Church invited Wren to complete the main gateway of the college. The lower part of Tom Tower, as the gateway was called, had been built by Thomas Cardinal Wolsey in a richly ornamental Gothic style. The octagonal tower that Wren imposed illustrates both his respect for Gothic and his reservations about it. His attitude toward Gothic design was consistent and influenced Gothic construction in England well into the 18th century. In 1682 Charles II founded the Royal Hospital at Chelsea for the reception of veterans superannuated from his standing army. The idea doubtless derived from Louis XIV’s Hôtel des Invalides (1671–76) in Paris, but Wren’s building, completed about 1690, is very different from its prototype. Charles II died in 1685. In the short reign of his brother, James II, Wren’s attention was directed mainly to Whitehall. The new king, a Roman Catholic, required a new chapel; he also ordered a new privy gallery and council chamber and a riverside apartment for the queen. All these were built by Wren but were destroyed in the Whitehall fire of 1698.

There is not much information about Wren’s personal life after 1669. He was knighted in the year of the Great Model, 1673. His first wife died of smallpox in 1675, leaving him with one young son, Christopher (another had died in infancy). His second wife, Jane Fitzwilliam (Fitz William), by whom he had a daughter, Jane, and a son, William, died in 1679. In these years he never wholly abandoned his scientific pursuits. He was still at the centre of the Royal Society and was its president from 1680 to 1682. He was sufficiently active in public affairs to be returned as member of Parliament for Old Windsor in 1680 and, although he did not again take his seat, in 1689 and 1690.

With the Glorious Revolution of 1688, which drove James II from the throne, Wren found himself chief architect to William of Orange. William III and Mary II proved to be the most active builders of them all. They disliked Whitehall Palace, and in 1689 Wren was at work reconstructing two palaces: one at Kensington on the outskirts of London and the other at Hampton Court, 15 miles (24 km) away, up the River Thames. Kensington Palace was a piecemeal conversion of an older house, with new courts and galleries added. It is not a totally satisfactory composition, but the south front is a noble piece of brickwork. Hampton Court Palace, on the other hand, started as a project of huge dimensions—nothing less, in fact, than a rebuilding of the entire palace begun by Wolsey. Wren’s first designs have survived, and in these he is seen, for the first time, spreading his wings as a palace architect. It was decided to demolish only half of the old palace, however, and Wren’s design was reduced considerably. Nevertheless, he brought to it many innovations and a unique use of English building materials. Hampton Court is a mixture of red and brown brick and Portland stone combined in masterly equilibrium.

Queen Mary died in 1694. The king lost heart, and building at Hampton Court was suspended; the palace was not completed until 1699. Two years before her death the queen had initiated a scheme for the building of a royal hospital for seamen at Greenwich. For this Wren made his first plans in 1694. The work began in 1696, but the whole group of buildings was not completed until several years after his death. Greenwich Hospital (later the Royal Naval College) was Wren’s last great work and the only one still in progress after St. Paul’s had been completed in 1710.

Queen Anne granted him a house at Hampton Court. He had, besides, a London house on St. James’s Street, and it was there that a servant, noticing that he was taking an unusually long nap after dinner one evening, found him dead in his chair. Wren was buried with great ceremony in St. Paul’s Cathedral, the tomb covered by a simply inscribed slab of black marble. On a nearby wall his son later placed a dedication, including a sentence that was to become one of the most famous of all monumental inscriptions: “Lector, si monumentum requiris, circumspice” (“Reader, if you seek a monument, look about you”).

Assessment
At his death Wren was 90. He had far outlived the age to which his genius belonged. Even the men he had trained and who owed much to his original and inspiring leadership were no longer young. The Baroque school they had created was already under fire from a new generation that brushed Wren’s reputation aside and looked back beyond him to Inigo Jones. Architects of the 18th century could not forget Wren, but they could not forgive those elements in his work that seemed to them unclassical. The churches left the strongest mark on subsequent architecture. In France, where English architecture rarely made much impression, St. Paul’s Cathedral could not be easily ignored, and the Church of Sainte-Geneviève (now the Panthéon) in Paris, begun about 1757, rises to a drum and dome similar to St. Paul’s. Nobody with a dome to build could ignore Wren’s, and there are myriad versions of it, from St. Isaac’s Cathedral (dome constructed 1840–42; completed 1858) in St. Petersburg to the U.S. Capitol at Washington, D.C. (dome built 1855–63).

It was only in the 20th century that Wren’s work ceased to be a potent and sometimes controversial factor in English architectural design. The last major architect to have been confessedly dependent on him was Sir Edwin Lutyens, who died in 1944. The Wren Society, founded at the bicentenary of Wren’s death in 1923, published 20 volumes of Wren material (1924–43), edited by A.T. Bolton and H.D. Hendry.

Sir John Summerson

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
 
 
John Vanbrugh

Italian Baroque elements are still more conspicuous in Blenheim Palace, the grandiose structure designed by Sir John Vanbrugh (1664-1726), a gifted amateur, with the aid of Nicholas Hawksmoore (1661-1719), Wren's most talented pupil. Vanbrugh, like Jones, had a strong interest in the theater. (He was a popular playwright.) That his kinship was even closer to Bernini can be seen when we compare the facade of Blenheim and its framing colonnade with the piazza of St. Peter's. The main block uses a colossal Corinthian order to wed a temple portico with a Renaissance palace , whereas the wings rely on a low-slung Doric. Such eclecticism, extreme even by the relaxed standards of the period, is maintained throughout the welter of details. Compared to Versailles, the effect has a massiveness that makes Blenheim a fitting symbol of English power: it was presented by a grateful nation to the Duke of Marlborough for his great victories over French and German forces in the War of Spanish Secession.


John Vanbrugh. Blenheim Palace, Woodstock. Begun 1705

Sir John Vanbrugh

Sir John Vanbrugh, (baptized Jan. 24, 1664, London, Eng.—died March 26, 1726, London), British architect who brought the English Baroque style to its culmination in Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire. He was also one of the dramatists of the Restoration comedy of manners.

Vanbrugh’s grandfather was a Flemish merchant, and his father was a businessman in Chester, Cheshire, Eng., where the young Vanbrugh (by tradition) went to the King’s School. In 1686 he was commissioned in a regiment of foot soldiers and in 1690, while visiting Calais, France, was arrested as a suspected English agent. While imprisoned in the Bastille, he wrote the first draft of a comedy. After his release in 1692, he was a soldier again for six years but appears to have seen no active service.

Vanbrugh’s first comedy, The Relapse: Or Virtue in Danger, was written as a sequel to Colley Cibber’s Love’s Last Shift. It opened in 1696 and was highly successful. His next important piece, The Provok’d Wife (1697), was also a triumph. In 1698 the churchman Jeremy Collier published an attack on the immorality of the theatre aimed especially at Vanbrugh, whose plays were more robust than those of such contemporaries as William Congreve. Vanbrugh and others responded, but to little effect, and Vanbrugh kept silent until 1700. Then came a sequence of free and lively adaptations from the French, more farce than comedy, including The Country House (first performed 1703) and The Confederacy (1705).

In 1702 Vanbrugh entered another field: he designed Castle Howard in Yorkshire, for Lord Carlisle. His first design was far simpler than the richly articulated palace that resulted. Probably he was untrained, but aptly at hand was Nicholas Hawksmoor, the accomplished clerk of the great architect Sir Christopher Wren. Hawksmoor played the assistant to Vanbrugh but was in effect the partner. These two men brought to its peak English Baroque—an architecture concerned with the rhythmic effect of diversified masses, using Classical architectural elements to that end. The Vanbrugh-Hawksmoor Baroque manner is often called “heavy,” but the heaviness is in the service of the dramatic. The style they evolved was a joint creation: Hawksmoor had already begun to develop it in the 1690s and acted as draftsman, administrator, and architectural detailer, while Vanbrugh is credited with the buildings’ general plan and heroic scale.

Through Lord Carlisle, who was head of the Treasury, Vanbrugh became in 1702 comptroller of the queen’s works. In 1703 he designed the Queen’s Theatre, or Opera House, in the Haymarket. Though a magnificent building, it proved a failure, partly because of its poor acoustics, and he lost considerable money in the venture.

In 1705 Vanbrugh was chosen by John Churchill, 1st duke of Marlborough, to design the palace at Woodstock, Oxfordshire, which was the nation’s gift to that hero of many campaigns. Blenheim Palace, named for Marlborough’s most famous victory, was the architectural prize of Queen Anne’s reign. Again Hawksmoor was indispensable to Vanbrugh: Blenheim (1705–16) is their joint masterpiece. Any one of its powerful components may have been of Hawksmoor’s shaping, but the planning and broad conception were surely Vanbrugh’s, and the massive effect was the result of the hero-worshipping soldier-architect. Though the duke approved the plans, the duchess did not; there was trouble over costs and payments, and Vanbrugh left the project. He continued to design picturesque country houses in the style of castles, however, and in such buildings as Kimbolton Castle in Huntingdon (1707–10) and Kings Weston in Gloucestershire (now in Bristol; c. 1710–14), his style became simpler in its use of decoration and of starkly geometric masses of masonry. The setting of the houses was important, and Vanbrugh appears to have been engaged to some extent in considerations of landscape. However, he was never credited as a garden designer.

Under George I, Vanbrugh was knighted in 1714 and made comptroller again in 1715. Influenced by the art of fortification and Elizabethan building, Vanbrugh’s great last works were Eastbury (1718–26) in Dorset, Seaton Delaval (1720–28) in Northumberland (1720–28), and Grimsthorpe Castle (1722–26) in Lincolnshire. Without Hawksmoor, he adopted a simple style in these designs, using a few elementary forms with increasing audacity, until in Seaton Delaval he achieved the height of drama with a comparatively small house.

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
 
 
Thomas Archer
 
Thomas Archer, (born c. 1668—died May 23, 1743, Whitehall, London, Eng.), British architect and practitioner of what was, for England, an extraordinarily extravagant Baroque style, marked by lavish curves, large scale, and bold detail.

Archer, the son of a Warwickshire squire, was educated at Trinity College, Oxford, and then spent four years abroad. After receiving several lucrative royal appointments, he bought the manor of Hale, Hampshire, in 1715 and rebuilt the house and church.

Archer’s dynamic work borrowed much from the 17th-century Italian architects Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Francesco Borromini. Although he was not as original as some of the prominent English architects of his time, he was considered important. Most of his designs were executed from 1705 to 1715, including the north front of Chatsworth House (c. 1705) in Derbyshire, Heythrop House (1707–10) in Oxfordshire, a garden pavilion at Wrest Park (1709–11) in Bedfordshire, Roehampton House (c. 1712) in Surrey (now in Wandsworth, London), and the churches of St. Philip (c. 1710–15) in Birmingham, St. Paul (1712–30) in Deptford, and St. John (1713–28) in Westminster. The last two resulted from his appointment in 1711 as a commissioner for the building of 50 new churches.

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
 

Thomas Archer. St Paul's Deptford
 
 
 
 
Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer
 
 

Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer, (born Sept. 1, 1689, Prague, Bohemia, Austrian Habsburg domain [now in Czech Republic]—died Dec. 18, 1751, Prague), German architect who was one of the leading Bohemian Baroque builders.

 


Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer

  Dientzenhofer was the son of architect Christoph Dientzenhofer, with whom he worked professionally.

Among Dientzenhofer’s individual works are the church of St. Thomas (1725–31; a Gothic structure reworked into Baroque) and the church of St. John on the Rock (1730–39; including the Vyšehrad Steps), both of which are in Prague, as well as the church of St. Mary Magdalene, Karlsbad (now Karlovy Vary; 1733–36).

He also built the Villa Amerika (1712–20; afterward the Antonin Dvořák Museum), Prague.

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
 

Kinsky Palace. Prague
 
 
 
St. Magdalene Church. Karlovy Vary






St Nicholas Church, Old Town Square, Prague
 
 
 
 
Georg Rafael Donner
 
 
Georg Rafael Donner (1693–1741) was one of the most prolific Austrian sculptors of the 18th century. His style was baroque with some pseudo-ancient additions. He educated many German sculptors of his era, including his son Matthäus Donner.
 

Georg Rafael Donner
  Donner was born in Essling, Vienna. His work was inspired by nature and by antique sculpture which was deposited in the Vienna's academy. One of Donner's most famous works is Donnersteig in Mirabel Castle, Salzburg (1725–1727), for which he sculpted life-size marble figures. From 1728 he worked in Bratislava at the court of count-bishop Emeric (or Imrich) Esterhazy, where he sculpted a gravestone for Bishop Esterhazy and a horse monument of St. Martin.

For almost 10 years he had his studio in the garden of the Summer Archbishop's Palace, at that time just outside of Bratislava. In Vienna he created two fountains: Fountain of Austria's rivers (1737–1739) and the source with the sculptures of Perzei and Andromeda in front of the City Hall (1739). One of his last works is the Pieta at the cathedral in Gurk (1741). He died in Vienna.

Georg Rafael Donner was recently selected as the main motif of the Austrian gold euro commemorative coin: The sculpture coin was issued on 13 November 2002. The obverse has a portrait of Donner, with the Palace of the Lower Belvedere in the background. This palace is currently the museum of baroque art in Vienna, and contains much of Donner’s work.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
 
 

Georg Raphael Donner. Merkur
Georg Raphael Donner. Venus
 
 
 

G.R. Donner: Gurk, Szt. Kereszt-oltár
 
 
 

Szent Márton és a Koldus, eredetileg a főoltár része, Donner 1734
 
 
 
 
RUSSIA

Domenico Trezzini
 

Domenico Trezzini (ca. 1670-1734) was a Swiss architect who elaborated the Petrine Baroque style of Russian architecture.
Domenico was born in Astano, near Lugano, in the Italian speaking Ticino (at that time administered by the German speaking cantons). He probably studied in Rome. Subsequently, as he was working in Denmark, he was offered by Peter I of Russia, among other architects, to design buildings in the new Russian capital city, St. Petersburg.
Since 1703, when the city was founded, he substantially contributed to its most representative buildings. The Peter and Paul Fortress with the Peter and Paul Cathedral, the Twelve Collegia Building (now the headquarters of Saint Petersburg University) as well as Peter's Summer House count among his many achievements. He also helped found and design Kronstadt and the Alexander Nevsky Monastery.
Domenico Trezzini was very important for another aspect of Russian architectural history: in founding a school based on the European model, he laid the foundations for the development of the Petrine Baroque.


Domenico Trezzini.
Peter and Paul Cathedral. St Petersburg


Bartolomeo Rastrelli

Bartolomeo Francesco Rastrelli, (born 1700, Paris, France—died April 1771, St. Petersburg, Russia), French-born inventor of an opulent Russian Baroque architecture that combined elements of Rococo with traditional elements of Russian architecture, producing multicoloured and decorative ornamentation on all facades.

Of Italian descent, Rastrelli moved to St. Petersburg in 1716 with his father, the sculptor Bartolomeo Carlo Rastrelli. During his first five years in Russia, he worked with his father decorating the interiors of the palaces of the Russian aristocracy. From 1721 he worked independently as an architect, and he immediately made a name for himself as a master with a rich imagination.

Over a period of 50 years Rastrelli erected a great number of palaces for Russia’s rulers and members of the imperial court. He was in special favour with the empresses Anna I and Elizabeth I, who were partial to opulent luxury. For Anna he built two palaces in Moscow (the Winter and Summer Annenhof palaces; neither has survived), the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg (eventually destroyed by a fire, but later restored by a different architect), and, for her favourite, Count Ernst Johann Biron, two palaces in Latvia. The empress, pleased with Rastrelli’s work, conferred upon him the title of chief court architect.

During the 20-year reign of Elizabeth (1741–61), Rastrelli built 12 palaces and a number of cathedrals for her. With her permission he also built elaborate homes for her courtiers. (In St. Petersburg the Stroganov and Vorontsov palaces have survived.)

From 1747 to 1752 Rastrelli worked on a reconstruction of the palace of Peterhof (Petrodvorets). The three-story building stretches nearly 1,000 feet (some 300 metres). Situated on the seashore and surrounded by a great number of fountains, the palace—in the words of the director and painter Alexandre Benois—gave the impression of being the “Residence of the Sea King.”

From 1749 to 1756 Rastrelli rebuilt the Bolshoi Dvorets (Grand Palace) in Tsarskoye Selo (now Pushkin) and erected a series of pavilions in its park. The Tsarskoye Selo Palace (now called the Pushkin Palace) is some 1,000 feet long, noteworthy for the ornamentation of its facades and interiors and the wealth of its plasticity and colour. The French ambassador, viewing the palace on the day of its inauguration, commented, “There is only one thing missing here: a suitable case to house a jewel of such magnificence.”

In 1748 at the behest of the empress, who—though partial to the joys of life, was also very religious—wanted in her old age to become a nun, Rastrelli began building the Smolny Monastery on the outskirts of St. Petersburg. A large two-story square of monastic cells surrounds a massive inner courtyard, in the centre of which stands a grand five-domed cathedral. The structure’s abundant ornamentation makes it appear to have been chiseled out of a single chunk of stone.

The Winter Palace in St. Petersburg (1754–62) was the pinnacle of Rastrelli’s creation. The three-story building is in the form of a quadrangle: the powerful square expanses are united with one another at their corners by wide three-storied galleries in which antechambers and living quarters were located. The abundance of ornament gives the facades a feel of surging inner power. The palace is the pinnacle of Russian architectural Baroque and the beginning of its end.

Catherine the Great regarded the Baroque style as crude and favoured Neoclassicism, and she dismissed Rastrelli from service. Shortly before his death the Russian Academy of Arts accorded him an honorary membership.

Andrei D. Sarabianov

Encyclopædia Britannica



Bartolomeo Rastrelli. Rundale Palace. Pilsrundale near Bauska. Latvia. 1736—1740

 
 
 

 
 
 
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