Wednesday, November 15:

BAROQUE ARCHITECTURE IN FRANCE, GERMANY, AND ENGLAND


Historical context: Tremendous expansion of commercial and industrial activity in Holland and England, and of their colonization and world trade, with England taking the lead toward the end of the century despite internal conflicts between king and parliament. Industrial prosperity of Flanders. Decline of Germany and Spain. Classicizing Baroque in France: Greater reticence, and increased emphasis on classical clarity and correctness, corresponding to the rational and monumental absolutist scheme of values. Baroque spatial expansion. Johann Balthasar Neumann (1687-1753) in Germany: Neumann was later than the French and English Baroque architects, and he was influenced by the decorative vocabulary of French Rococo. But overall his architecture was a Late Baroque German development of Borromini's style. Intersecting ovoid spaces and interpenetrating vaults create a sense of weightlessness and of lively movement. White walls, the extensive glass surfaces of large windows, and the illusionistic decoration of walls and ceiling produce an impression of openness and lightness. The delicate web of thin mouldings and crisp, curvilinear patterns, the stucco figures perched casually on architectural members or floating above them, and the rhythmic designs of the paintings give decorative liveliness to the curving surfaces. (The interior design at Vierzehnheiligen was mainly by Johann Jakob Michael Kuchel, after Neumann's death.) Neumann's inventive variations on classical vocabulary are a fitting culmination of the tradition begun in Italy by Borromini. England in the Seventeenth Century: Architecture tended to be purely classicizing (Inigo Jones), building in the tradition and spirit of the High Renaissance and of Palladio; or more eclectic (Wren), showing French and Dutch influences as well as those of various Italian Baroque and High Renaissance architects.

Key works:

1. Louis Le Vau, Charles Le Brun, and Claude Perrault, East facade of the Louvre, ca. 1667; fig. 588.
2. Versailles: Palace, garden facade, 1669-85 begun by Louis le Vau (1612-70) [ 117 garden facade]; completed by Jules Hardouin-Mansart (1646-1708); park, 1661-68 by Andre le Notre [ 121 pre-Mansart core of Versailles, with new gardens]; Hall of Mirrors, c. 1680 by Hardouin- Mansart and le Brun [ 118]; whole complex 1660s--18th c. [ 122 plan, 123 aerial view of chateau and gardens]; figs. 583--586.
3. Johann Baltasar Neumann: Residenz at Wurzburg, designed 1722; center block 1735; Kaisersaal and grand staircase painted by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo 1750-53 [ 288 plan; 287 staircase; 286 Kaisersaal]; figs. 599--600.
4. Neumann, Vierzehnheiligen (country pilgrimage church) Germany, designed 1738; redesigned by Neumann 1744, completed 1772 [ 283 reconstructed cutaway model, showing longitudinal section; 284 interior view]; figs. 597, 598.
5. Sir Christopher Wren (1632-1723): St. Paul's Cathedral, London, 1675-1710. Greek cross plan, 1672; "Great Model" design 1673; Warrant design 1675; redesigned 1675 as is [ 283 the "Great Model"; 282 final plan as built; 281 aerial view]; figs. 611--613.

Works in context:

  • Inigo Jones, (1573-1652): Queen's House, Greenwich, begun 1616.
  • Jones: Banqueting House, Whitehall, London, 1619-22; projected expansion, 1638.
  • Domenikus Zimmerman, die Wies pilgrimage church, nr. Munich, 1745-1754.