2004 Abstracts Stage 2

An individual and their power can account for the transition from the traditional Renaissance architecture to the dynamic Baroque architecture. Is this a fair statement for Praque in the 16th and 17th centuries?

Rachel Cornelius, 2004, Stage 2

Prague is my chosen place for the study of my project and the development of architecture in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The architecture is a mix of all time periods and have al been preserved, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque are just some of the styles that can be seen. I am focusing on the Renaissance to Baroque period and the reason for the architectural transition. Along with this transition and the reasons behind it there is the main theme of individuality and power and how these characteristics may have helped the process of Renaissance to Baroque. The individuals that could have the kind of power needed to influence a change in style are emperors, religious leaders, architects and the aristocracy. But how do these individuals use their power to influence others? Can style really be changed through the will of one person? These questions lead to an investigation of individualism and its impact and influence on others. The main buildings I am exploring are the Renaissance Beldevere, a summerhouse, built for Queen Ann, the Baroque Wallenstein Palace, the Baroque St. Nicholas Church and the cathedral of St. Vitus. These buildings are interesting to compare and contrast so as to get a real feel for the different periods and stages of development. The Belvedere- 1535-63, Renaissance Summerhouse built for Queen Anne. The idea of an individual being responsible for the development in architecture is possible but unlikely so there must be other reasons. These are blunted sensibility, advancement of architectural tools and abilities, the need for new art to admire and the natural development of style. All these have to be discussed in order to find which is most likely to have had the most influence. Religion is also a key factor in the development as the transition may be connected to the Thirty Years War and this would mean limitations or requirements were needed to be seen on buildings in order to promote or demote certain religious beliefs. Sources The Architecture of Prague and Bohemia- Brain Knox, Renaissance and Baroque – Heinrich Wolfflin, The Thirty Years War- Stephen Lee, Space, Time and Architecture- Sigfried Giedion, Rudolf II and Prague: the court and the city- Eliska Fucov, Also a study of the buildings themselves in Prague.

Leave a Reply