Baroque Architects
List of 17th Century Architectural Designers.

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Cathedral of St Gall, Switzerland.
Baroque-style architecture.

For a guide to the issues, see:
Definition of Art.

Baroque Architects (c.1600-1750)


Baroque art emerged during the second half of the 16th century, partly because of the prevailing political and religious uncertainty. The Protestant Reformation which began in 1517, cast doubt on the integrity and theology of the Roman Church across Europe. In due course, this led to a campaign of Catholic Counter-Reformation art, launched by Rome, to reinspire the masses and woo them away from Protestantism. By the start of the 17th century, religious art in general, and Baroque architecture in particular, had become a significant element in this propaganda campaign, and was also exploited by absolutist Catholic monarchs to buttress their rule. Baroque sculpture was also harnessed to the cause, as was Baroque painting. Frequently, all these art forms were combined in churches, and some of the best Baroque paintings were integral elements of the architectural setting. See, for instance, the glorious ceiling murals of Pietro da Cortona and Andrea Pozzo.

For a historical survey, see:
Architecture, History.
For explanation of terms, see:
Architecture Glossary.

A number of Baroque architects
also sculpted. For more, see:
Baroque Sculptors.

For details of art movements
and styles, see: History of Art.
For a chronological guide to
key events in the development
of visual arts around the globe
see: History of Art Timeline.

For a list of the Top 10 painters/
sculptors: Best Artists of All Time.
For the best oils/watercolours,
see: Greatest Paintings Ever.
For the best plastic art,
see: Greatest Sculptures Ever.

The Baroque Style of Architecture

Think of Baroque as a much more emotional, more elaborate, more illusionistic form of Renaissance architecture, with greater manipulation of light, colour, texture and perspective. It boasted more ostentatious exteriors; more complex less geometric but more unified floor-plans; a whole new series of trompe l'oeil effects, plus a host of wall and ceiling fresco decorations. All these architectural features were designed to dazzle the spectator, as were the surroundings of the building itself. This is exemplified above all by Bernini's design of St Peter's Square (1656-67) - in front of the domed St Peter's Basilica in Rome - whose architecture has received praise throughout the centuries for the elegance of its sublime classical proportions. (For more about building design in classical antiquity, see: Roman Architecture.) Another supreme example of Baroque architecture is the Palace of Versailles designed by Louis le Vau and Jules Hardouin Mansart for the French monarch Louis XIV.


Famous Baroque Architects

Here is a list of the greatest architects of the Baroque movement, together with their major design projects.


Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola (1507-73)
Classical Italian architect in style of Late Renaissance and Early Baroque.
- St Peter's Domes, Vatican (1564)
- The Church of the Holy Name of Jesus (Il Gesu) (1568)

Pietro da Cortona (1596-1669)
Architect to Pope Urban VIII.
- SS. Luca e Martina (1635-64, Rome)
- St Maria della Pace, facade (1656-7, Rome)
- St Maria in Via Lata (1658-62, Rome)
See also: Quadratura, the illusionistic architectural painting technique.
Example: Allegory of Divine Providence (1633-39, Palazzo Barberini).

Bernini (1598-1680)
The greatest of all Baroque architects and sculptors.
- Palazzo Barberini (1628-32, Rome)
- St Peter's Square (1656-67)
- St Andrea al Quirinale (1658-71, Rome)

Francesco Borromini (1599-1667)
Lifelong rival of Bernini.
- St Carlo alle Quattro Fontane (1634-68, Rome)
- Palazzo Sapienza and St Ivo alla Sapienza, dome/facade (1640-60, Rome)
- St Agnese in Agone (1653, Rome)

See also: Andrea Pozzo (1642-1709), the great quadraturista and architect.
See also Italian Baroque Artists.


Francois Mansart (1598-1666)
Father of French Classicism.
- Chateau Berny (1623-27)
- Chateau de Blois, Loire (1638)
- Val de Grace Church, Paris (1645)

Louis Le Vau (1612-70)
Main co-architect of the Palace of Versailles.
- Hotel Lambert (1642-4, Paris)
- Saint-Sulpice (1646, Paris)
- Marble Court (1669, Palace of Versailles)

Jules Hardouin Mansart (1646-1708)
Main co-architect of the Palace of Versailles & dome of Les Invalides in Paris
- Chateau de Marly (1679-86, Marly-le-Roi)
- Dome of Les Invalides (1679-91, Paris)
- Grand Trianon (1687-8, Palace of Versailles)

See also French Baroque Artists.

For the finest interior design in France during the Baroque era, see: French Decorative Art. For furnishings, see: French Furniture (1640-1792). For architects and craftsmen, see: French Designers.


Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach (1656-1723)
Eminent Austrian Baroque architect, brough Italian styles to central Europe.
- Kollegienkirche (1694-1707, Salzburg)
- Stadtpalais (1695-8, Vienna)
- Church of St Charles (1716-30, Vienna)

Jakob Prandtauer (1660-1726)
Leading Austrian architect and master mason.
- Melk Abbey (1702-36)
- St Florian Library Linz (1708-26)
- Kremsmunster Abbey (1710-15)
- St Polten Cathedral (1722)

Johann Dientzenhofer (1663-1726)
Designer of lavish German Baroque palaces.
- Fulda Cathedra (1704-12)
- Weissenstein Castle (1711-18)
- Bibra Palace, Bamberg (1716)

Andreas Schluter (1664-1714)
Berlin Hofbaumeister (Court Architect); proponent of Petrine Baroque, the architectural style founded under Peter the Great for the design of buildings in his new capital, St Petersburg. Other followers were Mikhail Zemtsov and Domenico Trezzini. See also German Baroque Art (1550-1750)
- Berliner Stadtschloss (1702)

Balthasar Neumann (1687-1753)
Leading German Late Baroque designer, Royal architect to Schonborn family.
- Wallfahrtskirche (1730-9, Gossweinstein)
- Staircase for Wurzburg Residenz (1737)
- Staircase for Augustusburg Palace (1743-8, Bruhl)

Joseph Emanuel Fischer von Erlach (1693-1742)
Austrian chief Court Architect of the Baroque & Rococo.
- Schwarzenberg Palace redesign (1728)
- St Michael's Wing of the Hofburg Imperial Palace (1729-35)

Johann Caspar Bagnato (1696-1757)
Swiss/German Baroque architect.
- Extension of Castle Altshausen (1729)
- Church St Madgalena, Friedberg (1731-1733)
- Church St Otmar, Bremelau (1747)

Hans Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff (1699-1753)
Prussian Baroque architect influenced by French Classicism, Palladian styles.
- Redesign of Monbijou, Charlottenburg & Potsdam City Palaces (c.1740-50)
- Sanssouci Palace Potsdam (1745-47)

Franz Anton Bagnato (Francesco Antonio Bagnato) (1731-1810)
German architect, worked for Prince-Bishop Franz von Rodt of Constance.
- New Castle and chapel of the seminary in Meersburg (c.1765)
- Castle Burgeln, Schliengen.

See also German Baroque Artists.


Alonso Cano (1601-1667)
Versatile artist, architect - nicknamed the "Spanish Michelangelo".
- Granada Cathedral 1667

Churriguera Family of Spanish Baroque Sculptors and Architects
The leading architects of their time; active in Salamanca; employed a highly decorated style of architecture (Churrigueresque).
- Jose Benito de Churriguera (1665-1725)
- Joaquin de Churriguera (1674-1724)
- Alberto de Churriguera (1676-1750)

Pedro de Ribera (1681-1742)
One of the most important architects of the Late Baroque period in Madrid.
- Ucles Monastery (1735)
- Church of San Cayetano (1722–1737)
- Church of San Jose (1730)
- Torrecilla Palace (1716–1731)

Niccolo Nasoni (Nicolau Nasoni) (1691-1773)
Influential Italian architect active in Portugal; noted for "talha dourada".
- Episcopal Palace of Porto (1734)
- Palace of Sao Joao o Novo, Porto (1723–1733)
- Palace of Freixo, Porto (1750)

See also: Spanish Baroque Art and Spanish Baroque Artists.


Inigo Jones (1573-1652)
First notable English architect to import classical ideas from Italian Renaissance architects and introduce Palladianism.
- Queen's House at Greenwich, London (completed 1635)
- Chapel Royal, St James (c.1625).

Sir Christopher Wren (1632-1723)
Scientist, academic and architect of (mainly) ecclesiastical buildings.
- Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford (1663)
- St Paul's Cathedral (1674-1711)
- Royal Observatory, Greenwich (1675)
- Kensington Palace (1689–96)
- Hampton Court Palace (South Facade) (c.1690)
- Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich (1696-1712)

Sir John Vanbrugh (1664-1726)
Leader of the short-lived English Baroque architectural style.
- Castle Howard, Yorkshire (1702-12)
- Blenheim Palace (1705-22)


Dientzenhofer Family of German Architects
The leading building designers of their time in Bohemian and German Baroque.
Georg Dientzenhofer (1643–1689)
Wolfgang Dientzenhofer (1648–1706)
Christoph Dientzenhofer (1655-1722)
Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer (1689–1751)
Leonhard Dientzenhofer (1660–1707)
Johann Dientzenhofer (1663–1726)
Justus Heinrich Dientzenhofer (1702–1744)
- The Church of St. Nicolas in Prague, by Christoph and Kilian Dientzenhofer.
- Facade of the St. Michael Church, Bamberg, by Leonhard Dientzenhofer
- Banz Abbey by Leonhard and Johann Dientzenhofer.
- Kinsky Palace, Prague by Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer
- Seehof's Orangerie, Bamberg, by Justus Heinrich Dientzenhofer

Jakub Auguston (1668-1735)
Bohemian Baroque architect in west Bohemia.
- Chotesov Abbey (c.1700)
- Nebilovy Castle (c.1710)

Jan Blazej Santini Aichel (1677-1723)
Czech architect noted for his mixture of Gothic and Baroque designs.
- Convent of the Cistercian Monastery, Plasy (1711–1723)
- Pilgrimage Church of Saint John of Nepomuk (1719–1727)
- Church of St Peter and Paul in Horni Bobrova (1714)


It wasn't until the era of Petrine art under Tsar Peter the Great (1686-1725), that foreign architectural designers like Rastrelli, Andreas Schluter, and Leblond introduced the style of Russian Baroque - using elements drawn from Baroque, Rococo and Neoclassical art.

Bartolomeo Rastrelli (1700-1771)
Responsible for Russian Baroque.
- Smoly Cathedral (1748-57, St Petersburg)
- Winter Palace (1754-62, St Petersburg)
- Redesign of Catherine's Palace (1756, near St Petersburg)

Prince Dmitry Vasilyevich Ukhtomsky (1719–1774)
Chief architect in Moscow, during the reign of Empress Elizabeth. His pupils included Matvei Kazakov, Ivan Starov, Alexander Kokorinov, and other masters who graduated from Moscow architectural school founded by Ukhtomsky 1749.
- Church of Martyr Nikita (1740s)


There was little new religious architecture in Flanders or Holland, not least because the area was mostly Protestant. Other forms of Baroque did survive, however. For details, see: Flemish Baroque Art and Dutch Baroque Art. For more about the Dutch Golden Age of painting, see: Dutch Realist School (c.1600-80) and Dutch Realist artists.

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