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The Gothic structure

Interest in the Gothic woke up at the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries not only in England but also on the other end of Europe – Czech Republic. And if the pioneer of the “Gothic revival” in the Albion (sort of Giotto, Cimabue, or even) is considered to be the Wren, the Czech “Gothic Baroque” gave birth also mainly one person – Jan Błażej Santini (1677-1723)

At Santini was of Italian roots – his grandfather was a bricklayer and came to Bohemia in the mid-17th century. Father was a bricklayer, and Yan (or Giovanni) IHL was born in Prague and died there.

The surname Santini he and his brother Frank took while in Italy in 1696-99. There the young man came under the influence of the writings of Borromini. Russian Wikipedia says the impact of the Guarini, but his creation Santini, it seems, could only see in the pictures.

After returning from Italy, the young architect began to work independently, as the Czech Wiki says: “už V roce 1700 Santini samostatně realizoval stavby…”his Legacy is very large, and as in the case of many artists of the time are not always able to determine its authorship, so the number attributed Santini of work far exceed what he faithfully did. Most of his works – in the spirit of the fledgling Bohemian Baroque, we rassmotrite that usually attributed to Gothic Baroque Baroque or Gothic ( more common recent term. By the way, a few words about the terminology. For myself, I define as: “Baroque Gothic” – architecture that started being built in the Gothic style and has retained its design features yet finished in the Baroque era. There were very many, in all the leading countries of Europe, about which I spoke in past editions of the series. But the “Gothic Baroque” is Baroque in its architecture, imitating the Gothic style. Often such imitation was purely external – borrow all sorts of non-constructive elements: arched Windows, ribs, pinnacles, etc.

In all probability the interest in the Gothic style by Santini is that he restored Gothic Church. I read that some of them lay in ruins since the time of the Hussite wars, but it’s hard to believe.

The first work of Santini in this regard is the monastery Church of the blessed virgin Mary and John the Baptist (1703-1708) in Kutna Hora. Unfortunately, I have not found images of the medieval Church before the rebuilding project is Canine.


Exterior in 1865, So the Gothic facade – a remake.



The Church’s apse.

Despite the elegance of the ribs, they are purely decorative function, and the interior of the Church seems monotonous. With the exception of ribs in the apse.

In later creations Santini Gothic elements look more natural. The most striking example is the Church of the Nativity of the Theotokos monastery in Klagebach:

The monastery was repeatedly ravaged during the 15th and 16th centuries, but after the Thirty years War, 1650-70, has been fully restored.

But the most outstanding work is considered Santini pilgrimage Church John of Nepomuk at Green Hill.

Here, Baroque and Gothic elements blend so seamlessly that it is impossible to separate one from the other. Besides, this is the only example among the heritage Santini, when Baroque-Gothic structure built from scratch, not restored.

Small centric Church has a right Pentagon shape, which is extremely rare in European architecture until the late Renaissance. The Church fenced in the form of ten-pointed stars.

The dome of the Church is clearly inspired by San Ivo Alla Sapienza Borromini, only there it is based on the six-pointed star, and here – five-pointed. And of course ribs. Here they are playing a purely decorative role.

The plan of the Church.

The General plan.

Among the numerous churches, Santini, can be highlighted the Church of the Nativity of the virgin in Želiv (1714-20):

Note the characteristic Santini, and not very characteristic of this Gothic detail: the window in the form of a three pointed star on the front.

Here’s another structure attributed Santini:

The Church of St. Prokop, Všehrdy, until 1732. For Santini too primitive, the Windows in the lower tier of the tower have the shape of a triangle with curvilinear sides, as in C. Jan Nepomuk.

Chapel Of The Holy. Jan Nepomuk in bestwina, which. An example of a sort of vulgarized ideas Santini, in its cute and interesting.

“Baroque Gothic” presents not only the name Santini. For example, the Church of the Nativity of the virgin in the Rudnitsa nad Labem, rebuilt by the architect Ottavio in 1725-34 the Biondo G.:

Unfortunately, unlike the English “Gothic Baroque” Czech was not as widespread, and in domestic art history literature about it little news. And sorry, it’s decent.

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