VANBRUGH, John

(1664-1726)
   John Vanbrugh, a successor to Inigo Jones and then Christopher Wren in England, is known for his heavy, theatrical, Baroque style of architecture, which was well suited for the monumental buildings constructed in England during this time. Coming from a wealthy family of merchants, Vanbrugh was very politically active throughout his career and at one point landed in the Bastille. As a Restoration playwright, he attained both fame and notoriety for his bawdy and satirical works, the most famous of which are The Relapse (1696) and The Provoked Wife (1697). Vanbrugh was very forward-looking in terms of his desire for greater social equality.
   His most famous building, Blenheim Palace, located north of London in Woodstock, was built beginning in 1705 for the national hero the first Duke of Marlborough. It recalls Versailles not only in its vast scale and rural setting, but also in its Baroque, theatrical organization. The palace is entered through a gate into a vast court that is almost as large as the piazza of Saint Peter's in Rome. Then, after dismounting from horses and carriages, the visitor entered the central building through a forecourt. From that core, massive wings spreading out from either side are organized around a series of internal courtyards. The symmetrical complex is built up as if the buildings were stuck together to create the whole. This way, the complex is broken down into smaller units that make it more visually accessible and provide a rhythm to the overall appearance. Towers that recall a medieval castle cap each corner. A huge lawn opens up behind the garden façade of the palace, bordered on either side by a small wooded area. As at Versailles, this space was used for outdoor entertainment and performances of music, theater, and dance. The garden was originally planned as just a small garden for vegetables and herbs, but the surrounding landscape was enlarged dramatically by Lancelot "Capability" Brown in the 1760s. Instead of designing one of the very popular French gardens with a geometrical and formal setting of box-wood hedges and rose bushes, Brown created what is now called a "picturesque" setting, with a vast lawn of grass surrounded by undulating lines of trees in a more relaxed, yet still artfully arranged, natural setting. Thus, Blenheim, which is the largest domestic palace not built for the royal family, was an important villa prototype for the monumental rural home increasingly popular in the 18th-century English countryside.

Historical Dictionaries of Literature and the Arts. . 2008.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Vanbrugh — Vanbrugh, John, englischer Baumeister u. Lustspieldichter, leitete den Bau des großen Hospitals in Greenwich u. der königlichen Gärten u. Gartengebäude, sowie des neuen Haymarkettheaters in London; erst. 1726. Mit Congreve wetteiferte V. in… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • John Vanbrugh — Sir John Vanbrugh (pronounced Van bru ) (24 January 1664? – 26 March 1726) was an English architect and dramatist, perhaps best known as the designer of Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard. He wrote two argumentative and outspoken Restoration… …   Wikipedia

  • John Vanbrugh — Portrait de Sir John Vanbrugh par Godfrey Kneller Sir John Vanbrugh (24 janvier 1664 26 mars 1726) est un architecte et un dramaturge britannique. On lui doit notamment l édification de Blenheim Palace et de Castle Howard. Il rédigea égalemen …   Wikipédia en Français

  • John Vanbrugh — Sir John Vanbrugh [ˈvænbrə], auch [vənˈbruː] (getauft 24. Januar 1664 in London; † 26. März 1726 ebenda) war ein englischer Barock Architekt und Dramatiker. Sein bekanntestes Bauwerk ist Blenheim Palace. Seine beiden provokanten Komödien The… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Vanbrugh — Sir John Vanbrugh [ˈvænbrə], auch [vənˈbruː] (getauft 24. Januar 1664 in London; † 26. März 1726 ebenda) war ein englischer Barock Architekt und Dramatiker. Sein bekanntestes Bauwerk ist Blenheim Palace. Seine beiden provokanten Komödien The… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • John Vanbrugh — en un retrato obra de Godfrey Kneller. Sir John Vanbrugh (24 de enero de 1664 26 de marzo …   Wikipedia Español

  • John Vanbrugh — noun English architect (1664 1726) • Syn: ↑Vanbrugh, ↑Sir John Vanbrigh • Instance Hypernyms: ↑architect, ↑designer * * * John Vanbrugh [ …   Useful english dictionary

  • John Churchill — His Grace the Duke of Marlborough, Porträt von Sir Godfrey Kneller, um 1705 Blenheim Palace John Churchill, 1. Duke of Marlborou …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • John Churchill, 1. Herzog von Marlborough — His Grace the Duke of Marlborough, Porträt von Sir Godfrey Kneller, um 1705 Blenheim Palace John Churchill, 1. Duke of Marlborou …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • John Duke of Marlborough — His Grace the Duke of Marlborough, Porträt von Sir Godfrey Kneller, um 1705 Blenheim Palace John Churchill, 1. Duke of Marlborou …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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