WREN


WREN

MARGARET WHINNEY    Book Number: 83087    Product format: Paperback

Margaret Whinney (1897-1975) was a much published author and Reader in Art History at the Courtauld Institute from 1950-1964 - she was also the great-granddaughter of Charles Dickens! In 1971 she published this book, which remains the best concise guide to the life and work of our greatest architect, Sir Christopher Wren (1632-1723). Although best known for his rebuilding of St Paul's Cathedral following the Great Fire, which took over 40 years from initial plans to consecration in 1697 to completion in 1711, Sir Christopher Wren designed a great many other famous buildings as well as many that are less well-known and created many designs which never got past the drawing board. This is where Whinney's book excels, because although the great buildings are rightly celebrated, we in many ways learn more about Wren from these smaller commissions, unrealised plans and unexecuted designs as they show the true extent and variety of his abilities. One thing we should also remember about Wren when his work is compared to others is that for 50 years he held the post of Surveyor-General to the Crown, which would have taken up huge amounts of his working time. More crucially, and arguably the clincher for the choice of world's greatest, is that unlike anybody working for those of endless finances such as Louis XIV or the Roman Catholic Church, Wren worked under terrific financial constraints. Almost all his buildings were hampered for lack of cash, and it was his unrivalled ability to accept compromise, to seek and devise another solution and then get the job done which sets him apart. Whinney's book explains all the works, their background and Wren's life superbly in this 216pp softback which features 166 illus and plans. Thames & Hudson.
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Published price: $14.95
Bibliophile price: £6.00


Additional product information

ISBN 9780500201121
Browse these categories as well: Art & Architecture, Historical Biography, THAMES & HUDSON publications

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