Christopher Wren Research Paper

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The seventeenth century English architect Sir Christopher Wren understood the baroque style in England and dictated English architecture for the next 50 years. His most important work is St. Paul's Cathedral in London, England. Wren was born on October 20, 1632, in Wiltshire, England. While in school, Wren was considered a prodigy, excelling in many subjects. As a student, Christopher Wren read a book about architecture written by a Roman architect who lived in the first century AD. As a result, Wren developed a love of architecture along with a desire to design buildings similar to those built by the Romans. In the year 1666 during the reign of Charles II, the Great Fire of London destroyed a large portion of the city. Wren was asked…show more content…
This model presented the Cathedral based on a Greek-cross plan with a massive central dome. The exterior of the Cathedral was to have curved walls and giant Corinthian columns. Wren’s design was his way of expressing a baroque exuberance, yet mitigated by the restraint of classicism, revealing an influence of French and Italian architecture. Despite Wren’s excitement, the English were not accustomed to such a design. His design was criticized because it abandoned the long-held tradition of cathedrals built on a medieval Latin-cross plan with a long nave. Wren’s design was seen by the Protestant English as too Catholic. As a result, Wren compromised and created a new design based on the preferred Latin cross but with a dome over the crossing and a classical portico entrance. The new design was accepted in 1675, but as the reconstruction proceeded, Wren made changes here and there that expressed his knowledge and love of French and Italian baroque architecture. The construction took thirty-five years to complete. The finished St. Paul’s Cathedral that is visited by millions each year in London, is very different from the original design proposed by Wren. St. Paul's is the largest cathedral in England and is the only Baroque-style cathedral in London. It could be said that the Cathedral is a combination of many stylistic inspirations and is also Wren's one-of-a-kind

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