Gottfried Semper by Dr. Harry Francis Mallgrave
Architect of the Nineteenth Century

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During his life, the German architect, scholar and political revolutionary, Gottfried Semper (1803-1879) experienced early fame, political exile from his homeland, international prominence, and seeing European architecture transformed by his influential body of ideas. In this biography Harry Mallgrave presents an account of the life, buildings and writings of the man he describes as a colossus of the 19th century. Mallgrave weaves a saga of Semper's youth, his fascination with the July Revolution in France, and his voyage to a Greece wracked by civil war. He speaks of Semper's design for the Dresden Hoftheater in the mid-1830s, his influence on Richard Wagner, and his plummeting fortunes after the political unrest of 1848-1849. Mallgrave traces Semper's literary resurrection that culminated with the publication of his book on style; he follows his artistic resurrection with a practice in Zurich and Vienna. By the time of his design for the second Dresden Hoftheater in the 1870s, Semper was without architectural peer in the German-speaking countries and his ideas had pushed European architecture to the brink of modernism.

About Dr. Harry Francis Mallgrave

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Harry Mallgrave is Associate Professor of History and Theory at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. His 1996 book Gottfried Semper: Architect of the Nineteenth Century was awarded the Alice Davis Hitchcock Award by the Society of Architectural Historians.
Published May 29, 1996 by Yale University Press. 448 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Arts & Photography, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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The New York Review of Books

These techniques are so successful that even today anyone who buys a ticket for a performance of Aida in Semper’s recently restored opera house in Dresden is caught, even as he approaches the building, in an excitement … Purchase a trial Online Edition subscription and recei...

Nov 14 1996 | Read Full Review of Gottfried Semper: Architect o...

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