Erst- und Originalausgaben zur Architektur-, Kunst- und Design-Geschichte
Semper (2).jpg

Semper, Gottfried.

Das Königliche Hoftheater zu Dresden.

Braunschweig, Druck und Verlag von Friedrich Vieweg und Sohn 1849.

(4), 20pp and 12 engraved plates. 54 x 38 cm. Original printed wrappers.


With dedication Sempers from the time of his London exile, dated January 22, 1852: “To C.D. Archibald Esquire R.S.F. respectfully presented by the author”. Probably for Charles Dickson Archibald (1802-1868), was a lawyer, businessman coming from Canada and spent most of the remainder of his life in England.

In London Semper received only minor design contracts, for example, the planning of the Canada Department at the Crystal Palace Exhibition 1851.

The present dedication is possibly in the context of this contract.

Gottfried Semper (1803-1879) architect and architectural historian; developed ideas about technology, architecture and art history. In 1825, he enrolled in an architecture course at the Akademie in Munich taught by the architect Friedrich von Gärtner. The following year he studied in Paris under Franz Christian Gau, though employed as a engineer. In Paris, he was fascinated by the discussions of the work of Jacques-Ignace Hittorff and hid finding on the polychromy in ancient buildings. Semper left Paris in 1830 for Greece. Together with Jules Goury and E. Metzger, Semper concluded that Greek architecture had been painted, which he published in 1834 as Vorläufige Bemerkungen. Semper declared that polychromy for architecture was esthetically important and the norm for most historic building types through the medieval. At Gau's recommendation, Semper was appointed professor of architecture at the Akademie in Dresden in 1834. There, he instituted a program in architectural history. Assigned to reform the architectural school, Semper recommended the integration of practical and theoretical work and replacing the course structure with an atelier-style experience, what is today the modern architectural school arrangement. Semper's1838 design for the Dresden Hoftheater--promoted by Karl Friedrich Schinkel--demonstrated Semper's theoretic belief of integrating a building into the environment. The Hoftheater itself was completed in 1841, becoming Semper’s masterpiece. Other Renaissance-Revival style building followed, such as the Dresden Synagogue (1840, destroyed by the Nazis in 1938) and the Dresden museum.

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