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INFLUENCE OF THE LOCAL BUILDING TRADITION ON RENAISSANCE ARCHITECTURE IN ROYAL PRUSSIA

P. Samol
Friday 9 November 2018 by Libadmin2018

ABSTRACT

Contrary to the southern Europe the first signs of Renaissance in northern parts of the Holy Roman Empire as well as in Poland and Lithuania might be observed only at the beginning of the 16th century. Initially, they were created by Italian teams which came from Florence, Rome and the region of Como. One of the most recognizable marks of that process was the transfer of the Italian craftsmen and architectural solutions, e.g. the team of Bartolomeo Berreci from Florence who built the Sigmund’s Chapel in the capital seat at Wawel Hill (1517-1533). It influenced the architecture on the whole territory of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, where over one hundred similar constructions were erected in the following years. However, the new Renaissance patterns were not so popular in the northern part of the country, where local tradition of brick architecture was still strong. There is no doubt that some kind of conservatism in the application of the Renaissance was caused by the restrictions of the local law which impeded to settle the foreign artists in Prussian cities. The other reason was religious disturbances between Catholics and Protestants who achieved dominant position in Royal and Ducal Prussia in the middle of the 16th century. As a result of that conflict, many catholic churches were then abandoned and recovered to the previous owners after a few decades.
The aim of this paper is to present the results of architectural and archaeological investigations which were conducted in years 2017-2018 in mendicant Prussian churches, especially in Barczewo (Wartenburg) and Tczew (Dirchau). Those studies allowed to establish new information about links between Renaissance in Royal Prussia and the local tradition of brick architecture. Moreover, one finds out how Italian patterns might have been promoted by some hierarchs and boycotted when the patron was changing.

Keywords: Renaissance, post-gothic, mannerism, Royal Prussia, mendicant architecture


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