Sir Christopher Wren

I went to a wonderful talk last night by Lisa Jardine in conversation with Patrick Wright about St. Paul’s.   She made the case for Wren having inherited the high church, royalist interests of his father, who was Dean of Windsor and preserved the Garter ceremony through the civil war, and his uncle, Matthew, who was Bishop of Ely.   Her view of St. Paul’s is that it is concerned with artifice and theatre, a work of the baroque, as evident in the false outer wall of the chancel which disguises a thinner interior and in the false outer dome concealing a smaller inner dome.   I’m not totally convinced.   I’ve always thought of Wren as more interested in solving issues of construction than in creating strong visual effects,  belonging to the generation of the Royal Society more than Archbishop Laud, a friend of Hooke, of course, interested in science and optics more than theatre:  big on masonry too.

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3 thoughts on “Sir Christopher Wren

  1. I’m with you on this Charles. Makes sense to me, where possible, to build the strength independently from the seen surface – that way one can do whatever one jolly well likes, and it probably won’t crack…

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