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Von der „Erfindung“ der Renaissance zur Praxis der Neorenaissance. Paris – Dresden – Berlin – Budapest

The Invention of the Renaissance Concept and the Practice of Neorenaissance Architecture. Paris – Dresden – Berlin – Budapest

Acta Historiae Artium Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae
Henrik Karge


The conception of Renaissance as a specific artistic style and cultural epoch is remarkably young: it has been developped in the trend-setting circles of Paris around 1820–1830 – the French word is keeping the memory of this origin – and spread to other languages in the following years. There is a close connection between this historiographic concept and the development of Neorenaissance architecture from the 1830s onwards. In the years around 1840, Parisian domestic architecture and interior decoration were reviving the magnificent French culture of the reign of François I whereas the first renaissance of Italian Renaissance architecture emerged in Dresden. Particularly, the public and private buildings planned by Gottfried Semper (First Hoftheater, Dresden Gallery, Villa Rosa) were the decisive models for the establishment of the Neorenaissance system in German architecture. In Berlin, neoclassical tradition was continued by the Schinkel school into the second half of the 19th century, but in the years around 1870 the architects of the new capital of imperial Germany took up the Neorenaissance style in a general way. That's why the young Budapest architects who studied in Berlin took over the new architectural system and applied it systematically to the massive extension of the capital of Hungary realized in the 1870s. By this way, Budapest turned into the purest model of Neorenaissance urban architecture still existing in Europe.

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