Introduction by Fritz Neumeyer
Translation by David Britt
When Friedrich Gilly died in 1800 at the age of twenty-eight, his architectural career spanned less than a decade and none of his major designs had been built. Nevertheless, his ideas so influenced Berlin architecture for the next century that today he is widely regarded as the founder of that city's modern architectural tradition.
How did an individual achieve so much in so short a time? The answer lies in part in Gilly's innovative architectural program, which attempted to graft the more eloquent aspects of French Neoclassicism onto a rational Germanic tradition of logical and formally pure design. Gilly's legacy, however, is also the result of the efforts of the brilliant artistic neophyte Karl Friedrich Schinkel, who dedicated his life to implementing Gilly's vision.
Framed by Fritz Neumeyer's cogent introductory analysis, these new translations of five of Gilly's essays are accompanied by previously unpublished archival records and an illuminating catalog of his personal library. The result is a provocative and novel historical perspective of an artistically vibrant epoch.
Fritz Neumeyer teaches architectural theory at the Technische Universitt Berlin. He has published extensively on architecture and urbanism from the eighteenth through the twentieth century.
"With the welcome publication of Essays on Architecture, 1796-1799, attention can shift for a time from [Gilly's] designs, with their gripping 'carcase aesthetic,' to his ideas."
—Newsletter of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain
7 1/2 x 10 1/4 inches
74 b/w illustrations
Imprint: Getty Research Institute