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Georg Beer

(1527—1600)


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(b Bönnigheim, 1527; d Stuttgart, 1600). German architect. From 1575 he was in the service of Duke Ludwig VI of Württemberg (reg 1568–93) as successor to the master builder Aberlin Tretsch. His main work was the Neues (or Grosses) Lusthaus (1583–93) in Stuttgart, a two-storey pavilion designed to accommodate the festive and ceremonial occasions of the Protestant court of Württemberg. An exceptional work of its time, it was possibly modelled on the Prague Belvedere and the Munich Antiquarium, although it nevertheless had a distinct individuality, based on the contemporary Württemberg style of building. The Lusthaus was almost completely destroyed in 1845, having been converted into an opera house during the 18th century; the remains, including parts of the ground-floor arcades, have been re-erected in the Schlossgarten. The pavilion had a high gabled roof and was adorned with arcades, a gallery and low towers; it served as the visual centre and main feature of the new gardens of the Altes Schloss (see Stuttgart). On the upper floor was an enormous banqueting hall (1169 sq. m), reached by spiral staircases in the corner towers and by two large external staircases on the long side of the building, which gave access via landings surmounted by Zwerchgiebels supported on columns. The arcaded ground floor contained three square pools of water on the model of Italian grottoes, to refresh court society in summer; water for the fountains in the pleasure garden was supplied from a reservoir in one of the four corner towers. The gallery running above the arcades gave a view on to the park and connected the towers to the main structure. The windows of the piano nobile incorporated an oculus over the lintel, while the gables to the steeply pitched roof were embellished by four orders of pilasters, the lowest and tallest one interrupted by three circular windows. This richly decorated Mannerist building was in its turn the model for pavilions in Stettin (now Szczecin) and Ansbach.

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From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Renaissance Art.


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