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Italian family of architects and military engineers, active in Poland, Germany and Sweden. The family came from Bissone (near Lugano), but (1) Giacomo Parri settled in Silesia before 1540; other members of the family followed and became Germanized. They worked mainly in Silesia and also in Mecklenburg, Poland and Sweden, where they played a major role in introducing late Renaissance architecture. The work of the Parri family was based on Lombard and Venetian forms, which they linked with such elements of the Gothic tradition as gables and oriels. Some precedents for the Italian character of their work exist at the Schloss (1530–39) in Dresden, but it has not yet been explained how the Parri were influenced by this work. Their north German and Swedish works also have decorative elements in a Dutch Mannerist style and show the influence of the treatises of Sebastiano Serlio and Jacques Androuet Du Cerceau the elder. Giacomo Parri and his brother (2) Francesco Parri were the most important representatives of the family. Two other brothers, Giovanni Battista [Johann Baptist] Parri (fl 1543–86), documented in Silesia from 1543, and Domenico Parri (d 1602) worked with Francesco at Güstrow Castle in Mecklenburg before moving to Sweden; Domenico, recorded in Sweden from 1572, worked on the castles at Örebro, Borgholm and Kalmar. The brothers’ relative Cristoforo Parri (fl 1558–72) was a mason and stuccoist working in Mecklenburg at the castles of Schwerin and Güstrow and later at Nyköping Castle in Sweden.


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

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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