Sunday, October 27, 2013

Jan Blažej Santini Aichel

Church of St. John of Nepomuk at Zelená hora

Jan Blažej Santini Aichel was born on February 3, 1677 from Italian descent. He was the eldest son of a family of stonemasons in Prague. He was born with a paralysis of half of his body, this made following the families occupation impossible. In his youth Aichel was intrigued by painting. So much so that his father decided to have him properly educated in painting and architecture. Is it speculated that Jean Baptista Mathey was the boy’s instructor.
Zvole - Church of St. Wenceslas

Around the age of 19, after his graduation, is was accustom to travel in order to gain experience. His travel lasted over three years. His journey took him through Austria and Rome. In Rome he experienced the work of Francesco Borromini, influencing him greatly.

Kladruby Monastery - Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary

After his journey was complete Aichel began to design and build independently. He met Wolfgang Lochner, an abbot in Zbraslav, who would become Aichel’s first major customer. Thanks to Lochner, Aichel gained many customers between 1700 and 1710. Including the abbots of Sedlec, Žďár, Plasy and Kladruby.

During his life it is believed that Aichel was responsible for building over 60 buildings. Ten of which are considered “an absolute peak of European architecture in that time.” A few examples of his work include: Mariánská Týnice, Church of St. John of Nepomuk at Zelená hora, Zvole - Church of St. Wenceslas, and Kladruby Monastery - Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.

Mariánská Týnice

On December 7, 1723 Aichel died at the age of 46. He chose the church of St. John in Obora, Prague to be his final resting place. Unfortunately that church was discontinued in 1784, the church became private property. The church was reconstructed into a house, the cemetery was transformed into a garden. Today there is no way in knowing what happened to Aichel’s remains.


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