Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin was the most influential English ecclesiastical architect of his day and the principal theoretician of the Gothic revival. Born in London on March 1, , A. Pugin was the son of, and early assistant to, Augustus Charles Pugin, the producer of pattern books of Gothic building, such as Examples of Gothic Architecture The younger Pugin's conversion to Catholicism in led to a series of publications defending his chosen religion against the Established Church and advocating a correct Gothic style for its buildings.
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His importance lies not only in his virtual creation of the major style of the l9th century, Neo-Gothic, which was a fundamental re-creation and not a pastiche, but in his deliberate approach to design and function. Pugin anticipated many of Ruskin's statements on design in the many books and pamphlets that he wrote. Just before his death, he was in charge of the Medieval Court in the Great Exhibition of , and also served on the committee which selected objects to be purchased from the Exhibition for the new Museum of Manufactures.
He studied with his father, the French-born architect Auguste Charles Pugin Pugin, who favored the revival of fourteenth-century gothic, attempted to create entire coherent, consistent architectural and interior environments in this style, and by designing an entire "range of interior fittings," he attempted "to express entire schemes of design in Gothic terms, rather than employ Gothic architectural details as means of decorationa" Collins Encylcopedia.
According to Rowland Elzea, "when only fifteen [he] was designing silverware in the Gothic style for the Royal Goldsmiths, Rundell, Bridge, and Rundell, and furniture for Morel and Seddon, who were then supplying furniture for the redecoration of Windsor Castle.
He first set up on his own in with a small workshop specialising in furniture, but this was not successful. In he remarried and started his architectural career. In and and again in and he worked with Charles Barry on the designs for the new Houses of Parliament with responsibility for designing all the ornamental detail, and probably also the execution of the working drawings.
From until his death, he designed many churches and houses as well as designing their furnishings. He was a prolific designer of stained glass, metalwork, furniture , textiles, wallpapers, ceramics, embroideries, and jewellery. After his conversion to Roman Catholicism in , he published Contrasts , which argued that since gothic was an expression of a Roman Catholic society, only such a society could produce true gothic -- a position that he continued to expound in True Principles of Pointed Architecture published According to a leading historian of architecture, by thus imbuing architecture with ideology, Pugin created the " Victorian dilemma of style.
The Collins Encyclopedia points out that although his "furniture for private houses [was] often simple, with restrained, carved decoration, naturalistic, flat-patterned coloured inlays," he also produced more elaborate gothic pieces, such as those for the Medieval Courts at the exhibition , which were "decorated with delicate tracery, cresting, and heraldic devices.
Much of his influence in design came after his death in "as a result of elaborate carved furniture made in his idiom by J. Pugin also created the "pattern for English Gothic jewellery and revived use of enamelling as integral part of design; influenced ecclesiastical and other jewellery. New York: Random House, Elzea, Rowland and Betty. The Pre-Raphaelite Era, Wilmington, Delaware Art Museum, Ferrey, Benjamin.
Recollections of A. Pugin and His Father Augustus Pugin. London: Stanford, Gwynn, Denis R. Lord Shrewsbury, Pugin, and the Catholic Revival. London: Hollins and Carter, Stanton, Phoebe B. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, Trappes-Lomax, M. London: Sheed and Ward, Victorian Web.
Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin Facts
His work culminated in designing the interior of the Palace of Westminster in Westminster , London , England, and its iconic clock tower, later renamed the Elizabeth Tower, which houses the bell known as Big Ben. Pugin designed many churches in England , and some in Ireland and Australia. Between and , Pugin's father published a series of volumes of architectural drawings , the first two entitled Specimens of Gothic Architecture and the following three Examples of Gothic Architecture , that not only remained in print but were the standard references for Gothic architecture for at least the next century. Pugin learned drawing from his father, and for a while attended Christ's Hospital. After leaving school, he worked in his father's office, and in and accompanied him on visits to France.
Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin: Biography & Facts
Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin — was an architect, a designer, an artist and critic. His is a name that frequently appears when reading about theology, architecture, or the arts of the nineteenth century. Born in London in , the same year as Dickens, Pugin lived for a mere forty years. His early school education was rather informal, in fact he never attended school in the way we would think of it today. Specimens of Gothic Architecture. This job enabled him to travel in both England and France whereupon he spent much time drawing medieval buildings, a repeat of annual autumnal trips Pugin had taken with his father during his youth. Clearly ambitious Pugin set up his own business although that was to fail as early as , mainly because his optimism took precedence over experience.