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Paul Decker’s Exuberant Vision

Paul Decker’s Exuberant Vision

Produced at the height of the German palace construction, more than one hundred thirty etchings and engravings of ideal palaces and gardens in Paul Decker the Elder’s (1677–1713) Fürstlicher Baumeister (1711) present a particularly lavish vision of the German baroque. Decker is less noted for his skill as an architect than for his imaginative amalgamation of ideas and fine draftsmanship. His engravings in Fürstlicher Baumeister also helped spread the broderie (embroidery-like) ornamentation of garden parterres, introduced in the first half of the seventeenth century from France to German principalities, where it became predominant between 1715 and 1740.

Decker’s Fürstlicher Baumeister begins with perspective views of an immense palace, setting the tone for the theatricality and grandeur that pervades the rest of his book.

 

Image from: Decker, Paul. Fürstlicher Baumeister. Augsburg: Jeremias Wolff, 1711–16.

 

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