Publication details

Císařský architekt a pevnostní stavitel Giovanni Pieroni. „Dottore Giovanni Pieroni Architetto e Matematico“

Title in English Imperial Architect and Fortication Engineer Giovanni Pieroni: „Dottore Giovanni Pieroni Architetto e Matematico“


Year of publication 2015
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Opuscula historiae artium
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Web Digitální knihovna FF MU
Field Art, architecture, cultural heritage
Keywords Giovanni Pieroni; Albrecht of Valdštejn (Wallenstein); Rombaldo Collalto; Florence; Vienna; Brtnice; Prague; Valdštejn Palace; Jičín; astronomy; astrology; Galileo Galilei; Johannes Kepler; architecture; 17th century; Accademia degli Antistagiriti
Description The arrival of Giovanni Pieroni in central Europe introduced the region to an altogether new model of versatile architect. Pieroni was an apprentice of Bernardo Buontalenti and contemporary of Florentine architects Sigismondo Coccopani and Giovanni Antonio Dosio, held the title of doctor of laws and enjoyed the friendship of Galileo Galilei, and brought with him the erudition of a builder of forti cations, the imaginativeness of an artist/ architect, the intellectual curiosity of a natural scientists, and the philosophical and mathematical immersion into the mysteries of the celestial canopy supported by observations of the stars. He wrote up horoscopes on request, sketched designs for theatre scenery, surveyed the ground for new forti cations, and designed decorative gardens. He designed sacred and secular structures and set them in mathematically arranged landscape surrounding, supported and substantiated by astronomical considerations. He consulted with Kepler and Galileo on his observations and tried to help get the latter’s work published. Like Galileo and members of the Accademie dei Lincei in Rome he was an opponent of the philosophy of Aristotle. In Vienna he performed an experiment with a vacuum for a high society audience and he founded there the rst academic society in central Europe – Accademia degli Antistagiriti. Immediately after his arrival in Vienna and Prague Pieroni was appointed as the imperial architect of forti cations and soon after he served as an architect for Duke Albrecht of Valdštejn and other members of the aristocracy. The study focuses on a human, intellectual, artistic pro le of Giovanni Pieroni, it does not present an in-depth analysis of his work. It adopts a critical view of some recent hypotheses and warns of the danger of creating academic ‘myths’ based solely on unsubstantiated assumptions.