Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Nicholas Hilliard (1547 - 1619)
1558-1605 Armor of George Clifford (Jacob Halder - master armorer)
c.1561/62 - 1636 Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger
Isaac Oliver (c.1565 - 1617)
c.1592 Queen Elizabeth I (The Ditchley Portrait)
1535-1614 Robert Smythson
c.1590-1597 Hardwick Hall (Robert Smythson - architect)
1619-1622 Banqueting House, Whitehall Palace
1632-1723 Sir Christopher Wren
On a Grander Scale by Trough the prism of the tumultuous life and brilliant intellect of Sir Christopher Wren, the multitalented architect of Saint Paul's Cathedral in London, historian Lisa Jardine unfolds the vibrant, extraordinary emerging new world of late-seventeenth-century science and ideas.
The man behind the bold, imposing beauty of Saint Paul's was as remarkable as the monuments he has left us. Wren was a versatile genius who could have pursued a number of brilliant careers with equal virtuosity. A mathematical prodigy, an accomplished astronomer, a skillful anatomist, and a founder of the Royal Society, he eventually made a career in what he described disparagingly in later life as "Rubbish " -- architecture, and the design and construction of public buildings.
Wren was a major figure at a turning point in English history. He mapped moons and the trajectories of comets for kings; lived and worked under six monarchs; pursued astronomy and medicine during two civil wars; exercised his creativity through the English Commonwealth, the Great Fire, the Restoration. His royal employment out lasted abdication, Dutch invasion, and the eventual extinction of the Stuart dynasty.
Beyond the public achievements, Jardine explores Wren's personal motivations and passions. He was a sincere, intensely moral man with a remarkable capacity for friendship. His career was shaped by lasting associations forged during a turbulent boyhood and a lifelong loyalty to the memory of his father's master and benefactor, the "martyred king," Charles I.
Everything Wren undertook, he envisaged on a grander scale -- bigger, better, more enduring than anything that had gone before.
Call Number: NA997.W8J37 2002
Publication Date: 2003
His Invention So Fertile : A Life of Christopher Wren by In His Invention So Fertile, Adrian Tinniswood offers the first biography of Christopher Wren in a generation. It is a book that reveals the full depth of Wren's multifaceted genius, not only as one of the greatest architects who ever lived--the designer of St. Paul's Cathedral--but as an influential seventeenth-century scientist. Tinniswood writes with insight and flair as he follows Wren from Wadham College, Oxford, through the turmoil of the English Civil War, to his role in helping to found the Royal Society--the intellectual and scientific heart of seventeenth-century England. The reader discovers that the great architect was initially an astronomer who was also deeply interested in medicine, physics, and mathematics. Family connections pulled him into architecture, with a commission to restore the chapel at Pembroke College, Cambridge. Tinniswood deftly follows Wren's rise as architect, capturing the atmosphere of Restoration London, as old Royalists scrambled for sinecures from Charles II and Wren learned the art of political infighting at court, finally becoming Surveyor of the Royal Works-the King's engineer. Most important, the author recounts the intriguing story of the building of St. Paul's. The Great Fire of 1666--vividly recreated in Tinniswood's narrative--left London a smoldering husk. Wren played a central role in reshaping the city, culminating with St. Paul's, his masterpiece--though he had to steer between King and cathedral authorities to get his radical, domed design built. As the Enlightenment dawned in England, Wren's magnificent dome rose above London, soon to become an icon of London and world architecture. One of the most influential architects in history, Christopher Wren comes vividly to life in this fittingly grand biography.
Publication Date: 2001
1669-1711 St. Paul's Cathedral, London