World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Juan de Villanueva

Article Id: WHEBN0006084037
Reproduction Date:

Title: Juan de Villanueva  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: 18th century, El Escorial, Museo del Prado, San Lorenzo de El Escorial, El Escorial, Madrid, 1811 in architecture, Spanish Golden Age, Buen Retiro Park, Neoclassical architecture, 1739 in architecture
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Juan de Villanueva

Juan de Villanueva (Madrid, September 15, 1739- id., August 22, 1811) was a Spanish architect. Alongside Ventura Rodríguez, Villanueva is the best known architect of Spanish Neoclassicism.

His father was the sculptor Juan de Villanueva and his brother, Diego de Villanueva was not only his protector, but also his teacher.

He entered into the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando as a pupil when he was eleven years old. In 1758, he travelled to Rome to become a grant holder of the Academy to complete his studies. In 1765, he returned to Spain.

A year later,he travelled through Córdoba and Granada, where he, together with José de Hermosilla, went to draw the "Arab antiquities." The drawings from these travels were published in 1804. He settled in Madrid, where he was appointed Academic of the Academy of San Fernando.

In 1777, Charles III appointed him Architect of the Prince and the Infants. From then to the end of his life he would work almost exclusively for the Royal House. In 1781, he was appointed Architect of the Royal Monastery of El Escorial, and Charles IV appointed him Major Architect. He was going to construct several pavilions for the royal disposal: in 1771, he built the Casa de Infantes in the Royal Site of Aranjuez; in 1772, the Casita del Príncipe, at El Pardo; in 1773, the Casita de Arriba (with a Palladian scheme and a notable plasticity in the treatment for the main portal) and the Casita de Abajo or del Príncipe, both in El Escorial, where he also constructed the Casas de Oficios, a group of houses, according to the sober Herrerian style of the Monastery.

Nevertheless, his undisputed masterpiece is the Prado Museum, projected in 1785 and 1787. It was constructed as a Museum of Natural History, a School of Natural History, and an auditorium for conferences and lectures. It was transformed into the Museum of Art in 1814, and today it is also known as Edificio Villanueva.

He was a prolific architect and he displayed the majority of his work in Madrid: buildings like the Academy of History, the Caballero de Gracia oratory, the Astronomical Observatory are remarkable. With his interventions in the Plaza Mayor, both after the fire of 1790 and in the Major House among others, he collabored in the renovation of the image of the city.

With his personal style and with his strong local influences, he was the architect who best brought the theorical basis of European Neoclassicism to Spain.

Main Works

  • Casita de los Infantes, Aranjuez (1771)
  • Casita de arriba, El Escorial (1773)
  • Casita de abajo, El Escorial (1773)
  • Royal Botanical Garden, Madrid (1774-1781)
  • Casita del Príncipe, El Pardo (1784)
  • Casa de los Oficios, El Escorial (1785)
  • Prado Museum, Madrid (1785)
  • Academy of History, Madrid (1788)
  • Oratory of Caballero de Gracia, Madrid (1789)
  • Major House of Madrid: Columned façade to the Calle Mayor, Madrid (1789)
  • Astronomical Observatory, Madrid (1790)
  • Reconstruction of the Plaza Mayor, Madrid (1791)
  • Príncipe Teater, Madrid (1804)
  • General Cemetery of the North, Madrid (1804)

External links

  • Biblioteca Nacional de España

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.