After the Fire: London Churches in the Age of Wren, Hooke, Hawksmoor and Gibbs
London was but is no more!’ In these words diarist John Evelyn summed up the destruction wreaked by the Great Fire that swept through the City of London in 1666. The losses included St Paul’s Cathedral and eight-seven parish churches (as well as at least thirteen thousand houses). But London rose from the ashes, more beautiful – and certainly more spectacular – than ever before. The catastrophe offered a unique opportunity to Christopher Wren and his colleagues – including Robert Hooke and Nicholas Hawksmoor – who, in the course of remarkably few years, rebuilt St Paul’s and fifty-one other London churches in a dramatic new style inspired by the European Baroque. Forty years after the Fire, the Fifty New Churches Act of 1710 gave Nicholas Hawksmoor the opportunity to build breathtaking (and controversial) new churches including St Anne’s Limehouse, Christ Church Spitalfields and St George’s Bloomsbury. But by the 1720s the pendulum was already swinging away from Wren and Hawksmoor’s Baroque towards the less extravagant Palladian style. It was the more restrained churches built by James Gibbs (including St Martin-in the-Fields) that were to provide the prototype for churches the world over – but especially in North America – for the next hundred years. In After the Fire, celebrated photographer and architectural historian Angelo Hornak explores, with the help of his own stunning photographs, the churches built in London during the sixty years that followed the Great Fire.
|Dimensions||210 × 270 mm|
Angelo Hornak is the author of Balloon over Britain (1991) and London from the Thames (1999) and has provided the photographs for many books, including histories of St Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey and the cathedrals of Canterbury, Winchester, Wells, Exeter and Ely. He lives in London.