Vanbrugh, Sir John

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Vanbrugh, Sir John

(vănbro͞o`, văn`brə), 1664–1726, English dramatist, architect, soldier, and adventurer, b. London, of Flemish descent. In 1686 he obtained a commission in the army. He was arrested for espionage in 1690 and spent two years in a French prison. After his return from France he turned to writing for the stage. His first play, The Relapse (1696), was a counterblast to Colley CibberCibber, Colley
, 1671–1757, English dramatist and actor-manager. Joining the company at the Theatre Royal in 1690, Cibber became successful as a comedian, playing the fops of Restoration comedy.
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's Love's Last Shift. Vanbrugh's masterpiece, The Provoked Wife (1697), was attacked (1698) by Jeremy CollierCollier, Jeremy,
1650–1726, English clergyman. Collier was imprisoned as one of the nonjurors, who refused to pledge allegiance to William III and Mary II. He later was outlawed (1696) for absolving on the scaffold two of those involved in the assassination plot against
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 in his famous diatribe on the immorality of the English stage. Vanbrugh was an inventive playwright, imbued with the wit and cynicism that were common to the Restoration dramatists. As his reputation as an architect grew, Vanbrugh turned away from the stage. He became Wren's principal colleague and his style, expansive, ostentatious, and theatrical, is derived from Sir Christopher WrenWren, Sir Christopher,
1632–1723, English architect. A mathematical prodigy, he studied at Oxford. He was professor of astronomy at Gresham College, London, from 1657 to 1661, when he became Savilian professor of astronomy at Oxford.
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 and from Nicholas HawksmoorHawksmoor, Nicholas,
1661–1736, English architect involved in the development of most of the great buildings of the English baroque. From the age of 21 he assisted Sir Christopher Wren in the design of Chelsea Hospital, city churches, royal residences, and St.
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. His best-known buildings are Blenheim Palace (the perfect example of his genius for the heroic and a culmination of English baroque), Castle Howard, the Queen's Theatre in the Haymarket, and Seaton Delaval (one of the finest English baroque homes). Vanbrugh's later plays include The Confederacy (1705) and A Journey to London (completed by Cibber as The Provoked Husband, 1728). He was knighted in 1714.

Bibliography

See his complete works, including letters (ed. by B. Dobrée and G. Webb, 4 vol., 1927–28); biography by L. Whistler (1938, repr. 1971); study of his architecture by K. Downs (1977).

Vanbrugh, Sir John

(1664–1726)
An architect with no formal training, who designed England’s largest and most flamboyant Baroque country houses, with bold massing and dramatically varied skylines. Works include Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire.
References in periodicals archive ?
In the same year he wrote to his brother: "I intend to persuade Sir John Vanbrugh to see Seaton and to give me a plan of a house or to alter the old one.
It is one of the finest houses in the North East of England, and is among the finest works of its architect, Sir John Vanbrugh, who was one of the masters of English Baroque.
1726: Sir John Vanbrugh, playwright and architect of Blenheim Palace, Castle Howard and many castles and houses, died.
To support his claim as Sandford's rightful descendant, Cibber related that the playwright John Vanbrugh, "who was an Admirer of Sandford", had seen the Richard III performance, and had complimented Cibber on meticulously copying Sandford's "very Look, Gesture, Gait, Speech, and every Motion of him" (Apology 1: 139).
The castle - which is the seat of the Clan Campbell - was inspired by a Sir John Vanbrugh sketch in the 1700s and has 85,000 visitors a year.
Another heritage site open for visitors this year is the picturesque Saint George's Church, Esher, Surrey, built around 1540, which has elaborate 18th century carvings, a three-deck pulpit and a pew designed by the Blenheim Palace architect, John Vanbrugh.
TODAY FEAST ST LUDIGER 1726: Sir John Vanbrugh, playwright and architect of Blenheim Palace, Castle Howard and many castles and houses, died.
Hart has been tracking backwards, from the early 18th century to the beginning of the 17th, to produce revisionist studies of three major architects of the period: two heavyweights of the English Baroque, John Vanbrugh and Nicholas Hawksmoor, and Inigo Jones, the man who introduced Vitruvian classicism to England.
In historical terms, Stirling stood in that British lineage of plastic imagination and invention that began with Robert Smythson in the 16th century and extended through Nicholas Hawksmoor, John Vanbrugh, John Soane and Philip Webb to Edwin Lutyens in the 20th century.
The hall, near the coastal town of Seaton Sluice, was built between 1718 and 1731 by Sir John Vanbrugh, the architect of Blenheim Palace.
Designed by John Vanbrugh and set in stunning grounds landscaped by Capability Brown the house and park alone have plenty for all the family.
Set dramatically between two lakes, the 18th century palace designed by Sir John Vanbrugh really is one of Britain's most beautiful historic houses.