Neumann, Johann Balthasar

Neumann, Johann Balthasar

(yō`hän bältäsär` noi`män), 1687–1753, German architect. He traveled (1718) in Austria and N Italy and studied (1723) in Paris. Neumann designed several palaces and churches in Würzburg, some of which were decorated by Tiepolo. In 1742 he began the planning of Vierzehnheiligen, the most famous rococo church in Germany, celebrated for the sumptuous architectural decoration of the interior and the brilliant spatial arrangements within a series of oval spaces.


See C. Otto, Space into Right (1979).

Neumann, Johann Balthasar


Baptized Jan. 30, 1687, in present-day Cheb, Czechoslovak Socialist Republic; died Sept. 19, 1753, in Würzburg. German late baroque and rococo architect.

Neumann, a smelter by trade, became the architect of the bishop of Würzburg in 1719. He worked in cities in southern and western Germany. Neumann worked mainly in Wiirzburg, where he designed his principal work—the prince-bishop’s residence (1719–53). The building is distinguished by bold structural solutions (the staircase with frescoes by J. B. Tiepolo) and the organic combination of painting and sculpture with the interior space (the Imperial Hall with wall paintings by Tiepolo). The same architectural principles were applied to Neumann’s religious projects, which included more than 100 churches (pilgrim churches in Vierzehnheiligen, 1743–71; the abbey church in Neresheim (begun 1745). Neumann also designed residential buildings, bridges, and public squares.


Reuther, H. Die Kirchenbauten Balthasar Neumanns. Berlin, 1960.