Gottfried Semper

German architect, 1803-1879

"Gottfried Semper was a German architect, art critic, and professor of architecture, who designed and built the Semper Opera House in Dresden between 1838 and 1841.Semper wrote extensively about the origins of architecture, especially in his book ""The Four Elements of Architecture"" from 1851, and he was one of the major figures in the controversy surrounding the polychrome architectural style of ancient Greece. Semper designed works at all scales, from major urban interventions like the re-design of the Ringstraße in Vienna, to a baton for Richard Wagner. His unrealised design for an opera house in Munich was, without permission, adapted by Wagner for the Bayreuth Festspielhaus."

Source: Wikipedia

Semper, Gottfried

Architekt (1803-1879). Eigenh. Brief mit U. Waitzen. 15.6.1868. 3 SS. 4to.
$ 1,228 / 1.200 € (44437)

An einen Freiherrn über die Beschäftigung eines Schützlings: „Daß Herczeghy kein bequemer Schutzbefohlener sei - das weiß ich aus eigener Erfahrung. Herczeghy hat, als er nach der Türkey zog, seine hiesigen Verhältniße gänzlich aufgegeben; - er ging nach Constantinopel um sich dort eine Existenz zu gründen, und Glück zu suchen, das er hier, vielleicht decoragirt durch den eingetretenen Regierungswechsel u die ihm entzogene Subvention, nicht mehr zu finden hoffte. Ich kann demnach Euer Excellenz nicht engagieren ihm mit Rücksicht auf die hiesigen Verhältniße oder ressourcen, weitere Vorschüße zu bewilligen […]“. - Aus der Sammlung Alther, St. Gallen.

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Semper, Gottfried

Architekt (1803-1879). Autograph letter signed. Hottingen bei Zürich. 20.10.1865. 2½ SS. auf 4 (= 2 Doppel)Blatt. Gr.-4vo.
$ 6,651 / 6.500 € (33049/BN27801)

A very long and comprehensive letter to Franz von Pfistermeister, cabinet secretary to Ludwig II of Bavaria, on preliminary works for a Festival Theatre for Wagner in Munich. The project was pursued for a few years but ultimately not realised. Ludwig decided to build the theatre in Weimar instead of Munich; nevertheless, Semper's original drafts were used (albeit without the architect's permission). In his letter, Semper gives a very detailed account of the central position of the orchestra, the stage, and the auditorium.

He refers to Wagner, with whom he had discussed the project, and his ideas for interior designs. - The foundation stone of the Weimar Festival Theatre was laid on Wagner's birthday in May 1872; construction was realised under the German architect Otto Brückwald, and the building first opened for the premiere of the complete four-opera cycle of "Der Ring des Nibelungen" (13-17 August 1876). One year later Wagner wrote to Semper: "The theatre, though crude and artless, is executed according to your drafts" (cf. Hermann Sturm, Alltag & Kult, Basel 2003, p. 109f.). - Somewhat browned and spotty; fol. 1 nearly torn in the centerfold, small tears and slight ruststains..

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