Transitional Periods: Swiss Renaissance and Baroque Architecture

Lecturers: PD Dr. Michael Gnehm
Time: Monday, 11.00–11.45 h
Location: HIL E1

Swiss architecture of the 16th to the 18th centuries often defies stylistic classifications under the headings of Renaissance and Baroque. The notion of "hybrid style" was applied, meaning e.g. the blending of Gothic and antique elements, and 17th-century buildings were ascribed to the Renaissance. All these features were termed as "stylistic belatedness" and explained as issuing from the political situation of Switzerland as a "borderland" (divided also in itself) that intended to preserve elements of its own against foreign forces. In revising opinions like these, the lecture discusses by means of the analysis of single buildings and their context (amongst others the Hôtel de Ville in Geneva, the cathedral of Lugano, the Maison des Halles in Neuchâtel, the Stockalper Palace in Brig, the orphanage in Zurich or the Abbey church of St Gall) the qualities of hybrid forms and anachronisms (to be found also in the surrounding Europe) as an expression of the will to accommodate cultural changes.

Further Information

Rahn, Zur Geschichte der Renaissance-Architektur in der Schweiz, 1881
Hoffmann, Das Problem der Stillverspätung in der schweizerischen Kunst, 1938


Lecture 1, 21.09.2015 
Lecture 2, 28.09.2015 
Lecture 3, 05.10.2015 
Lecture 4, 12.10.2015 
Lecture 5, 26.10.2015 
Lecture 6, 02.11.2015 
Lecture 7, 09.11.2015 
Lecture 8, 16.11.2015 
Lecture 9, 23.11.2015 
Lecture 10, 30.11.2015 
Gnehm, Vredemans Perspektive, 2005 


PD Dr. Michael Gnehm