Author(s): Margaret Whinney
Sir Christopher Wren overcame a complete lack of formal training and scan firsthand knowledge of European architecture to become a master of his art. He built nothing before he was thirty; but by the time he was seventy and still very active, his achievements rivaled those of any European architect.Wren was gifted with a fertile imagination, and his artistic gifts were complemented by his brilliant technical ingenuity. This combination is apparent in Wren's greatest work, St. Paul's Cathedral in London, which required rebuilding after the Great Fire of 1666. The famous dome of St. Paul's is a masterpiece of engineering, but it is also considered among the most beautiful in the world; it occupies a striking place in the London skyline as a legacy to England's greatest architect.This intelligent, well-illustrated survey by the late Margaret Whinney includes discussions of Wren's churches and secular buildings, and provides a look at several of his unexecuted designs.