Study Aid 7: Neoclassicism Outside of France

French Neoclassicism exercised a great deal of influence on the rest of Europe. However, many of these countries also developed their own original interpretations of Neoclassicism. In the nineteenth century, Greek Revival designs played an interesting role in the Neoclassical movement, particularly in Germany and the United States.

Great Britain
Neoclassicism in Great Britain assumed many guises. Somerset House by William Chambers (London 1776-80) demonstrates a sense of Palladian restraint expanded to a great scale. Robert Adam's work exhibits a decorative and spatial sense that was that was partially derived from his archeological studies on the continent, e.g. Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire, by Robert Adam in 1761; Syon House, near London, Robert Adam, 1762-69. While John Soane's interior volumes demonstrated a debt to the French visionary architects, they were more imaginative and sophisticated than any of his contemporaries on the continent or in England, e.g. Bank of London, 1798-1823; Soane's House and Museum, 1792-1824. John Nash lacked the ideological or stylistic vigor of the previous architects, yet his personal connections and picturesque sensibility assured him great commercial success, e.g. Regent's Street and Park development, 1811-27, London. Sir Robert Smirke's British Museum (London 1823-46) demonstrates the evolution of Neoclassical taste into its final phase of the Greek Revival.

United States
Neoclassicism in the United States was greatly influenced by contemporary trends in France and Great Britain, as can be seen in the work of English immigrant Benjamin Latrobe, e.g. Bank of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 1798; St. Mary's Catholic Cathedral, Baltimore, 1804-1818; Corn and Tobacco capitals, U.S. Capitol, Washington D.C., 1810,1816. Latrobe was also the first professionally-trained architect to practice in the United States. He in turn was responsible for training many of America's next generation of architects. Thomas Jefferson was similarly influenced by European thought, but infused his work with a democratic idealism emblematic of the new republic, e.g. Virginia State Capitol, Richmond, 1785; Monticello, Charlotesville, VA, 1771-1808; University of Virginia, Charlottesville, 1817-26. The Greek Revival became the dominant architectural language in the United States between 1820 and 1860,and its influence can be found coast to coast, e.g. William Strickland: Second Bank of the United States, Philadelphia; Merchant's Exchange, Philadelphia, 1832-24.

The great German neoclassicists were particularly drawn to Greek models that they infused with moralistic and nationalistic associations. The most significant German architects of the first half of the 19th century were Leo von Klenze (whose works include the Propylaea, Munich, 1846-60; and the Walhalla, near Regensburg, 1821) and Karl Friedrich Schinkel (whose works include the Schauspielhaus, Berlin, 1818-21; and the Altes Museum, Berlin, 1823-33). Von Klenze also erected Italian Renaissance Revival buildings in Munich and Schinkel worked in Gothic Revival mode as well as Neoclassicism. Schinkels' "Roman baths"/gardener's house (Potsdam, Germany, 1829-36) displayed a precocious appreciation of vernacular designs.
St. Petersburg was founded by Peter the Great as his new capital and gateway to the more modern Europe. In the next 150 years, the city would acquire perhaps the greatest collection of monumental Neclassical buildings in the world, many of them created by foreign architects, e.g. Academy of Fine Arts, J.F. Blondel & Vallin de al Mothe, 1765; the Exchange, Thomas de Thomon, 1805-16; the New Admiralty, Adrian Zakharov, 1806-23.

Syon House

Date: 1762-1769
Location: Kew, Near London England
Architect: Robert Adam



Interior View of Antechamber

Interior View of Dining Room

Interior - Black and White Sculpture Hall

Sir John Soane's House and Museum

Date: 1792-1824
Location: London, England
Architect: Soane


Interior View - Breakfast Parlor in 1825

Interior View - Breakfast Parlor

Interior View - Library

Interior View - Museum

Interior View - Museum's Picture Gallery

Plan of Soane's Ownership and Modifications Over Time

Final Plan

Section - Museum and Breakfast Room

Regent's Street and Park Development

Date: 1811-1827 AD
Location: London England
Architect: John Nash
Patron: The Prince Regent (George IV)


View of Regent's Street in the 19th Century

View of Park Crescent

View of Cumberland Terrace from Regent's Park

Detail View of Cumberland Terrace

Detail View of Cumberland Terrace

19th Century View of Cumberland Terrace

University of Virginia

Date: 1817-1826
Location: Charlottesville Virginia
Architect: Thomas Jefferson

Birds-eye View in the mid-19th Century

Plan of Campus

View of Colonnades and Pavilions

Early View of Quad

View of Central Quad and Rotunda

View of Rotunda

View of Pavilion #9

East Range and Refectory

Serpentine Wall Between the Quad and Ranges

Merchant's Exchange

Date: 1832-1834
Location: Philadelphia Pennsylvania
Architect: Strickland

Engraved View from the 19th Century

Front (East) Elevation

Rear (West) Elevation

Exterior View - Tower

Side Elevation

Altes Museum

Date: 1823-1833
Location: Berlin, Germany
Architect: Schinkel

Perspective View by Schinkel


Front Elevation


Front Elevation

View within the Front Colonnade

Elevation Drawings

Side Elevation

Interior - Rotunda