Sir John Vanbrugh's Birthday
Wednesday, 23rd January 1664
Sir John Vanbrugh was Christened on 24 January 1664. He was a playwright whose whose second career as an architect developed from an interest in stage design.
Vanbrugh was in many senses a radical throughout his life. As a young man and a committed Whig, he was part of the scheme to overthrow James II, put William III on the throne and protect English parliamentary democracy, and he was imprisoned by the French as a political prisoner. In his career as a playwright, he offended many sections of Restoration and 18th century society, not only by the sexual explicitness of his plays, but also by their messages in defence of women's rights in marriage. He was attacked on both counts, and was one of the prime targets of Jeremy Collier's "Short View of the Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage".
In his architectural career, he created what came to be known as English Baroque. His best known works are Blenheim Palace and Castle Howard.
He died in 1726.
Designed by Sir John Vanburgh in 1699 for Charles Howard, the 3rd Earl of Carlisle, Castle Howard is one of the grandest Baroque houses in Britain. At the centre of the house is a double height hall surmounted with a dome; the dome and ceiling paintings were badly damaged by a fire in 1940, which destroyed much of the ... (read more...)