Karl Jakob Weber
Engineer, Deceased Person
1712 – 1764
Who was Karl Jakob Weber?
Karl Jakob Weber was a Swiss architect and engineer who was in charge of the first organized excavations at Herculaneum, Pompeii and Stabiae, under the patronage of Charles III of Naples. His detailed drawings provided some of the basis for the luxurious royal folios of Le Antichità di Ercolano esposte, by means of which the European intelligentsia became aware of the details of what was being recovered.
Weber's unwilling collaborator was the cavaliere Rocco de Alcubierre, previously in charge of the excavations, whose treasure-hunting technique provided the fine bronzes and other works of art that kept royal patronage stimulated. Alcubierre was jealous of Weber, treated his system of excavating whole rooms with a concern for context that makes him a heroic forerunner of today's architectural profession, and attempted to sabotage Weber's his work. On Weber's death, the architect Francisco La Vega was put in charge of excavations.
Weber's plan of the still-buried Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum, which was being explored room by room by smashing openings through frescoed walls, is still the basis of our understanding of its layout, which was echoed in the construction of the J.
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