Heinrich von Ferstel
1828 – 1883
Who was Heinrich von Ferstel?
His father Ignaz Ferstel was a bank clerk of Prague. After wavering for some time between the different arts, he finally decided on architecture which he studied at the Academy under Eduard van der Nüll, August Sicard von Sicardsburg, and Rösner. After several years during which he was in disrepute because of his part in the 1848 Revolution, he entered the atelier of his uncle, Stache, where he worked at the votive altar for the chapel of St. Barbara in St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna and co-operated in the restoration and construction of many castles, chiefly in Bohemia. Journeys of some length into Germany, Belgium, Holland, and England confirmed him in his tendency towards Romanticism. It was in Italy, however, where he was sent as a bursar in 1854, that he was converted to the Renaissance style of architecture, and his admiration for Bramante. He began to use of polychromy by means of Graffito decoration and terracotta. This device, adapted from the Early Renaissance and intended to convey a fuller sense of life, he employed later in the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts.
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