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Tessin, Nicodemus, the Elder

Tessin, Nicodemus, the Elder (1615–81). Swedish architect and military engineer of French origins. After its successes in the Thirty Years War (1618–48) Sweden became a magnet for artists, and enjoyed a period of considerable activity in creative spheres. In 1646, during the reign of Queen Christina (1644–54), Tessin was appointed Royal Architect, travelled to improve his taste and knowledge, and returned to Sweden in 1653 armed with the necessary experience, books, and drawings to become the country's foremost Baroque architect. Influenced by French designs, he created the gardens at the Royal Palace of Drottningholm as well as the Palace itself, with its system of pavilions, monumental staircase, and composition in which precedents from France, The Netherlands, and Italy can be detected (1660s). He also designed Kalmar Cathedral (begun 1660), partly influenced by the Roman Cinquecento and built on a Greek-cross plan with corner turrets, but with the east and west arms lengthened and with apses. He was City Architect of Stockholm from 1661 until his death. Among his other works were the noble Karolinska Grafkoret (Carolinian Mausoleum) at the Riddarholms-Kyrka (Riddarholms Church—1671–1740), many houses in Stockholm, and the Bank of Sweden, Stockholm (1676).

Bibliography

Andersson & and Bedoire (1986);
Kommer (1974);
Paulsson (1958);
Placzek (ed.) (1982);
Jane Turner (1996)

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