Wyatt, Sir Matthew Digby

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Wyatt, Sir Matthew Digby (1820–77). Prolific English architect, the younger brother of T. H. Wyatt, related to the rest of the fecund Wyatt dynasty. He was Secretary to the Executive Committee for the Great Exhibition (1851), and carried out orientalizing architectural detailing at Paddington Station, London (1852–4), for Brunel. He designed the polychrome Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge (1863–5 see outram), collaborated with Brunel on Temple Meads Railway Station, Bristol (1865–78), and designed (with George Gilbert Scott) the interior and Durbar Court, India Office, Whitehall (1867–8—perhaps one of the finest examples of Victorian Renaissance Revival). He wrote Geometrical Mosaics of the Middle Ages (1848—finely illustrated with chromolithographic plates), edited Industrial Arts of the Nineteenth Century (1851–3), and published many other works. When the Crystal Palace was re-erected at Sydenham, Wyatt acted as Superintendent of the Fine Arts Department, and, with Owen Jones, designed the various ‘Courts’ demonstrating the main characteristics of various periods and styles. One of his most exotic interiors was the spectacular billiard-room at 12 Kensington Palace Gardens, London (1864), in the Moorish style. He was a pioneer of the Renaissance Revival, the first Slade Professor of Fine Arts at Cambridge (1869), and a prolific author. His Rothschild Mausoleum in the Jewish Cemetery, Buckingham Road, West Ham, Essex (1866), is a domed building on a circular plan with Renaissance and Baroque detail, an example of his ‘mixed style’.


D&M (1985);
Jervis (1984);
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004);
Sheppard (ed.) (1973)

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