Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin (Dictionary of World Biography: The 19th Century)
Article abstract: Pugin wrote treatises promoting the Gothic revival in church architecture and built more than one hundred distinctive buildings during his short career.
The only son of a French immigrant architectural illustrator and his Calvinist wife, Catherine Welby, Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin was born on March 1, 1812. His father, Augustus Charles Pugin, who was fifty when Augustus was born, and Catherine were educators who ran a school for training architects and illustrators. In England, young Pugin attended class field trips and learned early to measure and draw buildings. He traveled with classes to France, absorbing the quiet grandeur of the medieval cathedrals. His memories of the crypts of the Continental cathedrals would later fire his interest in the Catholic faith.
When Pugin was twenty-three, his father died, leaving an unfinished manuscript, Examples of Gothic Architecture (1835). Pugin undertook to fulfill his father’s contract for the book, demonstrating his skill and interest in architecture. His education in the field continued, without an apprenticeship. Pugin worked diligently to complete the manuscript, while traveling to study medieval art history and find clients.
Meanwhile, his domestic life inspired his building a home for his second wife, Louisa (his first wife, Anne, having died in childbirth). Saint Marie’s Grange had a pleasing view and...
(The entire section is 2339 words.)
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