Pierre Cuypers

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Petrus Josephus Hubertus Cuypers
Pierre Cuypers
Born(1827-05-16)16 May 1827
Died3 March 1921(1921-03-03) (aged 93)
Nationality Dutch
Awards Royal Gold Medal (1897)
Buildings Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
Amsterdam Central Station
The Rijksmuseum was designed by Cuypers in a combination of both Renaissance and Gothic styles in the late 1870s. The result is similar to the Hotel de Ville in Paris in what is considered to be "French Neo-Renaissance" style. However, at the Rijksmuseum the Gothic elements seem to outweigh the Renaissance and the building, despite the English Renaissance quoins, and chateauesque roofs, is sometimes considered to be Neo-Gothic. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.jpg
The Rijksmuseum was designed by Cuypers in a combination of both Renaissance and Gothic styles in the late 1870s. The result is similar to the Hôtel de Ville in Paris in what is considered to be "French Neo-Renaissance" style. However, at the Rijksmuseum the Gothic elements seem to outweigh the Renaissance and the building, despite the English Renaissance quoins, and chateauesque roofs, is sometimes considered to be Neo-Gothic.

Petrus Josephus Hubertus (Pierre) Cuypers (16 May 1827 3 March 1921) was a Dutch architect. His name is most frequently associated with the Amsterdam Central Station (1881–1889) and the Rijksmuseum (1876–1885), both in Amsterdam. More representative for his oeuvre, however, are numerous churches, of which he designed more than 100.[ citation needed ] Moreover, he restored a large number of monuments.

Architect person trained to plan and design buildings, and oversee their construction

An architect is a person who plans, designs and reviews the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the design of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the buildings that have human occupancy or use as their principal purpose. Etymologically, architect derives from the Latin architectus, which derives from the Greek, i.e., chief builder.

Rijksmuseum National museum, Art museum, History museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Rijksmuseum is a Dutch national museum dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam. The museum is located at the Museum Square in the borough Amsterdam South, close to the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, and the Concertgebouw.

Amsterdam Capital city of the Netherlands and municipality

Amsterdam is the capital city and most populous municipality of the Netherlands. Its status as the capital is mandated by the Constitution of the Netherlands, although it is not the seat of the government, which is The Hague. Amsterdam has a population of 854,047 within the city proper, 1,357,675 in the urban area and 2,410,960 in the metropolitan area. The city is located in the province of North Holland in the west of the country but is not its capital, which is Haarlem. The Amsterdam metropolitan area comprises much of the northern part of the Randstad, one of the larger conurbations in Europe, which has a population of approximately 8.1 million.



Cuypers was born in Roermond, the son of a church painter, and grew up in surroundings in which interest for art was encouraged. After he studied at the urban college in Roermond, he moved to Antwerp in 1844 to study architecture at the Royal art academy. He was taught by Frans Andries Durlet, Frans Stoop and Ferdinand Berckmans, all pioneers of the neo-Gothic architecture in Belgium. Cuypers was a good student; in 1849, he gained the Prix d'Excellence of the academy.

Roermond Town and municipality in Limburg, Netherlands

Roermond is a city, a municipality, and a diocese in the southeastern part of the Netherlands.

Antwerp Municipality in Flemish Community, Belgium

Antwerp is a city in Belgium, and is the capital of Antwerp province in Flanders. With a population of 520,504, it is the most populous city proper in Belgium, and with 1,200,000 the second largest metropolitan region after Brussels.

Royal Academy of Fine Arts (Antwerp) Art academy in Antwerp

The Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp is an art academy located in Antwerp, Belgium. It is one of the oldest of its kind in Europe. It was founded in 1663 by David Teniers the Younger, painter to the Archduke Leopold Wilhelm and Don Juan of Austria. Teniers was master of the Guild of St Luke — which embraced arts and some handicrafts — and petitioned Philip IV of Spain, then master of the Spanish Netherlands, to grant a royal charter to establish a Fine Arts Academy in Antwerp. It houses the Antwerp Fashion Academy.

From 1875 he led the restoration of the eastern front of the Mainz Cathedral, which he executed according to his own plans in Romanesque style. In doing so, he created as an opposite pole to the western tower group the high, gothic likely eastern tower helmet, replacing a bell floor and the Moller iron cupola. After a tour in the German Rheinland, he returned to Roermond, where he was appointed a town architect in 1851. In 1852, he opened a workshop where ecclesiastical art was manufactured.

Mainz Cathedral Church in Mainz, Germany

Mainz Cathedral or St. Martin's Cathedral is located near the historical center and pedestrianized market square of the city of Mainz, Germany. This 1000-year-old Roman Catholic cathedral is the site of the episcopal see of the Bishop of Mainz.

Georg Moller German architect

Georg Moller was an architect and a town planner who worked in the South of Germany, mostly in the region today known as Hessen.

Cuypers' ecclesiastical work was initially strongly influenced by 13th century French architecture and by the writings of his friends Eugene Viollet-le-Duc and J. A. Alberdingk Thijm. Cuypers built a large number of churches all across the Netherlands, in which the French influence played a prominent role. Highlights from these first period are the Lambert's Church in Veghel and the Catharina's Church in Eindhoven, among others. From 1870 onwards Cuypers' style became more influenced by the native Gothic styles of the Netherlands as well as Gothic styles from other countries like Norway and Italy. He also experimented with centralizing ground-plans and other non-conventional layouts. In this second part of his career he built some of his best work. After 1883 he was assisted by his son Joseph Cuypers in much of his work.

French architecture

French architecture ranks high among France's many accomplishments. Indications of the special importance of architecture in France were the founding of the Academy of Architecture in 1671, the first such institution anywhere in Europe, and the establishment in 1720 of the Prix de Rome in architecture, a competition of national interest, funded by the state, and an honor intensely pursued. If the first period of France's preeminent achievement was the Gothic, and the second, the eighteenth century, the longer tradition of French architecture has always been an esteemed one.

Veghel Town and Former municipality in North Brabant, Netherlands

Veghel is a town and a former municipality in the southern Netherlands. On 1 January 2017 Veghel, together with Schijndel and Sint-Oedenrode, merged into a new municipality called Meierijstad creating the largest municipality of the province North-Brabant in terms of land area.

Eindhoven City and municipality in North Brabant, Netherlands

Eindhoven is the fifth-largest city and a municipality of the Netherlands, located in the south of the country. It had a population of 229,126 in 2018, making it the largest city in the province of North Brabant, although 's-Hertogenbosch is its capital. Eindhoven was originally located at the confluence of the Dommel and Gender.

Cuypers led a large number of restorations. His conceptions concerning restorations has been frequently criticized; restoration often implied that the building was awfully damaged, but Cuypers tried to satisfy an idealized image of the style or the idea how the original builders had intended a building to be rather than to preserve the architectural evolution of the building. An early example of this is the extensive restoration of the Munster Church in Roermond, where Cuypers replaced original towers by new ones.

Minster (church) honorific title given to particular churches in England

Minster is an honorific title given to particular churches in England, most notably York Minster in York, Westminster Abbey in London and Southwell Minster in Southwell. The term minster is first found in royal foundation charters of the 7th century. Although it corresponds to the Latin monasterium or monastery, it then designated any settlement of clergy living a communal life and endowed by charter with the obligation of maintaining the daily office of prayer. Widespread in 10th-century Anglo-Saxon England, minsters declined in importance with the systematic introduction of parishes and parish churches from the 11th century onwards. It continued as a title of dignity in later medieval England, for instances where a cathedral, monastery, collegiate church or parish church had originated with an Anglo-Saxon foundation. Eventually a minster came to refer more generally to "any large or important church, especially a collegiate or cathedral church". In the 21st century, the Church of England has designated additional minsters by bestowing the status on existing parish churches.

Pierre Cuypers was the uncle of Eduard Cuypers who trained in his practice as a young man. Other relatives who became architects are his grandsons Pierre Cuypers jr. and Theo Taen.

Eduard Cuypers Dutch architect

Eduard Cuypers was a Dutch architect. He worked in Amsterdam and the Dutch East Indies.

Cuypers was a practising Roman Catholic and a member of the Lay Dominicans. As such, he was buried in the Dominican habit. [3] He died in his home town of Roermond, aged 93.


Major works

Special festivities in connection with the "Cuypers year"

The year 2007-2008 has been proclaimed "Cuypersjaar" [4] (Cuypers year) in the Netherlands. A great number of activities and exhibitions are organized around this theme including an exhibition on Cuypers' architecture at the Netherlands Architecture Institute in Rotterdam and Maastricht.

See also

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Commons-logo.svg Media related to Pierre Cuypers at Wikimedia Commons

  1. "Verbouwing - Rijksmuseum".
  2. "Architecture of the Rijksmuseum - Amsterdam, The Netherlands". 22 January 2008.
  3. "Philatelydominicanorder.org".
  4. "Home - Cuypers genootschap". www.cuypersjaar.nl.