ARNOLD OF WESTPHALIA
(b. ca. 1425, Leipzig, d. 1480, Meissen)

Biography

Arnold of Westphalia (Arnold von Westfalen), German architect. He probably came from the respected Leipzig family of Westfal; there is no evidence to support the long-held assumption that he originated from Westphalia. He served his apprenticeship and did his first work under Hans Kumoller at St Nicholas's Church (completed 1447), Zerbst. In 1456 he was Master of the Works at the Archbishop's Palace and St Stephen's Church at Calbe an der Saale, and in 1460-66, under the direction of Kumoller, he was building bridges over the River Elbe at Dresden and Meissen. Work at Schloss Hinterglauchau (1460-70) and on the choir of the church of the Holy Cross at Dresden are also attributed to his early period.

In 1470 he was summoned to the Wettin court at Meissen and worked first under Hugo von Schleinitz on the renovation of Rochsburg Castle, and from 1471 on Kriebstein Castle. When the state administration of architecture in Saxony was created, he was appointed Oberlandbaumeister, and at various times directed building works at the Elector's castles at Dresden (west wing from 1471), Torgau and Leipzig (1478-80).

Also dating from this period is Arnold's major work, the Albrechtsburg (so-called in 1676) in Meissen (1471 onwards, completed 1525), one of the most important German Late Gothic buildings, commissioned by the brothers Elector Ernest (reg 1464-86) and Duke Albrecht (reg 1464-85) of Saxony as their main residence and seat of government. The Albrechtsburg is the best example of Arnold's original and innovative style in the transition from the medieval to the modern era

Arnold also worked on Meissen Cathedral (the west end and towers from 1479), the church of Unsere Liebe Frau auf dem Berge (c. 1472) at Penig, and the east gatehouse of Rochlitz Castle. In 1476 he assumed overall control of the building of Tharandt Castle (largely destroyed), near Dresden, and Leipzig Castle (1478-80), and in 1479 he presented a design for the Drapers' Hall at Leipzig. He was also involved in strengthening the towers of Zwickau Cathedral and in building various town houses in Meissen.