ERDMANNSDORFF, Friedrich Wilhelm von
(b. 1736, Dresden, d. 1800, Dessau)

Biography

German architect. He travelled with his friend and patron, the Prince of Anhalt-Dessau in the British Isles (1763-64, where he imbibed Palladianism and aspects of the Picturesque, especially from English landscaped gardens), and Italy (1761-66, and 1770-71, where he absorbed Neoclassicism, notably from Winckelmann and Clérisseau).

His English experiences stood him in good stead when designing the Neo-Palladian Schloss at Wörlitz, near Dessau (1769-73), and some of the fabriques (small buildings) in the park there. The interiors of the Schloss include some Pompeian elements, while the park itself has many allusions to England.

Erdmannsdorff also designed Schloss Luisium, near Dessau (1775-80), the Court Theatre, Dessau (1777), and many other buildings in the Gartenreich (Garden Kingdom) created by the Prince.

In 1786 he was called to Berlin to contribute to the new Royal Academy there, and designed Neoclassical interiors at Sanssouci, Potsdam, and the Schloss, Berlin. In 1787 he designed the new cemetery and portal in Dessau, and between 1791 and his death contributed further to the fabric of Dessau, Magdeburg, and Wörlitz.