FISCHER VON ERLACH, Johann Bernhard
(b. 1656, Graz, d. 1723, Wien)

Interior view

1722
Photo
Library, Hofburg, Vienna

In 1722, Emperor Charles VI commissioned Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach to extend the Hofburg and to rebuild the library, making use of a riding school building that had been started in 1681. This set the site and shape of the wing as an extended rectangle. In the centre of it, Fischer placed an oval with a tall dome, thus creating an individual building. The space soaring above the top of the upper level vaults majestically upwards to where light streams into the hall through large round-arched windows. The iconographical scheme of the dome, painted in 1726 by Daniel Gran, presents an allegory of the patron of the arts and sciences, Charles VI.