Ever since I had to draw St. Paul’s Cathedral for a sketching quiz, I will always have respect for Sir Christopher Wren. My professor described Wren’s work as a completely decorated wedding cake added with an extra layer of decoration. It usually only took 10 minutes for everyone to complete the quizzes in that class, but with St. Paul’s it took more around half an hour. You have to love English Baroque and the immense amount of detail.
Wren began his career with the design of the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford and a chapel for Pembroke College in Cambridge. He then went to Paris to study the French Baroque style, and his time to shine came after the Great Fire of 1666 when he was commissioned to rebuild the destroyed part of the city. He was able to design 51 churches, including St. Paul’s Cathedral. Other buildings he designed were the Royal Observatory in 1675 and the library at Trinity College in Cambridge in 1676. He also worked on Kensington Palace in 1689 (the future residence of Prince William and Kate Duchess of Cambridge).