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Johann Friedrich Ludwig [Ludovice]

 

Johann Friedrich Ludwig, known in Portugal as João Frederico Ludovice (1670-1752) was a German born architect and goldsmith. After spending his youth in his native Swabia working as a goldsmith and military engineer, Ludwig traveled to Italy. In Rome, he converted to Catholicism (being originally a Lutheran) and worked extensively for the Jesuits, mainly for the Chiesa del Gesú. The Jesuits invited Ludwig to work in Portugal, where he arrived in 1700.

 

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In Lisbon, Ludwig soon found other employers beside the Jesuits – against their original wishes – and started working for other religious orders and the Portuguese Court. Although it is now difficult to attribute most of Ludwig’s works, we are still able to identify some impressive religious jewelry and church ornaments designed by him. Ludwig’s fortune changed radically in 1711, when King John V of Portugal chose Ludwig’s project to build the new palace-monastery-basilica of Mafra over those of other famous Italian architects, such as Filipo Juvara and Antonio Canevari, who were working in Lisbon at the time.

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Ludwig directed the works until 1730, and was the main architect responsible for this vast and impressive building, which combines Italian, German and French trends with some typical Portuguese solutions.  His other major work, the Patriarchal Basilica and Royal palace in Lisbon, was destroyed by the earthquake in 1755, but some of his works still survive, such as the main altar at Évora's Cathedral, his own family house in Bairro Alto district (Lisbon) and lesser interventions in the churches of São Vicente de Fora and São Domingos (Lisbon).
Ludwig was well compensated by King John V during his lifetime and was offered various positions and titles, such as REGIUS ARCHITECTUS (Royal Architect).  Ludwig died in Lisbon, in 1752, surrounded by recognition and glory.

Johann Friedrich Ludwig [Ludovice]

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