Dominik Merlini

born 1730, died 1797

Architect of Italian descent residing in Poland, having arrived in Warsaw prior to 1750. He studied under Jakub Fontana and thanks to this relationship, his career took off swiftly. He worked primarily on commission for King Stanisław II Augustus Poniatowski (from 1761) and the royal court. He was awarded a noble title in 1768, and in 1773, he was officially named architect to the king and the republic. In Warsaw, he managed the renovation works on the Ujazdowski Castle (1766-71), Royal Castle (from 1774) and the grounds of the Royal Łazienki Park (1774-85), as well as the Palace of K. de Tomatisa (today the site of the Królikarnia Museum), the Rozdróże Palace of E. Grabowska, the Church and Monastery of the Basilians in Długa Street, the church of Saint Karol Boromeusz in Powązki and others in Warsaw. Outside of the capital, he designed, i.a., the Palace of M. Poniatowski in Jabłonnie, Palace of A. Jabłonowskiego w Racot. He collaborated with Johann Christian Kamsetzer. He also mentored younger architects, i.a., Jakub Kubicki, Feliks Kruszewski and Kazimierz Larraca. Merlini’s work evolved from the late baroque style through classicism in the vein of Louis XVI, and ultimately up to the Palladian style, as seen in the form of Królikarnia Palace.

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