Sturmius, Leonard Christopher

, son of the preceding, and a very eminent writer on the subject of architecture, was born Nov. 5, 1669, at Altorff, and began his studies in 1683, at Heilbrunn. Returning home in 1688, he was created master of arts, his father being at that time dean of the university. In 1690 he went to Leipsic, and studied divinity, but soon quitted that for mathematics. About 1693, George Bose, a senator of Leipsic, a man of fortune and an amateur, put into his hands Nicolas | Goldmann’s manuscript work on architecture, which he wished to publish, but which had been lelt imperfect in some parts. Sturmius accordingly undertook the ofhce of editor, and it appeared in 1708, in 2 vols. fol. in the German language. In 1714- he published also “Prodromus Architecture Goldmanniaoae,” and with it the prospectus of a new edition of Goldmann, which he produced in separate treatises from 1715 to 1721, the whole forming a “Complete course of Civil Architecture,” in 16 vols. fol. printed at Augsburgh. This was thought the most comprehensive and perfect work of the kind that had ever appeared. Until that time no one bad treated on tlu- doctrine of me five orders of architecture with so much skill as Goldmann his proportions were reckoned preferable to those of Scamozzi; more beautiful and elegant than those of l’atladio, and more in conformity with the antique than those of Vignola.

In the meantime, while this work was going on, Sturmius filled the office of professor of mathematics at Wolfenbuttel, and it was there he published his “Sciagraphia Templi Hierosolymitani,” in fol. In 1697 he obtained permission of the duke of Wolfenbuttel to travel, and went into the Netherlands and into France: the result of his observations, chiefly on subjects of architecture, he published in 1719, folio, with numerous plates, from his own designs. This work shows great skill in architecture, but, as his eulogist is disposed to allow, a taste somewhat fastidious, and a wish to estimate all merit in the art by certain preconceived opinions of his own. In 1702 he was appointed professor of mathematics in the university of Francfort on the Oder. The king of France having promised a reward to the inventor of a sixth order of architecture, Sturmius, among others, made an attempt, which he called the German order, and which he intended to hold a middle rank between the Ionic and the Corinthian. It is unnecessary to add that no attempt of this kind has succeeded.

In the science of fortification, Sturmius acquired great fame. The celebrated general Coehorn was of opinion that no man understood the subject better, and that he only wanted to have the conduct of some siege in order to prove himself one of the ablest engineers of the age. In 1711 he left Francfort, for the honourable offices of counsellor of the chamber of finances, and director of the buildings at the court of Frederick William duke of Mecklenburgh. There he built the palace of Neustadt on the Elde, | which is acknowledged to be in a good taste, but it excited envy, and the duke having too easily listened to the prejudiced reports of some about him, Sturmius left his situation in 1713, and went to Hamburgh, where he employed some time in writing. While there he accepted the office of the duke of Brunswick to enter his service as first architect at Blanckenburgh, but did not enjoy that situation long. He died June 6, 1719, in the fiftieth year of his age. His mathematical and architectural works, not mentioned, were very numerous, but being mostly in the Germa-n language, are but little known. He also acquired reputation as a theologian, and had a controversy with certain Lutheran divines, in which persuasion he was originally bred up, on their peculiar notions respecting the Lord’s supper. 1


Bibl. Germanique, vol. XXVII. and XXXIV.