Between 1550 and 1700, artillery siege warfare transformed the European city, which was theorized, fortified, violated, rebuilt, and celebrated by leading artists and architects. The fortified perimeter, with its regular bastions, redefined the identity of the early modern city. Military planning also generated new forms of urban spaces, such as the orderly grid, the tree-lined avenue, the great central square dominated by triumphal sculpture, and the greenbelt that provided clear boundaries and controlled viewpoints. This book offers a pan-European, richly illustrated study of early modern military urbanism, an international style of urban design characterized by uniformity, geometrical clarity, architectural ecomy, and unadorned monumentality. Pollak examines this new urbanism as visualized by engravers, painters, and cartographers in accurate plans and powerful paramic views. Her comparative, transnational study ranges from Britain to the Ottoman Empire, and from Malta to Scandinavia, and focuses on major centers - Naples, Paris, Antwerp, Stockholm - and 'fortress cities' such as Valletta and Palmava, which are still defined by their immense, geometrically perfect fortifications.
Martha Pollak is Professor of Architectural History at the University of Illinois in Chicago. A recipient of fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, the Kress Foundation, and the American Academy in Rome, she is the author and editor of several books, including Turin, 1564-1680: Urban Design, Military Culture and the Creation of the Absolutist Capital.