Paulus Decker


Born into an established family of Nuremburg metal workers in 1677, Paulus Decker first trained as an engraver before moving to Berlin to study architecture in 1699. He returned to Nuremburg within a few years where he issued small runs of decorative engravings and a manual on civil architecture. Decker’s manual brought him great recognition and in 1708 he was appointed master builder of the Duchy of Pfalz-Sulzbach.

In 1710 Decker was appointed to the court of the Margrave of Bradenburg-Bayreth with principal responsibility for building within the margraviate by 1712. Decker had little opportunity to exercise his grandiose plans, he died in 1713, and instead is predominately known through the seminal work he drew and engraved, Fürstlicher Baumeister Oder Architectura Civilis. Published in 1711 with an appendix in 1713 and a posthumous second part in 1716, Decker’s etchings were not accompanied by text as he considered there was more than enough theory to be read. Instead he envisaged his work as an idealistic architectural typology serving as inspiration when building for princely display.

Although Decker’s career was sadly cut short, his elaborate work eloquently demonstrated his mastery as an engraver and epitomized the opulence of the German Baroque, influencing generations of architects to come.

Below are a few examples from this collection. Please click on an image to see it in high-resolution with details of the work itself. For the full list of original antique Decker engravings available, please do contact us.