born 1687, Eger, Bohemia, Austrian Habsburg domain
died Aug. 19, 1753, Würzburg
Born in Bohemia, Neumann moved to Würzburg in 1711. In 1719 he began work on a new palace for the prince-bishop, Johann Philipp Franz von Schönborn, that was especially noted for its grand staircase. Friedrich Karl von Schönborn, who was elected prince-bishop of Würzburg in 1729, went on to became Neumann's greatest patron, putting Neumann in charge of all major building projects in Würzburg and Bamberg, including palaces, public buildings, bridges, a water system, and many churches. One of Neumann's best works was the pilgrimage church at Vierzehnheiligen (174353). A master of the late Baroque style, he made ingenious use of domes and barrel vaults to create sequences of round and oval spaces possessing an airy elegance lit by huge windows; the lively interplay of these elements was accented by lavish use of decorative plasterwork, gilding, statuary, and murals.