Paul Decker, also Paul Decker, the Elder (* December 27, 1677 in Nuremberg, † November 18, 1713 in Bayreuth) was an engraver, architect and inventor ideal Baroque architecture.
1695 Decker began training as an engraver at the Nuremberg Academy of painters. His teacher there was the astronomer and engraver Georg Christoph Eimmart. After finishing his apprenticeship Decker went in 1699 to Berlin, where he acquired as a student of Andreas Schlüter and in its radius comprehensive expertise in the field of architecture.From 1707 he worked at the court of the Duchy of Pfalz-Sulzbach and for the Margrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth under the name “architectus” as a builder. He died at the age of approximately 36 years. From his buildings nothing is handed down, not the building itself, nor reliable records.
Deckers abiding life achievement was the large-scale and broad-based copper engraving episode “Princely Baumeister / Oder Architectura Civilis, How Big princes and lords fitly to create palaces / with their farms / caves / Orangeries / and other related buildings and auszuzieren according to today’s style …”. Were planned five volumes in which all aspects of non-religious architecture of his time should be treated.Actually published are the first part with 59 engravings (1711), an appendix to 40 engravings (1713) and a second part with 32 engravings (1716), the his publisher had compiled posthumously from left drawings. The images reach high artistic quality. The first part contains the overall design of a royal palace, including basic and elevations, space equipment and the design of the gardens. In the second, incomplete remained part of a royal palace is represented by the same concept. The 59 pictures of the first part were not only drawn by Decker, but stung. On the other illustrations total of 17 engravers were involved.
The elaborate work in landscape format 57 x 41.5 cm contains almost no explanatory texts. The designs were never intended specifically for execution, but traditional ideals of the respective motifs. Decker served here the passion for building German rulers, which was widespread in the first half of the 18th century.  In his architectural compositions he transformed ideas of famous past and contemporary architects such as Claude Perrault (1613-1688) and Francois Blondel (about 1618-1688) from France, Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680), Francesco Borromini (1599-1667) and Andrea Pozzo (1642-1709) from Italy and Andreas Schlüter (ca. 1660-1714) and Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach (1656-1723) from Germany. Deckers work again later architects often served as an inspiration and model for your own work.
However, Decker dealt with not only architecture, but also with the military motif. Thus, a copper engraving series is on display in the Vienna Museum of Military History, showing the military exploits of Prince Eugene of Savoy in Italy, southern Germany and the Spanish Netherlands during the Spanish War of Succession. Decker gave this series out together with the Augsburg publisher Jeremias Wolff.