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Inigo Jones
 
 
 

Inigo Jones, by Anthony Van Dyck
 
 
Inigo Jones, (born July 15, 1573, Smithfield, London, Eng.—died June 21, 1652, London), British painter, architect, and designer who founded the English classical tradition of architecture. The Queen’s House (1616–19) at Greenwich, London, his first major work, became a part of the National Maritime Museum in 1937. His greatest achievement is the Banqueting House (1619–22) at Whitehall. Jones’s only other surviving royal building is the Queen’s Chapel (1623–27) at St. James’s Palace.

Jones was the son of a cloth worker also called Inigo. Of the architect’s early life little is recorded, but he was probably apprenticed to a joiner. By 1603 he had visited Italy long enough to acquire skill in painting and design and to attract the patronage of King Christian IV of Denmark and Norway, at whose court he was employed for a time before returning to England. There he is next heard of as a “picture maker” (easel painter). Christian IV’s sister, Anne, was the queen of James I of England, a fact that may have led to Jones’s employment by her in 1605 to design the scenes and costumes of a masque, the first of a long series he designed for her and later for the king. The words to these masques were often supplied by Ben Jonson, the scenery, costumes, and effects nearly always by Jones. More than 450 drawings by him, representing work on 25 masques, a pastoral, and two plays ranging in date between 1605 and 1641, survive at Chatsworth House, Derbyshire.

From 1605 until 1610 Jones probably regarded himself as primarily under the queen’s protection, but he was patronized also by Robert Cecil, 1st earl of Salisbury, for whom he produced his earliest known architectural work, a design for the New Exchange in the Strand (c. 1608; demolished in the 18th century). Though a somewhat immature design, the work was more sophisticated than anything being done in England at the time. Some designs (later superseded) for the restoration and improvement of Old St. Paul’s Cathedral also date from this period, and in 1610 Jones was given an appointment that confirmed the direction of his future career. He became surveyor of works to the heir to the throne, Henry, prince of Wales.

This appointment, with all its promise, was short-lived, and Jones did little or nothing for the prince before the latter’s death in 1612. In 1613, however, he was compensated by the guarantee of still higher office on the death of the king’s surveyor of works, Simon Basil. To this office Jones succeeded in 1615, in the meantime having taken the opportunity offered him by Thomas Howard, 2nd earl of Arundel, to revisit Italy. Arundel and his party, including Jones, left England in April 1613 and proceeded to Italy, spending the winter of 1613–14 in Rome. In the course of the visit Jones had ample opportunity to study works by modern masters as well as antique ruins. Of the masters, the one to whom he attached the greatest importance was Andrea Palladio, the Italian architect who had gained wide influence through his The Four Books of Architecture (1570; I quattro libri dell’architettura), which Jones took with him on his tour. Returning to England in the autumn of 1614, Jones had completed his self-education as a classical architect.

Jones’s career as surveyor of works to James I and Charles I lasted from 1615 to 1643. During most of those 28 years he was continuously employed in the building, rebuilding, or improvement of royal houses. His first important undertaking was the Queen’s House at Greenwich, based to some extent on the Medici villa at Poggio a Caiano, near Florence, but detailed in a style closer to Palladio or Vincenzo Scamozzi (1552–1616). Work there was suspended on the death of Queen Anne in 1619 and completed only in 1635 for Charles’s queen, Henrietta Maria. The building, considerably altered, now houses part of the National Maritime Museum.

In 1619 the Banqueting House at Whitehall was destroyed by fire; and between that year and 1622 Jones replaced it with what has always been regarded as his greatest achievement. The Banqueting House consists of one great chamber, raised on a vaulted basement. It was conceived internally as a basilica on the Vitruvian model but without aisles, the superimposed columns being set against the walls, which support a flat, beamed ceiling. For the main panels of this ceiling, allegorical paintings by Peter Paul Rubens were commissioned by Charles I and set in place in 1635. The exterior echoes the arrangement of the interior, with pilasters and regular columns set against rusticated walling.

The Banqueting House has only two complete facades. The ends were never completed, and this has given rise to the supposition that the building was intended to form part of a larger whole. This may have been so, and it is certain that Charles I, nearly 20 years after the Banqueting House was built, instructed Jones to prepare designs for rebuilding the whole of Whitehall Palace. These designs exist (at Worcester College, Oxford, and at Chatsworth House) and are among Jones’s most interesting creations. They owe something to the palace of El Escorial near Madrid but are worked out in terms deriving partly from Palladio and Scamozzi and partly from Jones’s own studies of the antique.

Jones’s work was not confined to royal palaces. He was much involved in the regulation of new buildings in London, and out of this activity emerged the project that he planned in 1630 for the 4th earl of Bedford on his land at Covent Garden. This comprised a large open space bounded on the north and east by arcaded houses, on the south by the earl’s garden wall, and on the west by a church with flanking gateways connecting to two single houses. The design probably derives partly from the piazza in Livorno, Italy, and partly from the Place Royale (now the Place des Vosges) in Paris. None of the original houses survive, but the church of St. Paul still stands, though much altered. Its portico is an instance, unique in Europe at its date of construction, of the use of the primitive Tuscan order of architecture.

With Covent Garden, Jones introduced formal town planning to London—it is the first London “square.” He was probably instrumental, from 1638, in creating another square by planning the layout of the houses in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, one of the houses (Lindsey House, still existing at No. 59 and 60) being attributed to him.

The most important undertaking of Jones’s later years in office was the restoration of Old St. Paul’s Cathedral in 1633–42. This included not only the repair of the 14th-century choir but the entire recasing, in rusticated masonry, of the Romanesque nave and transepts and the building of a new west front with a portico (56 feet [17 metres] high) of 10 columns. This portico, among Jones’s most ambitious and subtly calculated works, tragically vanished with the rebuilding of the cathedral after the Great Fire of London in 1666. (In 1997 more than 70 carved stones from the portico were excavated from the building’s foundations.) Jones’s work at St. Paul’s considerably influenced Sir Christopher Wren and is reflected in some of his city churches as well as in his early designs for rebuilding the cathedral.

At the outbreak of the English Civil Wars in 1642, Jones was compelled to relinquish his office as surveyor of works and left London. He was captured at the siege of Basing House in 1645. His estate was temporarily confiscated, and he was heavily fined. In the following year, however, his pardon was confirmed by the House of Lords and his estate restored. In the year of Charles I’s execution, 1649, he was doing work at Wilton for the earl of Pembroke, but the great double-cube room there is probably mostly the work of his pupil John Webb, who survived to reestablish something of the Jones tradition after the Restoration in 1660. Jones was buried with his parents in the church of St. Benet, Paul’s Wharf, in London.

Sir John Summerson

Encyclopædia Britannica

 
 
 

Inigo Jones. West front. Banqueting House, Whitehall Palace, London. 1619-22
 
 
 
 


Inigo Jones. West front. Banqueting House, Whitehall Palace, London. 1619-22




Interior de la Banqueting House, en Londres

 
 
 


Queen's House in Greenwich, South East London, United Kingdom.





The Queen's House, by Inigo Jones, at Greenwich, England, 1616 to 1635


 


Queen's House in Greenwich, South East London, United Kingdom.




Wilton House, Wilton, UK





Queen's Chapel, St. James Palace, London

 
 
 
 
St. Paul's, Covent Garden
 
St Paul's Church, also commonly known as the Actors' Church, is a church designed by Jones Inigo as part of a commission by Francis Russell, 4th Earl of Bedford, in 1631 to create "houses and buildings fitt for the habitacons of Gentlemen and men of ability" in Covent Garden, London, England.
As well as being the parish church of Covent Garden, the church gained its nickname by a long association with the theatre community.
 
 

St. Paul's, Covent Garden
 
 
History

In 1630, the fourth Earl of Bedford was given permission to demolish buildings on an area of land he owned north of the Strand, and redevelop it. The result was the Covent Garden Piazza, the first formal square in London.The new buildings were classical in character. At the west end was a church, linked to two identical houses. The south side was left open.
St Paul's was the first entirely new church to be built in London since the reformation. The design of the church, and the layout of the square, has been attributed to Inigo Jones since the seventeenth century, although firm documentary evidence is lacking. According to an often repeated story, recorded by Horace Walpole, the Earl of Bedford asked Jones to design a simple church "not much better than a barn", to which the architect replied "Then you shall have the handsomest barn in England".
Work on the church was completed in 1633, at a cost of to Bedford estate of £4,886, but it was not consecrated until 1638 due to a dispute between the earl and the vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields. It remained a chapel within the parish of St Martin-in the -Fields until 1645, when Covent Garden was made a separate parish and the church dedicated to St Paul.
In 1789 there was a major restoration of the church, under the direction of the architect Thomas Hardwick. Six years later, in September 1795, the church was burnt out by a fire, accidentally started by workmen on the roof. A survey of the damage found that the outer walls were still structurally sound, but that the portico would have to be reconstructed. It is unclear whether this was in fact done. Having been restored once more, again under Hardwick's supervision, the church was reconsecrated, on 1 August 1798. Despite the destruction, the parish records were saved, as was the pulpit — the work of Grinling Gibbons.
The puritan Thomas Manton ministered from the pulpit of St Paul's until the Great Ejection. On 23 September 1662 Simon Patrick, later bishop of Ely, was preferred to the rectory of St. Paul’s where he served during the plague.
The first known victim of the 1665–1666 outbreak of the Plague in England, Margaret Ponteous, was buried in the churchyard on 12 April 1665.

 
 

West entrance of St. Paul's and garden
 
 
Architecture

The building is described by John Summerson as "a study in the strictly Vitruvian Tuscan Order". It has been seen as a work of deliberate primitivism: the Tuscan order is associated by Palladio with agricultural buildings. The east end, facing the piazza, is faced in stone, with a massive portico, its boldly-projecting pediment supported by two columns and two piers. There were originally three doorways behind the portico; the middle one, which survives, was built as a false door as the interior wall behind it is occupied by the altar. The other two were blocked up in the nineteenth century, when the chancel floor was raised. The main entrance to the church is through the plainer west front, which has a pediment, but no portico. William Prynne, writing in 1638 said that it was originally intended to have the altar at the west end, but pressure from the church hierarchy led to the imposition of the traditional orientation.
The earliest existing detailed description, dating from 1708, says that the exterior was not of bare brick, but rendered with stucco . In 1789 it was decided to case the walls in Portland stone as part of a major programme of renovation, which Thomas Hardwick was chosen to supervise. At the same time the tiled roof was replaced with slate, the dormer windows, added in the 1640s, were removed, and the archways flanking the church, originally of stuccoed brick, were replaced with stone replicas. When Hardwick's stone facing was removed from the church in 1888; it was found to be a thin covering less than three inches thick, poorly bonded to the brick. The building was then reclad in the present unrendered red brick.

There were originally six or seven steps leading up to the portico, but these disappeared as the level of the Piazza was raised gradually over the years. By 1823 there were only two steps visible, and none by 1887. The arches at the side of the portico were substaintially widened and raised during a restoration of 1878-82 by Henry Clutton, the Duke of Bedford's architect. Clutton also removed the bell-turret over the western pediment.
The interior is a single space, undivided by piers or columns. The eastern third was originally marked out as a chancel by means of the floor being raised by one step. The level was raised further during alterations by William Butterfield in 1871-2. The church was built without galleries, but they were soon added on three sides. Hardwick included them in his rebuilding, and the western one remains today.
 
 

Covent Garden Piazza painted in 1737 by Balthazar Nebot
 
 
 

 
 
 
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