1902 Encyclopedia > Inigo Jones

Inigo Jones
English architect
(1573-1651)




INIGO JONES (c. 1572-1651), an English architect, sometimes called the " English Palladio," was the son of a cloth-worker, and was born in London about 1572. It is stated that he became apprenticed to a joiner, but at any rate his talent for drawing attracted somehow the attention of a nobleman, by some affirmed to have been the earl of Arundel, by others the earl of Pembroke, who sent him to study landscape-painting in Italy. His preference soon transferred itself to architecture, and, following chiefly the style of Palladio, he acquired at Venice such considerable reputation that in 1604 he was invited by Christian IV. to Denmark, where he is said to have designed the two great royal palaces of Rosenborg and Frederiksborg. In the following year he accompanied Anne of Denmark to the court of James I. of England, where, besides being appointed architect to the queen and Prince Henry, he was employed in supplying the designs and decorations of the court masques. After a second visit to Italy in 1612, Jones was appointed surveyor-general of the royal buildings by James I., and was engaged to prepare designs for a new palace at Whitehall. In 1620 he was employed by the king to investigate the origin of Stonehenge, when he came to the absurd conclusion that it had been a Roman temple. Shortly afterwards he was appointed one of the commissioners for the repair of St Paul's, but the work was not begun till 1633. Under Charles I. he enjoyed the same offices as under his predecessor, and in the capacity of designer of the masques he came into collision with Ben Jonson, who on this account has frequently made him the butt of his satire. After the civil war Jones was forced to pay heavy fines as a courtier and malignant. He died in poverty July 5, 1651.

A list of the principal buildings designed by Jones is given in Dallaway's edition of Walpole's Anecdotes of Painting, and for an estimate of him as an architect see the article ARCHITECTURE, vol. ii. p. 442, and also Fergusson's History of Modern Architecture. The Architecture of Palladio, in 4 books, by Inigo Jones, appeared in 1715 ; The Most Notable Antiquity of Great Britain, called Stone-henge, restored by Inigo Jones, in 1655 (an edition, with memoir, 1725); the Designs of Inigo Jones, by W. Kent, in 1727 ; and The Designs of Inigo Jones, by J. Ware, in 1757.






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