Skip to main content Skip to Search Box
Summary Article: Jones, Inigo
From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

English classical architect. He introduced the Palladian style to England. He was employed by James I to design scenery for Ben Jonson's masques and was appointed Surveyor of the King's Works 1615–42. He designed the Queen's House, Greenwich (1616–35), and the Banqueting House in Whitehall, London (1619–22).

Little is known of his life, beyond the fact that he was born in London, and appears to have travelled a great deal, particularly in Italy. It is possible that he was sent to Italy to study by William Herbert, 3rd Earl of Pembroke. At any rate he was in Venice around 1603 when he was sent for by the King of Denmark. A quite unfounded legend suggests that he designed the palaces of Rosenborg and Frederiksborg. He accompanied Anne of Denmark to the English court in 1604, where (through his designs for masques) he introduced the new Italian perspective scenery into England and also the proscenium arch. In 1615, after another visit to Italy, Jones became surveyor-general of the royal buildings. He held the same offices under Charles I.

The Civil War interrupted his activities (his loyalty to the Stuarts caused him to be fined twice) and other examples of his work are not numerous. Besides the Queen's House and the Whitehall Banqueting House, his only buildings still surviving are the chapel of Marlborough House, London (1623–27), and part of Wilton House, Wiltshire, including the ‘Double Cube Room’ (1649–52); but a good example of his work is to be found in St Paul's, Covent Garden, burnt down in 1795, but re-erected in the same style; this was part of his design of Covent Garden Piazza, on which the market was afterwards built; an early example of an architecturally conceived civic space. He may have designed Lindsey House in Lincoln's Inn Fields, around 1640.

© RM, 2018. All rights reserved.

Related Articles

Full text Article Jones, Inigo (1573 - 1652)
The Bloomsbury Guide to Art

His early life is obscure, but it is known that he was a Smithfield clothmaker's son. Some time before 1603 he travelled to...

Full text Article Jones Inigo (1573 - 1652)
A Biographical Dictionary of Artists, Andromeda

Inigo Jones was England's first Renaissance architect. He was born in Smithfield, London, the son of a clothmaker. Very little is...

Full text Article Jones, Inigo (1573 - 1652)
The Cambridge Guide to Theatre

Having been appointed to the household of Prince Henry in 1604, Jones supervised the design and construction of almost all the...

See more from Credo