37 Facts About Inigo Jones


Inigo Jones was the first significant architect in England and Wales in the early modern period, and the first to employ Vitruvian rules of proportion and symmetry in his buildings.


Inigo Jones left his mark on London by his design of single buildings, such as the Queen's House which is the first building in England designed in a pure classical style, and the Banqueting House, Whitehall, as well as the layout for Covent Garden square which became a model for future developments in the West End.


Inigo Jones made major contributions to stage design by his work as theatrical designer for several dozen masques, most by royal command and many in collaboration with Ben Jonson.


Later Welsh sources claim that the family was from Wales, and even that Inigo was originally named Ynir or Ynyr Jones.


Inigo Jones did not approach the architectural profession in the traditional way, namely either by rising up from a craft or through early exposure to the Office of Works, although there is evidence that Christopher Wren obtained information that recorded Jones as an apprentice joiner in St Paul's Churchyard.


Inigo Jones first became famous as a designer of costumes and stage settings, especially after he brought "masques" to the stage.


Inigo Jones learned to speak Italian fluently and there is evidence that he owned an Italian copy of Andrea Palladio's with marginalia that refer to Wotton.


In 1609, having perhaps accompanied Salisbury's son and heir, Viscount Cranborne, around France, he appears as an architectural consultant at Hatfield House, making small modifications to the design as the project progressed, and in 1610, Inigo Jones was appointed Surveyor to Prince Henry.


Inigo Jones devised the masques the Barriers and the Masque of Oberon for the Prince and was possibly involved in some alterations to St James's Palace.


On this trip, Inigo Jones was exposed to the architecture of Rome, Padua, Florence, Vicenza, Genoa and Venice among others.


Inigo Jones's surviving sketchbook shows his preoccupation with such artists as Parmigianino and Schiavone.


Inigo Jones is known to have met Vincenzo Scamozzi at this time.


Inigo Jones's annotated copy of Palladio's Quattro libri dell'architettura demonstrates his close interest in classical architecture: Jones gave priority to Roman antiquity rather than observing the contemporary fashion in Italy.


Inigo Jones was probably the first native born to study these Roman remains first hand and this was key to the new architecture Jones introduced in England and Wales.


Inigo Jones worked as a producer and architect for Masques from 1605 to 1640, but his most known work in this field came from his collaboration with poet and playwright Ben Jonson.


Inigo Jones felt that the architect had just as much creative freedom and right as the writer or poet of the masque.


In defence of this Inigo Jones stated that masques were "nothing but pictures with light and motion," making little to note of the words spoken.


Inigo Jones was known for using the stage and theatre space in its entirety, putting his actors throughout different parts of the theatre, such as placing them below the stage, or elevating them onto a higher platform.


Fortunately, both James I and Charles I spent lavishly on their buildings, contrasting hugely with the economical court of Elizabeth I As the King's Surveyor, Jones built some of his key buildings in London.


Inigo Jones provided a design for the queen's funeral hearse or catafalque, but it was not implemented.


The Whitehall palace was one of several projects where Inigo Jones worked with his personal assistant and nephew by marriage John Webb.


Parts of the design originate in the Pantheon of ancient Rome and Inigo Jones evidently intended the church to evoke the Roman temple.


The other project in which Inigo Jones was involved is the design of Covent Garden square.


Inigo Jones was commissioned by the Earl of Bedford to build a residential square, which he did along the lines of the Italian piazza of Livorno.


Inigo Jones told him to simply erect a "barn" and Jones's oft-quoted response was that his lordship would have "the finest barn in Europe".


The inside of St Paul's, Covent Garden was gutted by fire in 1795, but externally it remains much as Inigo Jones designed it and dominates the west side of the piazza.


Inigo Jones designed the square of Lincoln's Inn Fields, and a house in the square, the Lindsey House built in 1640, is often attributed to Inigo Jones.


Between the years of 1634 and 1642, Inigo Jones wrestled with the dilapidated Gothicism of Old St Paul's, casing it in classical masonry and totally redesigning the west front.


Inigo Jones incorporated the giant scrolls from Vignola and della Porta's Church of the Gesu with a giant Corinthian portico, the largest of its type north of the Alps, but the church would be destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666.


Also around this time, circa 1638, Inigo Jones devised drawings completely redesigning the Palace of Whitehall, but the execution of these designs was frustrated by Charles I's financial and political difficulties.


Inigo Jones is thought to have been involved in another country house, this time in Wiltshire.


Wilton House was renovated from about 1630 onwards, at times worked on by Inigo Jones, then passed on to Isaac de Caus when Inigo Jones was too busy with royal clients.


Inigo Jones then returned in 1646 with his student, John Webb, to try and complete the project.


Inigo Jones was named to a committee to improve lighting and increase seating in the House of Commons' chamber, resulting in a new gallery being erected in St Stephen's Chapel during the summer recess and was responsible for a new ceiling put in the House of Lords chamber in 1623.


Inigo Jones was closely involved in the design of Coleshill House, in Berkshire, for the Pratt family, which he visited with the young apprentice architect Roger Pratt, to fix a new site for the proposed mansion.


Inigo Jones was an influence on a number of 18th-century architects, notably Lord Burlington and William Kent.


Inigo Jones is said to be responsible for the Masonic "Inigo Jones Manuscript", from around 1607, a document of the Old Charges of Freemasonry.