Inigo Jones


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The Architect of Kings

Vaughan Hart

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Inigo Jones (1573-1652) is widely acknowledged to have been England's most important architect. As court designer to the Stuart kings James I and Charles I, he is credited with introducing the classical language of architecture to the country. He famously traveled to Italy and studied firsthand the buildings of the Italian masters, particularly admiring those by Andrea Palladio. 

Much less well known is the profound influence of native British arts and crafts on Jones's architecture. Likewise, his hostility to the more opulent forms of Italian architecture he saw on his travels has largely gone unnoted. This book examines both of these overlooked issues. Vaughan Hart identifies well-established links between the classical column and the crown prior to Jones, in early Stuart masques, processions, heraldry, paintings, and poems. He goes on to discuss Jones's preference for a "masculine and unaffected" architecture, demonstrating that this plain style was consistent with the Puritan artistic sensitivities of Stuart England. For the first time, the work of Inigo Jones is understood in its national religious and political context.

Published for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art

Vaughan Hart is professor of architecture in the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Bath University.

“….deeply researched, copiously illustrated and scholarly study of Jones, his contemporaries and his world…..a fascinating and original study, deeply interesting and informative.”—Robert Carver, The Tablet

"Hart maintains a rigorous and illuminating balance between hermeneutic readings of emblems, heraldry, columns and sites, and the performative actions, practices and movements that brought these various iconographic forms into engagement with public and private processes of use… The Architect of Kings by Vaughan Hart is… vitally generous in its interdisciplinary openness, its persuasive, politically nuanced arguments, and its historical research… almost every image is invigorated by its renewed and renewing context." Alan Read, European Architectural History Network

"A fascinating revisionist book." –Apollo Magazine

"The book is splendidly produced, a fine example of Yale University Press." John Newman, Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain, Summer 2013

Shortlisted for the William M. B. Berger Prize for British Art History, as given by the Berger Collection Educational Trust and The British Art Journal

Shortlisted for the 2013 Historians of British Art Book Prize in the Pre-1800 category, given by the Historians of British Art.

Shortlisted for the 2013 Art Book Prize administered by the Authors' Club.
ISBN: 9780300141498
Publication Date: September 27, 2011
Publishing Partner: Published for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
336 pages, 7 1/2 x 10
100 color + 130 b/w illus.
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