Drawing Out Meaning

16th and 17th-century architecture: Inigo Jones

Close-up of a design for a temporary ceremonial structure

Design for a temporary ceremonial structure, c.1619
Drawing
Artist and designer: Inigo Jones
© RIBA Library Drawings and Archives Collections  


Inigo Jones was responsible for the many structures required by the court of James I, including The Queen's House, Greenwich and The Banqueting House, Whitehall. These broke the mould of British architecture by introducing a refined Palladian classicism to England. The tournaments, masques and festivities of James's court also demanded rich temporary structures to ensure the majesty of the royal image.

This parallel projection of one such ceremonial structure retains one elevation without distortion while the second side is projected away from the first to add depth to the drawing. It is as if we are looking at the object from below. Parallel projections became less common in British design work towards the end of the 17th century as mastery of Italian Renaissance perspectives allowed architects to better represent space.

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