Collecting Palladio

Inigo Jones learns from Palladio

 

Inigo Jones

transparent-magnifying-glass-r Enlarge image

Design for a stable, Newmarket Palace, Newmarket
Inigo Jones
Copyright: RIBA Library Drawings Collection

Preliminary design for the north front of the Queen's House, Greenwich, London

transparent-magnifying-glass-r Enlarge image

Preliminary design for the north front of the Queen's House, Greenwich, London
Inigo Jones
Copyright: RIBA Library Drawings Collection

Ownership of Palladio's drawings and travel to Italy were key to Jones's architectural education, as demonstrated in these two images.

This drawing of a stable block dates from before Jones's second trip to Italy. Here he is preoccupied by decoration and picturesque effect. His pen is shaky, lacking precision. The architectural elements are unbalanced and collide, and the triangular pediment sits uncomfortably on the bulky arch and windows. Clearly Jones lacks confidence.

His preliminary drawing for the Queen's House, Greenwich, on the other hand, shows an architecture of power and restraint, and was produced after Jones's second trip to Italy when he acquired a large number of drawings by Palladio.

Here he is far more concerned with a sense of proportion than decorative effect. The architectural components are carefully spaced and used sculpturally. Jones is keen to use his knowledge of the Orders, derived from an understanding of Palladio.

There is a greater command of the pen too, an essential for an architect who derives pleasure from subtle effects: the sharpness of line, volume and profile. Jones is actively thinking whilst drawing. Here there are similarities between his and Palladio's drawings. 

Clearly, Jones understood the power of drawings. This undoubtedly explains why he bequeathed his collection of works by Palladio to his pupil and relative through marriage, John Webb.