Palladian Interiors

Palladian interiors

Greenwich Palace, London: completed ceiling plan for the King's presence chamber incorporating scrolled foliate decoration and lion and unicorn motifs

John Webb (1666)
Copyright: RIBA Library Drawings Collection

British Palladian and Neo-Palladian architects and designers developed two very different styles of interior: the clean and austere and the richly luxuriant.

Palladio designed doorways, fireplaces and ceilings, but gave little guidance on the subject of interiors beyond these architectural features.

Nevertheless, Palladian and Neo-Palladian architects sought to create interiors which were fashionable, comfortable and true to Palladian ideals. And of course, they aimed to respond to the various tastes of their clients.

In this section you can:

  • Explore Palladio's interiors and see how he drew on the talent of Italian craftsmen and artists such as Veronese.
  • Find out about the history of Palladian and Neo-Palladian Britain.
  • Discover the principles of symmetry and proportion established by Palladio and followed by British Palladian and Neo-Palladian architects.
  • See how light, colour and materials were used.
  • Learn about the features of Palladio's interiors and see how they were imitated in seventeenth and eighteenth-century Britain.
  • Examine the outstanding interiors of Inigo Jones, John Webb, William Kent and Lord Burlington.
  • Discover Palladian interiors beyond the house, in churches, theatres, sedan chairs and even a royal barge.