Inigo Jones and the
Classical Language of Architecture
Classical architecture elements can be traced from early Greek and Roman styles. Classici refer to the highest rank of Roman social structure. Classical norms are based on a formal hierarchal system of clarity, symmetry, deceptive simplicity, harmonious proportion and completeness. (Curl, 12) There is a difference seen between the inside and the outside of a building. Classical architecture develops every part individually as these parts become a larger whole. Orders, or columns, play an important role in the development of classical architecture. The parts of the order include a pedestal, but not always, a column and some type of horizontal element above the column. Within the structure of orders a composition pattern and proportional system develop. Although Greek and Italian architecture used the name Doric, Ionic and Corinthian orders there were distinct differences between the appearances of the columns. In classical architecture a Doric order is slender, usually with a base and a smooth shaft. One can see an elegant molded base on Ionic orders. Ionic orders also have fluted shafts and some type of cornice ornamentation. The Corinthian order is the most elaborate and may have engaged columns that are partially attached to a wall. Many of the classical orders are straight lines meeting at right angles with an equal distance between orders creating a piece with equal parts. There is symmetry from left to right and right to left that is not seen when looking top to bottom and bottom to top. (Tzonis 9) Inigo Jones is regarded as the first significant English classical architect. Jones combined his personality and understanding of classical architecture in his designs. His admiration of Italian architects and architecture is evident as many of his designs look more like Italian villas than traditional English buildings. Jones pursued his building projects to further his own...
Cited: Anderson, Christy. Inigo Jones and the Classical Tradition. New York, Cambridge University Press, 2007.
Curl, James. Classical Architecture. New York, Van Nostrand Reinhold,1992.
Harris, John and Higgott, Gordon. Inigo Jones Complete Architectural Drawings. London, A. Zwemmer Ltd, 1989.
Lees-Milne, James. The Age of Inigo Jones. London, B.T. Batsford Ltd., 1953.
Summerson, John. Inigo Jones. Middlesex, Penguin Books Ltd., 1966.
Tzonis, Alexander and Lefaivre, Liane. Classical Architecture the Poetics of Order. Cambridge, MIT Press, 19986.
Worsley, Giles. Inigo Jones and the European Classicist Tradtion. New Have, Yale University Press, 2007.
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