Inigo Jones and His Architectural and Furniture Designs

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Indigo Jones was a famous architect of the seventeenth century known for his unique furniture and architectural designs. He was regarded as the first significant English architect of the modern era. He made various journeys to Europe and was also known as a designer of court masques. At first, his chief occupation seemed to be designing of masques. He introduced classic Palladian style to England. The buildings he created in England were quite unique which made him famous not only in England but in the whole of Europe. His furniture designs mainly consisted of finely carved colonial designs and relied mainly on his fine sense of proportion. The materials which were mostly used in his furniture designs were marble, stone and plaster in contrast to earlier periods where furniture were mainly made of wood. This was one of the unique features of his designs too. He rarely used woodwork and whenever he used wood, he would design it in such a way to make it look like some other material.

The furniture designs of Indigo Jones were mainly found in Italy. He made several varieties of chimney pieces and doorways. His chimney pieces were made of marble, stone or oak. These were supported by many classical pillars. He made carved brackets. These were used on English cabinets and beds. He made the hanging bell flowers to appear on his carvings. He also made many bookcases and cupboards, shapes of them were in a very lighter form. Indigo Jones introduced a change in the size and shape of the panels. He also made elegant designs to grace the top of chairs and the upper ends of chair legs. The doorway designs by Inigo Jones used to be quite different from that of chimney pieces.

All his designs were planned and designed on his own instead of taking inspiration from other architects. Only his theatrical stage designs were done with help from Ben Jonson who was a contemporary of William Shakespeare. He died in June 21, 1652 but some of his drawings were also discovered during the early eighteenth century. One of the most important features of his exteriors, when compared to those of other existing buildings, is their perfect opposition to any exuberance of ornamentation. He also reduced the risk of the workers in originating the designs. This resulted in gradual refinement of craftsmanship during the seventeenth century. The hall at Raynham Hall, Norfolk, is good example of Jones’ architect and the architectural design differs from the contemporary halls built by Jacobean craftsmen. The ceilings were painted by the leading painters of the period and they were very rich and dignified. Jones became the surveyor of King’s Works and introduced his knowledge of classical architecture. The buildings at Wiltshire show his internal architectural design.

Inigo Jones was not only a great architect but his designs reflected the gradual transformation of furniture and architecture designs from the bulky designs of the medieval period to the artistic craftmanship of the modern era. He was also the first architect to bring the Renaissance architecture from Italy to England.

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Source by Bhargav Dutta

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