Inigo Jones and the European Classicist Tradition Giles Worsley

Publication date:
15 Mar 2007
Paul Mellon Centre
240 pages: 5588 x 7112mm
80 b-w + 120 color illus.
Sales territories:


In this groundbreaking volume, conventional assumptions about one of England’s greatest and most influential classical architects are turned on their head. Traditionally, Inigo Jones has been looked upon as an isolated, even old-fashioned, figure in European architecture, still espousing the Palladian ideals of the 16th century when European contemporaries were turning to the Baroque. Yet an investigation of contemporary European architecture and of Jones’s buildings belies this impression, demonstrating that Jones must be viewed in the context of a European-wide, early-17th-century classicist movement.
Giles Worsley examines the full range of Jones’s architecture, from humble stable to royal palace. Worsley shows that key motifs that have been seen as proof of Jones’s Palladian loyalties—particularly the Serliana, the portico, and the centrally planned villa—have a much older and deeper meaning as symbols of sovereignty. The book transforms our understanding not only of Inigo Jones but also of the architecture of his time.
Published for the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art.

Giles Worsley was senior research fellow, Institute of Historical Research, University of London, and architecture critic of the Daily Telegraph. He was the author of Classical Architecture in Britain: The Heroic Age, published by Yale University Press.

'The European sweep of the book is as impressive and valuable as it's concentration on Jones: we see both the European classicist tradition, and Jones in a new light. Worsley has introduced us to the unknown, and has enriched the familiar. We are the poorer for no longer being able to argue and develop the ideas stimulated by this book with a scholar as original and cosmopolitan as Giles' - Edward McParland,