25 November 2009

Inigo Jones & "Imaginancy Set Free"

The Hogarth Portrait of Inigo Jones

Inigo Jones was arguably the most important English Architect of the last sixteenth to early seventeenth centuries. His most famous constructions include the original Queen's House in Greenwich, the Banqueting House at Whitehall Palace and the church and square at Covent Garden. On Monday, I attended a lecture by Professor Vaughan Hart on the Court Architecture produced for James I by Inigo Jones. This included the Queen's House and the Banqueting Hall. Professor Hart argued during his lecture that many of the classical orders used by Inigo Jones and his fellow professionals echoed a deeper protestant ethos and mythology. This was mostly evidenced by the proliferation of the Tuscan order, which Professor Hart linked to the British creation myth of the Trojan soldier who discovered and then settled in Britannia after the Trojan wars. All in all, it was an interesting lecture, with great images from various sources. In my view, there were problems of scope, which limited Professor Hart to a very specific set of viewers who may or may not have accepted this viewpoint. In relation to the civil war and the history of the Commonwealth to come, the idea of different viewers with differing viewpoints can not be neglected.

Anyway, something to think about.

I would also like to add that it has been fantastic getting to study and discuss architecture in the Courtauld Institute. The people in my MA option have been fantastic, and I will be sad to leave at the end of December. I will miss the deep theoretical conversations we can have just walking to the Tube at the end of the night or over a tea in the cafe before class.

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