Descriptions and Plates
James Gibbs published the book “A book of architecture containing designs of buildings and ornaments” for architects and their clients. James Gibbs had an critical opinion on English architecture which he writes about in the introduction of the book, he thinks there is still space for improvement. The author has introduced the Georgian architecture in England and all colonies of England. But despite the influence of his books, Gibbs, as a stylistic outsider, had little effect on the later direction of British architecture, which saw the rise of Neoclassicism shortly after his death. And this Book shows the Descriptions of his architectural Work throughout his Life in England, architects in English colonies were strongly influenced by this book. James Gibbs gathered his knowledge while he was in Italy. He visited Italy so he can become a catholic priest, but we must say he was more aroused by the church’s architecture than by the actual cooperation in the church. As he came back from Italy to England he made friends with Lord John Duke of Argyll and Greenwich, to whom this book is dedicated to. His most famous Buildings where Church’s and governmental Buildings, but he even built some small private residential Estates. But in this Book we only find the following Buildings: St Mary-le-Strand, St Martin in the Fields and the forecourt of Burlington House; in Cambridge, the Senate House and the Fellows’ Building at King’s; in Oxford, the Radcliffe library. James Gibbs chooses a very pleasant way to represent his work. The reader can read a small text about the building or a part of the building and understand why and how James Gibbs has designed the building, ornament or even a chimney the way he describes it. And if so the reader can’t create a picture of the architecture with help of the description. James Gibbs adds along the description plats which show you the different sections and the Geometrical Layout of the building. All in all James Gibbs has 150 Engraved plates which behold 380 different designs. The book doesn’t only mention the blunt structure of his architectural work, it shows even the small details of the Building which gives it, it’s beauty. Those details, such as chimneys, doorframes or just non-functional ornaments are even processed in his book. As mentioned before, James Gibbs had found his inspiration in Italian architecture. His architectural style did incorporate Palladian elements, as well as forms from Italian Baroque.