2. The book “Designs of Inigo Jones and others” consists of a collection of illustrations, showing the designs of Inigo Jones and others. The entire book, except for the index and the title page, is textless and gives no explanation of the depicted. The illustrations show designs of chimneys and facades while stressing the different possible ornamentations. They are also roughly dimensioned, but probably for the sake of proportion rather than construction. Inigo Jones was at his time the most notable architect in England, and he believed in the Vitruvian rules of proportion and symmetry. He made Classical and Renaissance architecture known in England and designed buildings in the classical style in Britain. He founded the English classical tradition of architecture and I reckon that this influence and popularity produced the need for this book to exist. His countrymen wanted to copy his style and build the same kind of buildings.
What surprises me is, that the book does not give any clear instructions in the sense of mathematical ratios or principles. It simply gives the visual representations of the principles below. And with that statement, I want to go into the substance of the ornamentation. The book starts off with a series of chimney designs that differ from each other primarily in the style of ornamentation. One has an integrated pediment, the other has little columns in their profile and there are many other little details such as faces, plant, and frame ornamentations. On later pages, the book covers different coffered ceilings, more chimneys, and facades by a different Designer by the name of William Kent. Kent introduced the Palladian style into England and was tasked to edit the Book about Inigo Jones or rather add a few Palladian examples. There are always variations in the ornamentation and proportions used in the examples one thing I must give the author credit for are the beautiful illustrations. They are meticulously shaded and therefore give a great sense of depth.
As I reread the index another time one sentence popped into my eye: “Most of these Designs are already executed, and the rest are at Burlington House”. This sentence brought up the idea, that this book could have served as a brochure for the designers. A way to show investors, what is possible and help them formulate their ideas. I can also imagine the book being used by stonemasons or architects who need inspiring examples to decorate their buildings. But I do not think it really helps the reader to understand anything beyond the superficial, beyond the ornaments.
3. Ornamentation, Illustration, Classical