Indigo Jones was a famous 17th-century architect known for his unique furniture and architectural designs. He was considered the first significant English architect of the modern era. He made several trips to Europe and was also known as a court mask designer. Initially, his main occupation seemed to be the design of masks. He introduced the classic Palladian style to England. The buildings he created in England were quite unique which made him famous not only in England but throughout Europe. His furniture designs mainly consisted of finely carved colonial designs and were based primarily on his refined sense of proportion. The materials that were mainly used in his furniture designs were marble, stone and plaster, in contrast to previous periods when the furniture was mainly made of wood. This was also one of the unique characteristics of his designs. He rarely used woodworking and every time he used wood, he designed it in such a way as to make it look like another material.
Indigo Jones furniture designs have been found mainly in Italy. He made several varieties of fireplaces and doors. His fireplace pieces were made of marble, stone or oak. These have been supported by many classic pillars. He made carved brackets. These were used on English wardrobes and beds. He made the bell-shaped flowers appear on his sculptures. He also made many bookcases and closets, whose forms were much lighter. Indigo Jones introduced a change in the size and shape of the panels. He also made elegant designs to embellish the top of the chairs and the upper ends of the chair legs. The designs of Inigo Jones’ door were quite different from those of the fireplaces.
All his projects were planned and designed by themselves instead of being inspired by other architects. Only his theatrical projects were made with the help of Ben Jonson, a contemporary of William Shakespeare. He died on June 21, 1652 but some of his designs were also discovered in the early eighteenth century. One of the most important characteristics of its exteriors, compared to those of other existing buildings, is their perfect opposition to any exuberance of ornaments. It also reduced the risk for workers to originate the designs. This led to a gradual refinement of craftsmanship during the seventeenth century. The Raynham Hall room, Norfolk, is a good example of the architect Jones and the architectural design differs from the contemporary rooms built by Jacobean craftsmen. The ceilings were painted by the main painters of the period and were very rich and dignified. Jones became the surveyor of King’s Works and introduced his knowledge of classical architecture. Wiltshire buildings show its interior architectural design.
Inigo Jones was not only a great architect, but his designs reflected the gradual transformation of furniture and architectural designs from bulky designs from the medieval period to the artisan craftsmanship of the modern era. He was also the first architect to bring Renaissance architecture from Italy to England.
by Bhargav Dutta