A revolutionary talent
This revolutionary architect and designer shook up England’s building world in the early 17th century.
He also brought a brilliant lustre to the courts of James I and Charles I. He designed the Banqueting House in Whitehall Palace for James I, which was completed in 1622.
Jones had travelled to see the modern classical buildings of Italy for himself and avidly studied all ancient Roman architecture.
A friend wrote that in Jones ‘all that is praiseworthy in the elegant arts of the ancients, may one day find their way across the Alps into our England.’
The new buildings he created for the crown stood out amid the rambling old palaces of Whitehall, Greenwich and St James’s.
They were cool and sophisticated on the outside but full of colour and drama inside, with paintings by the great artists of the day.
Did you know?
Jones was no mean artist himself and in his stage and costume designs for the court masques (part play, part fancy dress ball) performed in the Banqueting House he created a magical world where the privileged at court could act out their fantasies.
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Stories from the Banqueting House at Whitehall: