Jones, Inigo (ĭnˈĭgōˌ) [key], 1573–1652, one of England's first great architects. Son of a London clothmaker, he was enabled to travel in Europe before 1603 to study paintings, perhaps at the expense of the earl of Rutland. On a second trip to Italy (1613–14) he thoroughly studied the remains of Roman architecture and the Renaissance buildings by Palladio. At the English courts of both James I and Charles I he designed settings for elaborate masques, some of which he wrote. Besides performing various architectural services for the crown, he was also sponsored by the earl of Arundel. After renewed visits to Italy, Jones became (1615) king's surveyor of the works. In 1616 he began work on the Queen's House, Greenwich, the first English design to embody Palladian principles. He then built (1619–22) the royal Banqueting House in Whitehall, London, again adapting the classical proportions and use of architectural elements he had learned in Italy. He also made designs for St. Paul's church, Covent Garden, and its square (1631–38). He built other houses in London and in the country; especially outstanding is his advisory work on Wilton House, Wiltshire (built 1649–53). Making a clean break from the prevailing Jacobean style, he achieved a magnificent coherence of design. The work of Inigo Jones marked a starting point for the classical architecture of the late Renaissance and Georgian periods in England.
See study by S. Orgel and R. Strong (2 vol., 1973).