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Lord Burlington And Chiswick House Essay

2139 words - 9 pages

Baroque era arose during the late 16th century in Italy. Baroque style is characterized by the new invention of lights and forms which was evolved out of Renaissance architecture in Italy.
Chiswick house is one of the many titles and estates inherited by Lord Burlington when he was only ten. His interest in arts grew day by day and he finally set off to Italy for his first ‘Grand Tour’ that lasted for four months.
His passion in architecture was mainly inspired by the publication of two important volumes in 1715. One was the first English translation of The Four Books of Architecture by Andrea Palladio, the 16th century Venetian architect and the other was Volume One of Vitruvius Britannicus, a compilation of compendium of British classical architecture by Colen Campbell, a Scottish architect. Campbell made it clear that he admired Palladio and Inigo Jones, his early 17th century English disciple. Campbell became Burlington’s first architecture mentor and he tried to design a building for the first time in 1717. The Bagnio- a garden pavilion at Chiswick was the result but it was very much in Campbell’s style.
Sooner in 1719, he started his second tour to Italy. His main focus for this tour was more to architecture. He spent ten to twelve days touring in Venice and the surrounding areas looking specifically at the buildings by Palladio and as he went, he annotated his copy of Quatro Libri. He purchased a number of architectural drawings and studies by Palladio. Burlington was more inspired as a new designer with his increasing collection of books on the architecture of the Renaissance and Roman antiquity as the main source of provision.
Instead of following the design of Palladio’s Villa Rotonda at Vicenza produced by Campbell for a new villa in Chiswick, Burlington decided to be his own architect. In that way, he could get the results he wanted. England at that time, was highly influenced by Baroque style architecture and Burlington thinks that it is the time for some changes and he can be the first one for something different. Therefore, he started by introducing Neo-Palladian style architecture, as his first step to steer England away from Baroque style, converting England to neo-Palladian faith. Lord Burlington knew that it would not be an easy task and he could not abandon his architecture career. Burlington realised that William Kent would never be a great painter but he saw Kent’s potential as an architect and designer of the furniture, interior and gardens which could be exploited to the same ends. So according to the words of Horace Walpole, Lord Burlington is called as England’s ‘Apollo of the Arts’ and William Kent as his priest.
Burlington had started to remodel and extend the gardens attached to the Jacobean house even before Kent appeared on the scene. Works in Chiswick might have begun since 1714 with the events that Burlington being praised for his good landscaping taste, following by designing the Bagnio in 1717. However, it...

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