The Palladian Revival - Harris, John - Yale University Press
Art and Architecture

The Palladian Revival

Lord Burlington, His Villa and Garden at Chiswick

  • John Harris
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Winner of the 1995 Sixth Annual Architectural Exhibition Catalogue Award of the Society of Architectural Historians

In 1726 Richard Boyle, 3rd Earl of Burlington, built an addition to his modest country house on the river Thames at Chiswick. Influenced by the architecture of the sixteenth-century Italian Andrea Palladio and by the British architects from Inigo Jones to James Gibbs and Colen Campbell who followed in Palladio's footsteps, Lord Burlington raised a freestanding "villa," an English response to Palladio's famous Villa Rotonda. The villa, with sumptuous interiors designed by William Kent, was as distinguished as any designed by Palladio or Jones. The building became the touchstone of Neo-Palladian architecture; its architect became known as the "Modern Vitruvius," the "Apollo of the Arts."

This lavishly illustrated book focuses on the creation of this famous "Villa by the Thames." John Harris explores the villa's architectural sources of inspiration and the evolution of its design, examining and reproducing paintings, watercolors, drawings (including those of Palladio and Inigo Jones owned by Lord Burlington), plans and elevations, and books and prints. He also charts the transformation of the grounds from seventeenth-century formality to eighteenth-century variety, reproducing rare garden studies by Kent, as well as numerous topographical views that record the transformation into an arcadian landscape.

The book, which serves as the catalogue of an exhibition to be seen in Montreal, Pittsburgh, and London, is richly illustrated with material still largely in the collection of Burlington's heirs, the dukes of Devonshire, at Chatsworth.

John Harris, Curator Emeritus of the Drawings Collection of the Royal Institute of British Architects, London, is an architectural historian and author of numerous publications.