The Palace of Whitehall: The Park Side

  • About the work
    Location
    Country: UK
    City: London
    Place: Cabinet Office, 35 Great Smith Street

    This view shows the eastern façade of the proposed Palace of Whitehall, which is inspired by the work of Italian architect Andrea Palladio (1508-1580). Although based on a drawing by John Webb (1611-1672), clerk and draughtsman to architect Inigo Jones, this print represents Jones’s design for the palace. The plans incorporated the Banqueting House, designed by Jones and built for James I in 1619, which survives today.

    Charles I intended to rebuild the then existing Whitehall Palace (destroyed by fire, 1698) to outshine Philip II’s Escorial, near Madrid. Jones created the first set of designs in c.1638. However, sufficient funding was never found. Architect and collector Richard Boyle, third Earl of Burlington (1694-1753), was greatly inspired by Jones, Palladio and Webb and owned a collection of architectural drawings by all three architects. Burlington authored ‘The Designs of Inigo Jones’, in which many of his Whitehall drawings, including this example, were reproduced. He entrusted painter and interior designer William Kent (c.1686-1748) with editing the publication, which appeared in 1727. The task encouraged Kent to become a classical ‘Palladian’ architect himself.

  • About the artist
    John Webb was born in Smithfield London. Webb became clerk and draughtsman to Inigo Jones at a young age, living with him from the age of about 17. On Jones’s death in 1652, Webb and his wife inherited the architect’s books, drawings and a sum of money, and Webb went on to establish himself as an architect in his own right.
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  • Details
    Title
    The Palace of Whitehall: The Park Side
    Date
    published 15 May 1749
    Medium
    Engraving
    Acquisition
    Purchased from Nicholas Vilag, July 1965
    Inscription
    between publication date and engraver's name, in pencil: M:J:A
    GAC number
    7108