- Author: Colen Campbell
- Date: 1725
- Medium: Copperplate engraving
- Condition: Very good
- Inches: 10" x 14 3/4"
- Centimeters: 25.64 x 37.82
- Product ID: 000294
From Vitruvius Britannicus, or the British Architect..., London: Printed and sold by the author, at his House in Middle Scotland-Yard, White-Hall, and by Joseph Smith, at the sign of Inigo Jones's head, near Exeter-Change, in the Strand, 1725.
Responsible for the popularization of Palladian (after Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio) architecture in Britain, Colen Campbell (1676-1729) was one of the most influential British architects of his day. Though he became a successful lawyer after studying at the University of Edinburgh, Campbell eventually moved to London and established himself as an architect. His work bears the influences of James Smith (c. 1645-1731), another highly-influential Scottish architect who worked in the Palladian style. Campbell also spent time abroad in Italy from 1695-1702, an experience which would have provided him with an abundance of classical inspiration.
Vitruvius Britannicus, or the British Architect, the work for which Campbell remains best-known, was published in three volumes from 1715 to 1725. The designs therein, heavily influenced by the work of Palladio and Roman architect Vitruvius, adhered to a classical ethos, their elegance and simplicity reflecting Campbell’s disdain for the ornate Baroque style also in vogue at the time. Vitruvius Britannicus earned Campbell powerful patrons such as Lord Burlington, who commissioned the architect to remodel Burlington House in 1717. Though Campbell is more famous for his designs than his finished buildings, his Neoclassical influence can still be seen in many of Britain’s great country homes and estates.