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Inigo Jones’s catafalque for James I

  • John Peacock

When Inigo Jones designed the catafalque for James I’s funeral in 1625 (Pl. 2) what he produced was a version of Bramante’s Tempietto (Pl. 3a), that key work in the canon of Renaissance architecture which is also a kind of funerary monument, since it commemorates the martyrdom of St Peter. This derivation has already been recognized; what has not been discussed is the fact that Jones’s design draws on a recent tradition of tempietto-catafalques, and is particularly close to that designed by Domenico Fontana in 1591 for the obsequies of Sixtus V (Pl. 3b). Comparing the two, we see that Jones’s dome is derived closely from Fontana’s and his two principal statues are copied almost exactly. The idea of scrolls along the ribs of the dome comes from Fontana at one remove, from the adaptation of his design made by Sergio Venturi in 1622 for the obsequies of Paul V (Pl.3c).

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In preparing this article I was not able to consult Olga Berendson, The Italian Sixteenth- and Seventeenth- century Catafalques, New York University Ph.D. thesis, 1961. Having eventually obtained a copy (University Microfilms, 1976) I must acknowledge her prior discovery of Jones's use of Fontana (p. 122, note 266). In her brief comments she wrongly dates James I's funeral in 1623, and implies that Jones was a ‘provincial designer’ — the present discussion obviously has a different emphasis.

1 Engravin by Krueger, Theodor sin Guidiccioni, Lelio, Breve Racconto della Trasportatione del Papa Paolo V (Rome, 1623).

2 Quatro Libri dell’Architettura (Venice, 1570), Book iv, p. 92. One further source, which stands in a purely practical relationship to Jones’s design, should be noted: the arrangement by which ‘the columns are pressed back against their respondent pilasters’ (Summerson) is taken from an illustration of a circular temple in Rusconi, G. A., Della Architettura (Venice, 1590), Libro Secondo, p. 36.

3 Cf. especially te dentils in the cornice; L’Idea della Architettura Universale, 2 vols (Venice, 1615), Parte Seconda, Libro Sesto, p. 84, ‘Ornamento del Ordine Dorico’.

4 Catani, Baldo, La Pompa Funerale … di Papa Sisto il Quinto (Rome, 1591).

5 See Anderson, Jaynie, ‘“Le roi ne meurt jamais”: Charles V’s Obsequies in Italy’, El Cardenal Alhornozy el Colegio de España (V), Studia Albornotiana XXV (Bologna, 1979), pp. 37999.

6 See exhibition catalogue La Scena del Principe (Florence, 1980), nos. 8.14, 8.21, 8.48, 8.52.

See for example Antonio Brambilla’s engraving of the catafalque of Cardinal Odoardo Farnese in 1589, reproduced in dell’ Arco, M. Fagiolo and Carandini, S., L’Effimero Barocco, 2 vols (Rome, 1977–78), II, pl. 54.

8 Catani, pp. 17, 19-20.

9 Gotch, J. A., Inigo Jones (1928), p. 251 . Harris, J., Orgel, S. and Strong, R., in The King’s Arcadia (1973), p. 64 , point out that Jones’s scene-painter Matthew Goodericke owned a copy of Domenico Fontana’s book on the erection of the Vatican obelisk; this was also a celebratory account of the building works of Sixtus V, its full title being Della Trasportatione Dell’ Obelisco Vaticano Et Delle Fabriche Di Nostro Signore Papa Sisto V (Rome, 1590)

10 See Hole’s, William engraving reproduced in Hind, A. M., Engraving in England in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, Part II, The Reign of James I (1955), pl. 200.

11 Harris, J., Catalogue of the Drawings Collection of the RIBA. Inigo Jones and John Webb (1972), no. 92, fig. 91.

12 For the lying in state at Denmark House before the funeral Jones may well have designed a different, more old-fashioned type of catafalque. Harris, J. in Catalogue of the Drawings by Inigo Jones, John Webb and Isaac de Caus at Worcester College Oxford (1979), p. 21 , quotes Aubrey’s report of a ‘canopy’ with ‘4 heads of caryatids’ and ‘drapery of white calico’. This sounds Florentine, in fact like a version of the catafalque of Franceso I as engraved by Theodor Krueger: see Ea Scena del Principe, 8.21.

13 For example, the height of the peristyle is equal to the diameter of the drum, and to the height of the dome measured from above the blocking-course to the top of the crown; the height of the drum to the top of the blocking-course is half this measurement.

14 Williams, John, Bishop of Norwich, Great Britains Salomon. A Sermon Preached at the Magnificent Funerall, of the most high and mighty King, James (1625) p. 45.

15 Catani, pp. 35–36 and pp. 40–43.

16 Toplis, Gordon, ‘The Sources of Jones’s Mind and Imagination’, in The King’s Arcadia, p. 61.

17 Williams, , p. 36.

18 Descritione della Pompa Funerale Fatta nelle Essequie del Sig. Cosimo de Medici Gran Duca di Toscana (Florence, 1574), sig. Eiir.

19 Strozzi, G. B., Essequie del Serenissimo Don Francesco Medici Gran Duca di Toscana II (Florence, 1587), PP. 89.

20 Savile, Henry, The End of Nero and Beginning of Galba, Foure Bookes of the Histories of Cornelius Tacitus, fifth edn (1622), p. 4 . Cf. Memoires de l’Estat de France, sous Charles Neufiesme, 3 vols, second edn (Middle-burg, 1579), III, fols 270r-270v.

21 Calendar of State Papers Venetian, 1610–1613, p. 468.

22 See the engraving by Theodor de Bry, reproduced in Hind, A. M., Engraving in England in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, Parti, The Tudor Period (1952), pl. 61.

23 Calendar of State Papers Venetian, 1625–1626, p. 55.

24 Guidiccioni, pp. 14–16.

25 For example Giraldi, L. G., De Sepulchris et vario sepeliendi ritu, libellus (Basel, 1539); Porcacchi, T., Funerali Antichi di Diversi popoli et nationi (Venice, 1574); Guichard, C., Funerailles & diverses manieres d’ ensevelir des Rommains, Grecs, & autres nations (Lyons, 1581).

26 Herodian, iv. 2.1-11; Dio Cassius, Ivi. 34, 42; Ixxv. 4.2-5.5.

27 The King’s Arcadia, p. 217.

28 See Inigo Jones on Palladio, ed. Allsopp, Bruce, 2 vols (Newcastle upon Tyne, 1970), annotations on Quattro Eibri, iv, pp. 23 and 25 ; I am grateful to John Newman for these references. The relevant annotation on p. 25, ‘This tempell [of Nerva Traiano] was made by Apolodorus se Xifilinin ye life of Adrian fol. 238r (partly mistranscribed by Allsopp, 11, p. 44), makes it clear that Jones must be referring to L’Histoire de Dion Cassius … abbregée par Xiphilin. Translatee … par M. Antoyne Canque (Paris, 1588).

29 Canque, fol. 288r. The same passage from Xiphilinus occurs in the funeral treatises of Porcacchi, p. 29, and Guichard, pp. 176–77.

30 Williams, , p. 35.

31 Williams, , p. 8.

32 See my article, ‘Inigo Jones’s Stage Architecture and Its Sources’, The Art Bulletin, June 1982.

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Architectural History
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