Jonson, Jones, and Vitruvian Romance
Vitruvianism offered Ben Jonson and Inigo Jones more than a set of rules. Even a cursory consideration of the early collaborative masques and entertainments – in which formal Vitruvian elements are mixed with ruins and pyramids in an overall mood which seems to take its cue from romance rather than the architectural treatises – reveal that they took at least some part of their inspiration from the less-formal tradition of Vitruvian thinking. This chapter examines the influence of one work – Francesco Colonna's romance, the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili – which Jonson and Jones used as a common imaginative resource in the shaping of their early masques and entertainments. They used it because it offered them a narrative (from which Jonson could draw segments and adapt them to his own purposes), as well as ceremonies, hieroglyphs, striking visual images, and a statement of Vitruvian theory couched in literary terms that both poet and architect would have found congenial.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.