Colen Campbell

(248 words)
  • Editors

Preliminary entry

A rationalist and a Whig, Campbell recognised Sir Christopher Wren (1632-1723) as a genius but also considered him misled by the continental baroque. He also admired Hawksmoor and Sir John Vanbrugh (1664-1726) but urged a more austere style, shorn of ornament and closer to the great example of Andrea Palladio and his earlier English disciple Inigo Jones (1573-1652). Campbell argued that Palladio’s great example had grown corrupt in France and Italy where it was so overloaded with “capricious ornament, which must at last end in the Gothick”. He argued instead for an “antique simplicity” which would express classical virtù. His major publication, Vitruvius Brittanicus (3 vols., 1715-1725), was …

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Editors. "Colen Campbell". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 May 2005
[, accessed 26 September 2016.]