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James Gibbs

Gibbs, James, 1682–1754, English architect, b. Scotland, studied in Rome under Carlo Fontana. Returning to England in 1709, he was appointed a member of the commission authorized to build 50 churches in London. Only 10 of these were completed; they include two of Gibbs's most distinguished works, St. Mary-le-Strand (1714–17) and St. Martin-in-the-Fields (1721–26); the latter formed a basic inspiration for many of the steepled churches of the colonial period in America. Gibbs did considerable work for the universities, including the circular Radcliffe Camera at Oxford (1739–49), considered his finest design, and the Senate House at Cambridge, where from 1722 onward he was constantly employed. He designed also many town and country houses. His works have the distinction characteristic of the Georgian period and of the work of Sir Christopher Wren, by whom he was chiefly influenced. He wrote a Book of Architecture (1728, repr. 1968) and Rules for Drawing the Several Parts of Architecture (1732).

See study by B. Little (1955).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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