Overview

James Smith

(c. 1645—1731) architect


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(c. 1645–1731). Scots architect. As a young man he travelled on the Continent, but by 1679 was settled in Edinburgh, married to a daughter of Robert Mylne (1633–1710), architect and builder, and in 1683 was appointed Surveyor or Overseer of the Royal Works. He built Drumlanrig Castle, Dumfriesshire (c. 1680–90—probably based on designs by his father-in-law), designed Hamilton Palace, Lanarkshire (1693–1701—demolished), Melville House, Fife (1697–1700), and Yester House, East Lothian (c. 1700–15), remodelled Dalkeith House, Midlothian (1702–10), and constructed the Mackenzie mausoleum in Greyfriars churchyard, Edinburgh (c. 1690–2), among much else. He was responsible for disseminating the Classical style introduced by Bruce to Scotland, but in his surviving drawings it is clear he was familiar with the works of Palladio, and he may have been an early and formative influence on Colen Campbell and therefore on English Palladianism. In his realized buildings, however, any Palladian tendencies were decidedly muted. His works pre-date any Palladian essays of the Burlington Palladian Revival which therefore may have originated in Scotland.

From A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Architecture.


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