Record number 03/2434
Author Richardson, George, 1737 - 1813?
TitleIconology; Or, A Collection Of Emblematical Figures; Containing Four Hundred And Twenty-four Remarkable Subjects, Moral And Instructive; In Which Are Displayed The Beauty Of Virtue And Deformity Of Vice. The Figures Are Engraved By The Most Capital Artists, From Original Designs; With Explanations From Classical Authorities. By George Richardson , Architect. In Two Volumes. Volume First.
ImprintLondon:: Printed For The Author, By G. Scott., MDCCLXXIX.
Physical Description4 vols. in two; 380 mm. (Folio).
Physical Description NoteVol. I: [xii], vii, [i], 49, [1] p., engr. dedic., 24 pl. - Vol. II: [iv], [51]-113, [1] p., 25-52 pl. - Vol. III: 73, [1] p., 53-80 pl. - Vol. IV: [iv], [75]-161, [3] p., 81-109 pl. Most plates are divided into up to four sections, which are numbered 1-423.
Content Format NoteVol. I: [T.p., dedic.] - A List Of The Subscribers - Preface - Contents; Errata - An Introductory Discourse Upon The Science Of Iconology - Explanation Of The Emblematical Figures - [Plates]. - Vols. II, III. [T.p.] - Contents - Explanation Of The Emblematical Figures - [Plates]. - Vol. IV: [T.p.] - Contents - Index To The Figures And Letter Press Book Fourth - Explanation Of The Emblematical Figures - General Index To The Two Volumes Of Iconology - [Plates].
Summary NoteThe work is in four parts, with four title-pages, which describe themselves as 'In Two Volumes. Volume First'; 'In Two Volumes. Volume First'; 'In Four Books. Book Third'; 'In Two Volumes. Volume Second'. The four title-pages are dated 1779, 1778, 1779, 1779 - but the plates in part I are all dated 1776, those in Part II 1777, those in Part III 1778 and those in Part IV 1779. The titles of parts I and IV have the same wording, apart from the substitution of 'Volume Second' for 'Volume First' in the fourth part. But the title of Parts II and III reads, 'Iconology; Or, A Collection Of Emblematical Figures, Moral And Instructive; Exhibiting The Images of the Elements and Celestial Bodies, the Seasons and Months of the Year, the Hours of the Day and Night, the Quarters of the World, the Principal Rivers, the Four Ages, the Muses, the Senses, Arts, Sciences, Dispositions and Faculties of the Mind, Virtues and Vices; Containing, In Four Books, Upwards of Four Hundred and Twenty Remarkable Subjects, engraved from Original Designs, with particular Explanations of the Figures, their Attributes and Symbols; Illustrated by a Variety of Authorities from Classical Authors; Selected And Composed From The Most Approved Emblematical Representations Of the Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, and from the Compositions of Cavaliere Cesare Ripa Perugino, By George Richardson ...'.

This substantial work, issued in parts, provided artists of all kinds with a comprehensive repertoire of designs suitable for neoclassical interiors.

Its subscribers include the Library of the Royal Academy and its President, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Benjamin West (history painter), Edward Penny (the Academy's professor of painting), G.B. Cipriani, B. Rebecca and A. Zucchi (decorative painters), C. Catton (coach painter), E. Burch (gem engraver) and Paul Sandby (watercolorist and printmaker).
Responsibility NoteSome plates are signed as drawn by W. Hamilton, and most are signed as engraved by E. Malpas. Some carry the signatures of other engravers - J. Caldwall, C. Grignion, F. Bartolozzi, Isaac Taylor, John Hall, W. Sharp, W. Woollett, W. Walker and W. Angus. Only a few carry no signatures.

The work is dedicated by the author to the King (George III).
SubjectAllegories - Emblems (allegorical pictures) - Iconography
Emblem books - Great Britain - 18th century
Pictorial works - Great Britain - 18th century
ReproductionsAn electronic reproduction was published in 2003 (Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale). A microfilm version was published in 2002 (Woodbridge Conn.: Primary Source Microfilm [an imprint of Gale Group]).
ReferencesESTC N17051
Copy NoteOn the title-page of the second part the word 'First' has been deleted, and 'Second' substituted in pencil. On some plates the ascription to the draughtsman W. Hamilton has been inscribed in ink (Part III, pl. 55, 59, 63-65).
Binding Note18th-century half calf, marbled-papered boards; rebacked and recornered in 20th century, spines lettered 'Richardson Iconology Vol. I. (II.)'.
ProvenanceThe first number was bought in 1776, the second in 1777 (RAA cash books); the Royal Academy is listed among the Subscribers in the 1779 volume. Recorded in RAA Library Catalogue, 1802.
Contributors Ripa, Cesare, ca. 1555 - 1622
Hamilton, William, R.A., 1751 - 1801, draughtsman
George III, King of Great Britain, 1738 - 1820, dedicatee
Malpas, Edward, fl. 1776, engraver
Caldwall, James, 1739 - ca. 1819, engraver
Grignion, Charles, 1721 - 1810, engraver
Bartolozzi, Francesco, R.A., 1727 - 1815, engraver
Taylor, Isaac, the elder, 1730 - 1807, engraver
Hall, John, 1739 - 1797, engraver
Sharp, William, 1749 - 1824, engraver
Woollett, William, 1735 - 1785, engraver
Walker, William, 1729 - 1793, engraver
Angus, William, 1752 - 1821, engraver
Scott, George, fl. ca. 1769-1779?, printer
MARC Record view