Record number 03/2778
Author Richardson, George, 1737 - 1813?
TitleThe New Vitruvius Britannicus; Consisting Of Plans And Elevations Of Modern Buildings, Public And Private, Erected In Great Britain By The` Most Celebrated Architects. Engraved On LXXII (LXX) Plates, From Original Drawings. (Volume II.) By George Richardson, Architect. Le Nouveau Vitruve Britannique; Qui Comprend Les Plans Et Élévations De Bâtimens Modernes, Tant Publics Que Particuliers, Érigés dans la Grande Bretagne Par Les Plus Célèbres Architectes. Contenant LXXII (LXX) Planches, Gravées D'Après Des Desseins Origineaux. (Tome Seconde.)
ImprintLondon:: Printed By W. Bulmer And Co. Cleveland-Row ([Vol. II:] By T. Bensley, Bolt Court Fleet Street), For The Author; And Sold By J. Taylor, At The Architectural Library, High Holborn., MDCCCII. (-MDCCCVIII.)
Physical Description2 vols.; 545 mm. (Folio).
Physical Description NoteVol. I: [ii], iv, 20 p., 72 [i.e. 62] pl. There are 10 dble.pl., each of which is assigned two numbers, viz. pl. 41/42, 43/44, 45/46, 47/48, 49/50, 52/53, 55/56, 65/66, 69/70, 71/72. - Vol. II: [4], 10 p., 70 [i.e. 53] pl. There are 17 dble. pl., each of which is assigned two numbers, viz. pl. 1/2, 3/4, 7/8, 11/12, 19/20, 21/22, 27/28, 34/35, 39/40, 41/42, 47/48, 49/50, 53/54, 55/56, 65/66, 67/68, 69/70.
Content Format NoteVol. I: [T.p.] - A List Of The Subscribers - Introduction - Explanation Of The Plates - [Plates]. - Vol. II: [T.p.] - Contents Of The First Volume - Contents Of The Second Volume - Explanation Of The Plates - [Plates].
Summary NoteLike most of Richardson's publications, this was issued serially - Volume I in ten parts (1796-1801); Volume II in five parts (1802-1807).

The title pages, introduction and explanation of the plates are in English and French.

Though Richardson mentions earlier volumes of Vitruvius Britannicus (1-3 by Campbell, 1715-25; 4 -5 by Woolfe and Gandon, 1767-71), he refers to his own books not as sixth and seventh volumes but as a 'New Vitruvius Britannicus'. Campbell had intended to show and to encourage a British style of building, based on ancient examples, that would emulate the achievements of other nations; Woolfe and Gandon had concentrated on British country houses and estates. Richardson reaffirms Campbell's aim, in publishing examples 'as well for our own use, as for the advantage of ingenious foreigners', but like Woolfe and Gandon concentrates on country houses. In Volume I only two of 26 subjects show other types of structure(Glasgow Assembly Rooms, Middlesex County Session House), and in Volume II only six of 18 subjects.

The plates show plans and elevations of houses designed since 1771 - most in Neoclassical style, two in neo-Gothic - by James Wyatt (Bowden Park, Trinity House, Castle Coole in Fermanagh), R. Mylne (Tusmore, Addington Lodge), H. Holland (Brighton Pavilion), R. and J. Adam (Glasgow Assembly Rooms, Gosford House), J. Soane (Sydney Lodge, Pitshanger), S.P. Cockerell (Gore Court, Middleton Hall in Caermarthen), J. Carr (Basildon, Thornes House, Denton, York basilica, Newark Town Hall), J. Bonomi (Longford, Eastwell, Roseneath), J.T. Groves (Broomfield), W. Porden (Yillas at Roehampton and Putney), W. Reveley (seat of W.H. Pigou), T. Leverton (Watton Wood, Grocers' Hall, House for Dr Synge in Cork), J. Nash (Southgate Grove), T. Rogers (Middlesex Session House), G. Steuart (Stoke Park), S. Wyatt (Doddington, Commissioner's House at Portsmouth), L. Brown and H. Holland (Claremont), T. Bradley (Crownest House), S. Saxon (Courteen, Buckminster), J. Harvey (Stafford Courts of Justice), G. Byfield (Hurlingham, Attingham), W. Wilkins (Donnington, Oxberton), Jeffry Wyatt (Woolley Park), J. Sanders (Royal Military Asylum at Chelsea), J. Foster (Liverpool Athenaeum) and Archd. Elliot (Loudon Castle). Only plans and elevations are shown (no sections or interior details); but the descriptive text addresses site, building history, dimensions, interiors and other aspects of the designs.

The plates were executed in aquatint.

The list of subscribers includes not only the Library of the Royal Academy but also individual Academicians and Associates - Joseph Bonomi, George Dance, Edward Edwards, William Hamilton, Biagio Rebecca, Paul Sandby, John Soane and James Wyatt. Expressing the hope, in his Introduction, that by studying these models 'the student may gain many hints and precepts which must be useful to him in his future studies and beneficial to his employer', Richardson was perhaps thinking not only of students employed by architects but also of those enrolled at the Royal Academy, which at the time was the only public institution in Britain concerned with the education of architects.

He himself never applied to become an Academician or an Associate, but he was well thought of in the Academy, and from 1807 to 1813 he received support from the Academy's Charitable Fund. This enabled him to continue to own the copyright in his own publications and to retain his independence as an artist.
Responsibility NotePlates 1-7 of Volume I are signed as engraved and published by G. Richardson and Son (i.e. William Richardson); all other plates are signed as engraved and published by George Richardson. No draughtsman is named, but the captions of the plates usually name the architect of the building shown, and in the introduction Richardson thanks the 'professional gentlemen who have kindly furnished me with their original drawings, for this publication'.
SubjectArchitecture, British - Country houses, British - Great Britain - History - 18th century - Neoclassical
Plans - Elevations - Pattern books - Great Britain - 18th century - 19th century
Pictorial works - Aquatints - Great Britain - 18th century - 19th century
ReproductionsRepublished as microfilm (British Library Neg. PB.Mic.14893); as microfiche in 1994 (Cambridge: Chadwyck-Healey). A reduced facsimile was published in 1970 (New York: Blom).
ReferencesRIBA, Early printed books, 3 (1999), no. 2757, p.1642-6; National Gallery (Washington), Mark J. Millard, II (1998), 70; J. Archer, Literature of British domestic architecture (1985), 285.1; Life in England in aquatint ... library of J.R. Abbey (1953; R 1972, 1991), no. 60, p.44.

On the printer, Bulmer, see P. Isaac, William Bulmer The Fine Printer in Context 1757-1830 (1993).
ESTC T150889
Copy NoteImperfect; Volume II lacks pages [1-4](containing t.-p., 'Contents Of The First Volume' and 'Contents Of The Second Volume'), and pages 9-10 (describing plates 57-70).
Binding NoteVol. I: 20th-century half brown morocco, brown cloth-covered boards, spine lettered 'New Vitruvius Britannicus R.A. 1802'. Vol. II: 19th-century mottled calf; rebacked in 20th century, red morocco spine-label lettered 'Richardsons Vitruvius Britannicus'.
ProvenanceThe Royal Academy is listed among the subscribers to this work.

12 August 1797: 'Resolved, ... that the Academy do subscribe for his [i.e. Richardson's] new Work in Architecture' [i.e. The new Vitruvius Britannicus, 1802-08] (RA Council Minutes II, 329).

'Richardson paid £5.12.6 for books.' (RA Treasurer's Account Book, Midsummer Quarter, 1798).
Variant TitleNouveau Vitruve Britannique
Contributors Bulmer, William, 1757 - 1830, printer
Bensley, Thomas, 1759 - 1835, printer
Taylor, Josiah, 1761 - 1834, bookseller
Richardson, William, fl. 1783-after 1804, engraver, publisher
Wyatt, James, P.R.A., 1746 - 1813
Mylne, Robert, 1733 - 1811
Holland, Henry, 1745 - 1806
Adam, Robert, 1728 - 1792
Adam, James, 1732 - 1794
Soane, John, R.A., 1753 - 1837
Cockerell, Samuel Pepys, 1753 - 1827
Carr, John, 1723 - 1807
Bonomi, Joseph, A.R.A., 1739 - 1808
Groves, John Thomas, ca. 1761 - 1811
Porden, William, 1755 - 1822
Reveley, Willey, 1760 - 1799
Leverton, Thomas, 1749 - 1824
Nash, John, 1752 - 1835
Rogers, Thomas
Steuart, George, ca. 1730 - 1806
Wyatt, Samuel, 1737 - 1807
Brown, Lancelot, 1716 - 1783
Bradley, Thomas, fl. ca. 1805?
Saxon, Samuel
Harvey, John
Byfield, George, ca. 1756 - 1813
Wilkins, William, R.A., 1778 - 1839
Wyatville, Jeffry, R.A., 1766 - 1840
Sanders, John, 1750 - 1826
Foster, John, 1759 - 1827
Elliot, Archibald, 1760 - 1823
Richardson, George, 1737 - 1813?, publisher, engraver
Architectural Library (London). bookseller
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