We use cookies to improve your experience online. By using our website, you agree to the use of cookies as described in our cookies policy.

A Collection Of Portraits Sketched From The Life Since The Year 1793 By George Dance, Esq. R.A. And Engraved In Imitation Of The Original Drawings By William Daniell, A.R.A. - Vol. I. - (II.)

RA Collection: Book

Record number


Variant Title

Sketches Drawn From The Life By George Dance, Esq. R.A. And Engraved By William Daniell, A.R.A.


London: :: Printed By William-Matthew Thiselton, Goodge Street; For Messrs. Longman, Hurst, Rees, And Orme (Orme And Brown), Paternoster Row; And Mr. William Daniell, No. 9, Cleveland Street, Fitzroy Square. -, 1809. (- 1814.)

Physical Description

2 vols.; [first copy] 474 mm.; [second copy] 478 mm.

General Note

Vol. I: [40] f., [36] pl. - Vol. II: [39] f., [36] pl.


Vol. I: [Half-t., t.p., dedic.(with printer's imprint)] - Contents: Volume I - [Plates and texts]. - (But in the Royal Academy's second copy the content-format is: [T.p.] - Contents: Volume I - [Half-t.] - [Dedic. (with printer's imprint)] - [Plates and texts].) - Vol. II: [Half-t., t.p.] - Contents: Volume II - [Plates and texts].

Responsibility Note

All plates are signed as drawn by George Dance and engraved by William Daniell.

Each plate carries the publisher's imprint of William Daniell, and the date of publication.

The printer's name is repeated at the foot of the dedication.

The work is dedicated by George Dance to Sir George Beaumont.


RIBA, Early printed books, 5 (2003), no. 3810, p.2562-3.

George Dance the elder 1695-1768, the younger 1741-1825: the first exhibition devoted to these two distinguished architects [exhibition catalogue] (1972); D. Stroud, George Dance architect 1741-1825 (1971), esp. p.170-5; W. Roberts, 'Portraits by George Dance', in Notes and queries, 9th ser. IV (1899), p.1-3.

Summary Note

In Volume I the publication-date of 1809 is carried on the title page. The dedication carries the date of 1 November 1808. The plates also carry publication-dates - of 1808 Nov.1 [1-6]; 1809 Feb.1 [7-12, 18, 22, 30], Apr. 1 [13-17], Jul. 1 [19-21, 23-25], Sep 15 [26-29], Dec 15 [31-36]. In Volume II the publication-date of 1814 is carried on the title page; and the plates carry the publication-dates of 1810 March 15 [1-12], 1811 June 1 [13-18, 29], 1812 July 1 [19-24], 1814 April 2 [25-28, 30-36].

The half-titles read, 'Sketches Drawn From The Life By George Dance, Esq. R.A. And Engraved By William Daniell, A.R.A.'

Between 1793 and 1797 George Dance, a founding member of the Royal Academy, had drawn profiles of some of his fellow Academicians, at the suggestion of Joseph Farington, and these with other portraits formed the basis of the present work, which William Daniell began to engrave and publish in 1808. Besides artists and architects the plates show physicians, actors, politicians, clergy and others: - (in Volume I) H. Walpole, G. Steevens, J. Rennell, Bp. William Dickson, J. Boswell, J. Moore, Ld. Dartmouth, Sir John Anstruther, T. Cavallo, B. Langton, J. Flaxman R.A., Sir William Chambers R.A., Archbp. Charles Agar, Ld. Gardner, Ld. Lucan, Ld. Stowell, Sir Giles Rooke, P. de Paoli, J. Bates, A. Dalrymple, J. Northcote R.A., T. King, W. Shield, J. Barry, J. Haydn, B. West R.A., Sir Robert Smirke A.R.A., J. Bacon R.A., T. Banks R.A., W. Seward, Sir Thomas Picton, G. Sharp, T. Hearne, R. Hole, C. Whitefoord, P. Sandby R.A.; (in Volume II) R. Mylne, J. Hoppner R.A., J.P. Kemble, S. Gilpin R.A., J. Wilton R.A., W.T. Lewis, the Chevalier d'Eon, J. Hoole, W. Hodges R.A., R. Batty, J.P. Salomon, J. Rennie, Sir Joseph Banks, J. Eardley-Wilmot, W. Sharp, P. Russell, R. Cosway, J. Dryander, Bp. Thomas Barnard, J. Latham, J.F. Rigaud R.A., S. Arnold, R. Budd, C. Knyvett, N. Revett, P. Hoare, J. Zoffany R.A., J.S. Munden, C. Armstrong, J. Carr of York, Ld. Charlemont, M. Partington, S. Harrison, R. Bensley, T. Hardwick, T. Girtin. All plates - apart from Vol. I. nos. [17, 18, 24] and Vol. II. nos. [31, 33] - carry not only the date of publication but also the date of the drawing, ranging from 1793 to 1809.

The plates are soft-ground etchings 'In Imitation Of The Original Drawings', and are reverse-images of the drawings.

Each plate is accompanied by a leaf of letter-press text, providing a short biographic note about the person portrayed.

Many of the original drawings are preserved at the Royal Academy, the British Museum, the National Portrait Gallery and elsewhere.


[First copy:] Council agreed in 1813 to Smirke's suggestion that this work be purchased for the Library (RAA Council Minutes, V, 1813 January 14). Recorded in RAA Library, Catalogue, 1821.

[Second copy:]

Binding Note

[1st copy:] 19th-century half brown morocco, brown cloth-covered boards; spines lettered 'Dance's Portraits Vol. I (II)', 'R.A.' and '1809' ('1814').

[2nd copy:] 20th-century half calf, brown cloth-covered boards; gilt-decorated spine lettered 'Portraits - Dance', 'Vol. I 1809' and 'R.A.'

Name as Subject


Celebrities - Artists - Great Britain - 18th century - 19th century
Drawings - Portrait drawings - Portraits - Great Britain - 18th century - 19th century
Pictorial works - 19th century


George Dance RA, draughtsman, source artist
William Daniell RA, 1769-1837,, engraver.
William Matthew Thiselton, printer.
Sir George Beaumont, dedicatee
Longman, Hurst, Rees and Orme, bookseller.
Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme and Brown, publisher