A Collection Of Prints Engraved After The Most Capital Paintings In England. Published by John Boydell. Volume The First, Containing Fifty Prints. (The Second, Containing Sixty Prints.) With A Description Of Each Picture In English And French.

RA Collection: Book

Record number



London.: Printed for the Editor,, MDCCLXIX. (-MDCCLXXII.)

Physical Description

2 vols.; 647 mm. (Broadsheet).

General Note

Vol. I: [6], 39, [1] p., frontis., 50 pl.; [2] illus. (t.p. vignette, dedic. headpiece). Pl. 32 misnumbered 31. - Vol. II: [4], 18 p., frontis., 64 pl.; illus. (t.p. vignette). There are bis plates 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 11. The following pl. share one sheet per pair: 1/2; 3/3bis, 4/4bis; 10/10bis; 11/11bis; 23/24; 53/54.


Vol. I: [Frontis., t.-p., dedic.] - Preface [English and French] - List Of The Prints - Description Of The Several Pictures, by Benjamin Ralph, Fellow of the Society of Artists of Great Britain [English and French] - List Of Subscribers names - [Plates]. - Vol. II: [Frontis., t.-p.] - Description Of The Several Pictures ... By Edward Penny Esq; Professor of Painting to the Royal Academy [in English and French] - List Of The Prints - Supplement To Volume the Second [English and French] - [Plates].

Responsibility Note

The names of draughtsmen and engravers are given on almost every plate. Draughtsmen include R. Earlom, G. Vitalba, J. B. Cipriani, J. Gresse, F. Bartolozzi, A. Walker and E. Edwards. The engravers include S. F. Ravenet, G. Vitalba, J. Ravenet, P.C. Canot, M. Liart, W. Walker, A. Bannerman, C. Faucii, J.S. Miller, F. Aliamet, Gabriel Smith, F. Bartolozzi, V.M. Picot, J. Peak(e), W. Byrne, Capt. Baillie, J. Mason, J. Basire, J. Hall, J. Browne, Delatre, I. Taylor, W. Woollett, J. Miller, John Boydell, W. Elliott, T. Chambars, A. Walker and W.W. Ryland. Sometimes the signatures simply follow the word 'fecit': R. Earlom, J. Mortimer, Valentine Green. The title page vignette and the headpiece of the dedication are signed as designed and drawn by J. Gwynn.

The publication is dedicated by John Boydell to King George III.


ESTC, T218742
On John Boydell see S.H.A. Bruntjen, John Boydell (1719-1804) (1985).
A survey of reproductive engraving is S. Lambert, The image multiplied: five centuries of printed reproductions (1987).

Summary Note

Six plates in volume II are printed in two states - the earlier state being pasted in (plates 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 11).

The plates (including the frontispieces) represent the following painters: eight by Claude Lorrain, seven by Salvator Rosa, six each by Cortona, Lauri and Reni, four each by Sueur, Rubens and Van Dyck, three each by Ostade, Giordano, An. Carracci, Rembrandt, Sacchi, Guercino, Dolci and West, two each by Poussin, Van Herp, Murillo, Castiglione, Bourdon, De Laer, Tintoretto, Hogarth and Amoroso, and one each by Cignani, Caravaggio, Holbein, Rosa di Tivoli, Cuyp, Vander Velde, Backhuizen, Raphael, Spagnoletto, Maratti, Lemoine, Domenichino, Salsa Ferrata, Cipriani, J. Mortimer,Berghem, Velasco, Barocci, Ag. Caracci, Le Nain, Pasinelli, Bramer, Netscher, Schidone, Valentini, Dance, Both, Boydell and Vlieger. The ownership of the original painting is indicated in every case: a few are from royal collections, many from that of the Duke of Devonshire, others from those of more than forty collectors.


Volume I is inscribed in ink on a preliminary leaf, 'Given by Mr John Boydel the editor'. It was presented in 1769 (RAA Council Minutes I, 28).

Binding Note

19th-century red half morocco, red cloth-covered boards; spine lettered, 'Boydell's Collection Of Prints Vol I (II)'.

Name as Subject


Paintings, European
Collections - Great Britain - 18th century
Pictorial works - Great Britain - 18th century


John Boydell, publisher, previous owner, donor
Edward Penny RA
Benjamin Ralph
George III King of Great Britain, dedicatee
Claude Lorrain, source artist
Salvator Rosa, source artist
Royal Academy of Arts (London), Professor of Painting (1768-1782: Penny).