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A Philosophical And Critical History Of The Fine Arts, Painting, Sculpture, And Architecture; With Occasional Observations On The Progress of Engraving, in it's several Branches, Deduced From The Earliest Records, Through Every Country In Which Those Arts Have Been Cherished, To Their Present Establishment In Great Britain, Under The Auspices Of His Majesty King George III. In Four Parts. Volume I. (II.) By The Rev. Robert Anthony Bromley, B.D. Rector Of St. Mildred's In The Poultry, And Minister Of Fitzroy-Chapel, London.

Robert Anthony Bromley

RA Collection: Book

Record number



Variant Title

Morning Herald, 1794


London:: Printed at the Philanthropic-Press, St. George's Fields, For The Author; and sold by T. Cadell, in the Strand; J. Robson; and Hookham & Co. in Bond-Street; and C. Dilly, in the Poultry., MDCCXCIII. (-MDCCXCV.)

Physical Description

2 vols. [v.I: xiv, 436 p. - v.II: [ii], 1, 530, [1]p.]; 270 mm. (Quarto.)


Vol. I: [T.p., dedic.] - Contents Of Volume The First - [Text: Pt. I: Great And Leading Principles. - Pt. II: Progress And Patronage Of The Fine Arts: Bk.I: Asia; Bk. II: Egypt; Bk. III: Greece]. - Vol. II: [T.p.] - Preface [with letters]. - Contents Of Volume The Second - [Text: Bk. IV: Etruria; Bk. V: Ancient Rome; Bk. VI: Eastern Empire. - Part III: Progress and Patronage Of The Fine Arts In The Modern World: Italy, Florence, Rome] - Errata Et Corrigenda.

Responsibility Note

The work is dedicated by the author to King George III.


ESTC, T105154
RIBA, Early printed books, 1 (1994), no. 431, p. 263.

Summary Note

In the imprint of the title-page of Volume II the words 'sold by T. Cadell' are replaced by 'sold by T. Cadell and Davies'.

The Preface of Volume II reprints three letters published by Bromley in the Morning Herald in 1794, March 20, April 8 and September 10, in answer to attacks upon him by the Royal Academicians, Henry Fuseli and John Singleton Copley, also published in the Morning Herald between March and September 1794.


A microfilm version was published in 2004 (Woodbridge, Conn.: Primary Source Microfilm [imprint of Gale Group]).


A motion that 'Mr Bromley's History of the Arts shall be removed from the Library of the Royal Academy' (proposed by J. S. Copley, seconded by John Opie) was narrowly defeated after 'a very long debate' in the General Assembly on 10 February 1794 (see RA General Assembly Minutes I, 322). As a sop to the defeated party, it was agreed at the following meeting ten days later 'that the subscription for the remaining Volumes of Mr. Bromley's History of the Arts, be discontinued' (RA General Assembly Minutes I, 327-28). Despite this ruling, a copy of Volume II was acquired for the Academy at some later point, although its presence in the Library remained unrecorded until the compilation of the card index catalogue in the mid 1950s.

Binding Note

19th-century half calf, cloth-covered boards; rebacked in 1995, retaining red morocco spine-labels lettered 'Bromley's History Of The Fine Arts. Vol. I (II)' and sections of the spine of vol. II direct-lettered 'R.A.' and '1795'.


Arts - Patronage - Theory - Philosophy - Europe - Middle East - Asia - History
Art history - Great Britain - 18th century