An Authentic History Of The Professors Of Painting, Sculpture, & Architecture, Who Have Practised In Ireland; Involving Original Letters From Sir Joshua Reynolds, Which prove him to have been illiterate. To Which Are Added, Memoirs of the Royal Academicians; Being an Attempt to Improve the Taste of the Realm. - By Anthony Pasquin, Esq. - [Epigraph] -

John Williams [pen-name Anthony Pasquin]

RA Collection: Book

Record number



Variant Title

Memoirs Of The Royal Academicians
Royal Academicians


[London,]: Printed for H.D. Symonds, Paternoster-Row; P. McQueen, Opposite Exeter-Change, Strand; And T. Bellamy, King-Street, Covent-Garden., (M.DCC.XCVI.)

Physical Description

[3-]64, [3-]148 p., frontis.; 211 mm. (Quarto.)

General Note

The pagination of the 'Memoirs Of The Royal Academicians', [3-]148, is explained by the fact that as a separate publication it had a half-title (p.[1-2]) not included in this combined production.


[Frontis., t.p.] - Errata. In the Authentic History ... In the Memoirs of the Royal Academicians ... - [Text] - Addenda; Or, Sir Joshua Reynolds Developed - [Divisional t.p., 'Memoirs Of The Royal Academicians; Being An Attempt To Improve the National Taste. - By Anthony Pasquin, Esq. - [Epigraph] - Published By H.D. Symonds, Paternoster-Row; P. McQueen, Opposite Exeter-'Change, Strand; And T. Bellamy, King-Street, Covent-Garden. - M.DCC.XCVI.'] - [Text].

Responsibility Note

The pen-name of 'Anthony Pasquin' was adopted in 1786 by the artist and writer, John Williams (1754-1818).

The frontispiece portrait of `Anthony Pasquin Esq.' is signed as engraved by F. Bartolozzi R:A.

The title-page vignette of 'Memoirs Of The Royal Academicians' is signed, 'A.P.'


ESTC, T22772 [describing a defective copy, lacking the 'Memoirs of the Royal Academicians', called-for on the title page and in the 'Errata'].
S.M. Bennett, 'Anthony Pasquin and the Function of Art Journalism in Late Eighteenth-Century England', in British Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, 8 (1985), p.197-207.

Summary Note

The text of 'An Authentic History' is a collection of biographies, but not arranged in alphabetic order.

The 'Memoirs Of The Royal Academicians' has its own title page and imprint and its own pagination, and was also available as a separate publication (ESTC T39160). It consists of 'A Critique On The Exhibition' (this had originally been published in 1794 as 'A liberal critique on the present exhibition of the Royal Academy'); 'Number II. - The Royal Academicians' (a satiric drama, first published in 1786, including an account of individual academicians by 'Truth'); 'No. III.' (a continuation of Truth's account). These Memoirs end on p.148 with the words, 'End Of The First Volume' - but no more volumes appear to have been published.

The frontispiece shows a portrait of 'Anthony Pasquin Esqr.' The title-page vignette of the 'Memoirs Of The Academicians' shows wooden effigies of three critics or reviewers, accompanied by an inkpot and owls.


Electronic reproductions were published in 2003 (Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale). Microfilm versions were published in 1986 (Woodbridge CT: Research Publications). A facsimile with introduction by R.W. Lightbown was published in 1970 as An authentic history of painting in Ireland.


The front pastedown carries the armorial bookplate of John Pritt Harley, with the motto 'Virtute Et Fide'.

Copy Note

The title page is inscribed in pencil, 'J.P. Harley's copy' and 'Printed by Lowndes'.

Binding Note

20th-century half black morocco, marbled-papered boards; spine lettered 'Pasquin' and 'R.A.' Bound with one other.

Name as Subject


Painters - Sculptors - Architects - Artists - Ireland - Great Britain - History - 18th century
Art history - Biography - Reference books - Art criticism - Satires - Great Britain - 18th century


Henry Delahoy Symonds, publisher
Peter McQueen, publisher
Thomas Bellamy, publisher
John Williams [pen-name Anthony Pasquin], draughtsman, engraver
Francesco Bartolozzi RA, engraver
John Pritt Harley, previous owner