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.

We’re experiencing issues with membership purchases online; to become a Friend please email friends@royalacademy.org.uk or try again this afternoon. Thank you for your support and sorry for the inconvenience. 

An Inquiry Into The Rise and Establishment Of The Royal Academy of Arts. To Which Is Prefixed, A Letter to the Earl of Bute. By Robert Strange, Member of the Royal Academy of Painting at Paris, of the Academies of Rome, Florence, Bologna; Professor of the Royal Academy at Parma, &c.

Sir Robert Strange

RA Collection: Book

Record number




London:: Printed For E. And C. Dilly, In The Poultry; J. Robson, New Bond Street, And J. Walter, Charing Cross., M.DCC.LXXV.

Physical Description

vi, [ii], 141, [1]p.; [first copy] 180 mm.; [second copy] 177 mm. (Octavo.)


[T.p.] - Introduction - Errata - [Dedicatory letter] - [Text].


ESTC, T13021
M. Hargraves, Candidates for fame: the Society of Artists of Great Britain, 1760-1791 (2006)
J. Fenton, School Of Genius: A History of the Royal Academy (2006).
S. Hutchison, The History of the Royal Academy (1986).
I. Bignamini, 'Art institutions in London, 1689-1768', in Walpole Society Journal, 54 (1988), p.19-148.
'The papers of the Society of Artists of Great Britain', in Walpole Society Journal, 6 (1917-8), p.113-30.
J. Dennistoun, Memoirs of Sir Robert Strange (2 v., 1855). On Strange in Italy see J. Ingamells, A Dictionary Of British And Irish Travellers In Italy 1701-1800 (1997), p.904-6.
On academies of art see Academies Of Art, ed. A.W.A. Boschloo et al. (1989) (esp. pp. 434-510 for Britain and Ireland).
N. Pevsner, Academies Of Art (1940; with new preface 1973).

Summary Note

This publication follows Strange's earlier The conduct of the Royal Academicians while members of the Incorporated Society of Artists of Great Britain (1771).


An electronic reproduction was published in 2003 (Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale|). A microfilm copy was published in 1986 (Woodbridge CT: Research Publications).


[Second copy:] The front pastedown carries the 19th-century armorial bookplate of Thomas Lumisden Strange, incorporating the motto, 'Be Just And ... Fearing'.

The front free-endpaper carries the bookplate of Anne Ffoulkes 1906; its verso is inscribed in pencil, 'C.J. Ffoulkes -' and 'great grandson of Sir Robert Strange'. On its verso is inscribed in ink, 'T.x. Strange' and in pencil, '(Sir Thomas Strange Chief Justice of Madras Son of Sir Robert)'. Presented by Charles J. ffoulkes in 1935 along with a copy of Strange's Descriptive catalogue ... (1769).

Copy Note

[Second copy:] A preliminary leaf is inscribed in ink, 'Te sequor ô decus rerum, et illustrans commoda vitae.' and in pencil, 'Writing of Sir Thomas Strange?'

At the rear of the book has been tipped in a two-leaf printed letter to Roberto Strange from the Reale Accademia Parmense Di Pittura, Scultura, Ed Architettura di Parma of 13 di Maggio 1753 [this must be an error for 1763], admitting Strange as a Professore, signed by Guglielmo Du Tillot, Intendente E Direttore Delle Reali Fabbriche and by Abe. frugoni, Secretario. This is accompanied by a handwritten letter by Abe. Frugoni, of 'Parma 13 Maggio 1763'. These are followed by a tipped-in printed letter of honor to Roberto Strange from the Accademici Clementini (of Bologna), signed by Domenico Pio, Principe, and Gregorio Casali, Segretario, and carrying the date of 7 di Giugno 1763.

Binding Note

[First copy:] 19th-century half calf, brown cloth-covered boards; gilt-decorated spine, black morocco spine-label lettered 'Strange - Inquiry &c.', spine lettered 'R.A.' and '1775'.

[Second copy:] Bound by Clare Prince in 2001 in speckled calf, upper and lower covers tooled in blind around the edges; red morocco spine label lettered 'Strange's Inquiry'.

Name as Subject


Academies - Artists - Societies - Patronage - Great Britain - London - History - 18th century
Art history - Great Britain - 18th century