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Annals Of The Artists Of Spain. By William Stirling, M.A. [Epigraph] Vol. I. (- III.)

Sir William Stirling-Maxwell Bt.

RA Collection: Book

Record number




London:: John Ollivier, 59, Pall Mall., MDCCCXLVIII

Physical Description

3 vols.; 268 mm. (Octavo.)

General Note

Vol. I: xliii, [1], 406 p., add. engr. t.pl., engr. dedic., [3] pl.: illus. - Vol. II: [2], 407-948 p., [11] pl.: illus. - Vol. III: [2], 949-1481, ii, [1] p.: illus.


Vol. I: [Presentation page, add. engr. t.pl., t.p., engr. dedic.] - Preface - Contents; Illustrations - [Text and pl.]. - Vol. II: [T.p.] - [Text and pl.]. - Vol. III: [T.p.] - [Text] - Additions & Corrections - Catalogue Of Works Executed By And Ascribed To Diego Rodriguez De Silva Y Velazquez - Catalogue Of Works Executed By And Ascribed To Bartolomé Estevan Murillo - Monograms Of Artists - Additions To The Catalogue Of The Works Of Velazquez - Index - Errata - [Colophon].

Responsibility Note

Some plates are signed with the names of source-artists - Alonso Cano, F. Goya or Murillo; for others the name of the source artist is given in the list of 'Illustrations' (Velázquez, Zurbaran, Cano). Most plates are signed by the engravers - H. Adlard, R.C. Bell or José Roldan; the plate facing p.354 is described in the list of 'Illustrations' as lithographed by J. Jobbins, that facing p.855 is described as lithographed by G. Madeley. The added engraved title plate is described in the list of 'Illustrations' as lithographed by J. Jobbins, and the engraved dedication is there described as drawn by Mrs Henry Everard and engraved by R.C. Bell.

Most plates carry the imprint of the intaglio-printer, H. Adlard.

In-text illustrations are sometimes signed; sometimes source-artists, draughtsmen, earlier engravers or engravers are named in the list of 'Illustrations'. Draughtsmen include R.W. Grey MP and Richard Ford; engravers include C.M. Gorway, Williamson, W.G. Mason. A note at the end of the list of Illustrations states that unattributed woodcuts may be taken as drawn by William Stirling, apart from four drawn by John Coningham.

The text printer is named on the title-page versos and in the colophon: 'London: Printed By T. Brettell, Rupert Street, Haymarket.'

The work is dedicated by the author to the memory of his father.


H. Brigstocke, 'El descubrimiento del arte Español en Gran Bretaña', in En torno a Velazquez [exhibition catalogue] (1999); J. Brown, 'Observations on the historiography of seventeenth-century Spanish painting', in Images and ideas in seventeenth-century Spanish painting (1978), p.3-18; E. Harris, 'Sir William Stirling-Maxwell and the history of Spanish art', in Apollo, 79 (1964), p.73-7.

Summary Note

One plate carries the date of 1845.

This was the first comprehensive account in English of Spanish painting. It eschews questions of attribution and connoisseurship in favor of describing the painters in their social setting; but includes the first catalogues of the works of Velázquez and Murillo. Stirling Maxwell's own collection of Spanish pictures included works by El Greco and Goya, who were then little known in Britain.

Most plates show portraits of artists; some show their works.

A printed note on the verso of the presentation page states, 'Only Twenty-Five Copies, Printed With Red Marginal Lines, Proof Impressions Of The Plates On India Paper, And Two Extra Plates Being The Dedication, And The Virgin And Child, Facing Page 795.'


In Volume I the presentation page carries a printed cartouche; in which is inscribed in ink, 'Presented to the Library of the Royal Academy by the Author William Stirling Maxwell London April 28th. 1869'. On a leaf preceding the presentation page is pasted a sheet of paper inscribed in ink with a longer note by Stirling Maxwell, dated April 28th 1869, describing the make-up of the book and its presentation to the Royal Academy.

Binding Note

19th-century red morocco, upper and lower covers decorated in gilt; spines lettered 'Annals Of The Artists Of Spain Stirling - Vol. I. (-III.)' and 'Lond. 1848'.


Painters - Artists - Painting - Spain - History - 17th century
Art history - Biography - Great Britain - 19th century


John Ollivier, publisher
Alonso Cano, source artist
Francisco Goya, source artist
Bartolomé Estebán Murillo, source artist
Henry Adlard, engraver, intaglio printer
Robert Charles Bell, engraver
José Roldán
Thomas Brettell, printer
Archibald Stirling, dedicatee
John R. Jobbins, lithographer
Mrs. Henry Everard, draughtsman
R. W. Grey, draughtsman
C. M. Gorway, engraver
George Edward Madeley, engraver
W. G. Mason, engraver
John Coningham, draughtsman
Richard Ford, draughtsman
Sir William Stirling-Maxwell Bt., draughtsman, previous owner, donor