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.

As restrictions ease, the number of visitors to the RA is increasing. Find out what plans are in place to make your visit safe and comfortable.

Architectural Antiquities Of Normandy, By John Sell Cotman; Accompanied By Historical And Descriptive Notices By Dawson Turner, Esq. F.R. And A.S. Volume The First. (Second.)

RA Collection: Book

Record number



London:: Printed For John And Arthur Arch, Cornhill;, And J.S. Cotman,, Yarmouth. -: MDCCCXXII.

Physical Description

2 vols. [in one]; 486 mm. (Folio.)

General Note

Vol. I: p.[2], v, [3], 1-58, pl. 1-54 [i.e. 52 pl.]: illus. (The plates carrying numbers 21/22, 49'50 and 51/52 are three dble. pl. Pl. 33 occurs bis.) (Pl. 3 and 4 are transposed, in the Royal Academy's copy.) - Vol. II: p.i-viii, 59-125, pl. 55-100 [i.e. 43 pl.]. (Plates 73/74 and 92/93 are two dble. pl.) (Pl. 85 and 86 are transposed, in the Royal Academy's copy.)


Vol. I: [T.p.] - Plates In The First Volume - Preface - Genealogy Of The Norman Dukes - [Plates and text]. - Vol. II: [T.p.] - Plates In The Second Volume - Index Of Plates - Subjects Chronologically Arranged - [Plates and text]; [colophon]. (In some copies the Index Of Plates and the list of Subjects Chronologically Arranged are bound into the first volume.)

Responsibility Note

All plates are signed as drawn and etched by J.S. Cotman. (In preparing the plates Cotman is known to have been assisted by Joseph Lambert.)

Each carries the imprint of the publishers - of J. and A. Arch (pl. 1-25 and 33 bis) or of J. and A. Arch and J.S. Cotman (pl. 26-100).

Of in-text illustrations only the etched tailpiece of the Preface in Volume I is signed - by J.S. Cotman. The woodcut headpiece of the Preface and the woodcut vignettes of the two title-pages are unsigned.

The printer is named in the colophon: 'Sloman, Printer, Yarmouth.'


Royal Institute of British Architects, British Architectural Library ... Early printed books, 1 (1994), no. 712, p.403-4.

M. Rajnai, ed., John Sell Cotman 1782-1842 [exhibition catalogue] (1982); A. Hemingway, 'Cotman's "Architectural Antiquities Of Normandy": some amendments to Kitson's account', in Walpole Society, 96 (1976-8); M. Rajnai and M. Allthorpe-Guyton, John Sell Cotman: drawings of Normandy in Norwich Castle Museum (1975); S.D. Kitson, The Life of John Sell Cotman (1937), esp. p.233-40; A.E. Popham, 'The etchings of J.S. Cotman', in Print Collectors' Quarterly (1922 Oct 9), p.236-73; H.I. Kay, 'John Sell Cotman's letters from Normandy 1817-1820', in Walpole Society, 14 (1925-6), p.81-122; 15 (1926-7), p.106-30.

Summary Note

The plates carry publication-dates of 1819 Oct 1, Oct 7, 1820, 1820 Apr 1, May 23, May 25, May 29, 1821 Jan 1, Apr 2, Oct 1.

They show views and architectural details of churches and other buildings in Normandy in Romanesque and Gothic styles, built between the eleventh and the sixteenth century. Cotman drew and painted in Normandy in 1817, 1818 and 1820, and described its southern region as 'the Wales of France'.


30 August 1821: 'Mr. Ward moved, and was seconded by Mr. Cooper, that in consequence of the recommendation of the Librarian, the Academy subscribe to a work of Views in Normandy by Cottman [sic], & another, Specimens of Gothic Architecture, by Pugin, for the use of the Library - which was passed Nem. Con.' (RA Council Minutes VI, 227).

Binding Note

19th-century half calf, red cloth-covered boards; rebacked in 20th century retaining part of earlier spine-piece, black morocco spine-label lettered 'Cotman's Normandy'.

Name as Subject


Architecture - Architecture details - Churches - Public buildings - France - Normandy - History - Romanesque - Gothic
Drawings - Great Britain - 19th century
Art history - Views - Great Britain - 19th century
Pictorial works - Great Britain - 19th century


John Sell Cotman, draughtsman, engraver, publisher
John Arch, publisher
Arthur Arch, publisher
Dawson Turner
Charles Sloman, printer
John and Arthur Arch, publisher