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Art-Union Of London, 4 Trafalgar Square ... Proof Illustrations Of Twenty-Two Designs In Outline Illustrative Of The "Pilgrim's Progress;" Made Expressly For The Society By Henry C. Selous, And Engraved By Henry Moses.

Art Union of London

RA Collection: Book

Record number



Variant Title

Proof illustrations of twenty-two designs
Illustrations of the Pilgrim's Progress


[London]:: Art-Union Of London, 4, Trafalgar Square., M.DCCC.XLIV.

Physical Description

[1] f., [22] pl.: [1] illus.; 430×620 mm. (Oblong portfolio.)


[Cover carrying printed text, 'Art Union Of London ...'] - [One leaf of letter-press acrrying text, 'Illustrations Of The Pilgrim's Progress'] - [22 Plates].

Responsibility Note

All plates are signed as drawn by H.C. Selous and engraved by Henry Moses. The vignette on the notice on the cover is signed as designed by F.R. Pickersgill and engraved by S. Williams.


T.H. Luxon, Literal figures: puritan allegory and the Reformation crisis in representation (1995).

D. Forbes, '"The Advantage of combination?" The Art Union of London and state regulation in the 1840s', in P. Barlow and C.Trodd, Governing cultures (2000), p. 128-42; R. Smith, 'The rise and fall of the Art Union print', in Print quarterly, 3:2 (1986), p.95-108. Some account of the public whom the Art Union of London was trying to serve is given in D.S. Macleod, Art and the Victorian middle class (1996).

Summary Note

This portfolio of twenty-two plates has one leaf of letter-press carrying the texts, 'Illustrations Of The Pilgrim's Progress' by George Godwin and Lewis Pocock and 'The Following Is A List Of The Illustrations' (listing 22 plates). The printed notice pasted to the cover (which may perhaps serve in place of a title-page) reads, 'Art-Union Of London, 4, Trafalgar Square. [List of President, Vice-President, Committee of Management, Honorary Secretaries] Proof Impressions Of Twenty-Two Designs In Outline Illustrative Of The "Pilgrim's Progress;" Made Expressly For The Society By Henry C. Selous, And Engraved By Henry Moses. M.DCCC.XLIV.' Another printed list of the twenty-two plates is pasted onto the inside cover of the portfolio.

Godwin and Pocock's note, 'Illustrations Of The Pilgrim's Progress', states that this set of drawings won the prize of the Art Union of London in 1843 for a 'series of designs in outline, illustrative of some epoch in British History, or the work of some English author'; and that it was judged advisable that 'every subscriber of the year ending March 1844 should receive them'.

In the same year two editions of the text of Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress were published, accompanied by Selous's illustrations; and reprints and new editions of these were published throughout the nineteenth century.

The plates relate 'entirely to Christian's journey comprised in the first book', and show his encounters with such allegoric figures as Pliable and Obstinate, Sloth, Ignorance, Fear, Discretion, Prudence, Charity, Apollyon, Vanity Fair and Despair, and the fate of the faithful and the apostate.

The Art Union of London had been founded by Pocock and Godwin in 1836 as a subscription society to encourage young artists and the appreciation of art; which it did by publishing a monthly periodical, books, prints and reproductions of sculpture, by organising competitions and by campaigning for the subsidising of public exhibitions.


Presented by the Art Union of London in 1844 (acknowledged RA Council, IX, 345).

Binding Note

19th-century half calf, paper-covered boards; rebacked in 20th century, spine unlettered; closed by three green tie-ribbons.

Name as Subject

John Bunyan, Pilgrim's progress


Allegory - Allegories - Christian art and symbolism - History - 19th century
Illustrations - Narrative art - Drawings - Great Britain - 19th century
Pictorial works - Engravings - Great Britain - 19th century