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Engravings From The Pictures Of The National Gallery. Published by Authority.

National Gallery (London)

RA Collection: Book

Record number




London:: Published For the Associated Engravers, By John Pye, 42 Cirencester Place, Fitzroy Square; And May Be Had Of All Book And Printsellers., M.DCCC.XL.

Physical Description

[62] p., [29] pl.; 606 mm.


[T.p., dedic.] - [Plates, with text].

Responsibility Note

Each plate gives the name of the source-artist and is signed by its engraver. The engravers were H. Le Keux, George T. Doo, W. Bromley, J.H. Watt, E. Goodall, John Pye, William Miller, W. Humphrys, John Burnet, J. Stewart, W. Greatbatch, John H. Robinson, R. Golding, W. Finden and J. Le Keux.

Each plate carries the publisher's imprint of John Pye, and the name of the printer, McQueen.

The work is dedicated to King William IV by John Burnet, George Cooke, George T. Doo, William Finden, Edward Goodall, John Le Keux, Henry Le Keux, John Pye and John H. Robinson.


A. Dyson, Picture to print: the nineteenth-century engraving trade (1984); C. Fox, 'The engraver's battle for professional recognition in early nineteenth-century London', in London journal, 2 (1976), p.3-31.

Summary Note

The title page and plate [10] carry the date of 1840, but all other plates carry an earlier date - 1830 March 1 (nos. 5, 17, 24, 26, 28); 1832 March (1, 9, 11); 1837 March (1) (2, 14, 19, 20, 22, 29); 1834 Sep. 1 (6, 15, 16); 1836 July (1) (12, 13, 21, 25); 1837 July (3, 8, 18, 27); 1839 Aug. (4, 23); 1839 Nov. (7).

The idea of publishing a series of engravings after paintings in the National Gallery (which had opened to the public in 1824) originated with John Pye, and was subsidised by John Sheepshanks. Seven instalments appeared by 1840. Pye was a leading advocate of the Royal Academy's opening full Membership to engravers. He had petitioned the Prince Regent for this in 1812; in 1826 he and other leading engravers vowed never to apply for Associateship; in 1836 and 1859 he published pamphlets attacking the Academy.

Each plate is accompanied by one leaf of printed explanatory text (in English on the recto, in French on the verso); and each is captioned. They show: [1]'A view of Venice' by Canaletto; [2]'Christ appearing to St. Peter' by Ann. Carracci; [3] 'Silenus' by Ann. Carracci; [4] 'Susanna and the elders' by Lud. Carracci; [5] 'An Italian sea-port' by Claude; [6] 'The marriage-festival of Isaac and Rebecca' by Claude; [7] 'The embarkation of St. Ursula' by Claude; [8] 'A pastoral landscape' by Claude; [9] 'The Annunciation' (in text, ' ... appearance of the angel to Hagar') by Claude; [10] 'The Holy Family' by Correggio; [11] 'Evening' by A. Cuyp; [12] 'The market cart' by Gainsborough; [13] 'The watering place' by Gainsborough; [14] 'Spanish peasant boy' by Murillo; [15] 'A landscape with figures representing Abraham preparing for the sacrifice' by Gaspar Poussin; [16] 'A Bacchanalian scene' by N. Poussin; [17] 'The adoration of the shepherds' by Rembrandt; [18] 'The Crucifixion' (in text 'Christ taken down from the Cross') by Rembrandt; [19] 'Portrait of a Jew' by Rembrandt; [20] 'The banished lord' by Reynolds; [21] 'Lord Heathfield' by Reynolds; [22] 'The rape of the Sabines' by Rubens; [23] 'Peace and War' by Rubens; [24] 'Gevartius' by A. Van Dyck; [25] 'The Emperor Theodosius refused admission into the church' by Van Dyck; [26] 'Portrait of Rubens' by Van Dyck; [27] 'The consecration of St Nicolas' by Veronese; [28] 'The village festival' by D. Wilkie; [29] 'Maecenas' villa at Tivoli' by R. Wilson.


Inscribed in ink on front endpaper, 'Presented to the Royal Academy by John Sheepshanks Esqre Nov 20. 1845 Thos Uwins Librarian'.

Binding Note

20th-century red buckram; spine lettered 'National Gallery', 'R.A.' and '1840'.

Name as Subject


Paintings, European
Collections - Great Britain - London - 19th century
Catalogues - Great Britain - London - 19th century
Pictorial works - Great Britain - 19th century


John Pye the younger, engraver, publisher
Henry Le Keux, engraver
John Le Keux, engraver
George Thomas Doo RA, engraver
William Bromley ARA, engraver
James Henry Watt, engraver
Edward Goodall, engraver
William Miller, engraver
William Humphrys, engraver
John Burnet, engraver
James Stewart, engraver
William Greatbach, engraver
John Henry Robinson RA, engraver
Richard Golding, engraver
William Finden, engraver
McQueen, intaglio printer
William IV King of Great Britain, dedicatee
John Sheepshanks, previous owner, donor
Associated Society of Engravers