[Musaeum Graecum Et Aegyptiacum, Or, Antiquities of Greece and Egypt, Illustrated by Prints, from Mr. Dalton's Drawings.]

RA Collection: Book

Record number


Variant Title

Antiquities of Greece and Egypt
Antiquities And Views In Greece And Egypt


[London:]: , (1752.)

Physical Description

[43] pl. (6 dble. or dble. and fold.); 515 mm.

General Note

The double plates are nos. [1, 2, 3, 26, 28, 29].

Responsibility Note

Six plates are unsigned. Most are signed as drawn by R. Dalton and engraved by Chatelain, J. Basire junr., E. Rooker, J.S. Müller, A. Radigues or J. Mason. The eight plates showing relief sculptures are signed as etched by R. Dalton [pl. [6-10, 18, 19, 21]].

Three plates carry dedications by Richard Dalton - to Lord Charlemont [pl.1], John Frederick [pl.2] and F. Pierpoint Burton (later Lord Conyngham) [pl.28].


Royal Institute of British Architects, British Architectural Library ... Early printed books, 1 (1994), no.780, p.438; E. Harris and N. Savage, British Architectural Books (1990), p.173-5.

M. McCarthy, ed., Lord Charlemont and his circle: essays (2001); C. O'Connor: The pleasing hours: the grand tour of James Caulfield, 1st earl of Charlemont (1999); Charlemont, The travels of Lord Charlemont in Greece and Turkey 1749, ed. W.B. Stanford and E.J. Finopoulos (1984).

Summary Note

This set of plates has no title-plate nor title-page. From 14 March 1751 Dalton began advertising the work in the London Evening Post, and on 16 April 1751 it was advertised there as 'Twenty-one Prints of the Antiquities of Athens, Mount Aetna in Sicily and Pompey's Pillar at Alexandria'. The first plate in the Royal Academy's set, showing the 'Temple of Theseus' and carrying the date of April 12th 1751, includes in its caption the words 'intended to illustrate the Antiquities of Greece'. On 17 February 1752 he issued a prospectus, 'Remarks On XII Historical Designs Of Raphael, And The Musaeum Graecum Et Aegyptiacum, Or, Antiquities of Greece and Egypt, Illustrated by Prints, Intended to be published from Mr. Dalton's Drawings ...' (ESTC T105838); which is described in the General Advertiser of 20 February 1752 as containing 20 prints. But the sets of plates published in 1751 and 1752 remained without letter-press text, title-page or title-plate - until 1791, when they appeared, together with plates relating to the customs of the Egyptians (first printed in 1781) under the collective title, Antiquities And Views In Greece And Egypt; With The Manners And Customs Of The Inhabitants: From Drawings made on the Spot, A.D. 1749. By Richard Dalton .... The Royal Academy's set of 43 plates includes nine carrying the publication-date of April 12th 1751, two carrying that of Feb. 15 1752 and one carrying that of February 1752.

The work is one of the first examples of a new wave of interest in archaeology, fired among a group of British travellers in Rome about 1749. It records the visit to Greece and the Levant which Richard Dalton made in 1749-50 with Lord Charlemont, R. Kynaston, J. Frederick, F.P. Burton, E. Murphy and Alexander Scott. Dalton's plates were less exact than those of Wood or of Stuart and Revett, and were disparaged by Robert Adam, but provide an early and interesting record of important buildings and sculpture. In 1767 Dalton went on to establish an academy of arts in Pall-Mall, which led to the foundation of the Royal Academy of Arts in 1768. Dalton himself became an honorary Academician, and from 1770 to 1784 served as the Royal Academy's honorary Antiquary.

The plates are captioned in English and French, and show: [1] Temple of Theseus [i.e. Hephaesteum] at Athens; [2] View of Mt. Aetna; [3] View of the Parthenion, Athens; [4] View of the Parthenion, North side; [5] South-East Angle; [6-10] Basso Relievos on the Frize of the Inner Portico; [11] Plan of the Parthenon; [12-15] Temple of Erichtheus, Athens [2 views, details, a Caryatid]; [16-19] Tower of Andronicus or Temple of the Winds, Athens [elevation, section, basso relievos]; [20-22] Temple of Hercules called Lanthorn of Demosthenes [i.e. choragic monument of Lysicrates] [elevation, frieze, cupola]; [23] Arch of Hadrian, Athens; [24] Monument to Philopappus, Athens; [25, 26] Views of Constantinople [from above Scutari, from above Galata]; [27, 28] Grotto at Antíparos [entrance, interior view]; [29] View of the Pyramids, Gizeh; [30-35] Pyramids at Gizeh [view, entrance, section, sloping gallery &c., lesser chamber, largest chamber]; [36-39] Pyramids of Saccara [views, section, chambers]; [40-42] catacombs at Alexandria [entrance, temple, temple-plan]; Pompey's Pillar, Alexandria. (The RIBA copy has the same plates, but grouped in a somewhat different order.)

Some of Dalton's drawings of the Partheon sculpture are preserved at the British Museum.

Binding Note

19th-century half black calf, brown embossed papered boards; rebacked and recornered in 20th century retaining earlier black morocco spine-label lettered 'Dalton's Greece & Egypt'.

Name as Subject


Antiquities - Architecture - Sculpture - Bas-reliefs - Temples - Monuments - Caves - Greece - Athens - Antíparos - History
Mountains - Volcanoes - Landscapes (environments) - Italy - Sicily - Mount Aetna - History
Architecture - Monuments - Tombs - Pyramids - Catacombs - Egypt - Cairo - Gizeh - Alexandria - History
Cities - Landscapes (environments) - Turkey - Istanbul - History - 18th century
Views - Plans - Elevations - Sections - Architecture details - Great Britain - 18th century
Pictorial works - Great Britain - 18th century