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Publii Virgilii Maronis Bucolica, Georgica, Et Aeneis, Illustrata, ornata, et accuratissime impressa. Tom. I. (II.)


RA Collection: Book

Record number



Uniform Title

[Works., Latin., , 1750.]

Variant Title



Londini,: Impensis J. et P. Knapton, In Vico Ludgate, et Gul. Sandby, in Vico Fletano., MDCCL.

Physical Description

2 vols.; 161 mm. (Octavo.)

General Note

Vol. I: [56], 223, [1] p., pl. 1, 3-29: illus. (There is no pl.2; nor is one called-for in the 'Tabularum Explicatio'.) Most copies are catalogued as having an engraved dedication. - Vol. II: [2], 266 p., pl. 30-58: illus.


Vol. I: [Frontis. (= Pl.1), t.p.] - P. Virgilii Maronis Historia Descripta Per Consules, A Carolo Ruæo S.J. - Lectori Benevolo (by Emanuel a Schelstrate) - Tabularum Explicatio - [Text of Eclogues, Georgics, Aeneid I-IV, with pl.]. - Vol. II: [T.p.] - [Text of Aeneid V-XII, with pl.] - Lectiones Variantes; [colophon].

Responsibility Note

Four pl. are unsigned; the rest are signed by engravers 'I.S.M.' (i.e. Johann Sebastian Müller) or C. Grignion; one is signed as made by J. Bonneau (pl. 17).

The title-page vignettes and the tailpiece of the Historia are signed as engraved by I.S.M.

The printer is named in the colophon of Vol. II: 'Typis Jacobi Bettenham.'


ESTC, T139415
On the treatment of Virgil in art and on the relationship of poetry and art in the 17th and 18th centuries see the bibliographic note on The Works of Virgil ... Translated into English verse by Mr. Dryden (1697).

Summary Note

The works of Virgil and other epic, dramatic and narrative texts were held in the Academicians's library as providing subjects suitable for historical painting. Virgil has always stimulated visual artists - from ancient manuscript-illuminators to 19th- and 20th-century book-illustrators such as Blake, Palmer, Dunoyer de Segonzac and Maillol. 'Faithful' representation of literary narrative has raised many questions - touched on by J. Spence in his Polymetis and by Lessing in his Laocoon.

The plates of this edition show ancient gems and other antiquities illustrating episodes in the poet's text.


Presented by the architect George Aitchison RA in 1901, along with a companion edition of the works of Horace (see 'Librarian's Report', RA Annual Report for 1901, pp. 38, 41).

Copy Note

Imperfect: wanting pl. 9, 12, 15, 58.

Binding Note

18th-century white vellum; red morocco spine-labels lettered 'Virgilii Opera Tom. I. (II.)', spines lettered 'R.A.'

Name as Subject


Pastoral - Agriculture - Rome - Italy - Mythology, Roman - Mythology, Greek - Heroes
Latin poetry - Epics - Epic poetry - Narrative poetry - Italy - 1st century B.C.
Illustrated books - Pictorial works - Great Britain - 18th century


John Knapton, publisher
Paul Knapton, publisher
William Sandby, publisher
James Bettenham, printer
Johann Sebastian Müller, engraver
Charles Grignion, engraver
Jacob Bonneau, engraver
Carolus Ruaeus
Emmanuel Schelstrate, editor
George Aitchison RA, previous owner, donor