The · Antiquities · Of Athens · Measured · And · Delineated By · James · Stuart · F.R.S. And F.S.A. And · Nicholas · Revett · Painters · And · Architects. Volume · The · First · (-Third.)

James Stuart

RA Collection: Book

Record number




London: Printed ·By ·John · Haberkorn ·, MDCCLXII. (MDCCLXXXVII.) (MDCCXCIV.)

Physical Description

3 vols.; 530 mm. (Broadsheet).

General Note

Vol. I: [iv], x, 52, [2] p., [1] (fold.), 6, 8, 19, 26, 11(no.3 fold.) pl.: illus. The separate sequences of numbered plates correspond to the chapters. The list of the Subscribers (which exists in at least two states) and/or the 'Errata' are absent from some copies. - Vol. II: [ii], iv, viii, 46 p., frontis. (port.), 1(dble.), [1] (dble.), 30, 20, 2, 6, 13 pl.: illus. There is no pl. 29: its absence is explained in the Introduction, p. iii. - Vol. III: [xviii], xxv, [i], 64, [2] p., [4] (three dble. and fold.), 24 (no.1 dble. and fold.), 3, 10, 4, 10, 4, 3, 1, 13, [1], 5, 2, 1 pl.


Vol. I: [T.p., dedic.] - Preface [by J. Stuart] - The Subscribers To The Antiquities Of Athens - [Text and plates: General view of Athens; 1. Doric portico; 2. Ionic temple on the Ilissus; 3. octagon tower; 4. choragic monument of Lysicrates; 5. stoa [of Hadrian]] - Errata. - Vol. II: [Frontis. (port.), t.p.] - To The Publick [by Elizabeth Stuart] - Introduction - [Text and plates: advertisement by J. Stuart; Of the Acropolis; 1. temple of Minerva called Parthenon; 2. temples of Erechtheus, Minerva Polias, Pandrosus; 3. theatre of Bacchus; 4. choragic monument of Thrasyllus &c.; 5. Propylea] - An Explanation Of The Vignettes In This Second Volume. - Vol. III: [T.p.] - Preface [by Willey Reveley] - [Text and plates: On the Plan of Athens; Of the Map of Attica; 1. temple of Theseus; 2. temple of Jupiter Olympius; 3. arch of Hadrian; 4. aqueduct of Hadrian; 5. monument of Philopappus; 6. temple at Corinth; 7. bridge on the Ilissus, stadium; 8. odeum; 9. Incantada at Salonica; 10. Delos; 11. Ionic colonnade; 12. some antiquities] - Errata And Additional Observations.

Responsibility Note

Volume II was edited by William Newton (see Mrs Stuart's Address To The Publick); Volume III, by Willey Reveley (see his Preface).

In Volume I no plate is signed by a draughtsman; all are signed by engravers, except ch.2:2, 3: 10, 11, 13, 4:4, 5:2. Most are engraved by J. Basire, E. Rooker or A. Walker; others are by R. Strange (3:18), C. Grignion (4:10), P. Fourdrinier (5:3). The title-page vignette, headpieces and tailpieces are signed as engraved by J. Basire or J. Couse; one is signed as engraved by I. Green. In Volume II one plate is signed as drawn by J. Stuart (2:2) and three by W. Pars (5:1, 12, 13). Some are signed by engravers - Jas. Newton, Lerpiniere, Saml. Smith, Aliamet, Sharp. The frontispiece portrait of Stuart is signed as drawn and engraved by C. Knight; the title-page vignette, as engraved by Thornthwaite; the headpieces and tailpieces are unsigned. In Volume III most plates are signed by draughtsmen (L.S. De La Rochette, J. Stuart, A. Arrowsmith, N. Revett, W. Pars, W. Reveley, C. King) and by engravers (W. Palmer, T. Foot, J. Walker, Lerpiniere, J. Record, J. Newton, J. Skelton, Blake, T. Midland, W. Lowry, J. Harding, Landseer, J. Hall). Of the decorations, the tailpiece of chapter 1 is signed as drawn by J. Stuart and engraved by Hall; the title-page vignette is stated (p. xviii) to be by Revett; the others are unsigned.

The title pages of Volumes II and III have the imprint of John Nichols.

The work is dedicated by the authors to the King (George III).


Royal Institute of British Architects, British Architectural Library ... Early printed books, 4 (2001), nos. 3183-3185; National Gallery (Washington), Mark J. Millard Architectural II (1998), 81; E. Harris and N. Savage, British Architectural Books (1990), 857; Johns Hopkins University, The Fowler Architectural Collection (1961), no. 340, p.271-4; L. Navari, Greece and the Levant: the catalogue (1989), nos. 1617, 1618. Blake's engravings in Vol. III are described in R.N. Essick, William Blake's commercial book illustrations (1991), no. XXVIII; G.E.Bentley, Blake books (1977), no. 500.

S.W. Soros, ed., James "Athenian" Stuart 1713-1788 The Rediscovery Of Antiquity [exhibition catalogue] (2006); K. Bristol, 'James "Athenian" Stuart and The antiquities of Athens', in Antiquarian Book Monthly, XXV: 8, issue 288 (1998), p. 23-36; D. Watkin, Athenian Stuart (1982); L. Lawrence, 'Stuart and Revett', in Journal of the Warburg Institute, II:2 (1938-9), p.128-46.

Accounts of the Greek Revival include D. Constantine, Early Greek travellers and the Hellenic ideall (1984); J.M. Crook, The Greek Revival (1972, rev. 1995); D. Wiebenson, Sources of the Greek Revival architecture (1969).
ESTC, T22194

Summary Note

Each group of plates begins with a current view of the site of a particular building, followed by its restored plan, elevations, sections, architectural details and sculpture.

Stuart and Revett planned a survey of Athens as early as 1748 but did not arrive there until 1751. Meanwhile Richard Dalton visited the city and published his Twenty-one prints of the antiquities of Athens (1751). Local authorities and the plague preventing Stuart and Revett from surveying the Acropolis, they returned to Britain and issued a prospectus promising a four-volume publication which should begin with descriptions of minor monuments. Meanwhile Le Roy published his Les Ruines des plus beaux monuments de la Grece (1758), and an English adaptation of this, Robert Sayer's Ruins of Athens, was published in 1759. At this point Revett sold out his share in the partnership. Finally the first volume of the work was published in '1762' (possibly in early 1763). This was so critical of Le Roy that the latter published both a response (Observations sur les edifices des anciens peuples, 1767) and a revised edition of his Ruines (1770). Stuart never returned to Athens, but Revett made drawings in the city in 1765-6 while travelling to Ionia for the Society of Dilettanti, and eventually the Dilettanti made these available to Stuart for the second volume of The Antiquities of Athens. Plates and text were already partly in print when Stuart died in 1788, leaving the volume to William and James Newton to be prepared for publication in 1789. After William Newton's death (1790) the third volume was prepared by Willey Reveley for publication in 1794.

It had been generally accepted that early Roman architecture derived from that of the Greeks; but Stuart and Revett's four volumes contributed to the growing fashion for directing admiration to ancient Greece rather than Rome.


31 December 1791: 'Resolved that Mr. Stubbs's Anatomy be purchased to place in the Library, & also the first Vol: of Stewart's Athens.' (RA Council Minutes II, 150).

Between 2 January and 28 April 1795: 'P.d Taylor Stewart's 3.rd Vol: £5: 12s' (see RA Treasurer's Account Book, 1768-1795).

7 June 1816: 'Mr. [George] Dawe moved that the Vol. of Stuarts Athens be purchased for the use of the Library, to complete the work, which was seconded by Mr. Theed & passed unanimously.' (RA Council Minutes V, 284). Although not recorded as present in the Library until after 1864, it is possible that a copy of volume IV was indeed acquired as a consequence of this resolution in 1816, and that the description of the Academy's copy of The Antiquities of Athens in the 1821, 1841 and 1864 printed Library catalogues as consisting of volumes I-III only was a careless repetition from the catalogue that preceded it.

Copy Note

Without the list of subscribers and errata in Volume I.

Binding Note

Vols. I, II: 18th-century mottled calf; rebacked in 20th century, red morocco spine-labels lettered 'Stuart's Athens I (II)', spine lettered 'R.A. 1762 (1787)'. - Vol. III: 20th-century half brown morocco, brown cloth-covered boards, gilt-decorated spine, lettered 'Antiquities Of Athens - Stuart & Revett 3 R.A. 1794'.


Architecture, Greek - Public buildings, Greek - Public buildings, Roman - Temples, Greek - Architecture details - Monuments - Ruins - Antiquities - Sculpture, Greek - Greece - Athens - Corinth - Thessaloníce - Delos - History
British - Archaeology - Expeditions - Greece - Athens - Corinth - Thessaloníce - Delos - History - 18th century
Manuals - Plans - Elevations - Sections - Views - Maps - Great Britain - 18th century
Pictorial works - Great Britain - 18th century


Nicholas Revett
William Newton, editor
Willey Reveley, editor, draughtsman
Johann Christoph Haberkorn, printer
George III King of Great Britain, dedicatee
James Basire the elder, engraver
Edward Rooker, engraver
Anthony Walker, engraver
Sir Robert Strange, engraver
Charles Grignion, engraver
Paul Fourdrinier, engraver
Daniel Lerpinière, engraver
James Newton, engraver
Samuel Smith, engraver
François Germain Aliamet, engraver
William Sharp, engraver
William Palmer, engraver
Thomas Foot, engraver
James Walker, engraver
James Record, engraver
William Skelton, engraver
William Blake, engraver
Thomas Midland, engraver
Wilson Lowry, engraver
John W. Harding, engraver
John Landseer ARA, engraver
John Hall, engraver
William Pars ARA, draughtsman
Louis Stanislas D'Arcy Delarochette, draughtsman
Aaron Arrowsmith the elder, draughtsman
Charles King, draughtsman
John Couse, engraver
John Thornthwaite, engraver
Mrs Elizabeth Stuart
John Green, engraver
John Nichols, publisher

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