The Works Of Jonathan Richardson. Containing I. The Theory Of Painting. II. Essay On The Art Of Criticism, (So far as it relates to Painting). III. The Science Of A Connoisseur. A New Edition, corrected, with the Additions of An Essay on the Knowledge Of Prints, and Cautions to Collectors. Ornamented with Portraits by Worlidge, &c. of the most eminent Painters mentioned. Dedicated, by Permission, to Sir Joshua Reynolds. The Whole intended as a Supplement to the Anecdotes of Painters and Engravers.

Jonathan Richardson the Elder

RA Collection: Book

Record number



Uniform Title

[Works., 1792.]

Variant Title

Theory of painting
Essay on the art of criticism
Science of a connoisseur
Essay on the theory of painting
Essay on the whole art of criticism as it relates to painting
Supplement To The Hon. Horace Walpole's Anecdotes of Painters and Engravers
Essay On Prints


Printed At Strawberry-Hill.: Sold by B. White and Son, Fleetstreet; T. and J. Egerton, Whitehall; J. Debrett, Piccadilly; R. Faulder, and W. Miller, New Bond-Street; J. Cuthell, Middle-Row, Holborn; J. Barker, Russell-Court; and E. Jeffery, Pall-Mall., 1792.

Physical Description

[ii-]vii, [3-5], 6-287, [1] p., frontis. (port.), [11] pl.; 232 mm. (Quarto.)

General Note

The page-number 'vii' is possibly a misprint.


[Half-t., frontis., t.p., dedic.] - Contents - [Text, and plates] - Introduction To The Chronological List, &c. - Historical and Chronological Series of the Principal Professors of Painting.

Responsibility Note

The frontispiece is signed as drawn by P. Falconet and engraved by D.P. Pariset. The other plates are unsigned.

The title-page vignette is unsigned.

The publication reprints the 1773 dedication by 'The Editor' (Richardson's son) to Sir Joshua Reynolds.


ESTC, T52772
A.T. Hazen, A bibliography of Horace Walpole (1948).
C. Gibson-Wood, Jonathan Richardson: art theorist ( 2000); C. Gibson Wood, Studies in the theory of connoisseurship from Vasari to Morelli (1988).
I. Pears, The discovery of painting: the growth of interest in the arts in England 1680-1768 (1988).
L. Lipkine, The ordering of the arts in 18th-century England (1970), p. 109-26.
S. H. Monk, The sublime: a study of critical theories in eighteenth-century England (Rev. ed. 1960).

Summary Note

The half-title reads, 'Supplement To The Hon. Horace Walpole's Anecdotes of Painters and Engravers.'

Richardson's An essay on the theory of painting was originally published in 1715; and was followed in 1719 by his An essay on the whole art of criticism as it relates to painting and an argument in behalf of the science of the connoisseur. In the second edition of his Essay on the theory of painting (1725) Richardson added a chapter on the sublime.

In the introduction to his Theory of painting the author characterises painting as not only a source of pleasure but also a mental stimulus. The artist must have knowledge of many disciplines and of human character. Richardson's argument on the science of a connoisseur includes a plea for raising the standing of the artist and of general taste in Britain - concerns which would be taken up by others and lead eventually to the forming of the Royal Academy of Arts. These theoretic works had great influence - Reynolds, indeed, declaring that reading the 'Theory' had encouraged him to take up painting as a career.

In this edition the frontispiece shows a portrait of Sir Joshua Reynolds. The plates show portraits of [1] 'Rafaelle', [2] 'Antony Allegri, commonly called Corregio', [3] 'Peter Paul Rubens Kt.', [4] [uncaptioned], [5] 'Sr. Anthony Vandyke Kt.', [6] 'Nicolo Poussin', [7] 'Pietro Da Cortona', [8] 'Leonardo DaVinci', [9] 'Holbeni HH Æ. 45', [10] 'Luca Giordano', [11] [Rembrandt (uncaptioned)]. All are printed on pink paper. The title-page vignette shows a view (of Strawberry Hill?).


An electronic reproduction was published in 2003 (Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale). A microfilm version was published in 1986 (Woodbridge CT: Research Publications).

Binding Note

18th-century half calf, marbled-papered boards; rebacked and recornered in 20th century, spine lettered 'Richardson Works'.


Painting - Painters - Theory
Art criticism - Connoisseurship
Essays - Treatises - Art criticism - Great Britain - 18th century
Pictorial works - Great Britain - 18th century


Jonathan Richardson the Younger, editor
Sir Joshua Reynolds PRA, dedicatee
Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford, printer
Thomas Worlidge
Benjamin White, bookseller
Benjamin White, bookseller
Thomas Egerton, bookseller
John Egerton, bookseller
John Debrett, bookseller
Robert Faulder, bookseller
William Richard Beckford Miller, bookseller
John Cuthell, bookseller
Edward Jeffery, bookseller
James Barker, bookseller
Pierre-Étienne Falconet, source artist, draughtsman
D.P. Pariset, engraver
Strawberry Hill Press, printer
B. White and Son, bookseller
T. and J. Egerton, bookseller