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Vitruvius Britannicus, or The British Architect, Containing The Plans, Elevations, and Sections of the Regular Buildings, both Publick and Private, In Great Britain, With Variety of New Designs; in 200 large Folio Plates, Engraven by the best Hands; and Drawn either from the Buildings themselves, or the Original Designs of the Architects; In II Volumes Vol. I. (Vol. II.) by Colin Campbell Esqr. Vitruvius Britannicus, ou L'Architecte Britannique, Contenant Les Plans, Elevations, & Sections des Bâtimens Reguliers, tant Particuliers que Publics de la Grande Bretagne, Compris en 200 grandes Planches gravez en taille douce par les Meilleurs Maitres, et tous ou dessinez des Bâtimens memes, ou copiez des Desseins Originaux des Architectes: En Deux Tomes. Tome I. (Tome II.) Par le Sieur Campbell.

Colen Campbell

RA Collection: Book

Record number



Uniform Title

[Vitruvius Britannicus., Volumes I-II., 1715-1717.]

Variant Title

Vitruvius Britannicus, ou L'Architecte Britannique


Cum Privilegio Regis. Sold by the Author over against Douglas Coffee-house in St. Martins-Lane, John Nicholson in Little Britain, Andrew Bell at the Cross-Keys in Cornhil, W. Taylor in Pater-Noster-Row, Henry Clements in St. Pauls Church-yard, and Jos. Smith in Exeter-Change., London: MDCCXV. (MDCCXVII.)

Physical Description

2 vols.; 435 mm (Folio).

General Note

Vol. I: 10 p., 100 [i.e. 86] pl. The numbered pl. include the t.-pl., engr. dedic. and 14 double pl. that bear two numbers each. - Vol. II: 8 p., 100 [i.e. 79] pl. The numbered pl. include the t.-pl., 13 double pl. that bear two numbers each, and four quadruple pl. that bear four numbers each.


Vol. I: [T.-pl., engr. dedic.] - The Introduction - An Explanation Of all the Plates In The First Volume; A List of what is contain'd in the First Volume - [Privilege] - A List of those who have already subscribed before the 25th of March, 1715 - [Plates 3-100]. - Vol. II: [T.-pl.] - An Explanation Of all the Plates in the Second Volume; A List of what is contain'd in the Second Volume - A List of the Subscribers - [Plates 1-100].

Responsibility Note

In Volume I seven plates are signed as designed and drawn by Ca. Campbell (9, 20, 22, 24-5, 29-30, 54, 96-7); twenty-nine as drawn by him; one as designed by Inigo Jones and drawn by Campbell (50); one as designed by Mr Hawksmoor and drawn by Campbell (99-100); one as 'Ex authographo. D.I. Thornell' [sc. James Thornhill?] (75). None is signed by an engraver apart from the title-plate (pl. 1), which is signed as engraved by J. Sturt, and the engraved dedication (pl. 2), which is signed as scripted by R. Snow and engraved by G. Bickham. The work is dedicated by Colen Campbell to King George (I). In Volume II seven plates are signed as designed and drawn by Campbell; thirty-six as drawn by him; six as designed by I. Jones and drawn by Campbell; one (47) as designed by Thom. Millner and drawn by Campbell. Most are signed as engraved by H. Hulsbergh; the title plate (pl. 1) is signed as engraved by J. Sturt.


RIBA, Early printed books, IV (2001), 3544; National Gallery (Washington), Mark J. Millard, II (1998), 10; E. Harris and N. Savage, British Architectural Books (1990), 98; Johns Hopkins University, The Fowler Architectural Collection (1961), no. 76, p.62-4; J. Harris, The Palladian revival (1994); E. Harris, 'Vitruvius Britannicus before Colen Campbell', in Burl. Mag., CXXVIII (1986), p. 340-46; T. Connor, 'The making of Vitruvius Britannicus', in Architectural History., XX (1977), p. 14-30; History of the King's Works, V (1976); H.E. Stutchbury, The architecture of Colen Campbell (1967).
ESTC, T50965, T149865


A reprint was published in 1967-1972 (New York: B. Blom).


'By Cash rec'd of Marquis de Voyer for 3 Vol.s Vitr. Britan. £4. 4. 0'

(RA Treasurer's Account Book 1768-1795, June 1769).

Copy Note

The two volumes are bound in one. In Volume I between plate 24-25 and plate 26 there is bound in an unnumbered double folding plate, lacking signature, publisher's imprint or date, captioned 'Prospetto d'una Villa di sua Eccza. Milord, Conte di Tylney, distante sei Miglia da Londra' and inscribed in ink, 'Wanstead'.

Binding Note

18th-century mottled calf, upper and lower covers decorated with gilt borders and central circular ornament; rebacked in 20th century, red morocco spine-label lettered 'Vitruvius Britannicus', spine lettered 'R.A. 1715-17'. Binding matches Academy's copy of The third volume of Vitruvius Britannicus ... (1725).


Architecture, British - Great Britain - History - Palladian
Plans - Elevations - Sections - Great Britain - 18th century
Pictorial works - Great Britain - 18th century


Andrew Bell, publisher
Henry Clements, publisher
John Nicholson, publisher
Joseph Smith, publisher
William Taylor, publisher
Inigo Jones, source artist
Nicholas Hawksmoor, source artist
George I King of Great Britain, dedicatee
John Sturt, engraver
R. Snow, draughtsman
George Bickham, engraver
Sir James Thornhill, source artist
Thomas Millner, source artist
Henry Hulsbergh, engraver
Colen Campbell, publisher, draughtsman
Marc-René de Voyer de Paulmy d'Argenson Marquis d'Argenson, previous owner

Images from this book

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