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Bonehill, J. (2012)
Publisher: University of California Press
Languages: English
Types: Article
In this essay John Bonehill examines Six London Views, a set of prints published between late 1766 and early 1768 by Edward Rooker, mainly after designs by Paul and Thomas Sandby. These prints are considered in relation to rival pictorial visions of the city as well as to architectural debates regarding the capital's preservation and modernization—its pasts, presents, and futures. These London views advanced the argument for a more “magnificent” and scenographic cityscape, one indebted to the grand visions of court architects of the past, preeminently Inigo Jones, and more befitting the imperial age ushered in by the victories of the Seven Years' War.
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    • 7. Thomas Sandby, “Six Lectures on Architecture,” Royal Institute of British Architects, London, “Lecture the Fourth,” fols. 1, 2; “Lecture the First,” fol. 3.
    • 8. John Gwynn, London and Westminster Improved (London, 1766), xiv.
    • 9. Gwynn's publication has attracted a good deal of commentary in recent years, most importantly Miles Ogborn's “Designs on the City: John Gwynn's Plans for Georgian London,” Journal of British Studies 43 (2004): 15-39. Cf. Fordham, British Art and the Seven Years' War, 130-32. to receive scholarly attention; see most recently Evelyn Welch, “Public Magnificence and Private Display: Giovanni Pontano's De Splendore (1498) and the Domestic Arts,” Journal of Design History 15 (2002): 211-21.
    • 17. Middlesex Journal, September 21, 1769.
    • 18. James Anderson, The Constitutions of the Ancient and Honourable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons, ed. and rev. John Entick (London, 1767-76), 17-25. On the bonds between speculative freemasonry and the royal family at this moment, see John Money, “Freemasonry and the Fabric of Loyalism in Hanoverian England,” in The Transformation of Political Culture: England and Germany in the Late Eighteenth Century, ed. Eckhart Helluth (Oxford, 1990), 235-74.
    • 19. Anderson, Constitutions, 126, 127.
    • 20. Ibid., 173. Unsurprisingly, this history did lend itself to parody; see Charles Dibdin, Songs, Duettos, Glees, Catches, & c., with an explanation of the procession in the pantomime of Harlequin Freemason, as performed at the Theatre-Royal, in Covent Garden (London, 1781).
    • 21. Nicholas Hawksmoor, Remarks on the Founding and Carrying on the Buildings of the Royal Hospital at Greenwich (London, 1728). On the architect's freemasonic connections, see Vaughan Hart, Nicholas Hawksmoor: Rebuilding Ancient Wonders (New Haven, Conn., and London, 2002), 96-101.
    • 22. In correspondence relating to the commission, Sandby, despite having been named Grand Architect of the Order of Freemasons, confessed to being little acquainted with the finer points of the craft; Thomas Sandby to William White, January 5, 1786, Freemason's Hall, London, GBR 1991 FMH HC 10/B/5a-b.
    • 23. George Smith, The Use and Abuse of Free-masonry (London, 1783), 88.
    • 24. Public Advertiser, May 8, 1781.
    • 25. Sandby, “Lecture the First,” fol. 12.
    • 28. Paul Sandby, ed. Bonehill and Daniels, 131-39. A very different reading of Sandby's drawings and prints is given in Sean Shesgreen, The Image of the Outcast: The Urban Poor in the Cries of London (Manchester, 2002), 123-31.
    • 33. Leah Marcus, “Politics and Pastoral: Writing the Court on the Countryside,” in Culture and Politics in Early Stuart England, ed. Kevin Sharpe and Peter Lake (Stanford, Calif., 1994), 139-60. Cf. Jules Lubbock, The Tyranny of Taste: The Politics of Architecture and Design in Britain 1550-1960(New Haven, Conn., and London, 1995), 25-29.
    • 34. The comparison is made most explicitly in a proclamation of July 1615: “it was said by the first Emperour of Rome, that he had found the City of Rome of Bricke, and left it of marble. . . . the first King of Great Britaine, might be able to say in some proportion, That Wee had found Our Citie and Suburbs of London of stickes, and left them of Bricke” (Stuart Royal Proclamations, King James I, ed. James F. Larkin and Paul L. Hughes [Oxford, 1973], 346).
    • 35. Henry Home, Lord Kames, Elements of Criticism, 3 vols. (Edinburgh, 1762), 1:2, 3:299.
    • 39. Gwynn, London and Westminster Improved, 10.
    • 40. Mark Hallett, “Framing the Modern City: Canaletto's Images of London,” in Canaletto and England, ed. Michael Liverside and Jane Farrington, exhibition catalogue, Birmingham City Art Gallery (London, 1994), 46-54 at 53-54; London 1753,ed. Sheila O'Connell, exhibition catalogue, British Museum (London, 2003), 60.
    • 41. Sandby, “Lecture the Fourth,” fols. 6-7. This lecture is perhaps the clearest instance of Kames's influence on Sandby's architecture of feeling.
    • 44. Hallett, “Framing the Modern City.”
    • 45. On the use of such devices in the Sandbys' art, see Matthew Craske, “Court Art Re-viewed: The Sandbys' Vision of Windsor and Its Environs,” in Paul Sandby, ed. Bonehill and Daniels, 48-55.
    • 46. The Yale Edition of Horace Walpole's Correspondence, 48 vols., ed. W. S. Lewis (New Haven, Conn., and London, 1937-83), 21:449. Cf. Rev. Busby Birch [Bonnell Thornton], City Latin; Or, Critical and Political Remarks on the Latin Inscription on Laying the First Stone of the Intended New Bridge at Black-Fryars (London, 1760). For the inscription, see Lloyd's Evening Post and British Chronicle, October 31, 1760.
    • 53. The tensions in masonic culture of the post-Seven Years' War period, which may in part account for the differing views among figures such as Churchill, Gwynn, and Mylne, are outlined in John Money, “The Masonic Moment; or, Ritual, Replica, and Credit: John Wilkes, the Macaroni Parson, and the Making of the Middle-Class Mind,” Journal of British Studies 32 (1993): 358-95.
    • 54. Gwynn, London and Westminster Improved, 65. Gwynn's attendance at a lodge in his native town of Shrewsbury is confirmed in records of membership held in Freemason's Hall, London.
    • 55. A number of artists were attracted by Blackfriars Bridge's newsworthiness and the scenic possibilities of its setting. William James, David Martin, and the poet George Keate all exhibited pictures of or taken from the bridge at the Society of Artists in 1768.
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