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SMIRKE, Robert (1752--1845)
The exhibition, or a second Anticipation: being remarks on the principal works to be exhibited next month, at the Royal Academy; by Roger Shanhagan, gent.
London: printed for Richardson and Urquhart, [1779].
101, [3] p. ; 19.4 cm. (8º).

Shanhagan is the pseudonym of the painter Robert Smirke (1752--1845, not to be confused with his son, the architect of Covent Garden). The elder Smirke wrote this amusing critique of contemporary artists with the architect, William Porden (c. 1755--1822) and a young Northumbrian painter named Robert Watson (1754--1783) who exhibited at the RA in 1778. (See W.T. Whitley, Artists and their friends in England, I (1928), p. 344). The 'Anticipation' of the title refers to an anonymous satirical poem of that title, first published in 1778 and attributed to Richard Tickell (1780 ed., q.v.). Soane subjoined an 'account' of this work to his Appeal to the public, occasioned by the suspension of the architectural lectures in the Royal Academy, 1812, printed but not published (q.v.), in which he noted that it was sent to him 'when pursuing my studies in Rome ... as a work recently published and much talked of in England'. As a result of his criticism of Covent Garden Theatre, 1809 by Robert Smirke, Jun. (1780--1867), in his fourth Royal Academy lecture on 29 January 1810, Soane's lectures were temporarily suspended and a motion proposed at a meeting of the Council to prevent professors from criticising the work of living British artists. Shortly after that Soane must have consulted his friend James Spiller about the authorship of The Exhibition, which he says was sent to him in Rome in 1779. Spiller replied somewhat ambiguously on 6 March 1810 I have never doubted Mr. Porden to be the author whether Mr. Smirke assisted him or not I cannot say. I know that Mr. Smirke and Mr. Porden were then very intimate... (Priv. Corr. V.B.66). However, when shown the manuscript of Soane's Appeal a year later, he evidently found Soane attributing the critique principally to Smirke and wrote on 12 February 1811 I wish you would turn to my letter. I think it states that I never saw Mr. Smirke as connected with the pamphlet... Soane's discussion of the authorship of the pamphlet in The Appeal (note pp. 24--5) makes no mention of Spiller. See Watkin, Soane, pp. 84--95 for an analysis of Soane's relation to this work. See also Archive i/115, 117, 118. ESTC t154013.

Copy Notes Copy 1: Without the final leaf of errata. Inscribed in ink on title-page John Soane and in a different hand, R. Smirke R.A. Inscribed in ink on endpaper opposite the title-page Published in 1779. Numerous passages underlined in ink and pencil with marginal notes in pencil. This copy is interleaved and has pencil notes on some of the interleaved pages. Rear free-endpaper inscribed in ink with a list of the architects and artists dicussed in the skit and page references
Copy 2: 21.2 cm. With numerous passages noted in pencil in the margins.

Binding Copy 1: C18th sprinkled calf, gilt-rule spine, black spine-label.
Copy 2: C19th purple calf, blind roll-tool and gilt-rule borders, gilt double-rule spine.

Reference Number 3296


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