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THE BRITISH ACADEMY ...
[The British Academy. Prospectus]
Sir, I have the honour to submit to you a plan, which I flatter myself is eminently calculated to excite a spirit of patronage, and to promote the general interest of the fine arts in this kingdom. ... Your obedient humble servant, John Bell, proprietor of the Weekly Messenger. Southampton-street, Strand, May 14, 1807.
[London, 1807].
[4] p.; 32.8cm. (2°)

Title from p. [1]. Page [4] blank. Issued by "the very Puck of booksellers", John Bell (1745--1831), this prospectus for a new weekly magazine to be entitled 'The British Academy; Or, Ancient And Modern School Of Fine Arts. A Periodical Publication, Entirely New With Respect To Plan And Execution' proposes 'to supply the Public with outlines of all the principal Works in the Louvre, in Paris, with those likewise in British collections, and with the best productions of the Modern British Masters, in Weekly Numbers, and regular succession, at a price moderate in the extreme.' Each weekly number is to consist of four plates and eight octavo pages of letterpress (price 1s. 6d.) or one 'large' quarto page of letterpress with 'proof impressions' of the plates (price 2s. 6d.). The first number, which 'will certainly be published on Saturday, the 30th of May, 1807', is to contain outline engravings of West's 'Death on the White Horse' [sic], Nollekens's monument of Mrs. Howard, one of the Raphael Cartoons at Hampton Court, and the first picture in Hogarth's 'Election' series (bought by Soane on 23rd June 1823). No copies of either this first, or any subsequent numbers are located in bucop, which records an earlier prospectus only with the date 1 May 1807. To judge from the present proposals it would appear that the model for Bell's new venture was C.P. Landon's Annales du Musée et de l'École moderne des beaux-arts, 1801--08 (q.v.).

Copy Notes Formerly folded and sealed as a letter, p. [4] with postmark dated 17 May [1807] and address inscribed in ink John Soane Esq RA / Lincoln Inn fields. Bound (7) in a collection of pamphlets.

Binding Later C19th marbled-paper boards, maroon grained binder's cloth spine, direct-lettered in gilt 'Pamphlets'. Numbered '64' in a series of pamphlet volumes.

Reference Number 1770


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