Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 54

A Complete Body of Architecture

Print
1756 (published)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
This print by James Mynde combines two printmaking techniques - etching and engraving. Both involved creating a pattern of grooves to hold ink in a metal printing plate. The image on the printing plate was the reverse of the final image. The etched lines were made using acid, while the engraved lines were scored by means of a sharp tool called a burin. The grooves were then filled with ink and the image was transferred onto a blank sheet of paper.

Subject Depicted
This print depicts a chimney-piece, consisting of an overmantel above a mantelpiece. It would have been made of wood or stone, perhaps marble. The text that accompanies the print states, 'The upper work being larger and heavier, the chimney-piece itself is made stronger in proportion; and as the continued part is more rich, the lower half has also more ornament.'

The pediment on the very top of the chimney-piece is open and slightly rounded. It encloses a blank shield.

Trading
Isaac Ware's book, A Complete Body of Architecture, had 748 pages and 122 plates. It was intended as a practical manual and covered every aspect of architecture, including the price of materials.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Etching and engraving, ink on paper
Brief Description
Isaac Ware (after), 1 of 16 plates from 'A Complete Body of Architecture', London, 1756.
Physical Description
Plate 93, for a dining room.
Dimensions
  • Paper height: 37.2cm
  • Paper width: 23.7cm
Dimensions checked: Measured; 06/05/1999 by KN
Gallery Label
British Galleries: A typical Palladian fireplace consisted of a chimney-piece joined to a matching overmantel. The panel above the fireplace usually contained a painting, although here it is shown blank. The architect and designer of this chimney-piece, Isaac Ware, promoted the Palladian style through his many books.(27/03/2003)
Object history
From The Royal Academy of Art, record 06/4121:



'The publication-date of 1756 is carried by the title page; but the work was published serially between 29 November 1755 and 3 September 1757. It formed part of a new series of publications being brought out by Osborne and Shipton (who had earlier published Ware's translation of Sirigatti's Pratica di prospettiva). Their Complete Body of Husbandry was already in publication and would be followed by their A Complete Body of Gardening. Ware takes the scope of the project to embrace not only architectural design but also the practicalities of engineering - including, for example, a double plate to illustrate the drainage of a house (pl. '30.31'). As was usual in his time, he tends to combine Palladian exteriors (though, he says, neither Vitruvius nor Palladio should be taken as an infallible guide) with more decorative, rococo interiors. The text is divided into ten books: 1. on terms and materials; 2. on location, functional parts of a building, the orders; 3. house construction; 4. doors; 5. windows; 6. interior ornament; 7. exterior ornament and garden buildings; 8. bridges; 9. the construction of elevations on true principles (with some criticism of modern practice); 10. mathematics and mensuration. The plates include some of Ware's own designs - rococo interiors of Chesterfield House (demolished in 1937)(pl. 60-61, 81-83, 85, 88); Amisfield House (pl.39, 45), Clifton Hill (pl. 40), Oxford Town Hall (pl.48-9), Wrotham Park (pl. 52-53), Eythrop House (pl. 104-105, 107), and several chimneypieces. The frontispiece shows Minerva directing an architect and builders. The title-page vignette shows the Pantheon, Rome, and the headpiece of the first page of the text shows an aqueduct. A few plates are captioned as showing work of Inigo Jones; but these are not now thought to be by him.'
Summary
Object Type
This print by James Mynde combines two printmaking techniques - etching and engraving. Both involved creating a pattern of grooves to hold ink in a metal printing plate. The image on the printing plate was the reverse of the final image. The etched lines were made using acid, while the engraved lines were scored by means of a sharp tool called a burin. The grooves were then filled with ink and the image was transferred onto a blank sheet of paper.

Subject Depicted
This print depicts a chimney-piece, consisting of an overmantel above a mantelpiece. It would have been made of wood or stone, perhaps marble. The text that accompanies the print states, 'The upper work being larger and heavier, the chimney-piece itself is made stronger in proportion; and as the continued part is more rich, the lower half has also more ornament.'

The pediment on the very top of the chimney-piece is open and slightly rounded. It encloses a blank shield.

Trading
Isaac Ware's book, A Complete Body of Architecture, had 748 pages and 122 plates. It was intended as a practical manual and covered every aspect of architecture, including the price of materials.
Bibliographic Reference
(Berlin II) Berlin Staatliche Museen, Katalog der Ornamentstich-Sammlung der Staatlichen Kunstbibliothek Berlin, Berlin and Leipzig, 1936-39, 2283.
Collection
Accession Number
29386:106

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record createdMarch 27, 2003
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