This page is referenced by:
Quick view of plates in Volume One
- Title page and Table of contents [page 3 and page 4] (scholarly commentary)
- Plate i: A bronze lamp excavated from St. Leonard's Hill near Windsor (scholarly commentary)
- Plate ii: Horn of Ulf (scholarly commentary)
- Plate iii: Baptismal Font, in St. James' Church, Westminster (scholarly commentary)
- Plate iv: Ancient image of Richard II, King of England (scholarly commentary)
- Plate v: Three ancient figures (scholarly commentary)
- Plate vi: Ruins of Walsingham Abbey in the county of Norfolk (scholarly commentary)
- Plate vii: Waltham Cross, in the county of Middlesex (scholarly commentary)
- Plate viii: The ruins of the walls and city of Verulamium [St. Alban's] in the county of Hertford (scholarly commentary)
- Plates ix, x, xi and xii: Fountains Abbey in the county of York (scholarly commentary)
- Plate xiii and xiv:Three views of the Gate of St. Bennet’s Abbey in Norfolk, in two plates (scholarly commentary)
- Plate xv: The Tomb of Robart Colles and Cecili, his wif (scholarly commentary)
- Plate xvi: The Tomb of St. Edward the Confessor, King of England (scholarly commentary)
- Plate xvii: The North Front of the Gate at Whitehall (scholarly commentary)
- Plate xviii: The North Front of King's Street Gate (scholarly commentary)
- Plate xix: Plans of the two proceeding Gates, in one Plate (scholarly commentary)
- Plate xx: Coins of Henry VIII, Elizabeth and James I, Kings of England: Likewise, and image of Elizabeth Expressed in encaustic work (scholarly commentary)
- Plate xxi: Excerpt from Edward Hall's Chronicle of Henry VIII (scholarly commentary)
- Plate xxii, xxiii, xxiv, xxv and xxvi: The Tournament of Henry VIII, February 12, 1510: Ingraved from an ancient roll in the Heralds Office, London in six plates. A-S (scholarly commentary)
- Plate xxvii: The present day appearance of Furness Abbey in the county of Lancashire (scholarly commentary)
- Plates xxviii, xxix, xxx, xxxi, xxxii and xxxiii: Letters from the English Barons to Boniface VIII (scholarly commentary)
- Plate xxxiv: Head gilded from bronze, of ancient work, excavated at Aquae Sulis (Bath) (scholarly commentary)
- Plate xxxv: Distant view of Colchester Castle, Essex
- Plate xxxvi: Ground plan, south and east prospects of Colchester Castle
- Plate xxxvii: A table of English silver coins
- Plate xxxviii: A table of English gold coins
- Plate xxxix: Tutbury Castle, Staffordshire (scholarly commentary)
- Plate xl: Melbourne Castle, Derbyshire (scholarly commentary)
- Plate xli: Lancaster Castle, Lancashire (scholarly commentary)
- Plate xlii: Pontefract Castle, Yorkshire (scholarly commentary)
- Plate xliii: Coins struck in France and Flanders relating to the History of England
- Plate xliv: Knaresborough Castle, Yorkshire
- Plate xlv: Image of the greatly revered Thomas Tanner, Bishop of St. Asaph's and not long ago a most worthy associate of this society
- Plate xlvi: Tickhill an old castle
- Plate xlvii: A plan of the Roman roads in Yorkshire (scholarly commentary)
- Plate xlviii: Coins struck in France and Flanders relating to the History of England (scholarly commentary)
- Plate xlix: Ancient chapel adjoining to the Bishops palace at Hereford
- Plates L, LI and LII : Roman mosaic peacock (scholarly commentary)
- Plate liii: Antient seals
- Plate liv: Antient seals
- Plate lv: Fronts and backs of medals and gold coins
- Plate lvi: Gold and silver coins annotated with weights and values
- Plate LVII: Hypocaustum Romanun Lincolniae (scholarly commentary)
- Plate lviii: Antient seals
- Plate lix: Antient seals
- Plate lx: Antient seals
- Plate lxi: Winchester Cross
- Plate lxii: Decree imposed against the papal jurisdiction in England in the year 1534
- Plate lxiii: True and exact draft of the Tower Liberties
- Plate lxiv: Chichester cross
- Plate lxv: Astianax vicit Kalendio
- Plate lxvi: Portrait of Robert Cotton
- Plate lxvii: "Bibliothecae Cognominiis conditoris, Effigies, Ad archetypum opera depictum accurate expressa "
- Plate lxviii: Codice Geneseos Cottoniano Dissertatio Historica (excerpt)
- Plate lxix: Codice Geneseos Cottoniano Dissertatio Historica (excerpt)
- Plate lxx: Fragmentorum codicis Cottoniani libri Geneseos Tabula I
- Plate lxx: Fragmentorum codicis Cottoniani libri Geneseos Tabula II
- Standard of weights and measures in the Exchequer
- "View of the Court of Wards and Liveries with the Officers, Servants and other Persons there Assembled"
- Brief account of the Court of Wards and Liveries [page 1]
- Brief account of the Court of Wards and Liveries [page 2]
- Brief account of the Court of Wards and Liveries [page 3]
Plate IV: Ancient image of Richard II, King of England
Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0
TranscriptionRichardus II Rex Angliae. Ex tabula antiquissima In Choro D. Petri Westmonast: Pulvinari insidet aureo induiturque interiori veste viridi cui grandius culi intexuntur Flores aurie, et Nominis sui elementum initiale coronatum: uterque Pes emicat ostro et crepidis aureis velatus: totum circum fundit Trabea coccinea Pellibus Armenianis duplicata, quae et aureo Collari subnectitur. Gypso inaurato variisque Flosculis et Crucibus protuberanti quod reliquum est Tabulae obducitur. Societas Londini Rei Antiquariae Studiosa in Aere incidi Curavit AD MDCCXVIII. Ex collectione J. Talman, Ar. Vertue Sculp.
Translation [EB]Richard II, King of England, From a most ancient painting in the sanctuary of St. Peter’s Westminster: He sits in gold filigree and is dressed in a green garment, the lower parts of which are covered in golden flowers and his first initial, which is crowned: each foot shines in purple and is covered in gold slippers: This is covered by a white mantle [trabea], lined with scarlet ermine, and is also secured with a gold collar. The remainder of the painting is covered with gilded gypsum and various small flowers and raised crosses. The Society of Antiquaries of London undertook its engraving in copper in the year 1718. From the collection of J. Talman, Esquire. Vertue, engraver.Engraved by George Vertue after Giuseppe Grisoni in 1718. From the collection of John Talman. The minutes for 19 February 1718 state that “it is proposd . . . to engrave Richard ii’s picture in Westminster Abby, and Mr. Director Talman is desird and authorisd to have a Drawing taken of it with all convenient speed” (qtd. in Evans 1956:63). The print was distributed to members and also released to booksellers to sell at two shillings and sixpence a copy (with sixpence profit to the sellers).
Object:Portrait of Richard II, oil on panel, c. 1395, 7’ x 3 ½’. Formerly attributed to André Beauneveu. The raised gesso background, cross, and scepter featured prominently in the engraving were leveled when the painting was restored in 1866; the current frame was also added at that time.
Provenance and Location:Westminster Abbey, on the south side of the nave near the west entrance. Probably painted in situ and moved to its current location when the old stalls were dismantled in 1775.
Commentary [NH]Vertue’s highly finished engraving of this historic portrait (as drawn for the purpose by Giuseppe Grisoni) lavishes attention on the king’s robes, reproducing the materials and drapery with minute precision. In one respect however, the eighteenth-century artists depart significantly from the original. The painting shows a sour-faced king, with the corners of his mouth turned downward, leading Richard’s biographer Nigel Saul to observe that “in the haunting portrait in Westminster Abbey he comes across as a lonely, even a bitter, man” (Saul 1997: 453). The engraving not only turns the corners of his mouth upward, it also erases the strong lines leading from the nose down to the corners of the mouth and considerably widens the eyes and forehead, creating a more youthful and benevolent monarch. In addition, there is an obvious error, a left-right reversal common in print media: in the painting, Richard’s left eye is higher than his right. Other minor alterations are more decorative in nature: the shape of the crown is more slender and elegant, Richard’s hair is more orderly, and the artist (presumably Grisoni) has employed a more sophisticated knowledge of perspective to give the seat and arms of the chair more depth.Unlike the previous two plates (plate iii and plate ii), prepared from pre-existing drawings, both the drawing and the engraving for this plate were specially commissioned for the series, as indicated by the Minute Book (SAL Minutes I.94). As usual with these early plates, the minutes provide no clue as to the antiquaries’ motivation for recording (and preserving) this object. Like the previous two plates, this one shows a substantial work of art permanently exhibited in a church and unlikely to be moved or exhibited elsewhere. With its choice of a late medieval artifact, this plate falls between the previous two in date, indicating that the chronological scope of Vetusta Monumenta was broad and ambitious from the beginning. The choice of subject seems to have more to do with the quality of the painting than with a resurgence of interest in Richard himself, though the volume as a whole shows a strong interest in royal monuments including Edward I’s Eleanor Crosses (plate vii), the tomb of Edward the Confessor (plates xvi, xvii and xviii), and a roll depicting a tournament at the court of Henry VIII (plates xxi-xxvi) (also in Westminster Abbey). Apart from its size and splendor, special features of the painting highlighted by the Latin caption include extensive gilding and the use of raised and textured surfaces, especially the background, which the engraving captures well. Most important, it is a “very old” painting, today still one of the oldest known examples of panel painting in England, and hence an important exhibit in the case for legitimate British antiquities.Part of the task of interpreting this plate is to reconcile the antiquarian interest of the picture, as “the earliest known portrait of an English monarch” (Westminster-abbey.org), with its intrinsic aesthetic appeal. Vertue’s engraving uses careful shading to achieve in black-and-white a surprising degree of the visual interest highlighted in the same modern description: “the vivid colours show the king in a green tunic decorated with the letter R, wearing a crimson robe lined with ermine, an ermine cape, vermilion socks and gold shoes.” Richard is shown seated in the so-called Coronation Chair built by Edward I, which has been used for every English monarch’s coronation since that time (the chair was moved to Scotland in 1996). In keeping with Richard’s reputation for show, this portrait consolidates into the pictorial space many of the material symbols of royal power. As suggested by Joseph Ayloffe’s research in the muniment room of Westminster a few decades later, the antiquaries had an abiding interest in archival material and probably were aware of the documents that verify Richard’s particular generosity toward the abbey. He also supplied £20 to the Abbey to pay the artist (still unidentified) for this and another work (Lethaby 1934: 221).The engraving produces a king who conforms more closely than the original portrait to a historiographic tendency established during Richard’s lifetime by the poet John Gower, who called him “the most beautiful of kings” and “the flower of boys” (Gower qtd. in Saul 1997: 452). Laurence Echard, whose History of England was published the same year as this engraving, similarly refers to Richard as “the most amiable and handsom” prince, “as to his person,” since the Norman Conquest (Echard 1718: 413), while also lamenting that he obtained “the most absolute power”—a more familiar aspect of Richard’s legacy. Saul also touches on Richard’s appearance, and concern with his appearance, when he notes that “no English king before Henry VIII devoted so much attention to the portrayal of himself” (460).The writings of Ayloffe, an important contributor to Vetusta Monumenta and Archaeologia in the 1770s, suggest another, possibly more substantive reason why the antiquaries might have focused on this splendid and very early example of English painting. Ayloffe was one of several antiquaries who sought to establish the legitimacy of British antiquities—both the importance of artifacts themselves and the seriousness of the field of study. The long tradition of fine art painting implied by this portrait of Richard would have provided support for this cause. In a paper originally read before the Society of Antiquaries in 1770, Ayloffe argues that “ancient paintings” not only attest to the high artistic standards of early modern England but also provide invaluable non-verbal evidence of cultural practices in earlier periods (Ayloffe 1775: 189). Ayloffe’s advocacy led the Society to initiate a separate series of historical prints in the 1770s, including a monumental engraving of the work singled out by Ayloffe in this article, a 1520 painting of the Field of the Cloth of Gold in Windsor Castle. Ayloffe’s account of medieval paintings in Westminster Abbey appears in a later number of Vetusta Monumenta (Ayloffe 1780). Though he does not mention the portrait of Richard II specifically, this 1718 engraving anticipates the Society’s later emphasis on early modern paintings as grand historical records.The twentieth-century attempt to use this painting to found an “English school” provides an analogy that may help to clarify the motivations behind this engraving. According to Nash, “Over the course of almost three decades in the early twentieth century . . . two paintings, the Wilton Diptych and the Westminster portrait of Richard II, were successively attributed and de-attributed to Beauneveu” (2007: 182). In Nash’s view, these attributions constituted “an attempt on the part of English historians to acquire in Beauneveu an author for two iconic works central to the early history of English art” or to “conscript” him “as the founder of English Painting” (183)—despite the lack of any other surviving paintings to support the attribution. The antiquaries were less concerned with attribution—the caption here does not mention it—but they placed a similarly high value on the painting itself.Preservation in the modern sense is not likely to have been a primary motive behind this plate, but in the wake of an ill-advised restoration in 1866, it turns out to have significant documentary value. As confirmed by a mid-nineteenth-century photograph, the ornamental ground of the painting was part of the original composition. In Lethaby’s words, “it was painted on a diapered gilt ground and had a crown, globe, and scepter of raised gesso work” (Lethaby 1934: 220). This raised design was scraped off in the 1866 restoration due to a mistaken belief that the design was added in the Tudor period.
Works CitedAyloffe, Joseph. 1775. “An Historical Description of an Ancient Picture in Windsor Castle.” Archaeologia 3: 185-229.---. 1789. “An Account of Some Ancient Monuments in Westminster Abbey.” 1780. Vetusta Monumenta 2: 1-15, following plate 35.
Echard, Laurence. 1718. The History of England. Vol. 1. London: Printed for Jacob Tonson.Harris, Jim. 2007. “(Re-)making Beauneveu: The Construction of a ‘Great Artist.’” In No Equal in Any Land: Andre Beauneveu, edited by Susie Nash. 178-89. London: Paul Holberton.
Lethaby, W. R. 1934. “The Westminster Portrait of Richard II.” Burlington Magazine 65: 220-22.
Saul, Nigel. 1997. Richard II. 449-53. New Haven: Yale UP.
Society of Antiquaries of London. 1718-. Minutes of the Society’s Proceedings.
Further ReadingHepburn, Frederick. 1986. Portraits of the Later Plantagenets. Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer. Ch. 1.
McLure, Ian. 2001. “’This Picture Will Come Out Gloriously’: The Restoration of the Portrait of Richard II.” New Offerings, Ancient Treasures: Studies in Medieval Art for George Henderson, edited by Paul Binski and William Noel. 457-77. Thrupp, Stroud, Gloucestershire : Sutton.
Introduction to the digital edition of Vetusta Monumenta
Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0
(Alain Schnapp, Discovering the Past)
Vetusta Monumenta [Ancient Monuments], published in seven volumes between 1747 and 1906, was the first of four major publication series launched by the Society of Antiquaries of London in the eighteenth century. Plates i, ii, iii and iv were published individually in 1718, the year the society was formally re-established at the Mitre Tavern. By commissioning these engravings, the society defined its research agenda in terms of preservation, visual documentation, and collecting. This agenda, and the publication of images as a means of pursuing it, remained consistent throughout the eighteenth century, even though membership grew steadily—and steadily richer—from the original socially diverse group of eighteen members to 300 in 1770 and 800 by 1820 (Pearce 2007: 147).
In 1751, the Society of Antiquaries received its royal charter, which gave it a status equal to the Royal Society and charged its Fellows with “the encouragement, advancement and furtherance of the study and knowledge of the antiquities and history of this and other countries.” In keeping with this broad mission, the objects selected for inclusion in Vetusta Monumenta form a large and varied set, ranging from artifacts such as a Romano-British Marble bust and medieval monastic seals to architectural monuments including Fountains Abbey. The objects depicted range in age from roughly the 3rd to the 17th century CE. Since some charters, maps, and other documents were also engraved for the series, the distinction between “history” and “antiquities” can be deployed to class the engravings loosely as historical (documents) and antiquarian (artifacts and monuments), but this distinction is more a product of twentieth-century historiography than of the antiquaries’ own motives.
The first secretary, William Stukeley, recorded at the first meeting that the society was formed “with a design at their own charge to collect and print and keep exact Registers . . . of all Antient Monuments that come into their hands” (qtd. in Evans 1956: 58). John Talman, the first director, was later credited with the original idea of publishing a series of prints (Evans 1956: 62n7). Fellows of the society received a copy of each engraving as a benefit of membership and additional copies went to book- and printsellers--but rarely enough to make up the deficit between the cost of the prints and revenue from membership dues.
Selecting subjects for the engravings was a major responsibility of the Fellows, and later specifically the Council, of the Society of Antiquaries. Neither the engraver nor the director had editorial control of these decisions, and some entries in the Society’s Minute Books record the lively discussion that sometimes accompanied the selection process. Although some critics protested that the objects were miscellaneous and often trivial, Vetusta Monumenta effectively promoted the history of everyday life. “By producing representations of everyday objects,” as Bernard Nurse has observed, “the Society extended the idea of what would be acceptable for publication” (Nurse 2007: 143).
Vetusta Monumenta tells a story that is both deeply illuminating for the history of preservation and uniquely relevant for readers and scholars in a digital age. By looking at the kinds of objects chosen for these engravings, we gain insight into the debate over what counts as evidence and what counts as history. By tracing the series from the early individual plates to the formation of a lavish scholarly book publication, we witness the transformation of eclectic private scholarship into a public discourse of antiquities engaged with the literary marketplace. The highly finished, visually captivating quality of many of these prints is matched by their historical significance as records of the state of many monuments that have deteriorated since the eighteenth century; in more than a few cases, these prints provide the sole record of artifacts and monuments that do not themselves survive. A digital scholarly edition of the images and accompanying text materially furthers this goal of preservation and makes the work accessible to a much wider audience. The images owe their strong aesthetic appeal as well as their accuracy to the laborious technique of copper engraving, which also made the original volumes prohibitively expensive for most readers. Now the volumes are extremely rare and even the existing digital version is neither open access nor of high quality. The present edition makes Vetusta Monumenta genuinely accessible, not just by reproducing the content but by providing scholarly commentary, digital search tools, and all the features of a modern digital edition.
By 1747, 70 engravings had been published, enough to form a substantial volume (for which the title Vetusta Monumenta was created). The second volume, with 55 more plates, appeared in 1789. Beginning with Plate xx of this volume (originally published in 1763), the editors began to include letterpress “explanations of the plates” with each engraving or subset of engravings, instead of including text in the form of a caption or on the plate itself. (Some essays on the objects depicted were also written before 1763, but these were published separately.) These explanations considerably swelled the size of the volumes, and not coincidentally the Society launched its second serial publication, the learned journal Archaeologia, at about the same time (1770). Volume III, the last volume included here, was published in 1796 with 44 plates and about 200 pages of letterpress.
During its first fifty years of publication, the most important figure involved with Vetusta Monumenta was the engraver George Vertue (1684-1756), who was also a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. Vertue engraved all but one of the first 90 plates and also made several of the original drawings. During the rest of the eighteenth century, the central figure was Richard Gough (1735-1809), who became Director of the Society of Antiquaries in 1768. After Vertue, there were no engravers in the Society, which was by now more expensive to join and more genteel in its composition. Gough’s predecessor hired the engraver James Basire (Sr), whose workshop (later led by James Basire Jr) created all the engravings for Vetusta Monumenta from 1765 as well as hundreds of engravings for Archaeologia, the society’s Cathedral Series (1795-1810), and individual publications by members. The last of Vertue’s plates (II.xx) was published posthumously in 1763 and the engraving work passed to Basire in 1765 (II.xxi-ii).
For a brief period, the Society turned its attention to a new series of larger historical prints and no new engravings were published for Vetusta Monumenta between 1770 and 1780 (Nurse 2007: 144). Gough, however, ensured the continuation of the series with seven new plates in 1780 and twenty more by 1789, all with extensive letterpress explications. Though the objects depicted varied widely, the standard form of the prints in each of the two phases (under Vertue and Gough, respectively) helped to establish a recognizable connoisseurial and scholarly idiom. Imperial folio size paper (21 ½ x 14 ½ inches) was used throughout along with a relatively uniform style of engraving and captioning, later giving way to added letterpress. When the first series was bound into a volume, a Latinized subtitle was added, pointing toward conservation (“preserving the memory of [British] things”) as the unified research agenda; this language is reminiscent of Stukeley's insistence on visual documentation in the preface to his Itinerarium Curiosum (Stukeley 1724; Nurse 2007: 143).
The gradually increasing emphasis on text and interpretation in Vetusta Monumenta reflects the shift of primary editorial responsibility from Vertue, an artist and engraver, to Gough, a scholar whose agenda for the society as a whole centered on research and publication. The decision not to include commentary (even when available) over the first 1 ½ volumes, however, does not imply any defect of scholarship on the part of Vertue or the society’s first director, John Talman. Rather, the later expansion of Vetusta Monumenta reflects an increasingly strict division of labor characteristic of the later eighteenth century. In the early decades, not only the engravings, but also some of the original drawings, were produced by Fellows of the Society of Antiquaries including Stukeley and Talman. Later in the century, by contrast, both Basire and draftsmen such as John Carter and Jacob Schnebbelie were hired on a contract basis and regarded as more or less menial. They were considered “practical antiquaries” (Gough 1799: II.i.7) as distinct from those who wrote the scholarly text now seen as central to the discipline. Horace Walpole’s assessment of Vertue captures the earlier integral relationship between engraving and art historical scholarship, along with the emphasis on preservation, embodied in the earlier decades of Vetusta Monumenta: “The many valuable monuments relating to our history, and the persons of our monarchs and great men, which he saved from oblivion, are lasting evidences of his merit” (Walpole 1796: I.i).
As Nurse has observed, three of the plates in volume I (33, 42, 48) were engraved from rediscovered drawings of monuments that had already been destroyed, and Sam Smiles notes that the series was produced “at a time of social and economic change, with many sites vulnerable to ‘improvement’ or demolition” (Smiles 2007: 123). A remark from one of Gough’s independent scholarly books, Sepulchral Monuments, signals a generalized anxiety about the loss of monuments that is also indicative for Vetusta Monumenta. “In a few years more we shall have no foundation left for such a work,” Gough declares, and proceeds to list several monuments that are “crumbling away without having been drawn” (Gough 1799: I.3-4).
Modern scholarship has attended to some individual plates from Vetusta Monumenta, but there has been no systematic account of the publication series as a whole. In recent years, discussion of these plates has revolved around the question of preservation. Maria Grazia Lolla, Rosemary Sweet, and Martin Myrone have all commented specifically on two plates depicting Waltham Cross, one of the “Eleanor Crosses” erected by Edward I in memory of his queen between 1291 and 1294 (vol. 1, plate vii, and vol. 3, plate xvi). The society paid for wooden posts to protect the cross from traffic, but this was a trifling effort compared to the expense and care lavished on the print series and other scholarly activities intended to serve preservation. The antiquaries themselves noticed this paradox: “Vetusta Monumenta flourished and the monuments of medieval England fell into decay,” as Joan Evans reflected in her history of this phase of the institution (Evans 1956: 192).
Although Vetusta Monumenta has made real contributions to preservation, the engravings collected here also served purposes that were clearly not subservient to the ostensible intention of preserving monuments, including social prestige and aestheticizing representation. These contradictions have led some scholars, such as Lolla and Myrone, to caution against taking the antiquaries’ preservationist claims at face value and instead to emphasize the ideological character of antiquarian prints as representations. A contrasting modern view, represented by Smiles and Matthew Reeve, insists on their continuing evidentiary function as visual documentation. More popular illustrated collections of antiquities, by such figures as Samuel and Nathaniel Buck and later John Britton (himself a Fellow of the Society), competed with and ultimately displaced Vetusta Monumenta among general readers by the late eighteenth century.
Vetusta Monumenta provides a uniquely rich record for scholars in the humanities today, who are increasingly interested in the study of objects and material culture. These engravings provide an intimate record of the kinds of objects collectively judged to be important, not by a single author or thinker, but by a large body of scholars and amateurs over the course of eight decades (and beyond, although the nineteenth-century volumes are outside the scope of the present edition). The energies of these wildly diverse objects, ranging from a Roman plumbing system to a lavish royal portrait to an early Tudor table of weights and measures, exceed the aesthetic framework in which they are placed. In some cases, the engravings become entangled with the afterlives of the objects themselves; the engraving of the Westminster portrait of Richard II (plate iv), for instance, preserves a record of the raised gesso ground confirmed as an original feature of the painting by modern scholars after it was scraped off the original by Victorian restorers. Humanists from many disciplines, whether embracing or resisting influential methodologies such as Actor-Network Theory (Latour 2005), Thing Theory (Brown 2004), or Object-Oriented Ontology (Harman 2002), may find in Vetusta Monumenta a cluster of objects both highly mediated and uniquely redolent of the intimacy in which their humans lived with them.
While many of the plates present objects in a state of ruin, it would be unhistorical to divorce ruin as a merely picturesque state from ruin as a material condition that demanded archaeological knowledge. Readers of this edition, who also have the Internet at their disposal to compare these beautiful engravings with modern photographs and research, can decide for themselves. While every effort was made not to damage the books in the course of scanning their pages for this edition, some inevitable wear and tear led us to contemplate a similar paradox. Preservation is one legitimate motive for producing a state-of-the-art digital analogue for these images that represent the state of the art in mechanical reproduction for their time. More important, we hope this edition will stimulate the same curiosity, wonder, and skepticism that we have experienced, especially for readers who do not have access to the original volumes. Vetusta Monumenta (I-III) offers a rich repository of antiquarian images and scholarship from a time when the scope and status of antiquity became open and often fiercely contested questions.
Brown, Bill, ed. 2004. Things. Chicago: U of Chicago P.
Evans, Joan. 1956. A History of the Society of Antiquaries. London: Society of Antiquaries.
George II of England. 1751. Society of Antiquaries of London Royal Charter. [Quoted in sal.org.uk.]
Gough, Richard. 1786-96 . Sepulchral Monuments in Great Britain. 2 vols. in 5. London: Printed by J. Nichols, for the author.
Harman, Graham. 2002. Tool-Being: Heidegger and the Metaphysics of Objects. Peru, IL: Open Court.
Latour, Bruno. 2005. Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network Theory. Oxford: Oxford UP.
Lolla, Maria Grazia. 1999. “Ceci n’est pas un monument: Vetusta Monumenta and Antiquarian Aesthetics.” In Producing the Past: Aspects of Antiquarian Culture and Practice, 1700-1850, edited by Martin Myrone and Lucy Peltz. 15-34. Aldershot: Ashgate.
Myrone, Martin. 2007. “Society of Antiquaries and the Graphic Arts: George Vertue and His Legacy.” In Visions of Antiquity: The Society of Antiquaries of London, 1707-2007, edited by Susan Pearce. 98-121. London: SAL.
Nurse, Bernard. 2007. "Bringing Truth to Light." In Making History: Antiquaries in Britain, 1707-2007, edited by David Gaimster and David Starkey. 143-45. London: Royal Academy, 2007.
Pearce, Susan. 2007. “Antiquaries and the Interpretation of Ancient Objects, 1770-1820.” In Visions of Antiquity: The Society of Antiquaries of London, 1707-2007, edited by Susan Pearce. 147-74. London: SAL.
Reeve, Matthew. 2007. “Jacob Schnebbelie, Draughtsman to the Society of Antiquaries (1760-92), and the Politics of Preservation in Late Eighteenth-Century England.” Transactions of the Ancient Monuments Society 51: 69-86.
---. 2008. Thirteenth-century Wall Painting of Salisbury Cathedral: Art, Liturgy, and Reform. Suffolk: Boydell and Brewer.
Smiles, Sam. 2007. "The Art of Recording." In Making History: Antiquaries in Britain, 1707-2007, edited by David Gaimster and David Starkey. 123-25. London: Royal Academy.
---. 2003. “Data, Documentation and Display in Eighteenth-Century Investigations of Exeter Cathedral.” In Tracing Architecture: The Aesthetics of Antiquarianism, edited by Dana Arnold and Stephen Bending. 80-99. Oxford: Blackwell.
---. 2000. Eye Witness: Artists and Visual Documentation in Britain, 1770-1830. Aldershot: Ashgate.
Stukeley, William. 1724. Itinerarium Curiosum. Or, An Account of the Antiquitys and Remarkable Curiositys in Nature or Art, Observ’d in Travels thro’ Great Brittan. London: Printed for the Author.
Sweet, Rosemary. 2004. Antiquaries: The Discovery of the Past in Eighteenth-Century Britain. London: Hambledon and London.
Walpole, Horace. 1796. Anecdotes of Painting in England . . . Collected by the late Mr. George Vertue. 4th edition. London: Printed for R. Dodsley.
Evans, Joan. 1956. A History of the Society of Antiquaries. London: Society of Antiquaries.
Gaimster, David, and David Starkey, eds. 2007. Making History: Antiquaries in Britain, 1707-2007. London: Royal Academy.
Gough, Richard. 1770. Introduction. Archaeologia 1: i-xxxix.
Myrone, Martin, and Lucy Peltz, eds. 1999. Producing the Past: Aspects of Antiquarian Culture and Practice, 1700-1850. Aldershot: Ashgate.
Pearce, Susan, ed. 2007. Visions of Antiquity: The Society of Antiquaries of London, 1707-2007. London: SAL.
Schnapp, Alain. 1997. The Discovery of the Past: the Origins of Archaeology. New York: Harry N. Abrams.
Society of Antiquaries of London. 1754. Queries Proposed to Gentlemen in the Several Parts of Great Britain, in Hope of Obtaining from Their Answers a Better Knowledge of Its Antiquities and Natural History. London.
---. 1747-1906. Vetusta Monumenta. 7 vols. London: SAL.
Sweet, Rosemary. 2004. Antiquaries: The Discovery of the Past in Eighteenth-Century Britain. London: Hambledon and London.
- 1 2016-02-23T09:45:41+00:00 Westminster Abbey | Objects held at Westminster Abbey 7 Plate IV | Plate XVI plain 2018-02-28T11:00:38+00:00 Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 51.5000,-0.1167