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The Artist: Francis Grose. [The text below is taken from an article by John Farrant written for the British Library]. 

Francis Grose (1731–91) published the 18th century’s most extensive series of illustrations of ancient monuments. A thousand plates with accompanying descriptions, based on his and others’ views and researches, appeared in the 10 volumes of The Antiquities of England and Wales (1772–76, Supplement, 1777–87), of Scotland (1789–91) and of Ireland (1791–95).

 Well equipped by an amiable personality, Grose was as able to collect dialect among the rank and file of the Army, as to examine the curios of the gentry. By doing so, he contributed significantly to the study of slang and folklore and of military antiquities, as well as to popular appreciation of the medieval monuments of Britain.

When The Antiquities started to appear in 1772, Samuel and Nathaniel Buck’s Views of the Ruins of Castles and Abbeys in England and Wales (428 plates, 1726–42) was the only sizeable collection of its sort in print. The dedication to a grand patron took precedence over any description of the ruin in the narrow space on the engraved plate beneath the view, never more than 200 words and usually fewer. Grose’s views, though much smaller, were similar in character, as panoramas of medieval structures to convey the maximum information, rather than interesting compositions or illustrations of details. Grose’s novelty was to publish text with the views, typically about 600 words.


The Antiquities of Scotland.

The watercolours for The Antiquities of Scotland were produced from Grose's tours and were subsequently engraved for publication. He   began his first tour in Edinburgh, in September 1788. Grose’s publisher Samuel Hooper announced that a first instalment of Scottish Antiquities would be ready by January 1789. In April 1789 and May 1790 Grose returned to Scotland with draughtsman Thomas Cocking (active around 1783–91) and Captain Robert Riddle (1755–94) to tour for four to six months at a time. 

Grose did not visit all the antiquities featured in The Antiquities of Scotland, and relied on existing drawings by other artists to produce many of his illustrative plates. 

North View of Edinburgh Castle - Framed Antique Print

SKU: 1215
  • Image Number: 1215

    Engraver: Sparrow

    Title: North View of Edinburgh Castle

    Medium: Copper engraving on paper
    Date: 1789

    Publisher: S. Hooper

    Price: £40

    Size:259 x 308mm

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