An Inquiry into the Rise and Establishment of the Royal Academy of Arts.

London: Printed for E. and C. Dilly. 1775.

First (and seemingly only) edition. 8vo (172x100mm). pp. vi, [2], 141, [1 bl]. Quarter calf, marbled paper covered boards. Some rubbing to corners and joints but a very nice copy and internally excellent. Sir Robert Strange (1721-1792) was a Scottish engraver. Well connected, although with a tendency to fall out with potential patrons, he was a member of the Incorporated Society of Artists. A dispute in the Society led to the founding of the Royal Academy from which printers were excluded, save as associate members, an invitation declined by Strange and his engraver colleagues. The present book is the platform for Strange's grievances. He then abandoned England for a spell in France. However, Strange's exclusion from the RA seems to have done him little harm professionally. On his return to England in 1780, he gained access to the Royal Collection, producing celebrated engravings of two works by van Dyck and Benjamin West's The Apotheosis of the Royal Children for which he received a knighthood from George III.

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