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GRAHAM, Maria.

Memoir of the Life of Nicholas Poussin.

London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown; & A. Constable and Co., Edinburgh, 1820 Stock Code: 139686
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Maria Graham's "scholarly and pioneering work" of art history

First and only contemporary edition. Rarely encountered work by the well-known travel writer, the first monograph in English on the artist "which has been described as 'both a scholarly and a pioneering work'" (Lloyd and Brown, Callcott, The Journal of Maria Lady Callcott, (1981), p. 2).

Although Graham leans on Lanzi's earlier life and her critical judgements are derivative of Reynolds's Discourses and Henry Fuseli's Lectures, "it is nevertheless a comprehensive consideration of his work, which carefully identifies the geographical locations, patrons, originals, and copies of his paintings" (ODNB). Graham had spent the previous year in and around Rome in the company of the artist Charles Eastlake, who she and her husband had encountered on the voyage out, and who there introduced her to John Jackson, who made the copy of Poussin's self-portrait on which the frontispiece is based, Thomas Lawrence, and to Turner. "It may well have been Eastlake and the painter Thomas Lawrence who first persuaded her to write specifically on art" (Palmer, "'A revolution in art': Maria Callcott on Poussin, Painting, and the Primitives", 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century. 2019).

A very pretty copy from the Mount Stewart library with the engraved Vane Stewart bookplate combining the arms of Charles William Stewart, third marquess of Londonderry with those of his second wife Frances Anne Emily Vane-Tempest, whose name he took on marriage, to the front pastedown, her monogram at the head of the spine. Reasonably well-represented institutionally with around two dozen locations world-wide, this work is uncommon on the market, just a handful of copies having appeared at auction.

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Octavo (210 x 128 mm). Contemporary moderate blue half calf, brown and pink double marble paper boards, brown morocco label, double gilt ruled compartments, the lower four with a quatrefoil tool in blind, the first with monogram "FAVL" surmounted by a marquess's coronet, edges sprinkled brown, crimson silk page-marker.


Engraved portrait frontispiece of Poussin, and a folding lithographic plate of Poussin's house on the Trinita dei Monti.


A little rubbed, a couple of small digs to the back board, light foxing to the frontispiece and title page, and mild offsetting from both plates, but overall very good.


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