Anecdotes of Painting in England

Anecdotes of painting in England with some account of the principal artists, and incidental notes on other arts, collected by the late Mr George Vertue, and now digested and published from his original manuscript, Vol. 1, 3rd ed., Horace Walpole.

Although Vertue published several volumes on various artistic subjects during his lifetime, the text within Anecdotes was not seen in print until after his death, having been purchased and edited by Horace Walpole. Shot through with undoubted scholarly knowledge, Vertue’s rather soberly toned recital of stories associated with the great artists, is made all the more amenable by Walpole’s keen editing sense.


Printed for J.Dodsley, London 1782. Layton Collection 114.

  • Artist and engraver of renown, Vertue developed into one of the most highly respected antiquarians of his era, specialising in the history of British art. A member of the influential Rose and Crown Club, of which Hogarth, Tillemans and others were members, Vertue was appointed official engraver to the Society of Antiquaries in 1717, and thereafter enjoyed the patronage of many powerful figures, amongst whom was the Prince of Wales, who appreciated the high detail in his engraving work.


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