To The King.I Humbly beg leave to lay at Your Majesty's feet the folllowing Dissertation.... May it please Your Majesty, Your Majesty's dutiful servant and faithful subject, William Chambers.
Titlepage, engraved dedication with stipple engraved and etched vignette, 235 x 175mm. 9¼ x 7".
From 'A Dissertation on Oriental Gardening', W. Griffin, London, 1772. The book represented an unfortunate literary venture by the architect Sir William Chambers (1726 - 1796), in which he endeavoured to prove the superiority of the Chinese system of landscape gardening over that practised in Europe. His preface is animated with irritation against Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, whose design for Lord Clive's villa at Claremont had been preferred to his. The ‘Dissertation’ itself, with its absurd depreciation of nature, its bombastic style, and its ridiculous descriptions (mainly borrowed from other works) of the gardens of the emperor of China, was sufficient to account for the satires which it called into life. The most important of these was ‘An Heroic Epistle to Sir W. C.,’ followed by ‘An Heroic Postscript’ to this epistle, in both of which the satire was keen and the verses pointed. These lively pieces were published anonymously, and their authorship was for some time a matter for conjecture. There is now no doubt that they were by William Mason, the poet, the first book of whose ‘English Garden’ was published in 1772. Chambers commenced to exhibit with the Society of Artists (in Spring Gardens) in 1761, and was one of the first members and the first treasurer of the Royal Academy when established in 1768. In 1775 he was appointed architect of Somerset House at a salary of 2,000l. a year. With image above of two sides of a coin depicting George III as a Roman emperor and the facade of the Royal Academy. After Cipriani, engraved by Bartolozzi.
British Library system number: 000655477.
[Ref: 9314] £80.00