The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 4

Allen, Thomas


British Institution.


The Royal Academy bad continued for nearly years, fostering modern art, and affording it the opportunity of displaying itself, when an auxiliary sprung up in

The British Institution for promoting the Fine Arts in the United Kingdom.

That patron of the arts, alderman Boydell, had previously laid the foundation of a school of British historical painting in the establishment of the Shakspeare Gallery. Whether the plan was too extensive, or the arts were not then so liberally patronized as at present, we know not, but the project failed; and the worthy alderman, in order to indemnify him in some degree for his great losses, obtained leave to dispose of the pictures by lottery, in . The alderman had expended a sum of in forming the gallery of historical paintings in England, and as the failure of success affected him so much, it is perhaps not to be regretted that he did not live to see the treasures he had collected, scattered. The prize, consisting of all the pictures painted from Shakspeare's work, fell to Mr. Tassie, the dealer in gems; he had taken the ticket of a friend, who had bought , and wished to dispose of of them.

When the Shakspeare Gallery was dispersed, the house was purchased for the British Institution, which had been formed for the exhibition and sale of works of living artists, the display of works of great merit, where artists may study, and the encouragement of art, by offering premiums for such large paintings, as might exceed individual patronage. This Institution has been very successful; and the year of the exhibition, in , pictures (many of which had previously been before the public) were sold to the amount of

The collections of Reynolds, Hogarth, Gainsborough, Wilson, and many of the choicest productions of the best old and modern masters, generously lent by his majesty, and other distinguished patrons of the art, have since been exhibited at this gallery. There are exhibitions every year, at this Institution, , a collection of eminent works of art, of every age and country; the other, the productions of living artists, who send them for exhibition and sale.

The exterior of the building, which ranges with the houses in Pall-mall, is divided into stories; the lower has a large doorway with a fan-light between windows; above each is an antique lyre within a wreath of oak; the upper story consists of pair of pilasters of the Corinthian order supporting an angular


pediment. Between the pilasters is a recess, with full figures of Shakspear between Tragedy and Comedy.

On the south side of Pall-mall is a plain brick building. (No. ) formerly the residence of J. J. Angerstein, esq., a munificent encourager of the fine arts. It is now occupied as the

This object is in collection Subject Temporal Permanent URL
Component ID:
To Cite:
TARC Citation Guide    EndNote
Detailed Rights
View all images in this book
 Title Page
CHAPTER I: Site, local divisions, and government of the City of Westminster; history of the Abbey; Coronation Ceremonies; and lists of the Abbots and Deans
CHAPTER II: Westminster Abbey, and Description of the Tombs and Monuments
CHAPTER III: History and Topography of St. Margaret's Parish
CHAPTER IV: History and Topography of St. John's Parish, Westminster
CHAPTER V: History and Topography of the parish of St. Martin's in the Fields, Westminster
CHAPTER VI: History and Topogrpahy of the parish of St. James, Westminster
CHAPTER VII: History and Topography of the Parish of St. Anne, Westminster
CHAPTER VIII: History and Topography of the parish of St. Paul, Covent Garden
CHAPTER IX: History and Topography of the Parish of St. Mary-le-strand
CHAPTER X: History and Topogrpahy of the parish of St. Clement Danes
CHAPTER XI: History and Topography of the parish of st. George, Hanover Square
CHAPTER XII: History and Topography of the Precinct of the Savoy
CHAPTER XIII: History and Topography of the Inns of Court
CHAPTER XIV: History and Topography of the Precincts of the Charter-house and Ely Place, and the Liberty of the Rolls
 CHAPTER XV: Historical Notices of the Borough of Southwark
CHAPTER XVI: History and Topography of the Parish of St. Olave, Southwark
CHAPTER XVII: History and Topography of the parish of St. John, Southwark
CHAPTER XVIII: History and Topography of the parish of St. Thomas, Southwark
CHAPTER XIX: History and Topogrpahy of the parish of St. George's, Southwark
CHAPTER XX: History and Topography of St. Saviour's Parish
CHAPTER XXI: History and Topography of the parist of Christ-church in the County of Surrey
 CHAPTER XXII: A List of the Principal Books, &c that have been published in Illustration of the Antiquities, History, Topography, and other subjects treated of in this Work
 Addenda et Corrigienda