|Published||G. Vertue Sculp. [Oxford, 1738]|
|Dimensions||Image 347 x 431 mm, Sheet 402 x 455 mm|
The topper of the Oxford Almanack for 1738 showing Wadham College with the founders, benefactors, and eminent men belonging to the College. The college buildings mostly preserve the view from Loggan's Oxonia Illustrata, though the buildings flanking the facade are an addition based upon an engraving by Burghers. The figures in the foreground include King James I, enthroned, accompanied by Nicholas and Dorothy Wadham, and an allegorical personification of Learning. Among the second group are Dr Wilkins and Dr Sprat, representing the Royal Society, Admiral Blake with a depiction of his victories, and Sir Christopher Wren, holding plans of the Sheldonian and St Paul's Cathedral. Below the image, the title is bordered by a pair of tables listing the royal line since the Norman conquest, and a list of Officers of Wadham and the University. The calendar of the academic year that would once have appeared below has been trimmed.
George Vertue (1684-1756) was an antiquary and engraver. He was born in the parish of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London. Vertue was apprenticed to a silver engraver and later to the Flemish engraver Michael Vandergucht. His early work includes plates after Kneller, whose academy he attended from 1711. Vertue had a deep interest in antiquarian research, and much of his work was devoted to this subject. He also served as the official engraver to the Society of Antiquaries (1717-56). From 1713 onwards, Vertue dedicated his research to the details of the history of British art, which resulted in an extensive collection of notebooks now in the British Library. The contents of which were the basis of Horace Walpole's 1762 'Anecdotes of Painting'. There are approximately five hundred portraits attributed to Vertue, and an equivalent number of published plates which were devoted to antiquarian subjects.
Petter, Helen Mary, The Oxford Almanacks. Oxford. At the Clarendon Press. 1974. p61
Condition: Trimmed to plate mark with loss of calendar. Minor foxing to inscription space and top left corner of image. Otherwise, a strong dark impression.