James Wyatt, 1746-1813


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Architect to George III

John Martin Robinson

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James Wyatt (1746–1813) is widely recognized as the most celebrated and prolific English architect of the 18th century. At the start of his lengthy career, Wyatt worked on designs for the Oxford Street Pantheon's neo-Classical interior as well as Dodington, the Graeco-Roman house that served as the model for the Regency country house. Wyatt was the first truly eclectic and historicist architect, employing several versions of Classical and Gothic styles with great facility while also experimenting in Egyptian, Tudor, Turkish, and Saxon modes. His pioneering Modern Gothic marked him as an innovator, and his unique neo-Classical designs were influenced by his links with the Midlands Industrial Revolution and his Grand Tour education.

This groundbreaking book sheds new light on modern architectural and design history by interweaving studies of Wyatt's most famous works with his fascinating life narrative. This masterly presentation covers the complex connections formed by his web of wealthy patrons and his influence on both his contemporaries and successors.

John Martin Robinson is an independent architectural historian. He is a partner in Historic Buildings Consultants, Librarian to the Duke of Norfolk, Maltravers Herald Extraordinary and Vice Chairman of the Georgian Group. He is a regular architectural contributor to Country Life and the author of numerous books.

"As well as examining Wyatt's complex web of wealthy patrons, the book traces his influence both on contemporaries (such as his great rival John Adam) and those who followed him, shedding new light on modern architectural and design history."—Apollo Magazine

"A long-overdue and beautifully produced book that sets James Wyatt in his rightful place at the front of Georgian architecture… This dazzlingly beautiful book changes our entire picture of Georgian architecture."—David Watkins, Country Life

"John Martin Robinson's masterly and hugely enjoyable book shows off the astonishing range of Wyatt's work as never before, compositions on the grand scale, small pretty villas and page after page of ravishingly lovely interiors."—Marcus Binney, The Times

"John Martin Robinson's sumptuous and scholarly study, based on decades of painstaking research and beautifully produced by the Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art at Yale, is the perfect guide to Wyatt's achievement."—James Grande, Spectator

"Few have been the subject of monographs in recent years to match John Martin Robinson’s James Wyatt: Architect to King George 3rd… It is a magisterial volume, handsomely illustrated, well researched and elegantly written… Wyatt’s career was long and varied, and in many ways this means that this book is not just an essential work of reference on the work of James Wyatt but a valuable volume in the wider history of English architecture and late Georgian visual culture generally."—Jeremy Musson, Historic House

"John Martin Robinson’s splendid, handsomely produced monograph on Wyatt the architect and designer is also an extremely deftly drawn portrait of the man… It has taken this long, and the right architectural historian, to put the record straight."—Gillian Darley, Literary Review

"Scholarly, entertaining and beautifully illustrated… For 200 years Wyatt’s undoubted talents have been well hidden: it is hard to image a more enjoyable way of rediscovering them."—Timothy Brittain-Catlin, World of Interiors

"[Robinson’s] Wyatt will certainly be the Wyatt for his generation and some following ones as well – and he is an eloquent advocate."—Joseph Rykwert, Architectural Review

"He’s been overshadowed by the Adam brothers and this superb celebration of his work is long overdue."—Duncan Fallowell, Daily Express

“John Martin Robinson’s very real achievement must be recognised; his study is of major importance in establishing the full range of Wyatt’s career and will remain the standard reference for many years to come.”—Robin Middleton, Burlington Magazine

Short-listed for the 2013 Historians of British Art Book Prize for the Pre-1800 category.
ISBN: 9780300176902
Publication Date: September 4, 2012
Publishing Partner: Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art
384 pages, 9 3/4 x 11 1/4
150 color + 170 b/w illus.