Anecdotes of Painting in England: With Some Account of the Principal Artists - Vol. 3

By Horace Walpole | Go to book overview

RICHARD BOYLE, EARL OF BURLINGTON. 1

Never was protection and great wealth more generously and more judiciously diffused than by this great person, who had every quality of a genius and artist, except envy. Though his own designs were more chaste and classic than Kent's, he entertained him in his house till his death, and was more studious to extend his friend's fame than his own. 2 In these sheets 1 have mentioned many other in stances of the painters and artists he encouraged and rewarded. Nor was his munificence confined to himself and his own houses and gardens. He spent great sums in contributing to public works, and was known to choose that the expense should fall on himself, 3 rather than that his country should be deprived of some beautiful edifices. His enthusiasm for the works of Inigo Jones was so active, that he repaired the church of Covent-garden because it was the production of that great master, and purchased a gateway at Beaufort-garden in Chelsea, and transported the identical stones to Chiswick with religious attachment. With the same zeal for pure architecture he assisted Kent in publishing the designs for Whitehall, and gave a beautiful edition of the antique baths from the drawings of Palladio, whose papers he procured with great cost. Besides his

____________________
Brit. Topog. vol. i. p. 474, is mentioned a plan of the intended harbour between Sandwich town and Sandown castle, by Charles Labelye, as is his description of Westminster-bridge, and his proposals for a fuller account, ib. 739. He was a native of Switzerland, was naturalized in England, but retired to France for his health.—

He published, An Account of the Method made use of in laying the Foundations of Westminster Bridge, 8vo, 1739.—D.

1
This gifted nobleman was the third Earl of Burlington, and the fourth Earl of Cork and Orrery. He was born in 1695, and died in 1753. His elegant mansions, Burlington-house and Chiswick, devolved by heirship to the Duke of Devonshire.—D.
2
"Jones and Palladio to themselves restore,
And be whate'er Vitruvius was before ! "

Pope's Epist. to him.—D.

3
In 1730, he printed Fabriche Antiche disegnate da Andréa Palladio, e date in luce da R. Conte di Burlington, folio ; a limited number only, for private distribution. His encouragement of Giacomo Leoni has been already mentioned : Inigo Jones's designs were collected by Lord Burlington, and published at his expense, in Kent's name. (See vol. i.) In 1728, The Villas of the Ancients, fol. by R. Castell, were offered to the public by his liberality, and the property conceded to the authors.—D.

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