The Earwig; or An Old Woman's Remarks on the Present Exhibition of Pictures of the Royal Academy: Preceded by a Petit Mot Pour Rire, instead of a Preface . . .

Publisher: London: Printed for G. Kearsly, 1781.
Edition: First edition.
Bibliographical References: ESTC T32385 records six copies in the British Isles and three in the US (Getty, HRC & Yale).
Condition: Fine copy.
Book ID: 26419


4to, recent red quarter morocco period style by Philip Dusel, marbled paper boards, gilt rules, decorations and lettering.


A satirical review of an imaginary exhibition by real artists at the Royal Academy, dedicated to Joshua Reynolds, a founder and the first president of the Academy. The anonymous author makes fun of the pretentions of the Academy and its guidelines in choosing members. In the preface, Petit Mot Pour Rire ("a small joke"), Academy founder Johann Zoffany is subject to a particularly unfriendly tale of how he acquired his fame. This is followed by the review of the fictitious paintings, with prefatory remarks on the "revolution of taste in the Polite Arts" ("the love of novelty is particularly remarkable . . .") and an addenda with an assessment of the new quarters of the Royal Academy at New Somerset House, where it moved in 1780. The author apparently was not a member of the Academy.

Price: $1,500.00

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