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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hugely informative, 7 Aug 2012
This review is from: James Wyatt, 1746-1813 - Architect to George III (Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art) (Hardcover)
I enjoyed this book enormously, despite its gigantic size and weight. The superb photographs must form the most effective riposte to Kindle since the Holkham monograph.
The key point about James Wyatt, hammered home repetitively here, is that the destruction of most of his papers through carelessness, and two of his most remarkable buildings through fire, has led to the long-term eclipse of his reputation, triumphantly re-instated here.
Not the least extraordinary of the revelations is that what we have all been calling 'Hepplewhite' furniture for 200 years was actually designed by Wyatt! (Mr Hepplewhite being merely the late husband of the woman who published the designs.)
But the headline cliches of his previous poor reputation - drunk, unpunctual, incompetent, destructive - while all having enough of a basis to provide the smoke, prove to be wholly extinguished by the brilliance, variety and beauty of his achievements.
I think this book is a must for architectural enthusiasts, but probably not for the casual reader. What is odd, coming from Yale, is the evident lack of careful editing. Some points are repeated, even on the same page, one page reference is given in asterisks, all pointing, I think, to a rush for a deadline, not giving the author time to polish an immense and very erudite text.
But these are minor quibbles. It's a great book, on a great architect, and beautifully and entertainingly written.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rich in information, 30 Aug 2012
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This review is from: James Wyatt, 1746-1813 - Architect to George III (Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art) (Hardcover)
I thoroughly recommend John Martin Robinson's masterly book which is rich in information on James Wyatt's extraordinary life from early beginnings to a Westminster Abbey funeral. The development of his 45 year career is well illustrated.
Wyatt's output was so diverse but relatively few of either his works or designs survive. The sources of his designs are explained, as is also the stylistic evolvement of the buildings, the interior furnishings, and the different craftspeople involved, starting in the early 1770s with the delicacy and elegance of neo-classicism through gothic to the Regency. Eventually he was to become a victim of his own success......
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars James Wyatt,1746-1813-archited to George 111, 27 Oct 2012
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This review is from: James Wyatt, 1746-1813 - Architect to George III (Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art) (Hardcover)
Excellent book very good if you are into James Wyatt and the work he did for the noble stock of this country.
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