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date: 22 August 2019

Stuart, James [Athenian]locked

(b London, 1713; d London, Feb 2, 1788).
  • David Watkin

Extract

[Athenian]

(b London, 1713; d London, Feb 2, 1788).

English architect and archaeologist. Stuart, called ‘Athenian’ in his lifetime, achieved an international reputation as the author, with Nicholas Revett, of the Antiquities of Athens, in four volumes (1762–1816), the first accurate record of Classical Greek architecture. Second in importance only to the writings of Winckelmann in promoting enthusiasm throughout 18th-century Europe for the notion of a Greek ideal, it was these measured drawings and topographical views that were used as a basis for the Greek Revival architecture of Europe and North America in the early 19th century.

Born in humble circumstances, the son of a Scottish mariner, Stuart set out on foot for Rome in 1742. In 1748 he and Revett issued their ‘Proposals for publishing an accurate Description of the Antiquities of Athens’. Subsidized by members of the Society of Dilettanti, they left Italy for Greece in January 1751 and returned to England in 1755. Publication of the first volume of the ...

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H. M. Colvin: A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600–1840 (London, 1954, rev. 2/1978)