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HAYDON-40420-1.jpg HAYDON ADVISES TITE ON THE DECORATION FOR THE ROYAL EXCHANGE
HAYDON (Benjamin Robert, 1786-1846, Historical Painter)

Autograph Letter Signed to Sir William TITE (1798-1873, Architect, President of the Royal Institute of British Architects, MP) saying that he knows that he has "always expressed to you my conviction that Historical Fresco decoration was essential to the Completion of the new Royal Exchange. There are 24 large spaces, and 8 small ones; the large ones might be filled with a grand series of historical illustrations of the rise, progress & conclusion of our Commercial power. The small ones might have Chiarooscuro figures of the greatest Men (considered in the city) as being the most prominent in contributing to the Commercial power commemorated. As the building is under one Architect, & the ceiling under one decorator, so it is my opinion the historical series, should be under the direction of one artist, but as this admirable & reasonable plan might be considered ... exclusive to others of eminent talents, more might be admitted, to contribute their inventions, but, only under the most stringent laws, that each admitted; is but to develop in his respective portion, a part of the series decided, to illustrate one great Pictorial or Historical object; & no artist whatever ought to be permitted to begin any portion, unless that portion has been sanctioned by Committee & architect, as a portion of the original idea. The admission of more than one, on such restrictions might then help the splendor of the whole. With respect to the Estimate of the Expense the more immediate object of your enquiry it would not be quite possible to be definitive unless an Experiment be first tried. 1st. A fine Fresco might be first painted on the right side of the great Entrance (looking towards the Duke) on the very beginning of the series £300 would not be too much for one only. 2nd. Two might be painted, one on each side being the first & the last in the Series £400 for two ... 3. The whole West end might be done on an experiment, 900 or 1000,wold not be too much for one end only ... To conclude dear Sir, 4000, would put 500 in his pocket, £500 would enable him to plan 1000 in the funds for old age ..." with a long postscript on the same lines, 4 sides 4to., London, 14 Burwood Place, 11th July

Item Date:  1845
Stock No:  40420      £750

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