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William Henry Pyne (British, London 1770–1843)

William Henry Pyne (British, London 1770–1843)

The History of the Royal Residences of Windsor Castle, St. James Palace, Carlton House, Etc.

London, 1819

Aquatint engravings with original hand-coloring.


William Pyne (1769-1843) was originally a landscape painter, but became a writer when he was employed by the London publisher Rudolph Ackermann to provide the texts for several of his publications. However, in 1816 Pyne took to publishing himself, with a book entitled The History of the Royal Residences. The completed set, with one hundred aquatint plates by Rowlandson, Stephanoff, Bennett, Havell,Sutherland, and Wild, appeared in 1819.
The richly colored plates show exterior and interior views of Windsor Castle, St. James Palace, Hampton Court, Carlton House, Buckingham Palace, Frogmore and other lavish royal homes. The work is one of the few to emphasize details of interior architectural design including vaulting, pilasters and coffered ceilings. Decorative arts are highlighted as well, and include Old Master paintings, draperies, furniture and carpets.

Each plate was printed first in a single tint, with the exteriors printed in blue for the sky and brown for the buildings and foregrounds. Each sheet was then colored by hand, affording a great range of color and attention to detail that color-printed plates lack.