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TEMPLE OF CONCORD - DAY
‘A perspective view of the revolving
Temple of Concord
Sir William Congreve Bart
and erected in the Green Park for the display of
A Grand Firework
in celebration of the Glorious Peace of 1814’
PRINT BY: R W Smart
AFTER/ARTIST: J Pain
PUBLISHER: Greenwood & Latilla
METHOD: Aquatint, possibly with some etched lines, contemporary colour, wove paper, watermark, ‘Ruse & Turn?? 1813’
IMAGE SIZE: 12.00 inches by 15.75 inches, including dedication, but the print has been cut down and has lost three bottom lines of inscription.
TEMPLE OF CONCORD - NIGHT
A view of the Temple of Concord
Erected in the Green Park, to celebrate the glorious Peace of 1814, exhibiting the Fire-works on the 1st of August
Published Sept 9, 1814 by James Whittle and Richard Holmes Laurie, No 53 Fleet Street London.
PRINT BY: Anon
PUBLISHER: Whittle and Laurie
METHOD: Etching, with contemporary colour, wove paper
IMAGE SIZE: 11.25 inches by 16.5 inches, including dedication
NOTES: Two prints showing a long lost but fabulous temporary structure erected to celebrate most of Europe’s victory over Napoleon. Please note as above that these are not a matched pair, but go together perfectly, as one shows the Temple by day and one by night with the fireworks going off.
The structure must have been huge, with the upper part carried on a plinth. From the ‘daytime’ print, it was clearly very elaborately decorated, and was complete with fountains. Presumably the revolving part was just the central section? The ‘night’ print seems to show possibly fireworks wrapped round the columns, so perhaps not much wonder it burnt down!
The descriptions above probably say it all! The event was evidently inspired and orchestrated by the Prince Regent (we have a good portrait of him under portraits) and is well known and recorded. The Temple was design by Sir William Congreve (1772 - 1828) of rocket fame. We think today we would probably call him a ‘mad inventor’ - fans of the Sharpe novels (that’s us!) will remember the improbable success of Congreve’s rockets in the Peninsular Campaign.
According to the Royal Parks website, during the firework display the Temple caught fire and was totally destroyed.
CONDITION: Both prints were in fair condition, but have been most carefully professionally conserved. The image area and strength of colour is general very good, but both prints were trimmed inside the margin and had minor marginal tears and losses. They have been cleaned and mounted using a special inlay technique, which attaches a new margin (ideal for framing) round the print, but without gluing a whole sheet onto them.
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