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[ROYAL ACADEMY OF ARTS] - The Exhibition of the Royal Academy London: the Royal Academy, 1769-1899.

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[ROYAL ACADEMY OF ARTS] - The Exhibition of the Royal Academy London: the Royal Academy, 1769-1899.

129 catalogues in 13 volumes. 4° (240-260 x 175-195mm). Half crushed morocco (occasional light browning, some light fraying to deckle edges, spines and joints worn, many boards loose, some crude repairs with tape).

A NEAR-COMPLETE RUN OF ORIGINAL ROYAL ACADEMY EXHIBITION CATALOGUES from the first (in 1769) to the 131st (in 1899), missing only nos. 5 and 8 (present in typescript). Of great rarity, and essential to any major art-historical library (there is no complete modern reprint), this set is of interest for the contemporary annotations, often sardonic, in a number of the catalogues, e.g., beside the entry for R.W. Buss's 'An English Propensity' of 1836, the words 'destroying or defacing works of art'; 'vile vile' or 'too pretty' by pictures shown in 1874, and 'snobbish' and 'of an idiot' by portraits of 1873. (13)
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