Coloured engraving1 July 1775
About the work
This view of Whitehall includes the imposing building of the Banqueting House, seen to the right of the composition. To the left is the Holbein Gate. Almost all of Whitehall Palace was destroyed by fire in 1698. Banqueting House, designed by Inigo Jones in 1619 and completed in 1622, is the only part of the Old Palace above ground level which survives today.
Originally known as the King's Gate or the Cockpit Gate, the Holbein Gate was built by Henry VIII and is named after Hans Holbein, who was once thought to have designed it but, in fact, probably just had lodgings within the gate. The Gate was demolished in 1769, before this engraving was published.
There are two version of Thomas Sandby’s original drawing of this view in the Royal Collection (one dated 1743) and further versions in the British Museum and the Guildhall Library. This engraving was published as one of seven plates of Francis Grose’s ‘Antiquarian Repertory’ between 1775 and 1884. The advertisement for the work stated:
‘…care shall be taken to admit only such Views as may be depended on, and have never before been published and which, at the same time as they please the eye, shall represent some remains of Antiquity, some capital Mansion, or striking Prospect.’
About the artist
Richard Bernard Godfrey, draughtsman and printmaker, was probably born in London. Little is known of his early life. He exhibited at the Society of Artists from 1765 to 1770. The majority of his works were book illustrations for London publishers, in particular topographical and antiquarian illustrations. His best-known works are for Francis Grose's ‘Antiquities of England and Wales’ (published 1772-87) and for the periodical ‘Antiquarian Repertory’ (published 1775-86), for which Godfrey was also the publisher and editor. He also worked for private individuals, including the author, politician, and patron of the arts Horace Walpole (1717-1797).
Thomas Sandby was born in Nottingham. He moved to London in 1741 to become a draughtsman for the Board of Ordnance. In this capacity he accompanied the Duke of Cumberland on military campaigns in Scotland and the Netherlands in the mid 1740s. The Duke was Ranger of Windsor Great Park. Sandby became his Steward in 1764 and later Deputy Ranger. He designed several buildings in the Park and was involved with the development of Virginia Water. He lived in Windsor during the late 1750s but moved to London in 1760, returning to Windsor in 1765. He was a founder member of the Royal Academy in 1768 and its first Professor of Architecture. In 1777 he became Architect of the King’s Works and, in 1780, Master Carpenter in the Office of Works.