West Front of the Horse Guards
About the work
The 17th-century Horse Guards building (once a guard-house for the palace of Whitehall) was decayed beyond repair by 1749, when it was demolished to be replaced in 1753 with the much grander, Palladian structure, seen in this engraving. Construction of the new building, designed by William Kent, was completed in 1753. However, Kent had died by the time building work began so architect John Vardy oversaw the project. The new building served as the headquarters of the British Army’s General Staff until 1872.
The lettering on the print indicates that it was used as an illustration for the ‘Stationers' Almanack’. The Stationers' Company began publishing their ‘Almanack’ in 1747. It consisted of a single printed sheet, which included an image of a significant event of the previous year at the top and a calendar beneath, listing the dates of important forthcoming events. As in this example, the images were also published without the attached calendar. Other artists who made drawings for the Almanack include landscape engraver and draughtsman Thomas Higham and engraver and watercolour painter Edward Duncan.
About the artist
The identity of artist and draughtsman J. Marchant is uncertain. One possibility is that it is Jan Marchant, an historical and still-life painter who was born in Antwerp in 1808. In 1832 Jan emigrated to France, where he became Professor of Drawing at the Cavalry School at Saumur. He died in 1864. It has alternatively been suggested that the artist’s name was Jean Marchant.
Henry Adlard was a stipple and line engraver, mainly of landscapes by contemporary artists. However, he also made numerous engravings after portraits of his contemporaries, as well as engraving bookplates. Adlard engraved some of the illustrations, drawn by William Henry Bartlett (1809-1854), for both ‘American Scenery’ (1840) written by Nathaniel Parker Willis (1806-1867) and ‘The Ports, Harbours, Watering-Places, and Coast Scenery of Great-Britain’, by William Beattie (1842).