Covent Garden Piazza
- About the work
About the artist
Little is known of the early life of Edward Rooker. He was a pupil of engraver Henry Roberts, in High Holborn, while simultaneously pursuing a career in acting. Between 1748 and 1749, he engraved drawings after designs by Inigo Jones and Christopher Wren. He appeared on stage at the New Wells Theatre in 1749 and, by 1752, had joined the company at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. His career as an engraver continued with plates for William Chambers’ ‘Designs of Chinese Buildings’ (1757) and James Stuart’s ‘Antiquities of Athens’ (1762). He collaborated with Paul and Thomas Sandby on ‘Six London Views’, and again with Thomas for illustrations to Tasso’s ‘Jerusalem Delivered’. He died unexpectedly, at around the time of 50th birthday.
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.