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Monday 22 June 2020

William Wynne Ryland’s “Britannia directing Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture to address themselves to Royal Munificence”, 1779

William Wynne Ryland (1733–1783)

“Britannia directing Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture to address themselves to Royal Munificence”, 1779, after the design by Giovanni Battista Cipriani (aka John Baptist Cipriani) (1727–1785), published by William Wynne Ryland in London in 1779.

Etching and dot roulette printed in sanguine coloured ink on laid paper.
Size: (sheet) 33 x 27 cm; (plate) 25.2 x 22.8 cm; (round image borderline) 22.4 cm dia.

Inscribed on plinth within the image borderline: “ROYAL ACADE/ OF ARTS/ INSTITUTED/ MDCCLXVIII”.
Lettered on plate below the image borderline: (left) “G. B. Cipriani Invent. / Published Aug, 18, 1779”: (centre) BRITANNIA directing PAINTING, SCULPTURE, and ARCHITECTURE,/ to address themselves to ROYAL MUNIFICENCE, who receives, ahd offers/ them, protection and rewards.”; (right) W. W. Ryland Fecit/ at No.159 Strand, London.”

Le Blanc 15

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Britannia seated to left with a lion wearing a breastplate with the Gorgon's head (the aegis of Minerva) indicating Royal Munificence, a female figure enthroned on a plinth inscribed 'Royal Acade of Arts Instituted MDCCLXVIII', who gestures with left arm as she directs three female figures to right: Painting seated with panel and brush looking back over her shoulder at Architecture who holds up a plan, and Sculpture, who holds a chisel and hammer; after Cipriani; lettered state. 1779 Stipple and etching printed in red ink”

See also the description of this print at the Royal Academy:

Condition: well-printed strong impression with margins and laid upon a support sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. There is a small (8 mm) tear on the left margin and a few minor marks otherwise the sheet is in excellent condition.

I am selling this exceptionally beautiful allegorical representation of the arts for AU$344 (currently US$236.63/EUR211.07/GBP190.50 at the time of posting this print) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world (but not, of course, any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries).

If you are interested in purchasing this sensitively executed etching designed to celebrate the creation and reception of the arts in Britain—note how Britannia’s lion keeps a watchful eye on the viewer!—please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold

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