Contributions by Christopher Baker, Cristina Borgioli, Louisa M. Connor Bulman, Antonella Capitanio, Marco Collareta, Peter Davidson, Francisco Freddolini, Cristiano Giometti, John Harris, Elisabeth Kieven, and Cinzia Maria Sicca
This handsome book is the only full-length study of John Talman (1677-1726), first director of the Society of Antiquaries and one of the most influential collectors of drawings in early 18th-century Britain. Prominent scholars discuss the history of Talman's acquisitions, shedding light on the competitive nature, social practices, and aesthetic ideas of connoisseurship both in England and abroad.
Talman's collection, amassed in England, Florence, and Rome between the 1690s and 1719, focused on Italian medieval art, architecture, and textiles as well as Renaissance and Baroque architecture and sculpture. It reflected the tastes and preoccupations of artistic and intellectual elites in pre-enlightenment Europe. A vehicle for disseminating aesthetic and historical ideas, the collection became not only an extraordinary document of the state of ancient and modern Italian monuments but also a history of architecture and culture at large that provided visual evidence of buildings and rituals lost through time.