Plans Elevations Sections and Views of the Church of Batalha, in the Province of Estremaduras in Portugal, with the History and Description by Fr. Luis de Sousa; with Remarks, to which is prefixed an Introductory Discourse on the Principles of Gothic Architecture, by James Murphy.
London, Printed for I. & J. Taylor, (1795) New edition, Library of Fine Arts 1836
ii, 61pp text, (1 p.), 27 engraved plates, including the title and dedication leaf. Folio. Rebound sympathetically conserving the original title label on upper board. New end papers. The architectural publishing firm, Isaac and Josiah Taylor, later Taylor's Architectural Library, was closed in April 1834 upon the death of Josiah Taylor. The stock of the firm was sold at two auctions, held in October 1834 and January 1835. At one of these the copperplates for the present work were purchased by John Williams of the "Library of Fine Arts", who created this edition of the work. He had the text reset by T.H. Drury and arranged to have the plates restruck. The dedication plate and list of the original subscribers to the 1795 edition were redundant, and thus omitted to be replaced by a letterpress dedication to John Soane. Church and Monastery of Santa Maria da Victoria, also known as Batalha was built to commemorate the victory of the Portuguese over the Castilians at the battle of Aljubarrota in 1385. It is a World Heritage Site. A highly original, national Gothic style evolved, profoundly influenced by Manueline art. The plates in this book record the details of the building. In 1835, William Beckford published his last work, the travelogue Recollections of an Excursion to the Monasteries of Alcobaça and Batalha and this book, which perhaps capatilzed on the publication of Beckford's work, followed in the next year. Murphy, of Irish descent and a talented draftsman, was commissioned by William Burton Conyngham to make drawings of the church and monastery of Batalha and the result was the original 1795 edition of the book. William Beckford, that great devotee of the gothic, called Murphy "a dull draftsman" which seems rather cruel [ Gentleman's Magazine 1836 vol 161 p 280].