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WILKINS, William. The Antiquities of Magna Graecia, London, Longman, Hurst, Orme and Rees, MDCCCVII [=1807].

William Wilkins (1778-1839) was a British architect and scholar. He was a draughtsman at the National Gallery of London and studied at Cambridge. After winning a prize he was able to tour Greece, Asia Minor and Magna Graecia in Southern Italy (1801-1804), in the company of Italian artist and landscape painter Agostino Aglio who was in charge of drawing the monuments during the journey. Wilkins published several works on Gothic and classical architecture and is considered one of the leading figures of the English Greek Revival movement on the early 19th century. From 1804 onwards he designed at least thirty-seven well-known colleges and public buildings in Britain, in neoclassical style. He became a member of the Society of the Dilettanti in 1817. Wilkins was appointed offical architect to the East India Company in 1827 and became a professor at the Royal Academy of Art in 1837. He published numerous treatises on architecture throughout his life.

The present edition opens with an introduction on architecture, based on Vitruvius' work. There follows a commentary on Solomon's temple and a historical overview of ancient Greek cities in Sicily. The drawings and maps are accompanied by annotations on monuments shown on the map. Although Wilkins' drawings are not as thorough and meticulous as those found in J. Stuart and Nicholas Revett's editions, this works remains essential to the study of ancient monuments of Magna Graecia.

Written by Ioli Vingopoulou

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