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John Carter, FSA (1748–1817): ‘The Ingenious, and Very Accurate Draughtsman’

  • Bernard Nurse (a1) and J Mordaunt Crook (a2)

John Carter's newly catalogued papers and correspondence in the archives of King's College London throw considerable new light on his relationship with members of the Society of Antiquaries and his patrons, and include previously unpublished sketches of several of them. His memoirs show that a small group of wealthy antiquaries recognized his skills as an accurate and conscientious draughtsman and encouraged him faithfully to record historic – and especially medieval – buildings and monuments. Many of these buildings were later altered or destroyed, and his numerous surviving drawings are thus of immense value to scholars. The opportunity has also been taken to publish a postscript with additional comments and corrections to the Society's monograph, John Carter and the Mind of the Gothic Revival (1995).

Les écrits et la correspondance de John Carter qui se trouvent dans les archives de King's College, Londres, et qui viennent d’être catalogués, jettent vraiment un jour nouveau sur ses rapports avec les membres de la Société des Antiquaires et ses patrons, et comprennent des croquis de plusieurs d'entre eux, qui n'avaient jamais été publiés. Ses mémoires montrent qu'un petit groupe de riches antiquaires reconnaissaient son talent de dessinateur précis et consciencieux et l'encourageaient à faire des dessins très exacts de bâtiments et de monuments historiques – tout particulièrement médiévaux. Nombre de ces bâtiments furent changés ou détruits par la suite, et les nombreux dessins qui nous restent de lui sont donc d'une très grande valeur pour les spécialistes. Nous avons également saisi l'occasion de publier un post-scriptum contenant des corrections et des remarques supplémentaires à la monographie de la Société, John Carter and the Mind of the Gothic Revival (1995).

John Carters katalogisierten Aufsätze und Korrespondenzen in den Archiven des King's College, London offenbaren viele neue Informationen über seine Beziehungen zu den Mitgliedern der Society of Antiquaries und deren Schirmherren, unter anderem auch bis jetzt unveröffentlichte Skizzen von mehreren von ihnen. Carters Memoiren zeigen, daß eine kleine Gruppe von wohlhabenden Altertumskennern sein Talent als sorgfältigen und gewissenhaften Zeichner erkannten und ihn anregten historische – und vor allem mittelalterliche – Gebäude und Monumente akkurat aufzuzeichnen. Viele dieser Gebäude wurden später umgebaut oder zerstört und seine umfangreiche Sammlung von Zeichnungen ist daher von unmittelbarem Wert für Gelehrte. Es wird auch die Gelegenheit ergriffen, ein Nachwort für die Monographie der Society John Carter and the Mind of the Gothic Revival (1995) zu veröffentlichen, das viele zusätzliche Kommentare und Korrekturen enthält.

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