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Stephen Riou, 1720–1780

Design for 'the Houses of both sides of the intended Street to extend in a right line from the Mansion-House to More-Gate humbly proposed to consideration'

Additional Title(s):

An Elevation for the Houses of both sides of the intended Street to extend in a right line, from the Mansion-House to More-Gate, humbly proposed to consideration

Watercolor, pen and black ink, graphite on slightly textured, medium, cream laid paper
Sheet: 7 5/16 x 20 7/8 inches (18.6 x 53 cm)

Inscribed in pen and black ink, upper center: "An Elevation for the Houses of both sides of the Intended Street to extend in a right line | from the MANSION-HOUSE to More-Gate | humbly proposed for consideration"; in pen and black ink, upper right: "Design I"; in pen and black ink, far right: "NB The extent from | Lothbury to the Poultry was taken | by Scale upon Roque's Map | of London in a | Right line: | would it not be proper | to begin at this End | of the Intended | Street as it would | open upon the Mansion | House and thereby shew at once the Elegance | Utility, & Convenience of this Design"; in pen and black ink, right: "Lothbury;" at immediate left of design: "to | the | Poultry"; in pen and black ink, lower center, bar scale given; in pen and black ink, lower left: "Portico Flat Pavement and | The New Street"; in pen and black ink, lower right: "NB for the Plans, see the designs II & III | XXXX | shew the situations of the doors as altered | in the Designs at large"

Signed and dated in pen and black ink, lower right: "Excogitat & Designat SR [in monogram] 1762"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Drawing & Watercolors-Architectural
Prints and Drawings
Subject Terms:
architectural subject
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Although Stephen Riou published widely on architecture and exhibited his designs publicly, he never executed a single building. His writings and sketches however, document a lifelong interest in the application of classical form to contemporary building. Trained as an architect in Geneva, Riou traveled throughout Greece and Italy in the 1750sm acting as a guide to Grand tourists and eventually meeting up with James "Athenian" Stuart and Charles Revett. He accompanied the pair to Athens, and he shared their goal of increasing public knowledge and acceptance of classical Greek architecture. To this end, he published The Grecian Orders of Architecture delineated and explained from the Antiquities of Athens in 1768 and dedicated it to James Stuart. This design appears in simplified form as Plate VI in the second volume of Grecian Orders as "The Design for a New Street in the City." With these designs he hoped to illustrate the adaptability of forms such as the pedimented façade and Doric colonnade to the building projects of London, in this instance the planned construction of a new street leading from the Mansion House to Moorgate. Riou's design maintains class distinctions even with the new city dwelling through architectural language: "the center house, and those at the extremities, are larger than all of the intervening ones" to indicate "a difference in the fortunes and rents of the citizens." With his incorporation of Grecian features into Palladian designs, Riou was at the forefront of the Greek revival movement.

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