Changing Impressions - D11100



A View of the Court of Wards and Liveries, by George Vertue, published 1747 - NPG  - © National Portrait Gallery, London

A View of the Court of Wards and Liveries
by George Vertue
published 1747
NPG D11100

Changing Impressions:  A Print Conservation Project in Focus

This print reproduces a painting at Goodwood House, recording a sitting of the Court of Wards and Liveries, established during the reign of Henry VIII to adjudicate
on land rights upon the death of Knights in royal service.

The Court was abolished in the reign of Charles II.
George Vertue, as well as being a talented engraver, was an enthusiastic antiquarian. He became a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries on its revival in 1717 and was appointed their official engraver. This print was published as part of the Society's Vetusta Monumenta [Ancient Monuments] a series of engraved reproductions of historical artworks and buildings.

Although the original composition was probably imaginary, Vertue incorporated identifications based on written records. Through this text, the print acted as an historical document for the eighteenth-century viewer and still does for us today.