REVETT, Nicholas

1721 - 1804

Nicholas Revett

Nicholas Revett was baptised in the Church of St Michael the Archangel, Framlingham, Suffolk in 1721, but his family lived in the adjoining village of Brandeston. His father, John Revett was part of the Suffolk gentry, the heir to Brandeston Manor, which the family had owned since 1548 and his mother, Elizabeth Fauconberge was also the heir to her family’s fortune. As the second son of a wealthy family, Revett could have expected a comfortable upbringing, but he would not inherit a large share of his family’s fortunes. So, upon finishing his primary education, Nicholas, like so many other younger sons of the gentry, found himself searching for a profession and decided upon art and in 1742 went to Rome and studied under the proto-Neoclassical painter Marco Benefial (1684-1764). Together with James 'Athenian' Stuart (1713-1788), he then travelled to Venice, Dalmatia, and Athens and Revett is best known for his work with Stuart in documenting the ruins of ancient Athens, returning to England in 1755. In 1764 he went to Turkey with Richard Chandler (1737-1810) and William Pars (1742-1782) for the Society of Dilettanti, returning in 1766. Although sometimes described as an amateur architect, he played a significant role in the revival of Greek architecture. During the later years of his life, he fell into pecuniary difficulties, and Nicholas Revett died in London on 3 June 1804, aged 84, and buried at Brandeston, eight days later. Together with Stuart, he published 'The Antiquities of Athens' (1762) and with Chandler, 'Travels in Asia Minor and Greece' and 'Ionian Antiquities' (London 1769) [Nicholas Revett and Georgian Neoclassicism by Jason M. Kelly]

Works by This Artist