The book is called “Collection of designs for rural retreats as villas. Principally in the Gothic and Castle styles of Architecture. With their Iconography or Plans, laid down to Scale and other Appendages. » Therefore we from first sight know that the book compiles different designs and descriptions of villas in a rural context.
List of contents
The book doesn’t have a list of contents and therefore there is no clear separation of chapters. Instead, it consists of solid text with illustrations at the end. But the book is still subdivided into different themes e. g. «Designs for villas» or «On Lighting Apartments».
The book is illustrated with designs of villas in a realistic style including floor plans and facades of different buildings. There are labels for every room and its dimensions. Drawings also include people to show the scale of the building. Every painting is labeled with a design number and plate number.
Size and format
The book is quite thin. The amount of illustrations is superior in relation to the text because the emphasis of the book is to depict buildings in paintings.
The book was written by James Malton in 1802. The author is primarily known for his famous illustrations. He was employed as a draughtsman in the office of the architect James Gandon for three years during the building of the Custom House but was eventually dismissed. Malton is best known for « A Picturesque and Descriptive View of the City of Dublin», a series of 25 prints published between 1792 and 1799. In 1798 he published « An Essay on British Cottage Architecture », described in its subtitle as « an attempt to perpetuate on principle, that peculiar mode of building, which was originally the effect of chance ». His later publications include a practical treatise on perspective called « The Young Painter’s Mahlstick » (1800), four aquatints after drawings by Francis Keenan, called « A Select Collection of Views in the County of Devon » (1800), and finally « A Collection of Designs for Rural Retreats as Villas Principally in the Gothic and Castle Styles of Architecture » (1802).