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THE PUBLIC GALLERIES OF ART

IN AND NEAR LONDON:

AUT GOR OF CFAPACTERISTICS OF WOMEN'.3KETCH198 AT HO

AND ABROAD, &c. &c.

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TO THE

MARQUESS OF LANSDOWNE,

THIS VOLUME

IS DEDICATED,

BY HIS LORDSHIP'S PERMISSION,

AND IN TESTIMONY OP VERY SINCERE RESPECT.

PREFACE.

This book, from its very nature, is sure to receive justice : by its degree of merit and utility it will stand or fall. It was a feeling of the want of such a book which suggested the attempt to compile it; and I am now only anxious that its purpose

should be clearly understood ; that nothing more should be expected from it than just that which it assumes to be—a compendious register of the works of art existing in our public and private galleries, affording easy reference to names, dates, and subjects, with just so much of explanation, illustration, and criticism, as might stimulate the curiosity and direct the taste of the reader, without exactly assuming to gratify the first or dictate to the last.

These were humble pretensions; yet the task has so extended itself under my hand as to fill double the space at first assigned to it, while the labour required and the responsibility incurred have both

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