A Conversation of Virtuosis at the Kings Arms (in Bond Street), Gawen Hamilton, 1734-35. Not his group portrait of the club described in the text, but showing several members, including: Vertue, Dahl, Rysbrack, Kent and Hamilton himself.

The Rose and Crown Club was a club for artists, collectors and connoisseurs of art in early 18th-century London, England.
History[edit]
The Rose and Crown Club “for Eminent Artificers of this Nation”[1] was formed by 1704, when the engraver George Vertue was admitted;[2] while it lasted, the club was among the more important of clubs for artists and connoisseurs.[3] The club was initially “a bawdy assembly of younger artists and cognoscenti, which met weekly”[4] and apparently held its meetings at the Rose and Crown public house.[5] in addition to Vertue, members included Bernard Lens III, Christian Friedrich Zincke, William Hogarth,[6] Peter Tillemans,[7] Marcellus Laroon the Younger and Michael Dahl.
The members of the club were known as the ‘Rosacoronians’. An unfinished Hogarthian[8] painting in the Ashmolean Museum attributed to the Scottish painter Gawen Hamilton (another member), An Assembly of Virtuosi, shows a group of fifteen men, including eight who are identified in an etching of the painting by R. Cooper, published by W. B. Tiffin (1829),[9] and it has been suggested that this is a group portrait of the Rosacoronians. The group includes Hamilton himself, Michael Dahl, John Vanderbank, the architect William Kent, and John Michael Rysbrack the sculptor.[10] Vertue listed the painter and engraver Gerhard Bockman as a member in 1724.[11]
The club was well connected with the older-established Virtuosi of St Luke (c. 1689–1743), with which it is sometimes confused, although it was less prestigious.[1]
The Rose and Crown Club remained in existence until 1745 and held its last meeting at the Half-Moon Tavern.[12] Bignamini notes in his George Vertue that

The meetings and annual feasts of the Virtuosi of St Luke and of the Rose and Crown Club had come to a definitive end in 1745.[13][14]

References[edit]

^ a b Turner, Jane, (ed.), The Dictionary of Art (Oxford University Press, 1996, vol. 19), p. 584; Appleby, John H., ‘A new perspective on John Rowley, Virtuoso Master of mechanics and hydraulic engineer’ in Annals of Science, vol. 53, (1 January 1996), pp. 1-27
^ Whitley, William T.. Artists and Their Friends in England, 1700-1799, (The Medici Society, 1928) vol. I p 7.
^ Richard H. Saunders, John Smibert,