John (J.M.W.Turner) Yenn
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Leading 18th Century British architect.
Yenn was a student at the Royal Academy from September 1769. He was elected an associate of the Academy in 1774 and a full Academician in 1791. He served as treasurer of the Royal Academy from 1796 to 1820.Yenn was a pupil of Sir William Chambers. In the late 1770s he succeeded Chambers as the Duke of Marlborough's architect at Blenheim Palace, where his works included, in 1789, the design of the small Corinthian "Temple of Health", built celebrate the recovery of George III from illness. Nearby, in 1783, he built a new aisle at Woodstock church. Chambers provided him with a number of other important positions: in 1780 he become the Clerk of the Works at Richmond Park, and he later held the same position at Kensington Palace, Buckingham House and at the Royal Mews.
This is an extraordinary 1-page letter (Royal Academy, Wednesday, September 8th, 1819), handwritten in ink (probably by a secretary) and signed by John Yenn, to Joseph Woods*.
It reads (in full):
My dear Sir,
Herwith by your desire I enclose you the names of those Gentlemen who are of the Council of the Royal Academy and amongst them you will find one who I am persuaded will accompany you and Mr Calcott** to the Custom House next Friday next at 11 o'clock.
They are as follows, and their address you will get by applying at the Royal Academy
I am Dear Sir
Your most Obedient Humble Servant
The list of Academicians suggested by Yenn to accompany Woods is astonishing and includes none less than the great English landscape painter J.M.W.Turner and architect John Soane, together with John Flaxman, Francis Chantry, John Jackson and Charles Rossi! (Oh, for a time machine!)
In very good condition.
* Joseph Woods (1776-1864)
British architect and botanist, the founder of the London Architectural Society in 1806 and its first President.
** Augustus Calcott (1779-1844)
English landscape painter, a full member of the Royal Academy in 1810.