Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Goldicutt, John

1198998Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 22 — Goldicutt, John1890Bertha Porter ‎

GOLDICUTT, JOHN (1793–1842), architect, born in 1793, was the son of Hugh Goldicutt (d. 1823). On 25 Jan. 1803 he entered the bank of Messrs. Herries, Farquhar, & Co., where his father was chief cashier and confidential clerk, but left on 30 June of the following year and was placed with J. Hakewill the architect. He also studied at the Royal Academy and displayed some skill in drawing, and a happy disposition for colour. Early in life he joined the Architectural Students' Society, where he gained practice in making sketches from given subjects. He competed twice for the Royal Academy silver medal, in 1813 sending in drawings and measurements of the façade of the India House, and in 1814 of the Mansion House. The latter was successful. He then went to Paris and entered the school of A. Leclère. Afterwards he travelled in Italy and Sicily for three or four years. While in Rome in 1817–18 he made a careful coloured drawing from actual measurements of the transverse section of St. Peter's. For this he received a large gold medallion from the pope. The drawing now hangs on the staircase of the Royal Institute of British Architects in Conduit Street. On his return to England in 1818 Goldicutt obtained a considerable private practice, and also occupied himself with public competitions. In 1820 he obtained third premium in the competition for the Post Office, and in 1829 a premium for the design for the Middlesex Lunatic Asylum. Between 1810 and 1842 he exhibited thirty-five architectural drawings in the Royal Academy exhibitions, among them being the following executed abroad:—in 1818, ‘View of the Ruins of the Temple of Peace, Rome’ (1817), afterwards engraved; in 1820, ‘Ruins of the Great Hypæthral Temple, Salinuntum, Sicily,’ etched by Pinelli for Goldicutt's ‘Antiquities of Sicily’; in 1834, ‘Ruins of the Ancient Theatre, Taormina’ (1818), etched by Pinelli; and in 1837, ‘View of the Temple of Concord, Ancient Agrigentum,’ etched by himself. Of designs for works on which he was professionally engaged, he exhibited:—in 1828, ‘Marine Villa,’ for S. Halliday, esq., at West Cowes; in 1830, ‘The Dell Villa, Windsor,’ for the Hon. H. R. Westenra, M.P.; in 1842, ‘St. James's Church, Paddington,’ which was unfinished at Goldicutt's death, and was completed under the direction of G. Gutch. In the rooms of the Royal Institute of British Architects are:—‘Plan of the Observatory at Capo del Monte,’ drawn by him to illustrate a sessional paper in 1840, and a lithograph by him of the Regent's Bridge, Edinburgh. In the print room of the British Museum is a ‘Veduta del Tempio d'Ercole a Cora,’ drawn and etched by him in 1818. Three of his drawings and two plans, by Goldicutt and Hakewill, were engraved in T. L. Donaldson's work on Pompeii in 1827. Goldicutt was one of the first honorary secretaries of the Royal Institute (1834–6); he originated and helped to carry out the presentation of a testimonial to Sir John Soane in 1835. He was a member of the Academy of St. Luke in Rome, and of the Academy of the Fine Arts in Naples. He was surveyor for the district of St. Clement Danes with St. Mary-le-Strand, and one of the justices and commissioners of sewers for Westminster and Middlesex. He made various alterations at White's Club House, St. James's Street. He died at his house, 39 Clarges Street (where his mother had died before him in 1813), on 3 Oct. 1842, aged 49, and was buried in Kensal Green cemetery. He left a widow and five sons.

He published:

  1. ‘Antiquities of Sicily,’ with plates etched by Pinelli of Rome, 1819.
  2. ‘Specimens of Ancient Decorations from Pompeii,’ 1825.
  3. ‘Heriot's Hospital, Edinburgh,’ the greater number of the illustrations lithographed by himself, 1826.
  4. ‘Ancient Wells and Reservoirs, with Observations upon their Decorative Character,’ in ‘Institute Sessional Paper,’ 1836.
  5. ‘The Competition for the Erection of the Nelson Monument critically examined,’ 1841.

He read several communications at meetings of the institute, and in its library are preserved manuscripts of: (1) ‘Address read at the General Meeting, 3 Feb.,’ 1835; (2) ‘Testimonial to Sir John Soane,’ 1835; (3) Extract from a paper ‘On the Art of Fresco-Painting,’ 11 June 1838.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Civil Engineer, 1842, pp. 372–3; Dict. of Architecture; Graves's Dict. of Artists; Nagler's Künstler-Lexikon; Gent. Mag. 1813 p. 286, 1835 p. 76; T. L. Donaldson's Pompeii, 1827, i. 2, 48, plate 84, ii. 12, 30; Royal Academy Exhibition Catalogues; Cat. of the Drawings, &c., in the Royal Institute of British Architects; Univ. Cat. of Books on Art; Cat. of Library of Royal Institute of Brit. Architects; information from Messrs. Herries, Farquhar, & Co.]

B. P.