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Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 21.djvu/274

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was still unfinished in 1731 owing to the poverty of the college. It was completed in 1749. Gibbs intended to erect a similar block on the site now occupied by the screen, and a hall and provost's lodge on the south side.

In 1728 he published ‘A Book of Architecture, containing Designs of Buildings and Ornament.’ It contains drawings for all the buildings hitherto erected by him, with some alternative designs. His next important work was the quadrangle of St. Bartholomew's Hospital, begun in 1730, for which Gibbs gave all his drawings, time, and attendance ‘out of Charity to ye poor.’ He published in 1732 his ‘Rules for Drawing the several Parts of Architecture in a More exact and easy manner than has been hitherto practised, by which all Fractions, in dividing the principal Numbers and their Parts, are avoided.’ On 11 June 1737 were laid the foundations of his greatest work, the Radcliffe Library at Oxford. Nicholas Hawkesmore had made several designs for this library in 1713, and Gibbs himself made more than one design. In 1747, the year of its completion, he published the full drawings for this library in a thin folio, entitled ‘Bibliotheca Radcliviana: or, a short description of the Radcliffe Library at Oxford.’ Towards the end of his life Gibbs was afflicted with the stone, and went to Spa in 1749. It was probably to soothe his tedium that he now made his well-written translation of the ‘De rebus Emanuelis’ of Osorio da Fonseca, published in 1752, and entitled ‘The History of the Portuguese during the Reign of Emmanuel. Written originally in Latin by Jerome Osorio, Bishop of Sylvis.’ His last architectural work seems to have been the church of St. Nicholas, Aberdeen. Some years before his death he sent to the magistrates of Aberdeen, as a testimony of his regard for his native place, a plan for the new fabric, which was begun in 1752. This church was still unfinished when he died, 5 Aug. 1754, aged 71. He was buried, by his own wish, within the old church, now the parish chapel, of Marylebone, where, on the north wall below the gallery, is yet remaining a simple marble tablet to his memory. He died a bachelor, and with few relations; and by his will, dated 9 May 1754, left the bulk of his fortune, valued at 14,000l. or 15,000l., to the son of his old patron, the Earl of Mar, with bequests to some other friends, to St. Bartholomew's and the Foundling Hospitals, and his printed books, drawings, &c., to the Radcliffe Library. These books and drawings are now preserved in the museum at Oxford. The books include some fine editions of the classics and many early Italian works on architecture. There are also many of his designs. Gibbs was a Roman catholic, like his father, but ‘justly esteemed by men of all persuasions.’ His portraits and busts indicate thoughtfulness, penetration, and self-control, but scarcely great power. His architecture shows fine discernment rather than fine invention. His reverence for classic architecture led him to an excessive respect for tradition, but his work is lifted far above the level of mere imitation, and has a distinctive style of its own. He never fell into the vagaries of some of his contemporaries, and made no attempt at Gothic. His good taste may be attributed to his Italian training, which also narrowed his art to the mere consideration of fine composition and proportion. Although, as Walpole says, his designs want the harmonious simplicity of the greatest masters of classic architecture, he deserves higher praise than Walpole gave, and is now regarded as perhaps the most considerable master of English architecture since Wren.

There are several engraved portraits of him; the most important are by M'Ardell after Hogarth, m'Ardell after S. Williams, and P. Pelham after H. Hysing. There are also busts of him at the Radcliffe Library, Oxford, and in the church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, London.

[‘A short Accompt of Mr. James Gibbs, Architect,’ contained in a manuscript volume in the Soane Museum, entitled ‘A few short Cursory Remarks on some of the finest Antient and Modern Buildings in Rome, and other parts of Italy, by Mr. Gibbs,’ &c.; The Scots Magazine, September 1760; A Book of Architecture, by James Gibbs, 1728; Wornum's edition of Walpole's Anecdotes of Painting in England, 1849; Willis and Clark's Architectural History of Cambridge, i. 560, iii. 445, 535–6.]

GIBBS, JOSEPH (1700?–1788), organist, published about 1740 ‘Eight Solos for a Violin, with a Thorough Bass for the Harpsichord or Bass Violin. London. Composed by Joseph Gibbs of Dedham in Essex, dedicated to Sir Joseph Hankey,’ &c., and subscribed for largely by organists and others. Gibbs became organist at the church of St. Mary-at-Tower, Ipswich, about 1748, and displayed so much zeal and talent in that capacity, and in his compositions, that on his death, after forty years' service, in December 1788, he was honoured by his fellow-townsmen with a public funeral, and buried in front of the organ. The church has since undergone a thorough restoration, which has obliterated Gibbs's grave.

[Gent. Mag. lviii. pt. ii. 1130.]

L. M. M.

GIBBS, PHILIP (fl. 1740), dissenting minister and stenographer, was appointed in 1715 assistant to the Rev. Robert Bragge, at