1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Bonomi, Giuseppi
BONOMI, GIUSEPPI (1739–1808), English architect, was born at Rome on the 19th of January 1739. After attaining a considerable reputation in Italy, he came in 1767 to England, and finally settled in practice there. He was the innocent cause of the retirement of Sir Joshua Reynolds from the presidency of the Royal Academy. Sir Joshua wished him to become a full Academician, regarding him as a fitting occupant of the then vacant chair of perspective. But the majority of the Academicians were opposed to this suggestion, and Bonomi was elected an associate only, and that merely by the president’s casting vote. Bonomi was largely responsible for the revival of classical architecture in England. His most famous work was the Italian villa at Roseneath, Dumbartonshire, designed for the duke of Argyll. In 1804 he was appointed honorary architect to St Peter’s at Rome. He died in London on the 9th of March 1808.
His son, Giuseppi Bonomi (1796–1878), studied art in London at the Royal Academy, and became a sculptor, but is best known as an illustrator of the leading Egyptological publications of his day. From 1824 to 1832 he was in Egypt, making drawings of the monuments in the company of Burton, Lane and Wilkinson. In 1833 he visited the mosque of Omar, returning with detailed drawings, and from 1842 to 1844 was again in Egypt, attached to the Prussian government exploration expedition under Lepsius. He assisted in the arrangement of the Egyptian court at the Crystal Palace in 1853, and in 1861 was appointed curator of the Soane Museum. He died on the 3rd of March 1878.