18th century European scholarly societies and academies/Society of the Virtuosi of St Luke



Name of Society: Society of the Virtuosi of St. Luke

Alternate Name(s): St Luke's Club, Vandyke's Club

Country: England

City: London

Active dates: ca. 1689-1743

The Society of the Virtuosi of St. Luke, also called St Luke's Club or Vandyke's Club existed from 1689 to 1743. It was one of the first artistic societies founded in England. A social club, the members, both gentlemen patrons and artists, met in taverns and were most active during the London season. Little surviving information exists about the group, but



The primary manuscript information on the Society of the Virtuosi of St. Look is in the George Vertue MSS at the British Library (Add. MS 39167, fols. 73–85). In 1735, Gawen Hamilton completed a group portrait in oils, which is in the National Portrait Gallery, London. It is entitled "A Conversation of Virtuosis...at the Kings Arms" (876 mm x 1115 mm).


  • Ilaria Bignamini, ‘George Vertue, art historian, and art institutions in London, 1689–1768’, Walpole Society, 54 (1988), 1–148.