“Arch of Settimus Severusi”
James Merigot (1760–1824) was a French engraver and publisher who is known for an attractive album of 62 aquatinted plates designed and engraved by Marigot himself. Titled A Select Collection of Views and Ruins in Rome and its Vicinity. Recently executed from Drawings made upon the spot. The plates are dated 1796-1798 and are printed on watermarked laid paper with descriptive text in English and French. Many similar books were produced during the late 18th and early 19th centuries due to the rise of Neo-classicism among the British populace. This work was unique in its particular attention to the accurate depiction of the Roman ruins. Merigot visited each of the ruins and drew them in person, making this historically significant as an important record both of Ancient Rome and the state of Roman ruins at the turn of the 19th century. It also is a reminder of how the city would have looked at the height of the Romantic era when Rome embodied many Romantic ideals, not least the traces of a vanished civilization.
"This arch was erected by the senate and people of Rome in honour of Septimus Severus; its columns are fluted, and of the corinithian order; and the whole is of Parian marble: the bas-reliefs, which represent the wars of this prince against the Parthians, still exhibit certain portions of ornament which artists are anxious to imitate. The corinthian pillars which rise above the arch of Severus, upon the hill formerly the Capitol, are part of the temple of Jupiter Tonans, which was built in honour of that god by Augustus, after having escaped the effect of lightning, which destroyed a slave by his side."
Uncolored sepia toned aquatint engraving.
Archivally framed 16 5/8 x 19 ¼ inches outside dimensions.
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