antique prints, maps and watercolors

James Merigot. (Temple of Fortuna Virilis). Ruines de Rome. London 1796-98. $195.00

click for detailed image Temple FortunaVirilis.JPG

“Temple of Fortuna Virilis”

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 temple, so highly esteemed for its architecture, is one of the most ancient in Rome. It was consecrated to Fortuna Virilis by Julius Severus, whose statue of gold alone escaped the flames which destroyed the temple. In the back-ground is seen the house of Pilate, of a very whimsical and curious construction."r

Uncolored sepia toned aquatint engraving.
9.5 x 12 inches sheet size.
Excellent condition.