antique prints, maps and watercolors

James Merigot. (Constantine's Arch). Ruines de Rome. London 1796-98. Framed $495.00

click for detailed image Merigot Constantine Arch.JPG

“Constantine's Arch”

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, which is entirely of marble, was erected by the senate and people of Rome, in honour of Constantine, after his victory over Maxentius; the bas-reliefs, which were transferred from the arch of Trajan to this, are highly esteemed, the other parts are of the time of Constantine, and evidently betray bad taste, a and a decline of the arts."

Uncolored sepia toned aquatint engraving.
Archivally framed 16 5/8 x 19 ¼ inches outside dimensions.
Excellent condition.