antique prints, maps and watercolors

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

click for detailed image Merigot Trajan column.JPG

“Column of Trajan”

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 monument, the most celebrated and the most entire of antiquity, was erected in the center of the Forum Trajanum about the beginning of the second century by the senate and the people of Rome, in honour of the Emperor Trajan, and in commemoration of his victories over the Dacians; it was made to serve for the repository of his ashes , The magnificent column is less admirable for its great height, than for the excellence of the bass reliefs, with which it is adorned. These sculptures represent the first and second expedition of Trajan into Dacia, with his final conquest of Decebalus the king of that country. The pillar is encircled with two thousand five hundred figures, exclusive of the horses, elephants, arms, machines of war, trophies, etc the whole of which objects form a variety that is not to be contemplated without astonishment: the figures which are admirably executed, are each a foot and a  half high. The column is of white marble of the doric order, and stands on a pedestal richly embellished with superb trophies. Its total height from the summit to the base including the statue of St Peter which has supplanted that of Trajan, is 133 feet. The scent to the top is by a spiral staircase formed in the marble."

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