antique prints, maps and watercolors

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

click for detailed image TempleHope.JPG

The Temple of Hope

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.

"About three miles from the Porta Maggiore, on the road to Praeneste, we find so many ruins of old edifices, that the place, from their number, has acquired the name of ancient Rome. Among these we may distinguish a beautiful temple entirely built of brick, of a circular form, with three galleries. It is called the Torre Schiava; but it is thought to have been dedicated to Hope; and to have been frequented, as the place of sacrifice, by those who went to consult the Pracles at Praeneste."

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