antique prints, maps and watercolors

James Merigot. (The Bridge of Varus). Ruines de Rome. London 1796-98. $195.00

click for detailed image BridgeVarus.JPG

The Bridge of Varus


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.

"The remains fo the Villa of Quintilius Varus are discovered on the opposite side of thee river to those of the Villa of Mecaenas. The choise [sic] of this situation, reflects honour on the taste of the friend of Horace and Virgil; for this spot commands a magnificent view of Tivoli with its cascades, and of the campagna of Rome. Among the many ruins, which bear evidence to the former extent of this villa, we distinguish this remarkable arcade, now commonly called the Bridge of Varus. The water, agitated with foam, the mountain, and the woods form in their union a scene, which is truly and highly picturesque."

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