antique prints, maps and watercolors

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

click for detailed image TEmpleVenusCupid.JPG

The Temple of Venus and Cupid

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.

"In the gardens of a convent, on the right of the church of S. Croce di Gerusalemme, we find the remains of an edifice, which appears to have been of consequence; and which, it is supposed, was dedicated to Venus and Cupid, as the statue of those two divinities, now preserved in the Belvidere of the Vatican, was discovered in it. Nothing more remains of this structure than on e large niche, and the side walls; the other parts of it having been employed in the construction of the facade of the church."

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