antique prints, maps and watercolors

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

click for detailed image TempleMinervaMedica.JPG

The Temple of Minerva Medica

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.

"As we follow the road, which leads from the Porta Maggiore to the church of S. Maria Maggiore, we may see, in a garden on the right, the Temple of Minerva Medica. A fine statue of the goddess having been found no it with the serpent at her feet, which at present forms one of the most beautiful ornaments of the Justiniani palace. The inside of this temple, which is built entirely of brick, is a decagon; and measures three and twenty feet from one to the other opposite angle."

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