Lot 629: Greek Drawing for Sir Hamilton's Book on Greek Vases
December 6, 2016
London, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: 1794-1795. A rectangular paper with the watermark of PIETER DE VRIES COMP, ink drawing of a scene from ancient Greek or Roman vase with Cupid (Eros), seated woman, reclining young man holding a staff and two young men standing on a side; numbered 4.1. to the upper right corner. 4 grams, 38.7 x 24.2cm (15 1/4 x 9 1/2"). From an old German collection. Sir William Hamilton (1730-1803) was a Scottish diplomat, antiquarian and archaeologist. During the archaeological excavations in Apulia and Sicily he obtained two large collections of Greek vases. Both collections were published: the first collection in the issue entitled Collection of Etruscan, Greek, and Roman antiquities from the cabinet of the Honble. Wm. Hamilton, His Britannick Maiesty's envoy extraordinary at the Court of Naples. (1766-76); the second collection was published in 1793-1803. Hamilton used a German painter Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein (1751-1829) as the artist for his second issue. He made 240 illustrations, which were printed in four volumes. As a director of an art academy, he used the help of his students to get precise images by copying vase painting several times. Drawings were made on high-quality Dutch paper, some with the watermark PIETER DE VRIES COMP, acquired from the De Morgenstar paper mill. That paper was produced only during the years 1794-1803, which fits with the time of printing the drawings.
Condition Report: Fine condition.