Circa 1767 Naples
Four 18th Century Engravings from Antiquités Etrusques, Greques et Romain Tirée du Cabinet de M. Hamilton
Height 23 inches (58.5 cm)
Width 18 inches (45.75 cm)
Depth 1 inch (2.5 cm)
Between 1766-67, Sir William Hamilton commissioned an engraved four-volume folio illustrating his own collection of classical antiquities. Antiquités Etrusques, Greques et Romain Tirée du Cabinet de M. Hamilton was published in Naples, with text by Baron d’Hancarviile (Pierre-Francois Hugues) who attempted to create a stylistic chronology of ancient vase painting. Following the folio’s publication, Hamilton sold the collection to the British Museum.
The portfolios were created as large folio editions for aristocratic libraries and wealthy collectors. Smaller engraved editions were published for sale to the public and were important academic references for scholars and artisans. Hamilton sent engravings to Josiah Wedgwood to be used as designs in the Wedgwood workshop, the most famous being the Portland Vase in black basalt with white relief decoration. The Hamilton portfolios introduced images of classical antiquity on the Continent to the English public, influencing the decorative arts and exemplifying the neo-classical aesthetic.
Dimensions listed refer to outer size of frame.