Veduta del Sepolcro di Mamia, Pompei

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Veduta del Sepolcro di Mamia, Pompei
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Francesco Piranesi after Louis Jean Desprez
Veduta del Sepolcro di Mamia negl avanzi dell antica Citta di Pompei.
Rome, F. Piranesi 1788
Etching with engraving
530 x 725mm
A fine, exceptionally rare view of the excavations at Pompeii, executed by the son of Giovanni Battista Piranesi. The view shows fashionably dressed, probably English, Grand Tourists viewing the splendid, recently excavated remains. Between 1764 and 1766, with the encouragement of the Bourbon rulers of Naples, digging began on the Theatre area, the Triangular Forum and the Temple of Isis, which would be fully brought to light in the first years of the next century. The city was soon popular with Grand Tourists and additional sites were opened in the north-west part of the city, where between 1760 and 1772 the insula occidentalis, the House of the Surgeon and the Villa of Diomede, along via dei Sepolcri, were partially explored. The cellar of the latter revealed 18 victims of the eruption, along with a treasure-trove of gold and silver coins. Louis Jean Desprez (1740-1804), trained as a stage designer and architect, was a talented watercolorist. Commissioned to do a series of views of the picturesque ruins surrounding the Bay of Naples, he completed this view of the temple if Isis in outline only, before travelling to Sweden under the patronage of Gustavus III. The copper plate was then worked up, completed and published by Francesco