Important architectural elements and designs from classical ruins, part of a large series of prints by advanced students at the School of Beaux Arts, overseen by d’Espouy, who was their professor. Beaux Arts training included the study of antiquity through meticulous drawings from artifacts and plaster casts. D’Espouy’s collection brought together drawings of the Acropolis, Parthenon, Pompeii, Roman temples, the Pantheon, the Coliseum and other sites, for which he provided captions. These meticulous studies are still of interest to contemporary historians and designers, and have been reissued in a book published by Dover in 1999.
Hector-Jean-Baptiste d’Espouy (sometimes written Espouy) was a French painter and architect, as well as a professor of ornamental design at the School of Beaux Arts in Paris from 1895. He exhibited landscapes and views of monuments at the Salon of 1880. In 1884, he won the Grand Prix de Rome, a scholarship for four years of study at Villa Medici, which he followed by several years of travel in Greece and Italy. He also edited other architectural books including a set on Medieval and Renaissance architecture.
Two of the prints depict the mammoth 10-foot Warwick Vase, created in ancient Rome, was uncovered from the bottom of Lake Tivoli, near Hadrian's Villa in the 18th Century. It features classical bacchal masks and associated emblems such as a pine-cone tip staff known as a thysrus, together with classical leaves and intertwined naturalistic handles, raised on a square plinth. It was owned by Sir William Hamilton, the special consul to Naples, who was well-known for his famous collection of antiquities including terra cotta vases. Hamilton in turn gave the vase to his nephew, the Earl of Warwick. The original stood at Warwick Castle until the 1970s, when it was sold to the Burrell Collection in Glasgow, where it is now on display. The vase was illustrated by G.B. Piranesi in an engraving from his famous Vasi book, and was reproduced in a variety of media in the 19th century, including silver and iron.
Bénézit, E. Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs. France: Librairie Gründ, 1966. Vol. 3, p. 611.
“Greek and Roman Architecture in Classical Illustrations by Hector d’Espouy.” David Brown Book Co. http://www.oxbowbooks.com/bookinfo.cfm/ID/24172//Location/
DBBC/CFID/7004172/CFTOKEN/58572561 (26 August 2004).