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The Complete Collection of Antiquities from the Cabinet of Sir William Hamilton
Pierre-François Hugues D’Hancarville
The birth of neoclassicismThis spectacular compilation of plates, representing a superb collection of ancient vases, is the fruit of a collaboration between Sir William Hamilton (1730-1803), British diplomat and collector, and Pierre-François Hugues d`Hancarville (1719-1805), an adventurous connoisseur and amateur art dealer. As an envoy to the British Embassy in Naples, Hamilton developed a keen interest in both antiquity and volcanology, studying the royal excavations of Pompei and Hercolano and publishing the first scientific essays on mount Vesuvius. During his stay in Naples he built the finest collection of ancient vases of his time, which he sold, in 1772, to the British Museum in London. Before the invaluable pieces were shipped off to England, d´Hancarville was commissioned to document the vases in words and images. Never before have ancient vases been represented with such meticulous detail and sublime beauty. His famous catalogue was published in four volumes, known as Les Antiquités d´Hancarville. Complete sets of these rare volumes today fetch top prices at auction. We have borrowed a fine copy from the Anna Amalia Library in Weimar to reproduce in exacting detail, so that modern readers can experience the same images that sparked Britain`s, and indeed Europe`s, taste in classical style and inspired reproductions from pottery manufacturers such as Wedgwood.
Madeleine Gisler-Huwiler studied classical archaeology, ancient history and old Egyptian at Fribourg University. She has collaborated on various excavations and exhibitions and is presently writing a catalogue of the first Hamilton collection of vases for the British Museum, which is partially represented in the Antiquités of D’Hancarville.
Sebastian Schütze was a longtime research fellow at the Bibliotheca Hertziana (Max Planck Institute for Art History) in Rome and currently holds the Bader Chair in Southern Baroque Art at Queen’s University, Kingston. He has published widely on Italian art and culture in the early modern era and is a member of the scientific board of the Istituto Italiano per gli Studi Filosofici in Naples and of the Institut européen d’histoire de la République des Lettres in Paris.
March 03, 2021 15:58 GMT New items added to gallery on Wed. March 03, 2021 15:58 GMT
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Archaeologia or Miscellaneous Tracts relating to Antiquity, Published by the Society of Antiquities of London, Vol.
James tr., at sacred-texts.com. This book, dating from the late first century C.E.