September 30, 2023


Make Some Fun

101/ Artwork networks of illustrated publications (2): Antiquities

6 min read

“…helpful to Artists, to Males of Letters and by their means to the World on the whole”



This publish brings artists and their networks to the foreground, in a sequence about well-known illustrated books solely recognized by the identify of their authors or editors (1). A superb instance is William Hamilton’s & Pierre-François Hugues d’Hancarville’s monumental 4 volumes publication with bi-lingual frontispieces (2):

‘COLLECTION of Etruscan, Greek and Roman ANTIQUITIES from the Cupboard OF THE HON.BLE M W. HAMILTON his Britannick Maiesty’s ENVOY EXTRAORDINARY on the Courtroom of Naples’ Naples MDCCLXVI.

‘ANTIQUITÉS etrusques, grecques et romaines tirées du cupboard de M. Hamilton. Envoyé extraordinaire DE S. M. BRITANNIQUE en cour de Naples’  A Naples M. DCCLXVI

Determine 1 Frontispieces and community visualization
of the ‘artwork world’ of Hamilton-d’Hancarville’s books (3)

The books comprise textual content with 85 engravings, together with frontispieces and dedications. Crucial half are 253 engravings and 183 hand-coloured plates within the 4 volumes. However, all the identical d’Hancarville’s assertion “…helpful to Artists” in his Preface vol. I, p.11 (Fig.2 backside traces), these artists, who created the illustrations in his stunning books, are seldom recorded in bibliographical references.


Determine 2 Preface of d’Hancarville “It’s to Mr. Hamilton that the Public is indebted, …” 

Vol I p.11 (2) 

Determine 3 Screenshot from the webpage of the Royal Academy

with a sequence of hand-coloured etchings (2)

A cheerful exception is the in depth reference within the library of the Royal Academy of Arts in London (2) the place six artists are listed among the many ‘Contributors’ and will be looked for worksof artwork: Giuseppe Bracci, draughtsman (fl. ca. 1761 – 1776?) – Antoine Alexandre Joseph Cardon, engraver (1739 – 1822) – Carlo Nolli, engraver (1720 – ca. 1776) – Carmine Pignatari, engraver (fl. ca. 1760 – 1780?) – Filippo de Grado, engraver (fl. 1728 – 1792) – Edmondo Beaulieu, draughtsman (fl. ca. 1766 – 1776?).

Nevertheless, in-text illustrations usually are not at all times signed by draughtsman or designer and/or engraver (see the vignettes in Fig.2 above) and only a few plates are signed. Therefore, it isn’t shocking that, in line with Sebastian Schütze (4, p.20), this listing must also embody the designer Giovanni Battista Tierce (1737-1790 ?) and the engravers Tommaso Piroli (1752-1824) andAntonio Lamberti (fl.1730-1830?).Schütze refers back to the main position of Giuseppe Bracci ‘who evidently developed a brand new printing course of specifically for the plates’.
 Whereas the frontispieces of vols I and II bear the dates of 1766 and 1767, the monetary difficulties, amongst different troubles of d’Hancarville (see under), delayed the precise printing of vol. I to 1767, vol. II to 1770 and vols. III, IV to 1776. These latter volumes had been in all probability printed in Florence and never in Naples. Moreover, uncertainty exists in regards to the printers: in vols. I, II is acknowledged ‘Imprimé a Naples – Par François Morelli’ (ca.1767-ca.1830), solely referred to as a painter and engraver. However who was the printer of vols. III, IV in Florence ? 

About  Johann Joachim Winckelmann

and William Hamilton

Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717-1768), the founder of contemporary archaeology and historical past of artwork, emphasised in 1764 for the primary time the significance of historical Greek-Roman vases, collected from the Renaissance onwards. He in contrast the vase-figures to RAFFAELLO’s drawings, as proof of the prime quality of classical portray (4, p.18).

 See COMMENT nr 3 under.

When William Hamilton (1730 – 1803) was appointed in 1764 as British Ambassador on the court docket of Naples, he began up his giant assortment of 730 historical Greek-Roman black- and red-figured vases, excavated in Naples and environment, and in the end acquired by the British Museum in 1772. Hamilton had taken very quickly the choice to edit an illustrated publication of his assortment and Winckelmann agreed to collaborate, however his tragic demise disallowed the partnership. Quantity II has a dedication-plate to the reminiscence of J.J. Winckelmann, designed by Giuseppe Bracci and engraved by Antoine Cardon (Fig.4) (4, p.192).

Hamilton grew to become the well-known host to quite a few distinguished guests, interested in his antiquities, … and to his stunning spouse Emma Hart, who entertained the guests together with her ‘tableaux vivants’ or ‘attitudes’, imitating the poses of the vase-figures. 

                 Determine 4


About different publications of d’Hancarville

Baron d’Hancarville (1719 – 1805), “one of the vital charismatic figures of the 18th century” (4, p.17), revealed many different publications (5).

  • 1785  Recherches sur l’origine, l’esprit et les progrès des arts de la Grèce : sur leur connexion avec les arts et la faith des plus anciens peuples connus : sur les monuments antiques de l’Inde, de la Perse, du reste de l’Asie, de l’Europe et de l’Egypte. A Londres : Chez B. Appleyard …, 1785. Two volumes and a Complement.
  • 1785-1787 

    a small-format version in 5 volumes, just like ANTIQUITIES 1766 : Antiquités étrusques, grecques et romaines, Ou les beaux vases étrusques, grecs et romains, et les peinture rendues avec les couleurs qui leur sont propres – gravées par A. F. David, avec leurs explications par d’Hancarville – A Paris, Chez l’Auteur, M. DAVID M.DCC.LXXXV’. (Fig.5). Whereas many engravings of François Anne David are primarily copies, no credit score is given to the publication and its illustrators of 1766. 

  • 1801-1808: another 4 quantity folio version Antiquités étrusques, grecques et romaines gravées  appeared in Florence, with plates of lesser high quality, however the writer is just not recognized. 

d’Hancarville additionally revealed :

* Essai de politique et de morale calculée : Tome premier. 1759

and extremely erotic illustrated publications below fictitious imprints :

* Veneres uti observantur in gemmis antiquis Lugd[uni] Batavorvm [i.e. Naples?] 1771, a publication for which he was in hassle in Naples (see above).

* Monumens de la vie privée des XII Césars d’apres une suite de pierres et médailles gravées sous leur règne. Capree, chez Sabellus, 1780.

* Monumens du culte secret des dames romaines. Rome: De l’Imprimerie du Vatican, 1787.

See extra posts about forgotten artists who illustrated well-known publications:

Might 18, 2021 99/ Artwork networks of illustrated publications (1): The Temple of Gnide

October 25, 2021 102/ Artwork networks of illustrated publications (3): a disordered hyper-network

November 11, 2021 103/ Mad about Baudelaire and his Venus statue or Artwork networks of illustrated publications (4)

April 13, 2022 107/ Artwork networks of illustrated publications (5): define engravers of the early 19thcentury in France




  1. See publish of 18 Might, 2021 ’99/ Artwork networks of illustrated publications (1): The Temple of Gnide’. The sequence is impressed by ‘Artwork Worlds’ of Howard S. Becker (College of California Press, 1984) who explored artwork as a collective exercise which requires a community of cooperating people. 
  2. ‘Assortment Of Etruscan, Greek, And Roman Antiquities From The Cupboard Of The Honble. Wm. Hamilton His Britannick Maiesty’s Envoy Extraordinary At The Courtroom Of Naples’. Record number 06/3529 of the Royal AcademyLibrary, London. 
  3.  Community visualization created with VOSviewer –Visualizing scientific landscapes
  4.  Schütze S (2015) ‘Assortment of Etruscan, Greek and Roman Antiquities from the Cupboard of the Hon. W. Hamilton’ pp.7-25 in Pierre-François Hugues d’Hancarville ‘THE COMPLETE COLLECTION OF ETRUSCAN, GREEK AND ROMAN ANTIQUITIES FROM THE CABINET OF SIR WILLIAM HAMILTON – Assortment full des Antiquités du Cupboard de Sir William Hamilton – Die vollständige Antikensammlung aus dem Kabinett von Sir William Hamilton’, Taschen Bibliotheca Universalis, Köln. This can be a small-sized three-lingual reprint of a folio copy of 1780 within the Anna Amalia Library, Weimar; a large-sized reprint was already revealed in 2004 by Taschen GmbH, Köln. Nevertheless, these reprints don’t comprise the textual content with engravings of the unique publication.
  5.  See WorldCat and


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