Etruscan Vase Designs
11 x 8 inches (average)
A pair of copperplate engravings with watercolour and gouache colouring after the classical designs in the collection of William Hamilton; published in London circa 1800.
When Sir William Hamilton became British Envoy Extraordinary to the Bourbon Court of King Ferdinand IV in 1764 he travelled to Naples with his wife Catherine to take up the appointment. Whilst in Italy he was able to indulge his passion for archaeology and classical artefacts. He amassed a large collection of Etruscan vases which were eventually shipped to the British Museum in London where they formed the basis for the Greek and Roman Galleries. These plates with their faithful colouring are wonderful evocation of what drove Hamilton in his passion for the antique. In one plate a naked man, shackled at the wrists follows behind his captor's horse whilst in the other two male friends, one naked, bid a fond farewell with the touch of a hand and a longing gaze.