Peter Paul Benazech.
Ruins of Balbec.
15.5 x 11 inches
An etching in bold original hand colour; engraved by Benazech and published by Robert Sayer in London circa 1790s.
In the light of recent troubles that have best Syria and its environs, prints such as this become an invaluable source for historians, archaeologists and scholars alike. The recent conflicts that have beset this most beautiful but troubled part of the world have damaged, in some cases irrevocably, the classical heritage of the area. Chief amongst the sites to have suffered are the ancient cities of Palmyra and Balbec. C18th travellers, particularly those privileged enough to be able to embark upon the Grand Tour, would visit Palmyra and Balbec on their travels and marvel at the classical ruins. In this image we see both the Grand Temple and the Quadrangle which remind us of the imposing nature of this city when it was known as Heliopolis in Greek and Roman civilization. Many "souvenirs" from sites such as this would have been acquired by the English aristocracy, crated up and returned home to adorn their London houses and country seats in the 'must have' classical style.£250