London: J. Hearne, c 1819. Third Edition. Large Folio, 16 3/4 x 12 7/8 in. (428 x 324 mm). 62 hand colored aquatints, including one title page "Ruines de Rome. Published by J. Hearne. 218 Tottenham Court Road."; Colophon: "Printed by W. Lewis, 21, Finch-lane, Cornhill"; 72 p. with text in English and French + list of plates. Later half calf, rebacked, with gilt tooling; marbled boards, somewhat rubbed with chips on the boards; matching endpapers; 5 raised bands with elegant gilt tooling in compartments, gilt titling, all edges marbled.
Offsetting from plates as usual and occasional faint spotting and foxing; armorial bookplate of John Evan Davies [Franks 8108] on front pastedown. Originally published in 1797 and 1799, later printings can be dated by the watermarks. The copy offered here has plates watermarked 1817, and the added engraved title page in the later state with J. Hearne's imprint. Plates are dated 1796 and 1798; most are signed by Merigot, others singed by Merigot & Edwards.
[Abbey, Travel I:178; Brunet, III:1651; Graesse, IV:497; Lowndes 1537; Cox I:166; Prideaux, 344; BNF: 40365767 (first edition) OCLC no. 840117475].
James (Jacques) Merigot (ca. 1720-1799) was a French artist, engraver and publisher, active in London starting in the early 1790's. The plates of this work represent landscapes or Roman ruins and each of them is accompanied by a bilingual English-French explanatory text on one or two pages. Given the rise of Neo-classicism in the late 18th and early 19th century, the British became fascinated with Roman ruins and many books about Rome were published during this period. This particular work by Merigot was special in that the artist visited each of the ruins, in and around Rome, and drew them "on the spot"
Condition: Very Good.
Item number: 430