Published Neo-classical Influences

A number of books were published in the 18th century, written or illustrated by architects, travellers and antiquarians, describing the classical sights they had seen on their explorations of Italy, Greece or the Near East. These volumes, along with etchings of the ruins of ancient Rome by Giovanni Piranesi, became essential acquisitions for the libraries of collectors, designers and manufacturers such as Josiah Wedgwood - in fact anyone devoted to the understanding of neo-classical fashion. The most significant works included: Bernard Montfaucon's L'antiquité expliquée et representée en figures (1719 and 1724), published in English in five volumes 1721-5; LeRoy 's Les Ruines des plus beaux monuments de la Grèce (1758); Comte de Caylus's Receuil d'antiquités Egyptiennes, Etrusques, Greques, Romaines et Gauloises (1752-67); James Stuart and Nicholas Revett's The Antiquities of Athens (1762); and Robert Adam's Ruins of the Palace of the Emperor Diocletian at Spalatro in Dalmatia (1764). Pierre d'Hancarville's The Collection of Antiquities from the Cabinet of Sir William Hamilton (1766-7) was perhaps the most important to Josiah Wedgwood, inspiring the decoration of a range of encaustic vases and other wares.

 

 

Images

The title page from d'Hancarville's publication of Sir William Hamilton's vase collection

The title page from d'Hancarville's publication of Sir William Hamilton's vase collection