Jean-Pierre Houel: Temple of Hercules, Marsa Sirocco, Malta


Jean-Pierre Houel.  “Reste du temple d’Hercule près de Marsa Scirocco.”  [Remains of the temple of Hercules near Marsa Scirocco.]  From Voyage pittoresque des iles de Sicile, de Malte et de Lipari.  Paris, 1782-87.  9 x 14.  Mezzotint.  Very good condition.

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A beautifully rendered mezzotint by Jean-Pierre Houel from his work showing scenes in Sicily, Malta and Lipari.  Houel was a well-known and accomplished late 18th-century French artist who exhibited his paintings consistently in major Paris exhibitions.   This print comes from his account of his trip to Sicily, Malta and Lipari during which Houel made 264 elaborate drawings of ancient architecture and archeological sites.  Catherine the Great of Russia bought the original drawings directly from the artist and Houel issued portfolio of sepia toned mezzotints in 1782-87.  These wonderful prints showing ancient ruins and rituals, as well as recently discovered architectural and sculptural monuments.