Volpato & Ducros: 'Galleria delle Statue' in the Museo Pio-Clementino

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Louis Ducros (1748-1810) and Giovanni Volpato (1735-1803), hand colored line engraving. Dimensions engraving: 74 x 51.5 cm, including frame: 85 x 62 cm.

Less than ten years after the opening of the Museo Pio-Clementino, now part of the Vatican Museums, two prominent artists, Louis Ducros and Giovanni Volpato, made this engraving showing Grand Tourists admiring the excavated statues in the museum. A unique addition to our collection: one of the first images of the most important museums of antiquities in the world. The rediscovery of antiquity in the second half of the 18th century had a major influence on the arts and was at the basis of neoclassicism. Louis Ducros (1748-1810) and Giovanni Volpato (1735-1803) worked at the end of the 18th century on a series of 14 large line engravings with views of the Museo Pio-Clementino. As usual in their collaboration, Ducros made the design drawing, after which Volpato made a line engraving of it, which was then colored by hand by Ducros and his employees.
Not many copies of this engraving are known: one is in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in Munich and another in the Pfaueninsel Castle in Berlin.
A similar example is depicted in the exhibition catalog "Herinneringen aan Italië" from the 1980s. Similar but not identical: as usual, Ducros colored every print a little differently and with different details. For example, the putti in the lunettes in the copy in the catalog have draperies in front off their private area, where our copy seems to have been made for a slightly less prudish customer

last quarter 18th century

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