Etching. Paper watermarked. Plate 196 x 165mm. 7¾ x 6½". Creasing.
Guards and figures outside the entrance to two conjoining ornate and high-stautus tombs; the smaller of the two with a large vase and classical women at each corner; the larger forms the base of a pyramid structure, again with a woman leaning back into the base. Jean-Laurent Le Geay (c.1710-1786) was a French neoclassical architect, draughtsman and teacher. His residence in Rome (1737-42) coincided with the arrival from Venice (1740) of Giovanni Battista Piranesi, who was considerably influenced by Le Geay's dramatic engravings of the monuments of Roman antiquity. Le Geay worked with Piranesi and other engravers on illustrations for guide books on Rome, including the Varie vedute di Roma antica e moderna (1745) by Fausto Amidei. Le Geay served as architect to Christian Ludwig II, Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and designed the formal water-garden. After spending two years in England, where he met Sir William Chambers, he returned to Paris where he published four extravagantly idiosyncratic suites of etchings of fountains, ruins, tombs and vases, dates 1767-68, which were collected at 'Collection de Divers Sujets de Vases, Tombeaux, Ruines, et Fontaines Utiles aux Artistes Inventée et Gravée par J.-L. Le Geay, Architecte' (1770). They were a collection of neoclassical motifs in the goût grec. This plate is from that collection.
[Ref: 20243] £80.00