(Naples: , 1766-1776).
A BEAUTIFUL AND IMPRESSIVE PLATE FROM A MASTERPIECE OF CLASSIC ART RENDERINGS AND PUBLICATION. Hamilton served as British envoy to the court of Naples where he began collecting Greek vases and other antiquities immediately upon arriving at his post. In 1766–67 he published a volume of engravings of his collection entitled A Collection of Etruscan, Greek, and Roman antiquities from the cabinet of the Honble. Wm. Hamilton. A further three volumes were produced in 1769–76. Josiah Wedgwood the potter and porcelain maker drew great inspiration from the reproductions presented in Hamilton's volumes.
While widely recognized for their beauty, the reproductions from Hamilton's vases have become evidence of the irreconcilable problem of neoclassicism in the Romantic period. Significant changes in the way the vases were engraved over a span of thirty or forty years demonstrate how an immutable collection of objects is subject to radical shifts in representation in response to the social and artistic styles of the time. Item #26552
A single aquatint plate drawn and engraved after the original pieces in the Hamilton collection. An aquatint in terracotta on a black background showing a young Heracles battling the Nemean lion, during one of his "labors". He wears a headband highlighted in light rose and battles the lion unarmed. Two stylized rock formations flank the scene, two ceremonial objects hover above. Printed on a single folio sheet measuring approximately 20" x 14", the image approximately 4.5" X 8.5"., Now presented in cream mounting boards 22" x18" behind clear mylar. A very fine plate in an excellent state of preservation.