Caesarea (Straton’s Tower)? – Cassas – Vue de Coenotaphe de Caius Caesar. In the front tents of a caravan. Between the foothills and the mountains in the back galloping horsemen. Engraving by Pierre Charles Baquoy (? 1759 Paris 1829). (1799.) Inscribed. 27.4 x 40.5 cm.
The rich sujet
in fine shining impression before the letter .
Plate 21, vol. I of Voyage pittoresque de la Syrie … et de la Palestine … by L. F. Cassas, but without his otherwise practiced inscription as draughtsman, yet with the above, due to erasure only incompletely, however assumedly correctly read one, with the definite addition fecit and, obviously, sculpsit, perhaps with a sive in-between. Thieme-Becker + AKL record Baquoy predominantly as engraver of vignettes. – Wide-margined.
“ C. already early found the themes and the technique which dominate the work and are the foundation of his success: With documentary accuracy, yet at the same time with a great antenna for decorative effects and atmosphere he creates views of landscapes and towns, their life, events, costumes, and national customs … Foremost in the center of the work the representation of important architecture, however. In the desire for completeness and exactness C. is quite a contemporary of the encyclopedists. Corresponding to the interests of the clients and the audience he directs his particular attention to the architecture of antiquity … With few exceptions … as a matter of principle C. proceeds from his personal view and therefore starts with sketches, studies and surveys on the spot. The actual means of his representation then is a special technique of the watercolor characteristic of him, partly in very large formats. He works with animated, often dramatically intensified chiaroscuro and rich coloring. Additionally he still enhances the line drawing by black pen stroke so that also the pictorial watercolors are of great exactness in detail and sometimes have the effect of colored prints. The realization of these motifs in print frequently is intended from the beginning and made for a great part of his success … In the train of the French ambassador Choiseul Gouffier C. goes on his most important journey to the Orient … It reveals to C. the whole fascination of the Oriental world. C. takes the opportunity to extend this journey and become acquainted with the whole region of the Levant … The journey is C.’s biggest professional experience, it takes place under partly highly adventurous circumstances and leads him up to Egypt … After the return C. elaborates the immense yield of his Oriental expedition in Rome, presents the first results to the public, and creates a considerable sensation ”
(Uwe Westfehling, Allgemeines Künstler-Lexikon XVII, 1997, 131).
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(Mr. P. S., March 22, 2012)