Il Tempio di Iside a Pompei nel 1788
Francesco Piranesi (Italian, 1758-1810); Louis Jean Desprez (French, 1743-1804)
The Temple of Isis at Pompeii, 1788. Francesco Piranesi (Italian, 1758-1810), Louis Jean Desprez (French, 1743-1804). Etching, hand-colored with watercolor; sheet: 47.7 x 69.6 cm (18 3/4 x 27 3/8 in.); secondary support: 59.2 x 81.3 cm (23 5/16 x 32 in.). The Cleveland Museum of Art, John L. Severance Fund 2001.19. Trained as a stage designer and architect, Desprez was a talented watercolorist. He collaborated with Francesco Piranesi—the son of the more celebrated printmaker Giovanni Piranesi (1720–1778)—by drawing views of Naples, Rome, and Pompeii that Piranesi etched. Desprez then completed the prints with watercolor. The scene of tourists enjoying the ruins at Pompeii demonstrates how interest in antiquity had been augmented by the archaeological excavations at Herculaneum (1737) and Pompeii (1748). The discovery of homes, furnishings, and personal artifacts revealed the domestic aspects of ancient life.