Paul Sandby, The Port of Aegina, an aquatint after William Pars

Published in London, England, AD 1777

An example of the new medium to copy watercolours

Aquatint was a new medium designed to reproduce the appearance of wash and watercolour drawings. Paul Sandby (1731-1809), himself a gifted watercolourist, was one of the artists who developed the new medium, improving it to make its use easier and more painterly. Aquatints were usually printed in brown and were sometimes hand coloured or even printed in colours.

This print is one of a set of eight views of Greece. Interest in classical Greece was growing, partly as a result of pioneering tours by antiquarians who took artists with them to record the remains that they saw. James Stuart and Nicholas Revett's Antiquities of Athens (first part 1762), was highly influential in promoting a belief in the superior antiquity and elegance of Greek architecture over Roman. It would be a long while before any but the most adventurous tourists travelled in Greece, but artists satisfied the curiosity of admirers of Homer's poetry and other classical literature, who wished to see the landscape of antiquity.

This print shows the capital of the island of Aegina, destroyed by earthquake in the reign of the Roman emperor, Tiberius.

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Paul Sandby, The Port of Aegina, an aquatint after William Pars

  • Original watercolour

    Original watercolour

 

More information

Bibliography

J. Rowlands, Master drawings and watercolou (London, The British Museum Press, 1984)

A. Griffiths, Prints and printmaking: an int, 2nd edition (London, The British Museum Press, 1996)

T. Clayton, The English print, 1688-1802 (New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 1997)

Dimensions

Height: 282.000 mm
Width: 488.000 mm

Museum number

PD 1904-8-19-782

PDB8628

Location

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