[FLAXMAN, JOHN (1755-1826)]. Alighieri, Dante.
Title "THE CARNAL", AN ENGRAVING FROM "COMPOSITIONS BY JOHN FLAXMAN FROM THE DIVINE POEM OF DANTE ALIGHIERI" Purgatory, Canto 25, The Carnal
Publisher London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme, 1807.
Seller ID 121
11" x 17". Heavy paper. From a portfolio of engravings published in 1807. The engravings were designed by John Flaxman and engraved by Thomas Piroli. This particular engraving is from Canto 25 of Dante's Divine Comedy and is entitled "The Carnal" . It depicts the souls of those who in mortal life were slaves to their carnal appetites. Single sheet. A few areas of foxing. Three small closed tears around the edges and two pinpoint size holes on the left and right edge. Suitable for framing. About very good.
Flaxman's Dante illustrations were commissioned by the art collector Thomas Hope (1769-1831), and were probably begun in April or May 1792, at the same time as Flaxman's work on drawings for Homer's Iliad and Odyssey. Flaxman was the leading Neo-classical sculptor in late eighteenth-century Britain and a well known designer for Wedgwood pottery. After working as a designer for Josiah Wedgwood, Flaxman spent seven years studying in Rome. Britain's National Portrait Gallery describes this time as one that "transformed him from an obscure British designer and sculptor into a major international figure with a proven record in monumental sculpture and decorative design. His outline engravings of 1793-5 illustrating Homer and Dante won him an international reputation unmatched by any contemporary British artist. He was also appointed the Royal Academy's first Professor of Sculpture in 1810. " Though over two hundred years old, Flaxman's stark line drawing has a modern sensibility in its interpretation of Dante's classic poem.