Tomb with Sphinx: Funerary Monument with an Owl on a Sarcophagus Supported by Sphinx

Tomb with Sphinx: Funerary Monument with an Owl on a Sarcophagus Supported by Sphinx

c. 1779–84

Louis Jean Desprez

(French, 1743-1804)

Aquatint with etching

Platemark: 34 x 48.7 cm (13 3/8 x 19 3/16 in.); Sheet: 35 x 50.3 cm (13 3/4 x 19 13/16 in.)

Severance and Greta Millikin Trust 2018.207

Catalogue raisonné: Wollin 28

Description

Originally trained as an architect, Louis Jean Desprez produced this print depicting a tomb while living in Rome. He combined details observed while visiting catacombs in southern Italy with macabre inventions, such as the pair of feet visible from within the sculptural space. Desprez creatively used aquatint—a printmaking technique that produces shades of gray—to render the space’s dramatic shadows and stone surfaces.

See also
Collection: 
PR - Aquatint
Department: 
Prints
Type of artwork: 
Print

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