FR   EN   中文

Louis-Francois Cassas (1756-1827). The temple of Concordia in Agrigento
Louis-Francois Cassas (1756-1827). The temple of Concordia in Agrigento - Paintings & Drawings Style Louis-Francois Cassas (1756-1827). The temple of Concordia in Agrigento - Louis-Francois Cassas (1756-1827). The temple of Concordia in Agrigento -
Ref : 112468
10 000 €
Period :
19th century
Artist :
Louis Francois Cassas & Chalcographie Piranèse
Provenance :
Paris, France
Medium :
Pen, black ink and watercolour on etched outlines
Dimensions :
l. 33.86 inch X H. 25.98 inch
Paintings & Drawings  - Louis-Francois Cassas (1756-1827). The temple of Concordia in Agrigento 19th century - Louis-Francois Cassas (1756-1827). The temple of Concordia in Agrigento
Galerie Philippe Guegan

Antiques and works of Art

+33 (0)6 60 15 87 49
Louis-Francois Cassas (1756-1827). The temple of Concordia in Agrigento

Louis-Francois Cassas (Azay le Feron 1756-Versailles 1827)
Jacques-Louis Bance (1761-1847)
Francesco Piranesi (1758-1810) and Pietro Piranesi (1773-1841)

View of the temple of Concordia in Agrigento

Pen and black ink, watercolour on etched outlines. 55 x 79 cm,by 1802.
Original paper mount inscribed with brown ink in the lower margin: « Vue du Temple de la Concorde à Agrigente». 66 x 86 cm
Louis XVI style giltwood frame : 75 x 95 cm

Provenance : Collection Robert de Rothschild (1880-1946), hôtel de Marigny Paris, Baron Alain de Rothschild (1910-1982), then by descent.
Bibliography : Voyages en Italie de Jean-François Cassas, Tours, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Silvana, Milano 2015

The Temple of Concordia, built by the Greeks in the 6th century BC, is the jewel of the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, southern Sicily. It is one of the best-preserved temples, along with the Hephaesteion in Athens and the Temple of Poseidon at Paestum, and is a must-see site of the Grand Tour, a remnant of Magna Graecia that has triumphed over the erosion of time and nature.
Cassas depicts this monument as it appeared in the latter half of the 18th century. To cater to the tastes of enthusiasts, he meticulously manages the lighting, combines topographical accuracy with archaeological knowledge, and composes a panorama that very precisely describes the architecture and the site. An excellent illustrator of nature, he enlivens his landscapes with the carefree silhouettes of artists, Grand Tour travellers, and Sicilian shepherds, who provide scale, enhance the monumentality of the depicted site, and add a picturesque note to his compositions. Collectors and enthusiasts, both past and present, are captivated by the charm of these remarkable sites, which had never before been reproduced with such a degree of perfection.

An Enlightenment-era draftsman and tireless traveller, Louis François Cassas devoted a large part of his work to the representation of heroic monumental antiquities. Considered one of the most prolific travel illustrators of his time, his urban views and landscapes garnered immense interest due to the unusual and spectacular scope of his inspiration; his travels took him across Europe, from north to south, but also to the Ottoman Empire, from Constantinople to Palestine and Egypt. The views taken in Sicily were composed from the numerous drawings he made during an excursion to the island that began in the autumn of 1782.

Louis François Cassas was born in 1756 at the Château d'Azay-le-Ferron, where his father was an engineer-architect in the service of the Marquis de Gallifet. In 1774, he was noticed by the draftsman Thomas Aignan Desfriche in Tours and joined the following year a Parisian drawing school founded by the Duke of Chabot. Supported by patrons, he travelled the world, twice in Italy thanks to the Duke of Chabot and then going to the East with the Count of Choiseul Gouffier.

The Duke of Chabot took him along in 1778 during a family trip to Italy. In 1780, with the support of Jean-Marie Vien, director of the French Academy in Rome, Cassas obtained the exceptional privilege for a draftsman of having an external room at the Palazzo Mancini. In the autumn of 1782, he joined Sicily at the invitation of Vivant Denon, who asked him to contribute to the illustration of a book by the Abbé de Saint-Non (1727-1791). Arriving via Messina, his journey led him to Taormina. He discovered Mount Etna, then continued his exploration through Catania, Syracuse, the Val di Noto, and Agrigento the subject of our sheet. He then went to Palermo and embarked from Catania to Naples while Sicily was experiencing severe earthquakes since February 1783. During this few-month stay, Cassas continued to draw, and the inventory of his drawings made in Paris in 1784 mentions 75 sheets describing his journey throughout Sicily, which would be used to compose the drawings published from 1802 by the Piranesi brothers.

In Paris, he met the Count of Choiseul Gouffier, whom he accompanied on a trip to the East: Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Phoenicia, Palestine, and Lower Egypt. He returned to Rome in 1787 with a considerable portfolio that enjoyed great success: "Everyone flocks to my place to see my drawings," he wrote.

Returning to Paris in 1791, he faced financial difficulties due to the Revolution and worked on publishing projects from which he hoped to derive incomes, with the support of Jacques Anisson du Perron and Jacques-Louis David. From 1801, he began collaborating with the Piranesi brothers to publish these large topographical views, which he composed from drawings made in Italy and the Levant.

The Piranesi brothers, inheritors since 1778 of their father Giambatista Piranesi's print publishing business, took refuge in Paris in 1799 after the fall of the short-lived Roman Republic in which they had been involved. With the support of the French government, particularly the protection of Joseph Bonaparte, they opened the Chalcography of the Piranesi Brothers, 296 rue de l'Université, whose activity flourished for about ten years. They published the works of their father, whose copper plates they had retained, and these famous large-format plates, described at the time as "colored drawings," depicting Rome, Paris, Sicily, or the Ottoman Empire, for which they partnered with great artists like Cassas, Desprez, the Sablet brothers, or Louis Gabriel Moreau. The drawings entrusted by these artists to the Piranesi brothers were line-engraved by Jacques Louis Bance, then the prints were retouched with pen and ink, and watercolour and gouache were added by highly skilled colourists deliberately imitating the drawing or painting.

This type of line or contour etching, illuminated with colour, had already enjoyed great success long before the Piranesi brothers in the 1780s Rome, thanks to two artists: the Venetian engraver Giovanni Volpato (1735-1803) and the Swiss landscape painter Abraham Louis Rodolphe Ducros (1748-1810), who published numerous illuminated vedute. This contour etching technique allowed for a more fluid and intuitive line than drypoint, capable of imitating pen drawings, which were then coloured. In a way, the Piranesi brothers established in Paris a workshop modelled on that of Volpato and Ducros, whose functioning and success they had observed in Rome.

Delevery information :

Please contact us upon this matter. For delivery abroad, we will ask door to door transportation to be quoted by independant shipping companies,

Galerie Philippe Guegan


Drawing & Watercolor