HOUEL, Jean Pierre Louis Laurent (1735-1813) VOYAGE PITTORESQUE – 1782 – SOLD

HOUEL, Jean Pierre Louis Laurent (1735-1813) – 1782 – rare 5 views of Gozo


Houel, Jean Pierre Louis Laurent (1735-1813)

Engraver: Jean Pierre Louis Laurent Houel

Artist: Jean Pierre Louis Laurent Houel


Place: Paris

Year: 1782 – 1787

Plate size: approx – 385 x 265 mm

Verso: blank

Printing method: aquatint engravings in sepia colour and some in full colour

From his numerous sketches,

View 2 – plate 248 – top right corner : Pl. CCXLVIII. bottom left : Dessiné et gravé par J. Hoüel. bottom centre : Figure antique incrustée dans la Roche. / entre les deux Portes qui precendent l’entrée du Chateau au Goze.

View 3 – plate 249 – top right corner : Pl. CCXLIX. bottom left : Dessiné et gravé par J. Hoüel. bottom centre : Vue d’un Edifice antique / situé près la Tour des Géants, dans l’Isle du Goze.

View 4 – plate 250 – top right corner : Pl. CCL. bottom left : J.n Hoüel Sculp. bottom centre : Reste d’un Edifice antique apellé vulgairement la Tour des Géants, dans l”isle du Goze.

View 8 – plate 253 – top right corner : Pl. CCLIII. (should be Pl. CCLIIII.) (should be plate 254) bottom left : Dessiné et gravé par J. Hoüel. bottom centre : Plan de la Barriere / et du Burreau de la Santé, à Malte.

View 13 – plate 259 – top right corner : Pl. CCLIX. top view : Vue d’un reste de Maison de construction grecque / située au Casal Zurico. bottom left : Dessiné et gravé par J. Hoüel. bottom centre : a Roche representée à vue d’oiseau / dans laquelle est la Grotte et les Appartemens que l’on croit avoir etés habités par la Nymphe Calypso.

Notes: 264 aquatint plates by and after Houel, on 263 leaves (plates 245 and 246 printed on the same leaf), all printed in sepia. Jean Houel was an eminent painter, engraver, and author, who first studied in Rouen with Jean-Baptiste Descamps. He later moved to Paris, where he became a pupil of Casanova, Jacques-Philippe Le Bas, and Noël Le Mire and was admitted into the Royal Academy of Painting & Sculpture in 1774. After establishing a reputation for himself, Houel began to circulate in the aristocratic circles of Paris, and under the patronage of the King, he traveled to Sicily in the 1770s. He remained there for several years, during which he executed numerous sketches and paintings of the landscape, inhabitants, antiquities, and ancient sites of Sicily and the neighboring islands of Malta and Lipari. Upon returning to Paris in 1779, he exhibited several of his Italian views at the Salon (with Catherine II of Russia purchasing hundreds of his original drawings). His success led to Houel publishing his views in the present four-volume work between 1782 and 1787. His atmospheric renderings were highly esteemed and constitute an invaluable record of many historical monuments and classical ruins that no longer exist today. Houel worked up and engraved the plates himself on his return to Paris. The work was published in 44 livraisons, and was followed by a German edition published in Gotha 1797-1805. 4 volumes, 2° (500 x 330mm.). Half-titles, titles with woodcut vignette arms, 263 engraved sepia plates by Houel, most in aquatint, 2 double-page, the plates numbered 1-264, the map of Sicily numbered 245/246. Description: He was born in Rouen, Normandy, on June 28th 1735, and died in Paris aged 78 on November 14th 1813. In 1770 he made a short tour of Sicily and Malta. On his second visit he arrived at Palermo on may 14th 1776 and returned to Paris from Messina on June 10th 1779. During those three years he came to Malta and made various drawings and watercolours of which thirty-five are at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg and some others in Paris at the Louvre. About 240 of those he had sold to Catherine II of Russia disappeared without trace in the last 18th century. Between 1782-87 he published in four volumes his Voyage Pittoresque des Isles de Sicilie, de Malte et de Lipari. The aquatint engravings representing Malta are in the fourth volume. Houel was appointed King’s pensioner at the French Academy in Rome in 1770, and travelled extensively around Italy 1770-71, returning on a second tour in 1776.



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