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Tomb with Sphinxes and an Owl

A work made of etching and aquatint in brown on cream laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of etching and aquatint in brown on cream laid paper.

Date:

1779–84

Artist:

Louis Jean Desprez
French, 1743-1804

About this artwork

This invention of an imaginary Egyptian tomb by the French artist, architect, and stage designer Louis-Jean Desprez was one of a set of four aquatints on the theme that he designed while living in Rome. It combines a sense of theatrical drama with references to Egyptian antiquities, which enjoyed a vogue at the time.
The print’s bizarre fantasy (made horrific by the exposed corpse in the open tomb), enhanced by dramatic contrasts of light and shadow, makes it a document of some importance among the early manifestations in art of pre-romantic sensibilities.

Status

Currently Off View

Department

Prints and Drawings

Artist

Louis Jean Desprez

Title

Tomb with Sphinxes and an Owl

Origin

France

Date

1779–1784

Medium

Etching and aquatint in brown on cream laid paper

Dimensions

338 × 486 mm

Credit Line

The Amanda S. Johnson and Marion J. Livingston Fund

Reference Number

2011.93

IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

Learn more.

https://api.artic.edu/api/v1/artworks/209884/manifest.json

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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