Engraving based on a drawing by Pranciškus Smuglevičius and Vinčenzas Brena
Author: Karlonis Markas, 1742 - 1796
Created: 1776 m.
Material / technique: paper / coloured copper engraving.
Dimensions: 56 x 51 cm.
The famous album of the wall paintings in Emperor Nero’s Domus Aurea, known as Vestigia delle Terme di Tito (Images of the Thermae of Titus), is composed of 60 sheet prints with copies of compositions of ancient Roman wall paintings. Most of the engravings were based on the drawings of Pranciškus Smuglevičius (1745–1807) or drawings co-authored by Smuglevičius and Vinčenzas Brena (1745–1830). The album was printed in Rome in 1776 thanks to the effort of publisher Liudovikas Miris. It was warmly received by lovers of ancient Roman culture, and was reprinted again that same year. Preparing the publication was difficult because both an expensive coloured edition (with engravings coloured by hand with watercolours and gouache) and a black and white edition were being prepared. It is thought that the contour version of the publication had to be carefully and subtly coloured by hand, but part of the images remained uncoloured. The album had a huge influence on art created in the period from the end of the 18th century to the first half of the 19th century. Artists from various countries sought examples of classicistic compositions of wall paintings in the album. Smuglevičius himself used the album to find motifs and composition ideas for his paintings.
Text by Rūta Janonienė