Antiquarian, archaeologist, vulcanologist, and envoy to the British Embassy in Naples, Sir William Hamilton (1731–1803)
was a leading European figure of his time. Though the romance between
his wife Lady Emma Hamilton and Horatio Nelson tends to eclipse Sir
William’s own activities, his work as a scientist and a classicist made
major contributions to the study of Pompei, Herculaneum, and Mt
As an expert in ancient art, Hamilton also built up an invaluable collection of ancient Greek vases,
subsequently sold to the British Museum in London in 1772. Before the
pieces were shipped off to England, Hamilton commissioned
Pierre-François Hugues d'Hancarville, an adventurous connoisseur and art
dealer, to document the vases in words and images. The resulting
catalog, published in four volumes and known as Les Antiquités d'Hancarville, represents a neoclassical masterpiece. Never before had ancient vases been represented with such meticulous detail and sublime beauty.
this reprint, TASCHEN revives d'Hancarville’s masterful catalog for a
contemporary audience, reproducing in exacting detail the same pristine
images that sparked Europe's love affair with the classical style.