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Figures at a Fountain before ruins of a Temple

CAT 148 figures at fountain, otheres receding EBC.jpg

CAT 148. Drawn and engraved by Pérelle. Figures at a Fountain before ruins of a Temple, distant figures receding into landscape. Published by Drevet (avec Privilege du Roy). Paris, n.d. E. Barton Chapin Jr. Family Collection.

This is one of three prints in which classical architectural ruins are prominent. In this case a young woman sits before a monumental fountain from which others are drawing water. In the middle distance two figures, in bright light, walk past a building with a water wheel as birds fly overhead. This is a generic depiction of daily life “among the ruins.”

Melville’s copy of this print by Drevet “avec Privilege du Roy” must date from 1696 or later. The same image in the Dresden album book (no. 324, A70514) was published by Le Blond, a Parisian publishing enterprise established by Jean Le Blond (i) (c. 1594-1666) and continued by his nephew Jean Le Blond (ii) (c. 1635-1709), who followed the work of his uncle “a print publisher, particularly of architectural subjects” (Russo).

The subject of Melville’s image relates well those landscapes after Pérelle that Le Blond published as Paysages ornés de ruins et d’édifices antiques (nos. 74-76 in Le Blanc).