Tomb with Death Enthroned as a Sphinx

Louis Jean Desprez French

Not on view

Introduced to the rudiments of etching while a student in Paris, Desprez went on to master the more complicated technique of aquatint after being sent to study at the French Academy in Rome. Visits to ancient ruins may have stimulated his series of four tombs, large sepulchral fantasies executed in a grainy aquatint, lending them a timeworn patina. In this image from the series, a skeleton adorned like a king or pharaoh guards a tomb inscribed with pseudo-hieroglyphics.

Tomb with Death Enthroned as a Sphinx, Louis Jean Desprez (French, Auxerre 1743–1804 Stockholm), Etching and aquatint, printed in brown ink, ii/ii

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