Israel Silvestre

Tempio di Minerva Medica, c.1650
3 x 6 in
SKU: 10660g
"Tempo di Minerva Medica" is an original engraving by Israel Silvestre, titled along the lower edge. This miniature print depicts the ruins of the Temple of Minerva Medica in the Roman forum. The temple is on the right, half-buried with grasses and shrubs growing out of what's left of its roof. On the left is a home that appears to be inhabited, judging by the smoke coming from the chimney and the potted plants on the balcony. In the foreground, figures go about the tasks of their everyday lives, living alongside the ruins of the people that came before them.

Art size: 3" x 6"
Frame size: 10" x 13 3/8"
Tip mounted, inlaid in a silk matting with an antique gold fillet, traditional moulding with an antique gold finish.

French Baroque Era Engraver, 1621-1691, called the Younger to distinguish him from his father, was a prolific French draftsman, etcher, and print dealer who specialized in topographical views and perspectives of famous buildings. Orphaned at an early age, he was taken in by his uncle in Paris, Israel Henriet, an etcher and printseller, and friend of Callot. Between 1630 and 1650 Silvestre traveled widely in France and Italy, which he visited three times, and later worked up his sketches as etchings, which were sold singly and in series. His work, especially on Venetian subjects published in the 1660s, influenced eighteenth-century painters of vedute such as Luca Carlevaris and Canaletto, who adapted his compositions. In 1661 he inherited the stock of plates of his uncle, the printseller Israel Henriet, among which was a large part of the works of Jacques Callot, and many of those of Stefano Della Bella. In 1662 he was appointed dessinateur et graveur du Roi and in 1673 he was appointed drawing master to Louis, le Grand Dauphin. From 1668 he was granted workshop space in the galleries of the Louvre, where the practice of housing eminent artists and craftsmen was a tradition that originated under Henri IV. Silvestre's atelier was large: he had at least two pupils who had careers as engravers, Franqois Noblesse and Meunier, and In 1670 Charles Le Brun recommended him for membership in the Academie Royale de Peinture et de sculpture. In 1675 his son, the artist Louis Silvestre was born at Sceaux.