Saturday, September 11, 2010

James Millingen - Engravings of Greek Vases


Description of the first plate from The Classical Journal: In plate XXVI, two young men perform funeral rites at a sepulchral cippus, probably alluding to the story of Orestes at the tomb of Agamemnon.

Description of the first plate from The Classical Journal: The first image of these two is From Plates 1, 2 and 3. One picture on this vase represents a young man in a chariot drawn by four horses : he seems to have outstripped his rivals in the course, and presents himself before the judge or president of the games, to claim the reward of his victory ; he is accompanied by a female, who sits by his side, and assists in managing the reins, whilst two other females, one running before the horses, the other by their side, seem to indicate the way ; these are perhaps the nymphs, Virtue, and  Glory, and the female sitting in the chariot,  or Victory herself. 
The second image may be this one: On the reverse (Plate XVII,) three youths, one offering a cup to him who is in the middle.


 
Description of the first plate from The Classical Journal, see: This may be from Plate XXV, Mr. Millingen first offers the observations of his accomplished friend, M. Chevalier de Rossi, and then his own. According to the Italian antiquary, it represents Hercules at the moment when he decided between Virtue and Vice, here expressed by Minerva and a female figure, denoting Pleasure or Voluptuousness ; behind this female Mercury appears as if waiting for the decision of Hercules, that he might carry the news to Olympus: another male figure at the opposite end may be one of Hercules' companions. Our learned author, however, Mr. Millingen, is of opinion that this interesting picture represents the Apotheosis of Hercules, •whom Minerva had led into heaven ; before him is Hebe given by Jupiter as his wife; near her is Mercury, by whom site had been conducted to Hercules; and the extreme figure is probably Theseus, the intimate friend of that hero during life, and exalted, like him, to divine honors after his death. A difference of opinion in the explanation of ancient monuments will not surprise us now, if we consider that even in the time of Pausanias many works of former ages were subject to a variety of interpretations. 

Plate XIV, Aurora pursues young Cephalus ; who endeavors to avoid her :—the story of these personages we find on many vases, which seem copied from the same original; but here the painter has introduced Cephalus's dog, which, with his javelin, was very famous in ancient mythology.

Prints from James Millingen's Peintures Antiques de Vases Grecs, published in 1817. This book is rare, the World Cat lists it in The British Library and about 40 other libraries around the world.
The complete title is Peintures antiques de Vases Grecs de la collection de Sir J. Coghill, Bart., publiées par J. M. [With letters of G. G. de Rossi, the former possessor of this collection, prefixed, translated from the Italian.].

A similar work may be Peintures de vases antiques recueillies par Millin (1808) et Millingen (1813) publiées et commentées par Salomon Reinach. Main Author: Reinach, Salomon, 1858-1932. The artists: Main Author: Millin, A. L, 1759-1818. Millingen, James, 1774-1845. Another by Millin: Millin (A. L.). Peintttrcs dcs vases antiques. 2 vols. Paris, 1808-10, fol. The Introduction of Dubois-Maisonneuve (y.v.) was published uniform with this. Re-edited by S. Reinach in 4to, Paris, 1891. (Millin Reinach.)

A reference to it is made in the Open Library Peintures antiques de vases Grecs de la collection de Sir John Coghill Bart. Published 1817 by James Millingen in Rom . Written in French

From A critical dictionary of English literature, and British and American authors: living and deceased ; from the earliest accounts to the middle of the nineteenth century ; containing thirty thousand biographies and literary notices, with forty indexes of subjects, by Samuel Austin Allibone

Millingen, James, 1774-1845, a native of London, resided for the last twenty-four years of his life in Italy, engrossed in these antiquarian researches which have conferred upon his name such wide celebrity. 1. Recueil de quelques Medailles Grecques inSdites, Rome, 1812, 4to. 2. Peintures Antiques inedites de Vases Grecs, 1813, atlas fol. 3. Medallic Hist, of Napoleon, Lon., 1819, 4to ; Supp., 1822. This work was also pub. by the author in French.

The prints are for sale on Ebay.

Petra Fine Art

Vases grecs Vases grecs. Les Athéniens et leur images Looking at Greek VasesHow to Read Greek Vases (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Vases grecs

Vases grecs. Les Athéniens et leur images

Looking at Greek Vases

Code pour l'analyse des representations figurees sur les vases grecs (Centre de recherches archeologiques : Analyse documentaire et calcul en archeologie) (French Edition)

La Peinture Des Vases Grecs

How to Read Greek Vases (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

From The Classical Journal Volume 31, March and June, 1925
NOTICE OF PEINTURES ANTIQUES de VASES GRECS, de la collection de Sir. John Coghill, Bart. publisher, James Millingen, de la Societe des Antiquaires de Londres, et de f Academic Archeologique de Rome.—Large folio: Rome, 1817.


WITH our opinion of the learning, taste, and ingenuity evinced by Mr. Millingen in two very valuable works, the readers of this Journal are already well acquainted, ...; and that high opinion is confirmed by the splendid volume now before us, which describes and illustrates many interesting remnants of Classical Antiquity. It appears from the Avis de l'Editeur, that M. de Lalo,treasurer to the late Queen of Naples, had, during a long residence in that country, formed a magnificent collection of Greek painted vases, which, on his death, became the property of M. le Chevalier de Rossi; and this accomplished antiquary caused the most curious or remarkable to be engraved on thirty-nine plates, with considerable accuracy.—The collection, having passed into the hands of Sir John Coghill, was augmented by the purchase of many precious vases, among others those of M. Bonnet, and thirteen new plates have been added to the thirty-nine above mentioned.—The volume now under consideration exhibits those fifty-two engravings, placed together at the end ; forty-eight pages of letter-press contain the explanations of them; and twenty introductory pages com prise the '' Avis de l'Editeur," and three very interesting letters from the Chevalier Jean Gherardo de Rossi to Mr. Millingen, originally written in Italian, but here given in French. The first, (dated Rome, 10th March, 1816,) offers many curious observations on llie ancient art of pottery, and the fabrication of vases : M. Rossi believes that the artist having formed his work of clay properly moistened and prepared, caused it to be perfectly dried, and that in a dry state it passed into the painter's hands. On examination of those vases it will be found, says he, that the painter scratched or engraved his first sketch of figures with a metal point which produced on the dry clay a slight trace or furrow, without any rising or relief on the edges, and somewhat shining, from the impression of the point; a circumstance which could not have existed if the work had been made on soft or moist clay. In some few vases, however, M. Rossi allows, the outlines' appear to have been traced with a color slightly different from that of the clay.—It seems that the painter seldom deviated from the outlines thus traced with the point; a proof, says M. Rossi, that the pictures on vases were always copies, and never the original woiks of those who executed them.—In the second letter, (from Rome, March 31st, 1816,) he continues his remarks on the pictures which vases exhibit, and which he attributes to artists neither of the highest nor the lowest rank, but capable of imitating, though in the principal parts only of figures, the beauties of their originals, executing in a negligent style the inferior or accessory parls. If it be asked, whence did those painters derive their designs? M. Rossi answers, from the sculptured marbles of Greece—or from impressions of them taken in terra cotta, which the artist could obtain without the trouble of actually visiting the marbles themselves : his reasons for entertaining this opinion conclude the second letter.—In the third, (dated Rome, April 15th, 1816,) he particularly notices those vases generally called, but improperly, Sicilian,—which exhibit figures raised or relieved on the ground of clay by means of a dark or black color, a style of painting which seems to imitate shadows on a wall; whence many antiquaries have inferred the extreme antiquity of these vases, supporting tlieir opinion by the barbarous designs, the disproportions of figures, and strange deformities, which, according to them, announce that art what still in its infancy. M. Rossi, though he allows that this style of painting may in the beginning have been derived from an imitation of shadow, is not willing to believe that the vases generally called Sicilian are more ancient than those before noticed : he regards the pictures found on them as partaking of the caricature or masque style; and he affirms that the artists who indulged in those ill-proportioned and grotesque figures, occasionally proved, by a few masterly touches, that they were capable of better execution, it must also be remarked that as most of the Sicilian vases represent Bacchanalian scenes, the caricature style seems best adapted to give an idea of those orgies in which the performers appeared masqued and disguised. However this may be, we discover, amidst the gross disproportions and extravagant figures on Sicilian vases, many circumstances which bespeak art in its adult state, and show that those figures were rendered caricatures purposely, and not through ignorance or inability of the painter.
In the "Avis de l'Editeur" prefixed to the work before us, Mr. Millingen notices the happy effect produced on public taste in England since the introduction of Sir William Hamilton's and Mr. Thomas Hope's magnificent collections of vases : the same beneficial result may be expected from the one here described, for which his countrymen are indebted to Sir John Coghill. It has been shown by various writers that the study of Greek vases may furnish most important assistance to those engaged in explaining the ancient authors, as well as to artists, in offering them models worthy of imitation : respecting the origin of vases, the times and places of their construction, and the uses for which they were intended, we may refer the reader to Mr. Millingen's " Peintures Antiques et inedites de Vases Grecs," lately noticed in this Journal, (No. Lvii. p. 118 ;) and we proceed to that learned antiquary's explanation of the plates representing Sir John Coghill's painted vases.
Here we must close Mr. Millingen's splendid volume, in which, as in his works before noticed, and those which we purpose to examine in future numbers of our journal, he supports his opinions and conjectures with classical authorities, so happily applied, that to us they seem incontrovertible; and we regret that our limits prevent us from doing adequate justice to this accomplished antiquary, by a fuller account of his erudite labors.

Here is a description from The family of Coghill. 1377 to 1879: With some sketches of their maternal ancestors, the Slingsbys, of Scriven Hall. 1135 to 1879. by James Henry Coghill.

From records in the Castle of Knaresborough (extracts of which were furnished us by Messrs. Samuel and Charles Powell, stewards of the castle), we find that in 1796, Coghill Hall was purchased of him by the Right Honorable the Countess of Conyngham, and thus the place which for centuries had been the seat of the heads of the family passed into other hands. Sir John Thomas never married. We hear of him some years later as visiting Italy, and spending some time in Naples. While there he purchased a very fine collection of Greek vases, which had been made by M. de Lalo, and afterwards owned by M. le Chevalier de Rossi, who had thirty-nine of the most valuable vases carefully engraved on large plates. When the collection came into the possession of Sir John Thomas Coghill, he largely augmented it by purchases made in Naples, and added thirteen new plates to the thirty-nine which came to him with tht collection. In 1817 these engravings, with several letters from M. de Rossi and full explanations of the plates, were published in Rome by James Millingen, of the Society of Antiquaries of London, and of the Academy of Archaeology of Rome, in a work entitled " Peintures Antiques des Vases Grecs de la Collection de Sir John Coghill, Bart." (Impl. folio.) This work is now very rare. We obtained a copy by advertising for it in London. Sir John Jocelyn Coghill, in a letter to the compiler, says: —
"My uncle, Sir John Thomas, lived principally abroad, and was a great dabbler in art matters. He spent a large sum in bringing out the work on Grecian and Etruscan vases. I recollect hearing that after the war my father had a good deal of trouble in getting all my uncle's art treasures over into England. My father, who was a thorough sailor of the old school, although one of the finest fellows and most lovable of characters, cared little for such matters. The vases were most of them, if not all, sold to the British Museum, and the marbles and a quantity of the pictures were reserved as heirlooms. I am sorry to say that in my father's time these works of art did not receive the fairest of play, but came to me in a very knocked-about condition, statues minus noses, fingers, and arms, and pictures with holes in them and paint off. I have done what I could in the way of judicious restoration, but some of them were as battered and weather-beaten in appearance as the dear old admiral himself. My uncle, while detained in France during the war with the first Napoleon, became acquainted with Lafayette, and through him was induced to purchase a large amount of land at New Orleans. I believe a large part of that city is now built over this very land, and had my father kept possession of it, I have no doubt that it would now be of immense value, and have added largely to our estate ; but he did not foresee what was to happen, and sold it in the full belief that his brother had been very well swindled by Lafayette, as in taking possession it was found that at a few spades' depth there was nothing but water."

The Family of Coghill, 1377 to 1879

''Ceramic Literature: An Analytical Index To The Works Published In All Languages On The History And The Technology Of The Ceramic Art (1910)

There is a reference to the book and the collection in Ancient marbles in Great Britain By Adolf Michaelis.

Ancient Marbles in Great Britain 2 Part Set (Cambridge Library Collection - Archaeology)
Ancient Marbles in Great Britain 2 Part Set (Cambridge Library Collection - Archaeology)

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