Pierre Jean François Turpin (Vire 1775 - Paris 1840)
signed lower left: Turpin del., titled lower middle: Cyperus Dives. (recto); inscribed: Bon à etre gravé vu en commission le 2 mai 1808. Berthollet (verso)
421 x 280 mm
Private collection, UK
This drawing is the original design for an engraving of the Cyperus Dives, published in Alire Raffeneau-Delile’s Flore d’Égypte. The publication was the result of research carried out on Napoleon Bonaparte’s Egyptian expedition (1798-1801) and forms part of the encyclopaedic series, Description de l’Égypte, published between 1809 and 1829. The engraving shows the present drawing in the reverse sense, save for minor alterations to the lower corners.
The inscription on the sheet’s verso denotes the inspection of Claude Berthollet and his approval for the drawing to be engraved. Berthollet was a founding member of the Institut d’Égypte and was partly responsible for selecting the “savants” for the initial expedition to Egypt. He later formed a commission of eight specialists to review the proposed documents for the forthcoming editions of the Description de l’Égypte.
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