Flaxman, John (1755-1826; English) (after)
Compositions from the Iliad of Homer (London, 1805; with 39 engravings by Tommaso Piroli & others)
Purchased 1857
State Library of Victoria [AEF 735 F611]

First published in 1793, with 34 plates by Piroli (c.1752-1824), this album reproduced sketches made by Flaxman in Rome in 1792-3, for English patrons. This second edition of 1805 included a further 3 prints by William Blake, and 2 by James Parker (1757-1805). Each print in the Melbourne copy bears an added MPL stamp.

The spare linearity of these compositions – and others after Flaxman also acquired for the MPL in the 1850s: see e.g. Flaxman (after) Compositions from the Odyssey of Homer 1805 {1857} SLV [IB] – was widely influential during the 19th century: see now linked artist entry for further details.

[photo: Plate 1, etched by Blake: Homer invoking the Muses (RA copy (c))]


MPL 1857, iv., p.6 (& also MPL 1861, p.134)

See SLV catalogue entry for details (not illustrated)

For reproductions of the Royal Academy copy, see https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/art-artists/book/the-iliad-of-homer-engraved-from-the-compositions-of-iohn-flaxman-r-a; and for further details on the drawings and prints, see https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/article/how-to-read-it-flaxmans-iliad-odyssey (article by Annette Wickham, last updated Aug.2020) (sites accessed 3 Dec.2020)