At Thebes by William Walcot

At Thebes by William Walcot

At Thebes

William Walcot

Title

At Thebes

 
Artist

William Walcot

  1874 - 1943 (biography)
Year
c. 1914  
Technique
etching, drypoint and aquatint, printed in brown/black ink 
Image Size
23 1/16 x 29 3/4" platemark (60.5 x 75.7 cm) 
Signature
pencil, lower right 
Edition Size
A/P Rare; edition not known 
Annotations
 
Reference
Not in Dickens. Rare 
Paper
heavy, antique-white wove 
State
proof 
Publisher
artist 
Inventory ID
17451 
Price
$5,000.00 
Description

This extremely rare etching of the Memnon Colossi at Thebes, Egypt was from the collection of the San Francisco book dealer Warren Howell (1912-1984).

In 1914 Walcot did a large etching and drypoint (Dickens 20, H/L 35) titled "The Trojan Horse". The Sotheby's sale of 6/27/01 of the Leverhulme Collection included an artist's proof of this print, titled "Virgil's Aeneid - Book 2, The Trojan Horse", lot 463.

Lot 469 of the same auction was titled "Palace at Thebes, Egypt" which was also an artist's proof, which was a similar size to the print we are offering (no image was available). This title is not noted in either Dickens or Harvey-Lee. This impression may be the same as lot 469 before the plate was trimmed, or another print entirely.

The temple at Thebes was destroyed by flood and scavengers and this is the artist's impression of how it originally looked. The Colossi are of Amenthotep III (Memnon) and his wife Queen Tiye and are 47 feet high and hewn out of a single block of granite. The Egyptian sphinxes were figures having a human head and the body of a lion, symbolizing intelligence and power.

Amenhotep III built not only the largest temple at Thebes (on the West Bank at Luxor), but in Egypt, measuring 700 by 550 meters. It covered 385,000 square meters (4,200,000 square feet). It was even larger than the temple of Amun-Re at Karnak. The temple's architect was also named Amenhotep, but was the son of Hapu. Unfortunately, it seem that the temple began to decay rapidly, and during the reign of Merenptah, it was actively used as a source of limestone blocks for the temple of that ruler.