MELLING, Antoine Ignace (1763-1831)
Vue de la Seconde Cour Intérieure du Sérail
[Pl. 13] Paris: P. Didot l'ainé, 1809-1819. Etching with engraving by Schroeder, Desmaisons, and Duparc after Melling. Very good condition apart from a skillfully repaired 1 1/8" tear in the right margin, a 1/2" tear in the top margin, and an expertly repaired tear traveling through the center of the image where the print was folded. Trimmed within plate mark. Image size (including text): 17 7/8 x 31 1/8 inches. Sheet size: 21 1/2 x 34 5/8 inches.
A fine view of the inner courtyard of the Seraglio, Topkapi Palace, from Melling's grand work 'Voyage Pittoresque de Constantinople et des rives du Bosphore'
Born in Lorraine in 1763, Antoine Ignace Melling, artist and voyager, was trained in architecture and painting. At the age of 19, he went to Constantinople as part of the Russian Ambassador's retinue. After successfully completing several commissions for Hatice Sultan, the sister of Selim III, which included the renovation of her palace at Ortakeï, Melling was employed as the Sultan's architect in 1795. His position as royal architect gave him a privileged opportunity to observe the Ottoman court, and during his eighteen years there, he made many detailed drawings of the sultan's palaces, Ottoman society, and Constantinople and its environs.
Within a year of returning to Paris in 1803, Melling published a prospectus for the 'Voyage pittoresque', the first thirteen livraisons of which were published in 1809. He completed the engravings for this work in 1819.
Cf. Atabey 798; cf. Blackmer 1105; cf. Brunet III, 1591; cf. Lipperheide 1431.