Fine and early view of the city of Palmyra, in Syria, published by Cornelis de Bruyn and based on the 1695 view of ruins by Gerard Hofstede, the first published view of Palmyra.
This detailed and well-executed copperplate engraving shows the ruins strewn across a desolated area, with two horsemen in the front. Columns are everywhere, some standing and some toppled. A grey, menacing sky overlooks the composition.
The lost city of Palmyra had spurred the imagination of Europeans for decades before the publication of this view. It had been first spotted by British merchants form the British Levant Company in 1678, but they stopped and sent back by the local Sheik, who did not appreciate European intrusion. The city was again visited in 1691, and this time, Hofstede was present to record the views. He would publish his image in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society in 1695, and De Bruyn would copy this view for his 1698 Reizen van Cornelis de Bruyn.
Cornelis de Bruyn , 1652-c.1726 was a Dutch portrait painter and traveler.
De Bruyn painted for some years in Italy, where he was known, in Rome, as Adonis. Bruyn is remembered chiefly for the records of his extensive travels in Egypt, Persia, India, and other countries, illustrated with his own designs.