We have a wonderful series of prints from the publication I monumenti dell’Egitto e della Nubia, disegnati dalla spedizione scientifico-letteraria toscana in Egitto. The hand colored etchings from this publication are by Dr. Ippolito Rosellini of the University of Pisa and were published by Niccolo Capurro, Pisa, in 1834.
In 1822, Jean-François Champollion published the first correct translation of the hieroglyphs and the key to the Egyptian grammatical system. In 1827 Ippolito Rosellini, considered the founder of Egyptology in Italy, went to Paris for a year in order to improve his knowledge of the method of decipherment proposed by Champollion. The two philologists decided to organize an expedition to Egypt to confirm the validity of Champollion’s discovery. Headed by Champollion and assisted by Rosellini, the mission was known as the Franco-Tuscan Expedition, and was made possible by the support of the grand-duke of Tuscany, Leopold II, and the King of France, Charles X.
On the July 21, 1828, with four members, they boarded the ship Eglé at Toulon and set sail for Egypt. They travelled upstream along the Nile and studied an exhaustive number of monuments and inscriptions. The expedition led to the publication of the extensive I monumenti dell’Egitto e della Nubia, disegnati dalla spedizione scientifico-letteraria toscana in Egitto(1834) and Monuments de l’Égypte et de la Nubie (1845).
Once published, I monumenti dell’Egitto e della Nubia, disegnati dalla spedizione scientifico-letteraria toscana in Egitto included discussion and illustration of ancient monuments, civil monuments, and religious monuments and the hieroglyphs found inside. It is made up of nine volumes, and is still consulted today in research. I monumenti dell’Egitto e della Nubia is one of the earliest publications to include accurate reliefs and inscriptions from the Egyptian monuments.