During his voyage in Palestine, Cassas drew various tombs from Biblical times, incluing that of Absalom. He took stock of the historic monuments first and measured them himself. In this illustration, Cassas cleverly cultivates his self-image as artiste-archéologue by depicting himself surveying and measuring the architecture. In doing so, he combines the skills of the draughtsman with those of the modern empirical scientist.
Louis François Cassas (1756–1827): Le Tombeau d'Absalom: Costume sous lequel l'artiste a pu en prendre à loisir les mesures (The tomb of Absalom: The costume in which the artist was able to take measurements), engraving, engraver: Miger, in: Louis François Cassas: Voyage pittoresque de la Syrie, de la Phoenicie, de la Palaestine et de la Basse Aegypte: ouvrage divisé en trois volumes contenant environ trois cent trente planches, 1799/1800, vol. 3, plate 30; source: Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg, digitital copy, Creative Commons-Lizenz CC-BY-SA 3.0 DE.