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Verso by John Talman, 1677–1726
Print made by Adriaen Frans Boudewyns, 1644–1711 (recto)
after Abraham Genoels, baptized 1640, died 1723
Published by Adam Francois van der Meulen, 1631 or 1632–1690
Published by Gerard Jean Baptiste Scotin, 1671–1716

Studies, with Gardens, Possibly for a Talman Family House

Additional Title(s):

Unidentified House: Plan and Elevations

Verso: View of a Garden

Materials & Techniques:
Graphite, pen and black ink, and red chalk; verso: line engraving on thick, textured, cream wove paper
Sheet: 22 3/4 x 17 1/2 inches (57.8 x 44.5 cm)

Inscribed in pen and black ink, lower left, calculations given; inscribed on verso in pen and black ink, lower left: "[...] jn [...] AF Bauduins, Sculp." and in pen and black ink, lower right: "AF Vander Meulen, ex. cum privil. Reg."

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Drawing & Watercolors-Architectural
Prints and Drawings
Subject Terms:
architectural subject | country house | garden | Italianate | landscape architecture | watermelon
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IIIF Manifest:

The verso of an engraving by Adriaen Franz Boudewijns after Adam François van der Meulen has been used as an impromptu drawing surface, displaying rough elevations and a ground plan for a villa set within an Italianate terraced garden. Figurative studies in red chalk, including a pope in a tiara, are at the corner of the sheet. These drawings are attributed to architect and collector John Talman, son of the prominent late seventeenth-century architect William Talman. The younger Talman spent years travelling through Europe, helping to build his father’s extensive art collection and also making drawings of his own. His surviving sketchbooks show an interest in late baroque buildings and ornament, as well as objects relating to Catholic liturgy. This drawing’s papal motifs and Italianate architecture are therefore entirely consistent with his oeuvre and it is likely that this drawing was made on one of Talman’s Italian tours. In 1698 he visited Holland and Germany before proceeding to Italy where he stayed until 1702. In 1709 he returned to Italy with William Kent and William Lock, where he remained until 1717. During these years, Talman resided in Rome but made excursions throughout the country. Upon his return from Italy in 1717, he took part in the foundation of the Society of Antiquaries and was appointed its first director. From this time onward he became less involved with architecture, instead devoting himself to his pursuits as an antiquarian and collector.

The house on this sheet is laid out on a square plan, three bays wide, and aligned on axis with a planting bed, circular fountain, and a shallow stair that leads down to a lower terrace on the cross axis. The planting bed has a scroll-like pattern indicated in pencil; this bed and the circular fountain are framed by two avenues of trees and figurative sculptures mounted on pedestals. In elevation, the house is a two-story building under a hipped roof, and the garden terraces have curving staircases. The pencil elevation at the top of the sheet shows a classical pedimented garden pavilion raised on a high podium.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2014

Cinzia Maria Sicca, John Talman, an early-eighteenth-century connoisseur , Vol. 19, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 2008, p. 114, fig. 36, NC33.G72 [ORBIS]

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