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Creator:
Richard Wilson RA, 1713/4–1782, British, active in Italy (1750–56)
Title:

Sculpted Plinth in the Villa Medici

Former Title(s):

Ancient Altar in the Villa Medici

Additional Title(s):

In the Villa Medici

Date:
undated
Medium:
Black chalk and white gouache on medium, moderately textured, blue laid paper
Dimensions:
Sheet: 7 1/2 x 9 5/8 inches (19.1 x 24.4 cm)
Inscription(s)/Marks/Lettering:

Inscribed in black chalk, recto, lower center: "in the Villa Medici"

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
B1977.14.5745
Classification:
Drawings & Watercolors
Collection:
Prints and Drawings
Subject Terms:
architectural subject | Grand Tour | mermaids | mythological figures | plinth | putti
Associated Places:
Europe | Italy | Lazio | Pincian Hill | Roma | Rome | Villa Medici
Access:
Accessible by request in the Study Room [Request]
Note: The Study Room is open to Yale ID holders by appointment. Please visit the Study Room page on our website for more details.
Link:
https://collections.britishart.yale.edu/catalog/tms:15046
Export:
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Throughout his time in Rome Wilson lived close to the Villa Medici, which is situated on the Pincio hill near the summit of the Spanish Steps. He would have been familiar with its contents, particularly the famed collection of antiquities, and several drawings of them exist. For example, Wilson’s Roman sketchbook of 1754 (cat. 143), contains a study of a strigilated sarcophagus then in the garden of the Villa Medici.1 Wilson famously drew the central sculpture of the Niobe group at the Villa Medici in his sketchbook of 1752 (cat. 16), including it in his painting The Destruction of the Children of Niobe (cat. 89). The altar in the present drawing appears to be a typical example of the Flavian period, but is not identifiable among those sculptures from the Villa Medici now in Florentine collections. Wilson frequently inserted small antiquities such as this altar into the foreground of his Roman landscapes.

1 Sutton and Clements, Italian Sketchbook 1:20, 2:39–40.

Jonathan Yarker

Martin Postle, Richard Wilson and the transformation of European landscape painting, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2014, p. 222, Cat. No. 25, NJ18.W72 R53 2014 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Martin Postle, Richard Wilson and the transformation of European landscape painting, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2014, p. 222, Cat. No. 25, NJ18.W72 R53 2014 OVERSIZE (YCBA)


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