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Giovanni Battista Borra, 1713–1770

Ruines à Troye

Additional Title(s):

Ruins at Troy

View of Ruins, Probably at Bourarbashi or Sheblac, Both at One Time Thought to Be Troy

ca. 1750
Materials & Techniques:
Gray wash with black ink over graphite on moderately thick, moderately textured, beige laid paper
Sheet: 14 13/16 x 21 9/16 inches (37.6 x 54.7 cm), Image: 9 5/16 x 14 3/8 inches (23.6 x 36.5 cm)

Inscribed in graphite, upper left: "38"; in brown ink, upper left: "XXXIX."; in black ink, within image: labels A-E; lower center: "RVINES A' TROYE"

watermark: "IHS" in monogram, with a cross extending from the "H" and beneath it, "I VILLEDARY" (Churchill 411)

Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Drawing & Watercolors-Architectural
Prints and Drawings
Subject Terms:
arches | architectural subject | blocks | bushes | ruins
Associated Places:
Asia | Marmara | Troy | Turkey | Çanakkale
Accessible by appointment in the Study Room [Request]
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IIIF Manifest:

The primary motivation for the expedition of 1750-51 was literary rather than architectural, or what Wood called "poetical geography." Wood, Dawkins, and Bouverie were interested in visiting sites mentioned in works of classical literature: "classical ground not only makes us always relish the poet, or historian more, but sometimes helps us understand them better." For this reason, "where we thought the present face of the country was the best comment on an antient author, we made our draftsman take a view, or make a plan of it." The first great translation of the Iliad in English, by Alexander Pope in 1715, had renewed public interest in Homer, and one of Wood's aims, ultimately unsuccessful, was to locate the position of Homer's Troy. In 1767 he published An Essay on the Original Genius of Homer, to which in 1775 he added "a Comparative view of the Ancient and Present state of the Troade," which compared the topography of the eighteenth-century Scandrian peninsula with that described in Homer's works. This view depicts the ruins at Alexandria Troas, or "Troja Nova", which was until the early eighteenth century thought to be the location of ancient Troy. It was published in the "Comparative View" as "Ancient Ruins near Troy upon the Aegean Sea. Supposed to be the work of Alexander or Lysimachus."

Gallery label for Pearls to pyramids: British visual culture and the Levant, 1600-1820 (Yale Center for British Art, 2008-02-07 - 2008-04-28)

Pearls to Pyramids: British Visual Culture and the Levant, 1600–1830 (Yale Center for British Art, 2008-02-07 - 2008-04-28) [YCBA Objects in the Exhibition] [Exhibition Description]

Pearls to pyramids : British visual culture and the Levant, 1600-1830 [wall labels], Yale Center for British Art, 2008, p. 42, V 2576 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Pearls to pyramids : British visual culture and the Levant, 1600-1830, , Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 2008, p. 16, V1880 [ORBIS]

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