Yale Center for British Art
John Flaxman, 1755–1826, British

The Apotheosis of Antonius Pius and Faustina, Column of Antonius Pius, Piazza Montecitorio, Rome
Graphite, pen and ink, and gray wash on medium, slightly textured, cream laid paper bound in vellum
Sheet: 8 5/8 x 6 inches (21.9 x 15.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Drawings & Watercolors-Sketchbooks
Prints and Drawings
Currently On View:
Not on view
Curatorial Comment:
For the British artist studying in Italy, the sketchbook was a crucial tool. Three on "classic ground" the act of drawing focused the attention and aided the understanding. Back in Britain the sketchbook provided not only a record of the art and landscape encountered but also a repertoire of poses, figural groupings, and compositional ideas from the ancients and the masters of the Renaissance and Baroque or of richly evocative landscape elements that could be incorporated into their own art. While their sketchbooks show them to have been eager and receptive students, both George Romney and John Flaxman made their visits to Italy as mature well-established artists. Romney interrupted a successful practice as a portrait painter to travel to Italy between 1773 and 1775. flaxman by 1787 had earned enough as a sculptor to afford a more extended stay in Italy, remaining there until 1794. The Sketchbooks by Romney and Flaxman are each filled with drawings after antique sculpture and works of the early high Renaissance in both Florence and Rome. Romney's sketches are freer and interspersed with original compositional studies; Flaxman's drawings are more disciplined, frequently worked up with pen and ink and wash.
Eckart Marchand, Flaxman: The Yale Sketchbook, Sketchbook Used by John Flaxman During His Stay in Italy (1787-94) Containing Sketches from Florence and Rome, Dated 4 November 1787 , vol. 72, 2010, pp. 119-85, figs. 1-87, N12 W35 A1 72 + (YCBA)