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Creator Richard Wilson RA, 1714–1782, British, active in Italy (1750–56)
Title Temple of Minerva Medica, Rome
Alternate Title(s) T. of Minerva Medica.
Temple of Minerva Medici, Rome
Date 1754
Medium Black and white chalk on moderately thick, rough, blue laid paper mounted on moderately thick, moderately textured, cream laid paper with border of moderately thick, moderately textured, cream laid paper with purple wash
Dimensions Sheet: 11 5/16 x 16 9/16 inches (28.7 x 42.1 cm) Mount: 13 7/8 x 19 1/2 inches (35.2 x 49.5 cm)
Inscribed in brown ink, on sheet attached to mount, lower center: "T. of Minerva | Medica."; in black chalk, on mount, lower right: "No. 19"; in graphite, on back of mount, upper left: "7403"; on back of mount, upper right: "30", Signed and dated in black chalk, on mount, lower left: "R. Wilson f. 1754"
Credit Line Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Accession Number B1977.14.4654
Collection Prints and Drawings
Curatorial Comment In 1754 William Legge, 2nd Earl of Dartmouth (1731-1801), commissioned a set of sixty-eight drawings from Wilson as a souvenir of his Grand Tour. These ‘Dartmouth Drawings,’ all views of Italy, are considered one of the crowning achievements of Wilson’s years in Italy and of British topographical draftsmanship in the eighteenth century. The initial commission as negotiated by Thomas Jenkins was more modest in scope with just twenty drawings of Rome and its environs; this sheet belongs to that first series all of which were mounted with a characteristic lilac border and numbered one through twenty, this sheet being number nineteen. This soon became a more ambitious project and eventually totalled sixty-eight drawings according to Wilson’s pupil, Joseph Farington, although only twenty-six drawings can now be traced. This drawing represents the so-called Temple of Minerva Medica, a ruin that was one of the most famous and frequently reproduced Antique monuments in eighteenth-century Rome. Situated close to the Porta Maggiore on agricultural land within the ancient Aurelian walls, the decagonal, domed structure was identified during the eighteenth century as a temple dedicated to Minerva the Doctor but was most likely a dining pavilion built for an elite Roman family in around AD 300. Wilson’s sheet emphasizes the brick ribs that formed the dome of the structure, which collapsed in 1828; the facade and campanile of the church of Santa Bibiana are seen beyond. Like all the Dartmouth Drawings, Wilson executed this sheet in black chalk with white heightening on a toned paper in the manner of the French artists then working at the Académie de France à Rome.
     -- , 2014-05
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Subject Terms architectural subject | buildings | city | fields | figures | Grand Tour | landscape | nymphaeum | ruins | temple | trees | wall
Place Represented Italy | Lazio | Roma | Rome | Temple of Minerva Medica

John Baskett, Paul Mellon's legacy, a passion for British art : masterpieces from the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2007, pp. 250-251, no. 20, pl. 20, N5220 M552 P38 2007 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

Catalogue of an exhibition of pictures by Richard Wilson and his circle : organized by the City Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham, January, 1949, The Tate Gallery, London, , Tate Britain, London, 1949, p. 27, no. 87, NJ18 W72 T37 (YCBA)

Mahonri Sharp Young, The Mellon Drawings at the Morgan, Apollo, vo. 95, no. 122, April, 1972, pp. 331, 332-33, fig. 3, N1 A54 + (YCBA) , Another copy available in Vertical File - V 2330

Catalogue of pictures by Richard Wilson and his circle, November 17-January 9 1948-9, City Museum & Art Gallery Birmingham, Birmingham, 1948, p. 24, no. 88, V 2449 (YCBA)

Windows on that world, essays on British art presented to Brian Allen, The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, London, 2012, p. 70, N6766 .W56 2012 (YCBA)

Richard Wilson and the transformation of European landscape painting, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2014, pp. 64, 254, 255, Cat. No. 67, fig. 57, NJ18.W72 R53 2014 OVERSIZE (YCBA)

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