Sir John Soane's Museum Drawings

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Purpose:Italy: unidentified roadside mausoleum. View of a ruined three-storey brick mausoleum, with a large niche between pilasters over a vaulted basement, a small roofless octagon on top. To the right of the sheet is a pencil outline of a similar building. 




Inscribed in ink 11

Dated/date range

Undated, probably 1755.


Pencil, grey wash

145 x 217


Robert Adam


Adam vol.57/11


There are other, grander mausolea depicted in Adam vol.57/1 and 57/7 in the Lago series of drawings. The mausoleum shown in this drawing may be located at some point along the Via Appia; en route to Naples, Robert Adam and later James visited Terracina where James remarked: 'Along this road are the remains of ancient sepulchres, now much ruined to be any way interesting, though in many of them one still sees the opera reticulata' (James Adam, The Library of the Fine Arts, 1831, II, p.177). However, it is more likely that this drawing depicts the ancient tomb at Capua on the road from Capua to Caserta, which is illustrated as the tailpiece in Abbé de Saint-Non, Voyage Pittoresque en Sicile et Naples, Paris, 1781-6, vol.II, and which describes the top columns as Corinthian and the niches below as designed to take cinerary urns.

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07 11 2006

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