Sir John Soane's Museum Drawings

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Purpose:Italy: Baia: The Imperial Villa. View over the ruins of the imperial villa at Baia, with three vaulted niches in the foreground, and the Temple of Diana or Venus in the distance.




Inscribed in pencil in a contemporary hand Baia; in ink 23

Dated/date range

Undated, probably 1755.


Pencil, brown and grey washes, with white and white chalk heightening, on grey paper; pencil framing line

228 x 319 (trimmed)


Charles-Louis Clérisseau (attributed to)


Adam vol.57/23


This drawing attributed to Charles-Louis Clérisseau is one of several views made of the thermal complex at Baia; the others are by Robert Adam, see Adam vol.57/15 and 57/43, the latter a more pedestrian version of this view, depicting only the vaulted niches. The use of white chalk and the delicate cloud formations in this view are unlike Adam's style and closer to that of Clérisseau. This drawing demonstrates effectively the scattering of ruins of the original thermal establishments, which included the Temples of Venus, Diana and Mercury, and which are shown in the plan in Paoli, Avanzi Delle Antichita Esistenti a Pozzuoli Cuma e Baja, Naples, 1768, pl.XLII, pl.II.

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11 11 2006

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