Sir John Soane's Museum Drawings

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Purpose:Italy: Aquino: Santa Maria Libera. Drawing of a wall sarcophagus in Santa Maria Libera at Aquino, showing a rectangular relief panel supported by two human head consoles, flanked by pilasters.




Inscribed in pencil in a contemporary hand Madonna della Libera route de Naples; in ink 37

Dated/date range

Undated, probably 1755 or 1756.


Pencil, pen, grey wash

227 x 342


St Esprit type


Robert Adam


Adam vol.57/37


Santa Maria Libera is an eleventh-century basilica incorporating the remains of the temple of Ercole Liberatore at Aquino, which Robert Adam probably visited after Monte Cassino on his way back to Rome in April 1755. The sarcophagus depicted was probably part of the extensive classical ruins around the church. Both Adam and Charles-Louis Clérisseau visited the site again in 1756 during their tour to Sora; there is a pen and wash drawing of the church made at that time in the Clerk Collection, Scotland (Clerk 159).

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24 11 2006

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