Sir John Soane's Museum Drawings

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Purpose:Italy: Rome: Santa Constanza. View of the circular church of Santa Costanza on the Via Nomentana, beside two trees. On one side is part of a curved wall and other ruined walls.




Inscribed in ink 52

Dated/date range

Undated, probably 1756.


Pen, grey and brown washes

190 x 312


coat of arms


Robert Adam


Adam vol.57/52


Santa Costanze was originally a mausoleum and the view that Robert Adam has chosen shows remains of the graveyard structures dating from the Constantine period. There is another view of the building by Adam in the Clerk Collection, Scotland (Clerk 93), which shows the church in considerable detail but from the other side. According to Fleming, his '... charming and painstaking sketches', which included those of Santa Costanza, were probably made in the summer of 1756 (see J. Fleming, Robert Adam and His Circle in Edinburgh & Rome, London, 1962, p.213). There is a superior version of this composition, identical in size, by Charles-Louis Clérisseau in The Hermitage, St Petersburg, Russia (2395).

Adam's drawings of the exterior of what is likely to be the adjoining church of Sant'Agnese fuori le Mura (Adam vol.57/63 and 57/64) were probably made at the same time as the current view.

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01 12 2006

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