Sir John Soane's Museum Drawings

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Italy: Rome: unidentified location or capriccio. View or capriccio showing an obelisk with fountain at the base. Beyond this is part of a circular temple with columns opposite a series of niches with gardens above. In the foreground are part of an arch and architectural fragments. 




Inscribed in ink 125

Dated/date range

Undated, probably 1755 or 1756.


Grey and brown washes; pencil framing line

270 x 208


Robert Adam


Adam vol.57/125


This may be a view towards the Forum Boarium, Rome, showing the circular Temple of Sybil (Vesta or Portunus), now Santa Maria del Sole, of which there is a view in Adam vol.57/47. However, the obelisk with fountain immediately in front of the temple could be that of the Obelisk of Constantine in the Piazza di S. Giovanni in Laterano, which has a fountain at its base, or that at the Villa Calimontare Mattei al Celio, which had a garden setting, or that in the Piazza del Popolo, of which there is a drawing in the Clerk Collection, Scotland (Clerk 95).

Piranesi's Prima Parte di Architetture, 1743, gave several examples of obelisks (see 'Forma ideale del Campidoglio Capitol', pl.VII).

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01 01 2007

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