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Ruined Temple of Minerva, Two Figures on River Bank
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Ruined Temple of Minerva, Two Figures on River Bank
c.1754 (undated)
Black chalk and graphite on medium, slightly-textured, blued-white wove paper
132 x 185 mm
5 3/16 x 7 5/16 in.
A seated and a standing figure are seen under trees at the right, near ruins which may be those of the so-called Temple of Minerva 'the physician', located next to the Porta Maggiore in Rome
Iolo Williams; acquired 1977
Unsigned; no inscription
The so-called Temple of Minerva 'the physician' was a popular subject for painters and had been featured at length in the fourth volume of Andrea Palladio's influential I quattro libri dell'architettura (The Four Books of Architecture) (originally publishe, 1570; first complete English edition published in London by Giacomo Leoni, 1716-1720). One of the most famous and frequently reproduced monuments in 18th century Rome, it had actually been a nymphaeum, or hall for ceremonial receptions, built for the Emperor P. Licinius Gallienus (235-268 AD). Today the building faces the Via Giolitti, between the Via Labicana and the Aurelian Walls. Its distinctive decagonal dome collapsed in 1828.
Object ID: 15003