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Baths of Diocletian
The Trustees of the British Museum
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Baths of Diocletian
c.1752-54 (undated)
Black chalk and stump, heightened with white, on grey-green paper
250 x 394 mm
10 x 15 1/2 in.
1881,0212.23
D106
A broad open space, flanked by buildings on either side including the ruins of the Baths, with another building at the far end. In the right foreground a woman and boy talk to a beggar leaning against a post. Further away there are two groups of two figures each near fragments of a fallen column. Other figures can be seen near a wall on the right. Light from the left casts a shadow over most of the foreground.
Donated by John Deffett Francis, February 1881
Unsigned; no inscription
Verso invisible - laid down
The Baths of Diocletian were public baths in Rome, named after emperor Diocletian and built from 298 to 306 AD. They were the largest and most impressive of the imperial baths, originally commissioned by Maximian on his return to Rome in the autumn of 298. The Baths are located on high ground at the north-east summit of the Viminal, the smallest of the seven hills of Rome. They remained in use until the Ostrogothic siege of Rome in 537, when the water supply was destroyed. The basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri was later constructed in the ruins.
D305 Baths of Dioclesian, The Courtauld Gallery, London
E34 James Gandon after Wilson, Twelve Etchings of Views in Italy - Baths of Dioclesian, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection, New Haven
E34A James Gandon after Wilson, Twelve Etchings of Views in Italy - Baths of Dioclesian, Royal Academy of Arts, London
A drawing of the Baths from a different angle is in the Courtauld Gallery, London (D305)
Binyon 7; Ford 1951, p. 60 under no. 58
Small stain upper right