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The Aqueduct of Nero
Tate, London 2014
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
The Aqueduct of Nero
c.1752 (undated)
Black chalk with white highlights on ochre prepared laid paper
203 x 263 mm
8 x 10 3/8 in.
T09278
D122
The view is near the Porta Maggiore, Rome, where a sequence of arches runs along the present Via Statilia towards the Lateran.
Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
Unsigned; inscribed in graphite, upper right: Aquad. of Nero
Wilson began by applying a chalky, ochre-coloured wash to the paper. He then worked over the surface with black chalk, using quite light pressure. Diagonal hatchings of heavily applied chalk define the shadows in the arches. Subtle white chalk highlights have been added to the central right arches. A similar technique is used in D123 View from the Capitol, Tate, London.
These arches form a section of the Emperor Nero's Aqueduct (Arcus Neroniani) that drew water from the aqueduct of Claudius and carried it to the Domus Aurea. The aqueduct was extended to the Palatine by the Emperor Domitian. It can still be seen at many points between Porta Maggiore and the Palatine.
D123 View from the Capitol, Tate, London
07/03/2016