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Italian Sketchbook - Drawings 25(v) and 26(r)
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Italian Sketchbook - Drawings 25(v) and 26(r)
1754
Black chalk heightened with white on medium, rough, blued white wove paper, bound in vellum
281 x 210 mm (each sheet)
11 1/16 x 8 1/4 in. (each sheet)
B1977.14.359 v25 & r26
D280/25
A circular altar dedicated to Hercules, decorated in relief with clubs, their handles connected with wreaths of oak and tied with ribbons. Below to the left is a scene of Hercules, carrying a club in his left hand and leading Cerberus; to the right is a two-handled cup adorned with vine leaves.
Oldfield Bowles; given to Sir George Beaumont, 1784; thence by descent until 1963, when sold to Paul Mellon
26(r): Inscribed in black chalk:
[1] Upper right: in ye Capitol.
[2] On plinth: HERCULES
Clements identified this study as of a circular altar, made of Pentelic marble in the Museo Capitolino, Rome. The foot and cornice are modern. It is decorated in relief with four clubs, connected with wreaths of oak and tied with ribbons. Figures or objects appear in the fields below, of which two are illustrated. A lengthy inscription declares that it was dedicated to Hercules Victor by C. Ulpius Fronto during the consulship of L. Vettius Paullo and T. Junius Montanus.
During the 18th century the altar stood in the Galleria of the Capitoline Museum, serving as the base for a seated male statue, where Wilson must have drawn it.
Object ID: 6363
Sutton & Clements 1968, vol. 1, pp. 24-25; vol. 2, p. 46
Only two sketchbooks by Wilson have survived - the present one (D280-D280/33) and D53-D53/81 Studies and Designs by R. Wilson done in Rome in the Year MDCCLII, Victoria & Albert Museum, London (E.3586-1922).