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The Circus of Caracalla, Rome
Photograph by Matthew Hollow
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
The Circus of Caracalla, Rome
c. 1754 (undated)
Black chalk, heightened with white, on grey paper
266 x 407 mm
10 1/2 x 16 in.
Private Collection, England
RF89
D273B
View of an arena, framed by a massive stone arch, from which hang creepers. In the left foreground are two figures, one seated with a staff over his shoulder, and a dog. To the right of this group is a boulder and there is a large fragment of a stone frieze at the right base of the arch. Beyond the arena are several buildings and trees. The view is towards the west on what is currently the edge of the Via Appia Pignatelli. To the left in the middle distance, stands the round tower of the mausoleum of Caecilia Metella - one of the most imposing classical remains on the Via Appia Antica. Martin Postle has noted that in actuality it is visible only when one stands before the arch.
Exeter 1946 (17); London 1925 (83)
Lady [Marianne] Ford; thence by descent
Unsigned; no inscription
[1] Marianne Ford's hand: Marianne Ford
[2] Marianne Ford's hand: Circus of Caracalla Rome
The Circus of Caracalla was the 18th century name for what is now known as the Circus of Maxentius. It was part of a palace complex flanking the Via Appia Antica built by the Emperor Maxentius in 306-12 AD.
E33 Edward Rooker after Wilson, Circus of Caracalla (from Twelve Original Views in Italy), Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection, New Haven
E33A Edward Rooker after Wilson, Circus of Caracalla (from Twelve Original Views in Italy), The British Museum
E33B Edward Rooker after Wilson, Circus at Caracalla (from Twelve Original Views in Italy), Royal Academy of Arts, London
Ford 1951, p. 60 under pl. 57; Solkin 1978, p. 405, pl. 16b; Walpole 1998-I, p.72, cat. RF89