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Santo Stefano Rotondo and the Claudian Aqueduct
The Trustees of the British Museum
Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782)
Santo Stefano Rotondo and the Claudian Aqueduct
By 1756
Black chalk and stump heightened with white, on blue-green paper
268 x 408 mm
10 9/16 x 16 1/16 in.
1910,1013.18
D339
The view is from the edge of the garden of the Villa Mattei beside a sunken lane that ran immediately behind the umbrella pine. To the right is a version of the famous antique piece, Antinous. Slightly to its left in the middle distance, the basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano is visible, next to the very tall Lateran obelisk, which stands in the adjoining piazza. The church of San Stefano Rotondo is in the left foreground, framed by trees, and further back to its right a section of the Claudian aqueduct can be seen.
BM 1936 (unnumbered); Tercentenary 2014 (32)
Charles Rogers (1711-1784); his brother-in-law, William Cotton; sold Thomas Philipe, London, 18 April 1799 (709) [...] bt 1910 from Arthur Melville Champernowne (1871-1946)
Inscribed on secondary support (see 'Mount Inscriptions')
Inscribed in ink lower right corner: AMC
[1] Lower left corner: small impressed mark of Charles Rogers (Lugt 624)
[2] Lower right corner of mount: A.M. Champernowne (Lugt 153)
[1] In faint graphite: Plimmer
[2] In the hand of Thomas Jenkins: Snt. Stephano Rotondo, and the Claudian Acqueduct. | with Snt. John Laterans
The garden of the Villa Mattei was known for its important collection of antique sculpture
John Plimmer after Wilson,S. Stefano Rotondo and the Claudian Aqueduct 1756, black chalk and stump, heightened with white, The British Museum (1928,1016.13)
The monogrammed copy by Wilson's pupil, John Plimmer, dated 1756, in the British Museum provides a terminus ante quem for the present drawing. Martin Postle has noted the combination of a broadly Claudean composition with close personal observation. The work was attributed to Plimmer by Ford, presumably in view of the faint graphite inscription of his name on the mount but there seems no stylistic reason to question the attribution to Wilson himself.
C. Colvin and Thomas Ashby, Forty Drawings of Roman Scenes by British Artists (1715-1850) from Originals in the British Museum: Prepared for the Commemorative Exhibition at Rome, 1911, no. V; Ford 1951, pp. 40, 63, no. 78; Wilson and Europe 2014, pp. 226-27
Ford noted that the mount of this drawing is very similar to the lilac mounts used by Wilson for his series of Dartmouth drawings.